Another season of Ted Lasso has come to an end both on the pitch and on television screens. Leading into the finale, there are many loose threads from the article on the real reason the coach left the pitch in the FA Cup match to Sam’s club future to Roy and Keeley’s unsteady relationship. With so much to address, “Inverting the Pyramid of Success” is an extra-long episode.
Ted Lasso is dealing with the fallout from Trent Crimm’s exposé. There’s a mixed public response including from sports pundits and everyday people on the street. Everywhere he goes, he’s reminded of his moment of weakness. However, he also experiences a huge amount of support from his friends and fans of AFC Richmond. Ted isn’t alone in this.
When he addresses the reports both with his team and from the press, we see how much progress he’s made following his sessions with Dr. Fieldstone. His ability to confront the issue and own up to his mistake demonstrates his improved psychological state. The candid admission also allows him to be a proponent of mental health and speak of its importance.
At least Ted Lasso didn’t drag out the Keeley, Roy, and Jamie love triangle. Tart is quick to apologize and his excuse is very reasonable. The real threat to the show’s most compelling romance is opportunity. Keeley is a rising star in the business world and is given a tremendous opportunity to start and head her own PR firm. It’s sweet that she goes to Higgins for advice on how to break the news to Rebecca (especially as he holds two adorable puppies). Her boss is excited for her friend and knows when to let go. Rebecca’s tip of hiring your best friend hits you right in the feels.
Roy thinks he’s being left behind but after seeing Keeley’s photo spread, she looks too good working her business. His reservations even earn him a guest pass into the Diamond Dogs to vent and Ted and Coach Beard look so giddy after he complements the group. When his girlfriend passes on a planned vacation to work on her start-up, you can feel his hurt and insecurities come out.
One thing missing most of this season of Ted Lasso is the sports drama. It’s the last game of the season and AFC Richmond has the chance to earn promotion back into the Premier League. As always, they dig themselves a deep hole. There’s a team discussion at halftime but the most inspiring moment is when team captain, Isaac, stoically walks up to the “Believe” sign for the team chant.
The scene is so emotional, I was almost in tears. AFC Richmond stages their comeback and a penalty kick is one of the most dramatic showdowns in sports. We have a nice bookend of the season with Dani Rojas stepping up to the spot for a chance at redemption.
Sometimes, I feel the series doesn’t get the sports side as well as the character development and storytelling. Sure, there is the drama of getting back into the Premier League but the team only needed a tie to earn second place. Without knowing the standings, even if they lost, there is a high probability the team would still make the playoff for the last promotion spot so some of the excitement is lost. I know many viewers don’t care about the technical sports stuff, but it is a little irksome.
With the final game played, Edwin Akufo awaits Sam Obisanya’s decision. It’s a choice the player makes that he thinks is best for himself and not for anyone else so Rebecca doesn’t know how to take the news. The few minutes that Sam Richardson is on screen are priceless. It’s so hilarious showing the actor’s comedic talents and even his character’s official handshaker gets in on the action.
Ted Lasso does set up the stage for season three. Nate finally makes his complete heel turn. As predicted after the funeral of Rebecca’s father, the petulant “wonderkid” has teamed up with another of the show’s villains. Has anyone so well liked turned so hated over a course of a season? It’s a testament to the writing and acting from Nick Mohammed.
You could foresee this turn of events after each episode and Nate’s father issues we saw earlier play a role as well. Especially, after hearing the former assistant coach’s side when Ted confronts him. Mohammed has done such a good job of making his character insufferable that I don’t even care if they give him a redemptive arc a la Jamie Tartt. We know that their sides will clash at least twice next season and it will make for some real fireworks. Just like the comics, sometimes your arch enemy was once your best friend.
The finale provides emotional sports moments and sets the stage for some bigger conflicts when the series returns next season.
Watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV+.
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