Ted Lasso returned last week for its sophomore season bringing along plenty of laughs and feel-good vibes. It seems mental health will be prevalent as AFC Richmond brought in a sports psychologist to help the team stay focused and manage their issues during the team’s run of ties. The introduction of Doctor Fieldstone proves quite a challenge for the coach because he can’t get a read on her or woo her with his charms. Then the episode ends with an appearance of former teammate and foe, Jamie Tartt on the telly.
The season one finale kept the possibility of Jamie returning to the team open despite his contribution to the heart-breaking goal for the opposition and “Lavender” pushes the idea even more. For all his pompous behavior, he showed growth in that finale being able to make the pass and even earned an army man for his performance. He’s hit rock bottom the only way he can by ditching one of the world’s best football clubs for a reality dating game and after being eliminated, he can’t go back to either.
His reintroduction brings up some intriguing possibilities for the series because even though he initially passes on the opportunity, Ted Lasso has a change of heart. There’s the obvious conflict between Jamie and the team and its affect on chemistry.
However, as mentioned above, this is a different Jamie. He probably has enough maturity, along with little options, to make it work but he will have to make amends hopefully leading to a redemptive arc. It’s no secret that Tartt has daddy issues and with a new psychologist on the payroll, he can probably sort out his problems. Then there’s how Ted isn’t one to give up on anyone and he just has another project for him to help solve.
The other former AFC Richmonder who gains significant air time is Roy. He is still looking for that something to fill the void of football after hanging up his cleats. Coaching his niece’s team and trashy reality television may be short term fixes but he still wants to be more involved in the sport and takes a job as a pundit.
It’s funny to see that retirement hasn’t softened him up in anyway and Roy the talking head is similar to Roy the player. He’s no nonsense, to the point, and uses colorful language. Now that he’s an analyst, I can’t wait to hear his commentary on Jamie each game, but his job might just focus on the Premiere League.
It’s great to catch up with former players, but the show is called Ted Lasso so you know he’ll be involved. Maybe it is his college coaching background or the fact that all the players seem really young, but Ted sees himself as a father figure to AFC Richmond. He could feel he let Jamie down the first time and is looking for a second chance. You can really see the wheels turning in his head as he debates bringing Tartt back to the team. He better hope he can manage his locker room because Jamie could be as much of a blessing as he is a distraction.
At least Lasso is making inroads with Doctor Fieldstone. She even shares her favorite book with him. Their dynamic is quite compelling because Sharon is one of the few people to hold Ted accountable. They’re both working for the good of the team and she’s willing to call him out when he’s underperforming. In addition, hopefully Coach will also become a patient and open up to her. He has his own baggage and it would be a relief for him to be able to talk with someone about it.
The writing for this episode of Ted Lasso is high quality with many funny one liners and pop culture references. The entire pub scene with Jamie, Ted and the locals is hilarious but also shows how beloved the ex-player still is in the town. The use of callbacks is highly entertaining whether it’s from within the episode such as the detergent jokes where the episode gets its name to those from last season such as the army man; a sneaky way to cater to Ted’s sentimental side. Then there’s the running gag of Higgins’ office. So much good stuff packed into the episode.
“Lavender” reintroduces a possible powder keg to the team and it should be enthralling to watch either way it turns out.
Ted Lasso can be currently seen on Apple TV+ with new episodes released on Friday.
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