Monday, October 18, 2021

‘Ted Lasso’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 12 “Inverting the Pyramid of Success”

The Ted Lasso season 2 finale is here, and AFC Richmond’s last game of the season of rapidly approaching. Meanwhile, Ted must deal with the fallout of Trent Crimm’s exposé on his panic attack while working alongside the traitorous source of the tip — Nate. And that’s not the only shake up amongst the Greyhounds … Let’s take a look at the major takeaways from episode 12, “Inverting the Pyramid of Success.”

Ted’s secret is out (but he’s okay)

Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso
Apple TV+

In the last episode, Trent Crimm gave Ted a heads up that he was publishing an article revealing the truth about his panic attack, courtesy of a tip from none other than Nate. The news quickly becomes the talk of the town, leading people like Dr. Sharon, Rebecca, and even Michelle to check in on Ted while he’s eating breakfast. However, all of his therapy has really paid off, because Ted handles the situation with as much grace as he can muster, surprisingly not thrown too far off kilter by the barrage of judgmental stares. (Although he does mix up the salt and sugar in his daily biscuits, much to Rebecca’s dismay.)

Later, after Richmond succeeds with a tie game, the press room is bustling with reporters. Ted takes it upon himself to say, “I wanna share with y’all the truth about my recent struggles with anxiety and my overall concern with the way we discuss and deal with mental health in athletics.” This prevailing theme of the importance of mental health in sports has been one of the most incredible, honest, and crucial aspects of season 2, and Jason Sudeikis’ performance throughout was unforgettable.

Sam makes a decision

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Edwin Akufo’s generous and tempting offer to Sam is still on the table — he wants him to come back to Africa to join the football team that he’s putting together. Sam tells Edwin that he’ll give him an answer after the match on Sunday, and he spends much of the episode contemplating this decision. His father suggests that he let the universe give him a sign, and despite the fact that he’s skeptical about the advice, he sees a fan wearing his Richmond jersey moments after he hangs up the phone.

When the Greyhounds end the final game of the season with a tie, securing their place back in the Premier League for the next season, the whole team (besides Nate) is overcome with joyous celebration. Edwin is shocked when Sam tells him that his time with Richmond isn’t over yet. He can’t accept his offer. The other man doesn’t take the news well, proceeding to throw a hilarious, expletive-filled tantrum while making a messy exit.

Later, Sam tells Rebecca (though he’s looking at Ted) that he made the decision to stay not because of his feelings for her, but because it’s what’s best for him and his personal journey. Sam further cements his future with Richmond when it’s revealed that he purchased a storefront in town. He’s opening a Nigerian restaurant.

Keeley’s grand opportunity

Keeley receives incredible news — the “money people” that back the Bantr app want to finance her opening her own PR firm. She turns to Higgins for advice, because she’s scared to tell Rebecca that she’s leaving. Keeley doesn’t want Rebecca to think she’s ungrateful for the opportunity she’s given her with AFC Richmond.

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All of her worrying turns out to be for nothing though, because although both women are in tears by the time the eventual conversation is through, Rebecca is more than supportive of her best friend’s new venture.

The Roy and Keeley forecast is looking grim

Brett Goldstein and Juno Temple in Ted Lasso
Apple TV+

At first, it appears that the foreboding vibe surrounding Roy and Keeley’s relationship at the end of the last episode may have been for naught. The Jamie Tartt-shaped wrench works itself out when the culprit himself apologies to Roy and admits that it was wrong of him to tell Keeley he still loves her. Roy is surprised not only by the fact that Jamie was mature enough to do so before he could ream him out, but more so by his own reaction — forgiveness … rather than headbutting him. He’s even wholly unbothered by the fact that Nate kissed Keeley, which is embarrassing for Nate when he realizes the other man didn’t so much as grunt in annoyance at his (late) admission. Perhaps they’ll get past this after all.

However, the cracks begin to splinter once more when Roy sees that he hasn’t been included in any of the photos in Keeley’s Vanity Fair article. It bothers him so much that he begrudgingly turns to the Diamond Dogs for advice, outright admitting in a poignant moment of honesty that it hurt his feeling. (Yes, that’s right, singular. Feeling. Roy Kent has but a single feeling in his grumpy body.) He realized how great Keeley looks on her own without him.

After the game, Roy surprises Keeley with a pair of plane tickets to Marbella. They’re going to a villa by the sea for six weeks so she can relax before she starts her new job, and he can finally take his first vacation in many years. He’s crestfallen when Keeley tells him that she can’t go, despite the fact that he made sure there’s Wi-Fi, because she needs to stay at home and work. Roy immediately assumes that this means they’re breaking up, but Keeley assumes him that they’re fine. Cue the stress until next season.

Nate the Great? No, Nate the Terrible.

Oh how far you have fallen, Nate. Despite Coach Beard’s insistence to call him out for what he’s done, Ted wants to wait for Nate to come to him. However, Nate’s poor attitude finally reaches a breaking point as the first half of the final game ends, forcing Ted to approach him privately. Nate launches into a skewed, single-minded (incredibly immature) rant, essentially complaining to Ted for pulling his attention away from him and “abandoning him” — likely referring to when he brought Roy on as a coach.

Nates innate need for attention and reassurance has festered into something ugly and unforgivable, which he voices by way of telling Ted that he doesn’t belong there with AFC Richmond. Ted apparently owes all of the team’s success to him. He even believes that the reason Ted was so insistent on sticking with his play for the game was to embarrass him when it didn’t work. Nate ultimately stomps off the field in fury — like a grey-haired toddler — when Richmond erupts in cheers after they tie the game. (Also, how DARE he rip up the BELIEVE poster.)

Trent Crimm, literally independent

Trent Crimm, a reporter for The Independent, made his mark early on in season 1 when he was quick to publicly expose Ted’s lack of English football knowledge. However, despite his cynical tendencies, he and Ted eventually developed a mutual respect for one another. The fact that Trent took it upon himself to warn Ted about the panic attack exposé and Nate’s involvement was a big deal in itself. However, he then took things a step further by telling his employer that he had given away the identity of an anonymous source, which got him fired. And just like that, Trent Crimm truly earned the audience’s full respect.

Darth Nate rises

As the episode comes to a close, we finally see just how far Nate has fallen to the dark side. With a chilling stance worthy of the Galactic Empire, Nate watches as Rupert’s new team — West Ham United — practices on the field. It looks like he’s found a new job. The final frame mirrors exactly how season 2 opened: a close-up shot of Nate’s face. And, be it the stress or a physical manifestation of his transformation to a villain, his once-black hair is now entirely grey.

Given that AFC Richmond and Rupert’s team are now in the same league, this won’t be the last that we see of Nate …

Top Ted-isms of the week

Apple TV+

“To quote the great UCLA college basketball coach, John Obi-Wan Gandalf …”

“Europe late.”

“Before living here, I used to think still water was just folks saying it’s still water. Like it was water .. and it continues to remain to be … water.”

“Look at it out there. It looks like a Renaissance painting portraying masculine melancholy.”

“You know my philosophy when it comes to cats, babies, and apologies, Coach. You gotta let them come to you.”

The cherries on top

Jeremy Swift in Ted Lasso
Apple TV+

In addition to the major plotlines that played out in the finale, there were also some other brief yet amazing moments that deserve recognition.

  • Macy Greyhound and Tina Feyhound
  • The entire team putting their hands on Ted’s BELIEVE poster before the game
  • Jamie letting Dani take the final penalty shot of the game despite what happened last time
  • The tiny helmet on Richmond’s new mascot (and Dani’s shoe — “RIP Earl”)
  • Roy headbutting Jamie and then dancing around with him in celebration after the big tie game

Thanks for joining us for our weekly episodic recaps of season 2 of Ted Lasso! On your way out, you’ll find sign-ups for the anti-Nate non-fan club on the left and a petition to release the footage of Roy sun tanning on his six-week beach getaway on the right.

Catch up on all of our Ted Lasso season 2 recaps here, and stay tuned for news on season 3!

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Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about something Star Wars or Marvel related on Twitter @lindyysolo. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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