In this week’s episode of Ted Lasso, AFC Richmond is on fire thanks to the Roy Kent effect, and that’s just what they need for the FA Cup! Meanwhile, Roy and Jamie begin to address their issues in a roundabout way, Ted is not okay, and the secret identity of Rebecca’s Bantr beau is finally revealed. So how about we take a deeper dive into what went down in “The Signal”?
The Roy Kent effect
Returning to AFC Richmond, but as a coach this time, turned out to be exactly what Roy Kent needed. It’s the perfect career move for him. And it’s clearly been wonderful for the team as well, because they’re on a surprising winning streak. Everyone’s excitement over this is infectious. While each of the coaches have something important to bring to the table, Roy’s years of experience as a football player allow him to connect with the team on a different level.
As a viewer, last season left me worried about what was next for Roy after his retirement. He has such an entertaining dynamic with the rest of the characters, and it would have been disappointing if his role was reduced if he didn’t have a reason to hang around with the team anymore. Seeing him truly come into his skillset as a coach is the best possible path the Ted Lasso writers could have put his character on.
Jamie Tartt, just be a prick!
Jamie Tartt is back, and the team is learning how to play alongside him again after all the bad blood between them in the past. Unfortunately, Roy’s refusal to coach Jamie isn’t helping the matter at all. Roy’s sarcastic response to Ted’s reminder that he’s paid to coach the whole team is great, “That’s fine, just take 4% of my paycheck.”
After a heated argument breaks out between the two, Roy angrily tells Ted that this is his fault. Turning Jamie into a “team player” has made his skills appear average at best. If they want him to score goals and help them win, Jamie needs to go back to driving the other team up a wall like he used to. In short, he needs to be a prick.
They put this theory to test during the FA Cup game with all four of the coaches giving Jamie Roy’s surprise signal — a row of middle ringers. Did you expect anything less? I sure didn’t. Also, despite the fact that they’re still enemies in some regard, Roy being entirely confident in Jamie’s penalty kick (while everyone else doubted it) was an endearing moment.
Jamie’s growth as a character this season has been great. In season 1, there were times where he almost felt like an irredeemable character (up until his relationship with his father was revealed). Now, I’m very invested in his arc and seeing what’s next for him.
Nate, the Wonder Kid
Nate’s had his fair share of issues this season, and now he also has to contend with Roy as a coach. His promotion to coach in season 1 was a big deal, because he finally felt recognized and empowered, and he was given a platform to utilize his knowledge of the game. Now, everyone is fawning over the epic return of Roy Kent. As seen in the stark contrast between Nate and Roy’s coaching styles and the way the team responded to each of them earlier in the episode, Nate has his work cut out for him.
After Ted exits the field without warning and sends everyone in a panic during the FA Cup game, Nate takes charge while Coach Beard and Roy are debating their plays. His quick thinking pays off, and the team ultimately wins the game. Now the question is, what’s next for Nate? Will he find his footing amongst a four-coach team, or will this latest success go to his head?
Ted is not okay
Ted Lasso is an absolute ray of sunshine, and that’s a fact that nobody can debate. He’s one of the most pleasant, agreeable, and likeable characters on television. But nobody is perfect. We all carry heavy things on our backs and in our hearts that we sometimes hide from others.
Last season, we saw Ted have a panic attack. This was a surprising moment for viewers to witness from his character. Thankfully, season 2 hasn’t forgotten about this. We saw Ted have yet another panic attack in this episode during the FA Cup game. Though the rest of the team believed his excuse that he was merely having stomach issues, Rebecca wasn’t so easily fooled. Watching the dynamic between Ted and Rebecca grow into the friendship it is today has been so satisfying.
At the end of the episode, Dr. Sharon found Ted laying on the couch in her office. Looking rumpled and broken, he admitted to her that he’s finally ready to make an appointment. And there goes Ted Lasso, collectively ripping our hearts out as we spend the next week waiting for Ted to finally open up. The show’s honest portrayal of the invisible hurt that Ted carries has been an achingly realistic plot point. And I, for one, seriously appreciate that.
The cat’s out of the bag, Rebecca’s secret Bantr crush is …
SAM OBISANYA?! That’s right, folks. After endless theories and guesses have been laid on the table as to who the mysterious man is that Rebecca has been chatting with on the dating app Bantr, his identity has been revealed as one of AFC Richmond’s players. Well … that was unexpected.
Though the audience is now aware of this, neither Rebecca nor Sam is aware that they’re talking to one another. I definitely can’t wait to see how this pans out.
Top Ted-isms of the Week
“You called this puppy, so start barking.”
“That’s a heaping spoonful of truth soup right there.”
“Dukes of Hazzard-style, or as you guys probably call it, ‘Earls of Risk'”
“You are more mysterious than David Blaine reading a Sue Grafton novel at Area 51.”