AFC Richmond has played their final match of the season and Ted Lasso has made it back to Kansas. It was an emotional whirlwind of a finale full of callbacks and poignant moments all leading to the moment we’ve all been dreading — a world without Ted Lasso.
The back half of the entire season, since the team went to Amsterdam most notably, the series built towards this bittersweet conclusion. The team began to stand on its own and trust each other so implicitly that they could handle themselves as great players and men on and off the pitch. Ted’s legacy in Richmond will live on forever after he helmed their Cinderella season and changed every life he touched along the way. Because the mark of a great leader, a great influence, isn’t based on what happens when someone is there, it’s how the lessons instilled and pillars they imparted still stand once they leave. And Ted Lasso’s will stand tall and unwavering both in the locker room and with us, the viewers, as we mourn the loss of one of TV’s greatest figures.
Ted leaving was the only way to end this story, whether we all want to admit that or not, and Ted’s note on Trent’s book paint that picture so simply and beautifully. It was never about him. None of this was ever about him alone (with Ted nothing ever is), it was about the team and getting them to where they needed to be. And he did that. Ted succeeded at his mission, one that he set out to London with and made everyone around him, despite the adversity and resounding lack of faith, believe in. Now it’s time for him to do the same with undoubtedly the most important person in his life, Henry.
Richmond won their final match but lost the title, and somehow that seems so fitting for the series that highlighted the notion that winning isn’t everything. Rebecca discovered that she had the family she wanted all along was right within the walls of Nelson Road, and she committed the Greyhound name and herself to the fans that loved her family as much as she did. Nate’s redemption pulled us down a path that had us kicking and screaming in protest until the Lasso Way had its great “I told you so” moment and we resigned to Ted’s speech in episode 11 about second chances to the point we cheered seeing him back in AFC Richmond colors.
Keeley also got her due, refusing to be pinned down by Roy or Jamie at all, despite the two fighting over her and giving her the choice. She continues to stand on her own as a successful businesswoman, and the final scenes show that Roy and Jamie respected it, the three still at minimum friends with the writing of the finale being smart enough to leave some ambiguity for audiences to decide their fates. Too much of television implicitly tells now, and the freedom of Ted Lasso’s finale feels like a breath of fresh air. Did Rebecca end up pursuing her pilot from Amsterdam? Up to you. Are Ted and Michelle working on their marriage? If that’s what you need from those characters, take it. The world is your oyster.
Of course, season 4 with Roy at the helm could still happen. But I don’t think it should. Good endings in TV are rare, and Ted Lasso went out too well to potentially sully it with a cash grab fourth season. Everyone’s happy, except Rupert, which makes us happy, and that’s what should matter.
I think we all have a shred of that yellow BELIEVE poster tucked away somewhere that we’ll carry with us forever because Ted’s lessons were never just for the team. They were for us. Throughout the series, Ted Lasso tackled toxic masculinity, the stigmas around mental health, parent issues, relationship disasters, and most importantly, the power of forgiveness. Now it’s on us to continue moving forward with Ted’s infectious optimism and unyielding faith in the inherent good of the people surrounding us. Be curious, not judgemental. And throw in a good analogy for old-time’s sake every so often, too.