Ted Lasso starts to wrap up loose ends this week [Apple TV+ recap] | Cult of Mac

Ted Lasso starts to wrap up loose ends this week [Apple TV+ recap]


Toheeb Jimoh and Phil Dunster in ★★★☆☆
Toheeb Jimoh and Phil Dunster in "Ted Lasso," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s runaway hit Ted Lasso starts closing up shop this week as the show nears the end of season three. The stars of AFC Richmond are out of town, but that doesn’t mean we can’t wrap up some loose ends.

Keeley finds herself without a job or an office. Rebecca has a big meeting, and one small chance to make a difference. Roy starts thinking about human connection. Sam suffers a series of letdowns. And Nate goes on a soul-searching trip back home.

While undoubtedly enervating, this week’s episode, entitled “International Break,” occasionally scores a win.

Ted Lasso recap: ‘International Break’

Season 3, episode 10: Ted Lasso’s (Jason Sudeikis) Richmond is doing great. Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) is favored to make the Nigerian team for the international break, in which league players hook up to take on squads drawn from individual countries.

Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) will play for England, Colin Hughes (Billy Harris) for Wales, Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández) for Spain, Moe Bumbercatch (Moe Hashim) for Switzerland and Thierry Zoreaux (Moe Jeudy-Lamour) — or Van Dam, as he likes to be called — for Canada. But for some reason, Sam’s name is not on the list for Nigeria.

Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), Jamie and Ted try to console Sam, but he’s still feeling the slight. Every time someone tells him to keep his chin up, it just makes things worse.

Nick is out!

Speaking of slights, Nate Shelley (Nick Mohammed) is out as coach of West Ham, the team owned by Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head), the vindictive ex-husband of Richmond owner Rebecca Walton (Hannah Waddingham).

People think Rupert fired Nate. But really, Nate quit. He realized that coaching for Rupert meant living Rupert’s lifestyle. And that would mean philandering with supermodels rather than building a relationship with his waitress girlfriend, Jade (Edyta Budnik).

Beard is happy to hear that Nate got axed, and wants to go celebrate, but neither Ted nor Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) want to join. Seems like bad karma.

Nate waits until the press leaves his front door, then sneaks out of his house and into his parent’s home, with whom he hasn’t been able to spend much time since getting his new job. He spends a few days cowering in his childhood bedroom while his mom (Neelam Bakshi) feeds him and his dad (Peter Landi) worries.

Bad luck for Keeley, tie-dye for Roy

Juno Temple in "Ted Lasso," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Keeley (played by Juno Temple) gets some unexpected news this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Meanwhile, Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) walks into her office to find the place gutted of furniture and staff. As her CFO Barbara (Katy Wix) explains, Jack (Jodi Balfour) — Keeley’s chief financier and ex-girlfriend — has decided that Keeley’s PR company isn’t worth investing in, so they killed it. She has two days to clear out of the office.

Roy goes to his sister’s (Sofia Barclay) house to celebrate a made-up holiday called Uncle’s Day with his niece, Phoebe (Elodie Blomfield). To his shock, Phoebe invited Jamie Tartt over. Apparently, she was under the impression he and Roy are best friends. Roy does talk about Jamie an awful lot, and sees him every day, after all.

Phoebe gives Roy a tie-dye shirt, and he wears it into Richmond’s offices the next day to what would be a round of derisive laughter … except that everyone’s too afraid of him to laugh for long. Roy drops Phoebe off at school wearing the shirt, and runs into her teacher, Ms. Bowen (Ruth Bradley). She resumes flirting with him, where they left off the last time we saw her.

Sam and the politics of sports

As if Sam’s day wasn’t going poorly enough, his old nemesis Edwin Akufo (Sam Richardson) stops by to tell him he’s opening a rival restaurant across the street from his. He also says he paid $20 million to the Nigerian government to keep Sam off the international team.

Edwin offered to buy Sam’s contract for a hefty sum a while back, and Edwin hasn’t gotten over the slight. (Edwin is the Ted Lasso-verse’s version of a Carlo Ancelotti-type figure, obsessed with super leagues and cutting people out of the game so he can have a bigger piece of the pie.)

Rupert invites Rebecca to a meeting with the super league team owners, and she suspects it’s because a woman at the table will make the other billionaires look better. When Edwin gives the super league information to the other men in the room, she scoffs and tells them they’re being greedy little children. (It’s set to “Spiegel im Spiegel” by Arvo Pärt, finally, once and for all, killing that piece of modern classical music forever. How dare the Ted Lasso creative team use that song to underscore a monologue about how important sports are. Just … come on. GAH!!!)

Anyway, Rebecca’s speech proves persuasive enough. The other owners turn down Edwin, and he throws food at all of them on his way out the door.

Wrapping up loose ends

Nate and his dad finally bond and explain their years of misunderstanding each other. Roy apologizes to Keeley for breaking up with her and being distant. And he says he still loves her. She accepts this all and doesn’t say much, so he leaves, knowing it’s a lot to process. (Actually, he doesn’t, but they want you to think he does – he comes back in the next scene for a punchline about getting back with your exes.)

Finally, after a few days of not talking to each other, Rebecca and Keeley connect and make each other feel better. Rebecca steps in and funds Keeley’s operation herself. And Barbara comes back to work for Keeley by choice, snubbing Jack.

Hits and misses this week on Ted Lasso

Brett Goldstein and Phil Dunster in "Ted Lasso," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Roy (played by Brett Goldstein, left) and Jamie (Phil Dunster): BFF?
Photo: Apple TV+

We suffer through a lotta nonstarter jokes in this week’s episode of Ted Lasso about how Dani freezes out his former teammates the minute he gets assigned to his international team. None of them work.

Roy’s business with the tie-dye shirt is a little more successful, scored to Nick Cave’s ubiquitous “Red Right Hand,” which just this once I didn’t mind. Using the Arvo Pärt song is inexcusable though. I mean, it’s bad enough that “Spiegel im Spiegel” has been run into the damned ground by terrible would-be arthouse movies for the last 20 years. But its inclusion here is just pornographic. Earn your pathos. Don’t fucking cheat.

One of the things I actively enjoy about Ted Lasso is that the show has no fixed format, so it allows itself to indulge in one-off structural changes. This episode is maybe set over a single day, for the most part (it’s kind of hard to tell). But it just sort of drifts in and out of storylines, lavishing attention and time where it’ll be best served. That’s a decent idea that more shows could stand to adopt. It kept this episode from the show’s worst tendencies for a short while.


Watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

New episodes of Ted Lasso season three arrive every Friday on Apple TV+.

Rated: TV-MA

Watch on: Apple TV+

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.


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