Ted Lasso has developed a found family dynamic for the entire AFC Richmond organization, especially this year with everyone on the same page. We saw how supportive everybody was when Sam took a stand against the parent company of their sponsor and was given the platform to express his views. The series continues to build the squad’s closeness and relationships with a Christmas episode. After all, the holidays are an excellent time to spend with those you love.
The team adopts new traditions to help boost morale and promote an overall positive culture. Everybody receives some much-needed time off to rest and energize and the players participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange. After all the festivities, Ted goes home for a video call with his son to open presents together. It’s the first Christmas after his divorce and it’s hitting him hard. The booze he has on hand and the It’s a Wonderful Life marathon aren’t helping his mood.
It’s a side of Ted Lasso we rarely see. Usually, it’s all fun and games with the coach but his personal life is one of the few things that can truly affect him. Sudeikis taps into a dark place to convey the frustration, loneliness, and anxiety his character is feeling. Fortunately, Ted is visited by an angel in the form of Rebecca. She brings him along to spread Christmas cheer to those who need it.
Rebecca has come a long way since the start of the show with respect to her coach. From saboteur to genuine best friend, she provides a spark of positivity Lasso needs to take away the holiday blues. She can relate after experiencing something similar the previous year following her own divorce. Most of the time it’s Ted providing the support to his boss so it’s lovely to see the tables have turned and she does something nice for him for a change.
Plus, during their charitable deeds, we are blessed with Waddingham’s voice, which we heard in “Make Rebecca Great Again.” Rebecca is getting her groove back and the renaissance she’s having this season contributes to all the feel-good vibes. The character is definitely setting a prime example of leadership and it’s no wonder everybody at AFC Richmond have her back.
The main celebration is at the Higgins household where Leslie invites players who have nowhere to go for the holidays. He’s very welcoming and hospitable even though he has more guests than expected. It’s an amusing get together where the players can be themselves. There are so many silly scenes with the players interacting with Higgins’ kids from playing FIFA to a Nerf gun battle. Sam has a sweet moment with the youngest son helping the child keep the sense of wonder about Santa.
The holiday dinner is the perfect way to demonstrate the family dynamic of the team having the players so seamlessly fit in with all the Higgins. It’s similar to a Thanksgiving with all the extended members coming together. There’s so much diversity with people from various parts of the world all contributing something from their homeland.
The squad is truly a melting pot of individuals that get along and the episode ends nicely with Ted Lasso and Rebecca caroling outside the home. Sure, it’s a little cheesy, especially with Santa’s sleigh flying overhead, but for this series and this episode, you can overlook it.
Finally, the Roy, Keely, and Phoebe storyline plays well for laughs. The reactions of both adults to Phoebe’s halitosis are priceless but it shows how much they care for the little girl when they set out to treat her condition. A normal person would have taken a different approach, but this is Roy F’n Kent and he does things his own way. The nod to Love Actually is unexpected and it allows Phoebe to get back at her bully.
“Carol of the Bells” provides good laughs, good company, and overall, good vibes. Three things you hope to have during the holidays.
Ted Lasso can be currently seen on Apple TV+ with new episodes released Fridays.
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