‘Ted Lasso’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 1 “Smells Like Mean Spirit”

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Apple TV+

The Greyhounds are back! Let’s dive into what went down in the long-awaited Ted Lasso season 3 premiere, “Smells Like Mean Spirit.”

Henry goes back to Kansas

After spending some quality time with his son in London, Ted is sad to see Henry go as he drops him off at the airport to return home to Kansas to his mom. Ted catches up with Dr. Sharon on the phone as he heads back to his apartment, cleaning up LEGOs and dismantling Henry’s blanket fort. Interestingly enough, he tells her that he’s reached a point where he wonders what he’s still doing in London — is his being there hurting more than helping?

The underdogs

The Greyhounds may have been promoted, but much to Rebecca’s dismay, none of the newspapers or television pundits have any hope in them. Ted walks in as she’s ranting to Higgins about the fact that they all believe AFC Richmond will be finishing in 20th place. Meanwhile, West Ham is projected to finish fourth — and Ted makes a point of insisting Rebecca refer to the team itself as their competition, not her ex-husband, Rupert. She’s also bothered by Ted’s calm attitude toward it all, referencing his prior declaration that they were going to win the whole thing.

We finally catch up with the Greyhounds in the locker room, where they’re discussing the bothersome lack of faith in the team this season. Relegation may loom on the horizon once again. As Ted arrives in the office, Roy fills him in on how tactic planning is coming — given that they’re the underdogs, it’ll be more important for Richmond to be solid rather than clever.

Public Enemy No. 1, Nathan Shelley

Apple TV+

Nate the Traitor arrives at the West Ham headquarters for work, and clearly, he’s still obsessed with what people think of him on social media because the first thing that he does is open his laptop to check his Twitter feed for new memes about himself. When he heads down to the pitch for practice, we see that he’s still clinging to the fake-cruel attitude that he adopted. However, the façade starts to crack when he’s called up to Rupert’s office (which looks like it was designed for Emperor Palpatine himself). While they’re chatting about the poor outlook for Richmond, Rupert’s assistant walks in to let him know that the car that accidentally parked in the prestige lot is being towed. Nate runs over to the window as he realizes that the sad, shabby little car they’re discussing is his own.

Catching up with Keeley

And what’s Keeley Jones up to? Fabulous as ever, now running her own PR firm. Rebecca pays her a visit at her new office for lunch, and she admits that she’s worried that Ted isn’t worried enough about how Richmond will perform this season. Keeley also takes notice of Rebecca’s inability to let go of how much Rupert bothers her.

The Greyhounds go on a field trip

During practice, Ted, Beard, and Roy notice that the team seems distracted because of the predictions for the season. So Ted has a solution that’s nothing if not on brand for him: he takes the team down for a tour of London’s sewer system. Apparently, Ted took Henry there for a tour earlier in the summer, after he watched It on the plane ride over, as a way of facing his fears. The tour guide tells the team about the history of the sewers (and may Phil Dunster’s pronunciation of “poopeh” forever live on in our hearts.)

Ted’s confusing idea for a team outing begins to make sense as he tells the boys that they need to learn to make an internal sewer system within themselves where they can connect to one another’s tunnels and rely on each other for things like confidence, positivity, and knowledge.

“It’s just poopeh, let it flow”

Apple TV+

Rebecca and Higgins watch West Ham’s press conference (and they notice that they’re both apparently dressed as umlauts, courtesy of Keeley’s mascara stains on their shirts). Nate sits down in front of the press — and his slip-up with “wonderkid”/”wunderkind” still seems to be haunting him. After the first question, he begins to panic, bending down to collect himself. When he sits back up, Nathan the Bully is back. Pictures of AFC Richmond going down into the sewers surface on Twitter, and Nathan begins trash-talking Ted and the Greyhounds.

When Ted and the team return, they see the press conference news, but as Jamie calmly assures them all, “It’s just poopeh, let it flow.” Everyone calms down, having taken Ted’s lessons to heart. However, someone isn’t happy about Ted’s field trip because Rebecca calls him up to her office and reams him out. She asks him if he’s planning on addressing what Nate said about the team because everyone’s laughing at them, and she wants him to fight back.

The Lasso Way

The thing is, negativity and insults have never been Ted’s style. He heads downstairs for Richmond’s press conference (during which we meet Trent Crimm’s replacement at The Independent). When he’s asked if he has a response to the comments made by Nate, Ted answers like a class act, both praising his former employee and going on a tangent making fun of himself. It takes a little bit for the room to understand what he’s doing, but eventually they all start to play into it.

Nate is furious when he checks Twitter to see that everyone’s loving Ted and his attitude, and his mood only grows more sour when he receives a text from his mom. But none of that matters when he steps outside to see the brand-new fancy car that Rupert gifted him with.

The breakup

Roy and Keeley sit Phoebe down to tell her that they broke up. Well, Keeley refers to it as a break, but Roy bluntly calls it a breakup. Phoebe asks them why they’re breaking up, and they can’t come up with much of a reason beyond the fact that they’re both very busy. Afterward, Phoebe asks Roy if he’s sure he’s doing the right thing because she thinks he’s being stupid.

Wise words from Henry

Ted calls Henry to check in when he gets back to his apartment, and his son makes several wise comments throughout the situation — noting that he can still be friends with Nate even though he’s not with Richmond anymore and even if “winning the whole thing” isn’t everything … he’s got to try, right? Unfortunately, Ted ultimately ends his evening on a somber note as he realizes that Michelle is dating someone when Henry shows him a gift from “mommy’s friend.”

Top Ted-isms of the week

Apple TV+

“I recognize you from that show Leaky Diapers, don’t I?”

“From now on, I’ll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. Except I won’t die immediately after using my stinger. I plan to float and sting for the entirety of the whole season.”

“These guys are more distracted than a bunch of cats playing laser tag.”

“My hopes are as high as a giraffe’s top hat.”

“I’m more corny than Kevin Costner’s outfield.”

The next episode of Ted Lasso will premiere exclusively on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, March 22. Follow along with all of our weekly episodic recaps here.

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By 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 Star Wars, Marvel, anime, or Ted Lasso. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com
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