‘Ted Lasso’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 3 “4-5-1”


In this week’s episode of Ted Lasso, “4-5-1,” Zava officially joins AFC Richmond, and the Greyhounds’ worries over relegation melt away as they find themselves on a winning streak with the help of their newest player’s ridiculous talents on the pitch. Meanwhile, we learn something about Colin, and Ted accidentally stumbles upon a secret Michelle has been keeping from him.

Colins’ secret lover

Back in the second season, Colin’s brief mention of the dating app Grindr left fans wondering if it was either meant to be a throwaway comment or perhaps a hint about his sexuality. Now, today’s episode finally circles back to that as we see him wake up and head downstairs to greet a man who offers him coffee after their evening spent together — although the football player doesn’t indulge in caffeine. After kissing him goodbye, Colin hops into his fancy car, reminding himself that he’s a “strong and capable man.” However, his slick exit his punctuated by him ramming into the trash cans in the driveway on the way out.

The arrival of Zava

The Richmond stadium is decked out with signs as fans eagerly await Zava’s arrival. Meanwhile, inside, Ted, Beard, and Roy struggle to figure out how to reconfigure their starting lineup to make room for their new player — a conversation which somehow pivots to everyone’s appreciation of Julie Andrews.

“F#!k yeah, ‘Princess Diaries’.”

– Roy Kent

In the locker room, the Greyhounds “ooh” and “aah” as they see that Jamie’s locker has been banished in favor of the new Zava corner, which is decked out with a television screen and a fancy chair. Dani reminisces making love for the first time to (yes, to) Zava boots as they all discuss how much talent and charisma he has. After Jamie arrives (less than impressed to see what’s happened), the team heads outside. Rebecca nervously asks Higgins if they have a signature, and he has to run off to confirm if an e-signature is legally binding. Keeley sends Shandy over to concessions to sell merch, though she reminds her to keep her shirt on. When Higgins returns, he informs them that although the signature is indeed binding, the issue is that Zava signed “You’re welcome” instead of his name.

Time is but a construct, apparently

Apple TV+

Rebecca, Ted, and Keeley scramble inside to figure out what to do, and Higgins takes the stage to run damage control by keeping the audience entertained … sort of. Aggravated, Rebecca says that although Zava is a genius, he’s also a self-absorbed prick. As soon as the words finish leaving her mouth, she swings open the door of her office to find the man himself sitting at her desk (which he points out is covered in biscuit crumbs). She’s livid, exclaiming that they’ve been waiting two hours for him, but Zava believes time is merely a construct. After sharing an intense forehead-touch with Higgins, Zava makes his way downstairs to meet the team.

The Greyhounds are star-struck when he walks into the locker room (well, mostly everyone, besides Jamie). Zava stands before them and opts to address the “most important person in the room” first — the kit man, Will. He encourages the entire team to join him in a breathing exercise, during which they all struggle to match the sheer amount of air this man seems to maintain in his lungs. Jamie Tartt has never looked so unimpressed in his life. Ted, Beard, and Roy follow Zava into the coaches’ office, where the latter rearranges the team diagram so that he’s the only forward, and everyone else is placed on defense. He promptly leaves before they can say anything else.

Shite in nining armor, or something like that

At the recommendation of her mother, Rebecca pays a visit to a woman named Tish — a psychic. She’s put off by the entire thing before she even walks through the door, regarding the other woman with sarcasm and skepticism. Once Tish begins to have visions of several things, including a green matchbook and something about a “shite in nining armor,” Rebecca decides that she’s had enough. However, when she stands up to leave, Tish tells her that she’s going to be a mother. At this, Rebecca’s mood turns angry, and she storms out.

The line between irony and hypocrisy

Jamie steps into the coaches’ office and explains to Ted, Beard, and Roy that Zava is just a self-absorbed glory hunter that only cares about himself. It’s an ironic hypocritical statement, considering whose mouth it’s coming from. But regardless, Jamie tries to implore them to understand that he feels the Greyhounds have a good thing going without Zava.


It’s time for Richmond’s first game with Zava, in which they’ll be utilizing a 4-5-1 configuration that places Zava as the sole striker with everyone else either at midfield or on defense (and unfortunately Colin is benched in the process). The plan for the game is clear and straightforward: just get the ball to Zava. That’s it. Zava is busy meditating when the team gathers for their huddle, and instead of placing his hand in with everyone else’s, he walks over and stands in the middle so everyone is touching him instead.

An awkward call

Before they head out onto the pitch, Ted wants to call Henry quickly, but he has to use the landline, because he forgot his phone back at his apartment. However, he’s thrown for a loop when he realizes that he no longer has Michelle’s cell number memorized. On the other side of the world in Kansas, there’s a man in Michelle’s kitchen. Assuming that nobody but a telemarketer would be calling the landline at her house, he imitates Trump when he picks up, but Ted — being Ted — immediately takes it in stride and plays along with the joke.

The man, Jake, quickly switches back to his normal voice, and Ted is more than a little confused as to why “Dr. Jacob” is at Michelle’s. Michelle’s face falls when Jake mouths that it’s Ted on the phone, and after he wishes Henry luck at his soccer game, she takes the receiver back and says that they’ll need to chat when they both have more time … there’s a lot to catch up on. Later, Ted tortures himself by lurking Jake’s Facebook page, and we eventually learn that he was their marriage counselor.

The Zava Effect

A panic attack threatens to pull Ted under as the game begins, though it’s off to a good start, because Zava immediately sinks a goal from the halfway line. Dani jumps on Zava’s back, and the crowd goes absolutely bonkers. As the season progresses, with Zava’s ridiculous skills on the field, the Greyhounds find themselves in third place after six wins. His Richmond merch sells out, and the team (sans Jamie, of course) begins to join him for meditation in the locker room. We see a moment where Jamie almost gets a chance to finally sink his first goal of the season, but Zava dives in at the last minute to steal it.

A night at Ola’s

Apple TV+

Sam invites the team for a special evening at his new restaurant before the opening night. Colin’s guy drops in, but because he still hasn’t come out to the team yet, he introduces Michael as his friend and the world’s greatest wingman. Sassy joins in on the celebration as well, shamelessly setting her sights on Ted as soon as she arrives. Noticing Jamie sulking at a table by himself, Roy goes to sit with him. Roy is blunt with Jamie as he tells him that he was the best player on the team until Zava arrived, and he still could be, if he wasn’t such a … pre-Madonna prima donna. When Jamie says that he wants to be better than Zava, Roy offers to train him. Later, Rebecca is startled when Sam hands out green matchbooks to everyone.

And because drama is always lurking somewhere … when Trent leaves Ola’s, he sees Colin and Michael kissing around the corner.

Top Ted-isms of the week

Apple TV+

“My tummy’s got more “knots” in it than Wayne’s World 1 and 2 smooshed together.”

“Don’t sell yourself short. If anything, sell yourself tall, and get it altered later.”

“When a man with a giant clock around his neck is that late, it ain’t about time. He’s making a statement.”

“What do you get when you combine one of Hugh Jackman’s finest film roles with a fancy-pants New York getaway?” (Wolverhampton)

The next episode of Ted Lasso will premiere exclusively on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, April 5. Follow along with all of our weekly episodic recaps here.

Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. If she's not writing or out and about with her camera, she's probably watching anime, nerding out over Star Wars, reading manga, and definitely forgetting to water her plants. And waiting for the Genshin loading screen to pop up. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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