“Beard After Hours” picks up immediately after the previous episode of Ted Lasso. The assistant coach really needed to blow off some steam following the beatdown the team received from Man City. It’s a long commute home from Wembley Stadium and we soon see what a wild, adventurous but bittersweet evening he has.
This is our first real deep dive into Coach Beard and we catch glimpses of a complicated, unexpected, and also lonely individual. The ominous vibe we received with Ted last week wasn’t completely unwarranted and we explore how his professional and personal life have placed him in a dark place. Though the blowout loss is fresh on his mind, it’s his relationship troubles that are weighing him down more.
The memorable night begins with Baz, Jeremy, and Paul at The Crown and Anchor followed by a trip to an exclusive after-hours club with the boys. He’s looking to drink his problems away, especially after breaking up with Jane. At the swanky bar he catches the eye of a pretty woman hoping she can help him forget his ex. Unfortunately, it all goes down hill from there when he encounters her jealous husband. He makes a hasty escape losing his keys and wallet and while roaming the streets, he bumps into James Tart and his entourage who still remember his actions after the big game.
At each stop during this episode of Ted Lasso, Beard is haunted by two sportscasters doing play by play on his sad and pathetic life. Their appearances mirror his fragile mental state with all the drama going on and they say some pretty hurtful things. Thierry Henry is particularly nasty but at least the coach still has enough in him to resist their overtures.
Luckily, the AFC Richmond fans are there to accompany him on part of his journey. They help ground him when his imagination is getting the best of him and provide lightheartedness in “Beard After Hours” considering the depressing themes. They do care for him with Paul offering a hug after the game, and despite all the negativity going on in his life, he makes the effort to ensure they’re taken care of. He even grants them a once in a lifetime opportunity in the end.
However, Brendan Hunt is the star and he’s given an excellent opportunity to show his range. He goes from anger (mean bugging a little Man City fan), to philosophical (explain his views on the fragility of life) to terror (fleeing from the husband and encountering James Tart) to name a few states he goes through. Coach Beard is also full of surprises. Who even is this guy with his Irish accent and intimate knowledge of Oxford?
Ted Lasso does a good job of developing likeable nuanced and complex characters that are flawed. This episode does that for Beard during this eventful night. He has insecurities about being alone and has some disturbing thoughts. It’s more than mere coincidence that he ends up at the same rave as Jane. He goes through a personal hell but is able to come back from it and has something to look forward to on the other side. Jane finally realizes what a catch he is, indicated by her tons of text messages and finally saying “I love you.” Coach must be a really special guy if Jane can look past his goofy dancing.
“Beard After Hours” features a wild and crazy night that captures the depth and nuance of Ted Lasso’s second in command.
New episodes of Ted Lasso drop Fridays on Apple TV+.
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