‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3 Review: A Poignant Yet Satisfying End of an Era


Warning: This review contains spoilers.

It’s the end of an era. The series finale of Ted Lasso has officially made its way to Apple TV+, and honestly, has reaching a victorious finish line ever felt quite so bittersweet?

On one hand, it’s incredibly sad to know that we as viewers may never get another peek into the wonderful, chaotic comings and goings of the Greyhounds’ locker room ever again … unless we’re lucky enough to get a spin-off someday, that is. Life certainly won’t be the same without looking forward to more of Ted’s witty one-liners, Rebecca’s no-nonsense attitude, Roy’s unenthused growls, Beard’s boundless eccentricity, Jamie saying “poopeh,” and everything else that makes Richmond so damn charming (the list goes on). But on the other hand, admittedly, few things are quite as satisfying as seeing all of the various character arcs of our favorite team of underdogs finally come full circle — it’s a payoff that’s been years in the making.

Ted Lasso took the world by storm these past few years, sweeping its way across award shows left and right and swiftly reaching the status of a critically acclaimed hit. Given the show’s unprecedented success, one could have hedged a guess that perhaps they’d try to pour a little extra gas on the fire and capitalize on all of it with a couple of extra seasons. However, the creative team remained steadfast in their original plans to stick to three. While I’ve yet to figure out what I’m going to do about the Ted Lasso-sized hole in my heart, ultimately, I have nothing but respect for the decision to prioritize telling a set story with a defined beginning, middle, and end that’s been planned from the get-go. After all, let’s be honest — that’s not something we often get in television, especially when a show makes it big. We’ve all seen the pitfalls of long-running series that lose steam and inspiration, desperately flying by the seat of their pants to make it to the end.

Apple TV+

In the spirit of honesty, and just as the Diamond Dogs discussed in the finale, nobody is perfect. Ted Lasso may be my favorite show, but the aforementioned sentiment admittedly applies to the final season, too. With so many different threads of plot that needed to be woven together to help bring the final canvas full circle, there were a few aimless strings that didn’t tug into place quite as tightly as prior iterations of the show’s writing. Episodes like “We’ll Never Have Paris” struggled to maintain the core spirit of the series, but ultimately, it was easy to forgive what the weaker ones lacked when we were also treated to some of the best episodes of the entire show this time around, too — namely “Mom City” and “Sunflowers.”

In my opinion, one of the most important things about the final season were the strides it made to fill an important gap — queer representation. Though the way their story was handled unfortunately fell flat once the relationship ran its short course, we briefly had Keeley and Jack. But we were also given something audiences have been waiting for: the reveal that Colin is gay, which was only vaguely hinted at prior to this season. Colin’s story was one of season’s 3’s best storylines by far, because rather than turning his coming out into front page fodder, the focus was on the support he received from a surprising person, the unconditional, immediate acceptance from his team, and what it meant to him to finally share a kiss with his boyfriend in the middle of the pitch after a win.

Now back to that “surprising person” — Trent Crimm stole every damn scene he was in this season, coming out both in the literal sense but also in regards to his shell. Unhindered by the confines of his prior role as a mere reporter, Trent’s personality blossomed (along with the reveal of his excellent taste in t-shirts) as he became a welcome staple at Nelson Road while working on his book about AFC Richmond (now can we get real copies of that, please?).

If there’s one thing Ted Lasso loves, it’s a good redemption arc. This season gave us the emotional final stage of Jamie Tartt’s, landing him a spot in viewer’s hearts that wouldn’t have seemed possible based on his attitude in the first season (now will Phil Dunster finally get the Emmy nod he deserves?). Meanwhile, I would have gladly told you at the end of season 2 that I couldn’t have cared less to see Nate earn his way back into Richmond’s good graces after what he did, but somehow I was rooting for him by the time the final episodes rolled around, much to my own surprise. What makes these arcs stand out so much is the way we were lead down the path to forgiveness through the eyes of other characters — if Jade’s change of heart toward Nate wasn’t enough, the fact that even Beard could learn to look past his anger spoke volumes. And if Roy could somehow find it in his grumpy, angry heart to go from enemies to best friends (yes, they’re besties) with Jamie? Well, good luck arguing with Roy Kent.

Apple TV+

Speaking of that incomparable duo, Ted Lasso truly found lightning in a bottle when it came to the chemistry between Dunster and Brett Goldstein. Having moved on past their era as mortal enemies, season 3 finally allowed the actors the freedom to explore all of the wonderful nooks and crannies in the developing relationship between Jamie and Roy as they seamlessly bounced off of one another every time they were so much as in the same room.

Between all of the laughter and heartfelt moments, the third and final season of Ted Lasso came armed with plenty of life lessons and food for thought to mull over along the way — par for the course. Looking back, I believe the reason this show resonates so strongly with viewers is because of the frankness with which it presents the story to us. It just feels honest and pure-intentioned, which is why it managed to subvert expectations time and time again, because we as audiences have grown so used to overdramatic, overplayed storytelling that preys on our emotional susceptibility. That’s not to say that Ted Lasso didn’t beckon the tissue box, because it certainly did, but there was always genuine authenticity in the emotions the story evoked.

Fumbles be damned, just like the Greyhounds may have missed a few shots by bouncing the ball off of the goal post in the final match against West Ham, Ted Lasso swept the field and stuck the landing right into the net with its finale, bringing the series to an emotional and satisfying close. It felt nothing if not true to what the show has been all along — full of callbacks galore and plenty of tearjerker moments and quotes that will remind us all to “Believe” long after Coach Lasso’s last flight has departed.

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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