We received a pleasant present on the previous Ted Lasso with a special holiday episode in the summer. What could have been a depressing a lonely first Christmas for the Coach after his divorce turned into full day of spreading good will thanks to Rebecca. Elsewhere, Higgins hosts the much of the team for dinner while Roy tries to help cure his niece’s bad breath.
“Rainbow” begins with Nate trying to make reservations at his parents’ favorite restaurant for their anniversary but has trouble asserting himself to get what he wants. At a coaches’ meeting, he is once again overlooked when he volunteers to be the “big dog” and have a talk with the slumping team captain. That’s been a big story in his life; not being taken seriously.
The assistant coach goes through an uproarious rite of passage learning to be more confident and firm from Keeley and Rebecca. The episode provides Nick Mohammed the perfect opportunity to flex his comedic chops. He (and the writing) is so brilliant when he tries to draw Keeley’s attention walking past her door when it’s the end office in a corridor. His imitation of Rebecca getting big to own a room is priceless but he takes it to another level when we see his nastier side to hype himself up.
He eventually finds his swagger and convinces the hostess to give his party the desired window booth earning what can be the only affirmation he’s ever received from his dad with a slight head nod. It’s funny that part of his spiel is how fast he and his family eat.
The scene also has some nuance shedding light on how Nate turned out the way he did. It was probably difficult to grow a backbone with an overbearing, judgmental father and smothering mother. I like how he takes his shot with the hostess after obtaining his confidence and the rejection brings him back down to earth. Hey, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Meanwhile, Roy Kent would be the last person you’d expect going through the motions of your favorite rom-coms but Ted Lasso does it and pulls it off. The object of his affection isn’t Keeley, but football. He’s been really enjoying his job as a sports analyst but doesn’t think it’s as fulfilling as the sport ever was. After helping Isaac rekindle his passion for soccer again, he recognizes he wants to be a coach.
Roy has his moment of realization on air and drops everything to go running back to his sweetheart with the soundtrack of The Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow.” Textbook scene from most any love story film. Levity is peppered in since the former athlete isn’t as limber in his old age and we discover the fake name Lasso used to put the tickets under (Reba McEntire). The entire ending is shrewdly set up earlier in the episode with all the cheesy and sappy lines and references from beloved romantic comedies and the tune being Higgins and his wife’s song.
Speaking of romance, Rebecca’s digital flirtations are heating up on the anonymous dating app she uses. It could be clever editing or something more but the DMs seem to be coming from Ted Lasso. This could lead to some juicy and/or hilarious situations down the line and I’m eager to see how it will all play out.
“Rainbow” is an excellent episode where Nate comes into his own as a man and Roy returns to the team. With all the rom-com talk, it’s hard not to feel the love.
New episodes of Ted Lasso drop Fridays on Apple TV+.
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