On Ted Lasso, we see AFC Richmond has reversed its fortunes and are one win away from earning promotion back into the Premier League. Sam is the star player in their latest game and he’s been leading the team in the most recent surge. Only if the team’s lives off the field could be as productive and optimistic.
Coach and Dr. Fieldstone’s relationship experienced a real breakthrough last week when the former suffered a panic attack. So, it’s a shame that Sharon is leaving so soon after. In anticipation of the departure, Ted Lasso has some big plans for his friend’s going away party including a whole dance to NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” I love how Jamie Tart is hitting that choreo so hard.
Sharon has other plans and tries to sneak out a day early because unlike Sam Smith, she’s not good at goodbyes. Ted is infuriated and confronts her at her home. The two come to an understanding and go to The Prince’s Head for one last night of drinks. Their relationship has been a compelling aspect of this season and it’s nice to see Dr. Fieldstone receive a proper send off. It tugs at the heart a little bit too when Lasso gifts her an army man.
Although her leaving is a bit sad. Sarah Niles has been a great addition to the show and it’s not like the players won’t need a sports psychologist next season because football isn’t going to stop being a stressful. Plus, it’s peculiar to move on now especially with such a big game on the horizon that could greatly impact the team. Why not keep her aboard until the end of the season?
If they do gain promotion, she should celebrate with everyone else because she’s as responsible for the success. But I understand the good doctor helped Ted overcome his daddy issues so from a narrative perspective, she’s played her part.
The couples of Ted Lasso are experiencing some rocky times. Rebecca and Sam are already on a break but things become more complicated when a wealthy Ghanian heir, Edwin Akufo, arrives to offer a huge transfer fee for the soccer player. The opportunity puts further strain on their potential relationship. In her scenes, Hannah Waddingham demonstrates why she’s an Emmy winner with the emotion and weight she puts into her lines to the subtle glances and looks that express her inner conflict.
Akufo is excellently played by guest star, Sam Richardson. I always see the actor as Richard from Veep so it’s interesting to see him in a different role. His comedic timing and delivery are still there, but Edwin is a more serious character than I’ve seen him portray before. Richardson captures the eccentricity of a billionaire with his deceptions and ways he spends his money to impress Sam. It’s all for good though as there is a daydreaming and philanthropic optimism behind him. It’s a very convincing display that hits at the right spots for Sam so it should be intriguing to see which way he goes.
As mentioned in the previous episode, I’m not too keen on the relationship woes between Keeley and Roy. They play it up even more here and it’s all coming out of nowhere and hasn’t been really developed. Maybe it’s to show that there are doubts in even the strongest of relationships but the two seem the most secure of who they are and of each other that it’s not coming off well. At least we see more of Phoebe’s exploits at school and I must say she’s a pretty talented artist.
One of the wrinkles in Keeley and Roy’s relationship comes from Nate. Just because Rupert isn’t around much doesn’t mean there needs to be another villain. Sure, we’ve watched the devolving nature of the assistant coach all season but he’s crossing some lines now. I’m not sure a redemptive arc will help him and it’s more a storyline to give Nate something to do than to build him up somehow. Ted Lasso has always been a feel-good show, even in tragedy, but there’s no real foreseeable endgame for this drastic turn in character.
“Midnight Train to Royston” has some great performances from Hannah Waddingham and guest star, Sam Richardson, but makes some questionable storyline decisions. Regardless, it builds the interest to see what happens heading in the season finale.
New episodes of Ted Lasso drop Fridays on Apple TV+.
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