“I hate tea. It tastes like a wet paper bag.”—Sharon
The scars people leave when we’re young can carry through and continue to haunt us many years later. For both Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and Ted (Jason Sudeikis), those wounds came from their fathers. They’ve tried to run from them and cover them over but there comes a point where you can run no more. That comes home in a big way for both in this week’s stirring episode.
We begin with Rebecca and Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) together and seemingly happy. Their relationship is under wraps—for now—but Sam is ready for it to be more. Before they can really think about it, Rebecca’s mother (Harriet Walter) pops up to announce her father is dead. She’s shocked and thrown a bit for a loop.
Later, the passing is all the team can think about. The coaches muse on what happens when we die with Keeley (Juno Temple), who is frustrated that Roy (Brett Goldstein) shuts down the topic dismissively. She credits it to him, “being on his period,” which everyone seems to accept as a fact. Meanwhile, the whole team will attend, but Isaac (Kola Bokkini) lays down the law. They’ll be wearing suits AND dress shoes. Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez) is perplexed.
Back at home, Rebecca awakens to the sweet sounds of Rick Astley and “Never Gonna Let You Go.” She’s not amused, but when Sassy (Ellie Taylor) and Nora (Kiki May) arrive, it brightens her spirits. They—and everyone else—ready for the funeral.
Ted is dressing while crooning to “Easy Lover” when a swell of emotions overtakes him. He’s paralyzed and in that moment reaches out to Sharon (Sarah Niles), who comes to his aide. She sits and asks him about his father.
Back at the funeral, Rupert (Anthony Head) has arrived with his new baby in tow, much to Rebecca’s annoyance. As the team and everyone begins to pour in, Keeley and Sassy have a reunion and discuss the fact Rebecca is in a secret relationship. They decide to push her, eventually deducing it’s with Sam before the angry Vicker asks them to pipe down.
As Ted shares the pain of his father’s suicide with Sharon, we cut back-and-forth to Rebecca sharing with her mother why she hated her father, and why his actions impacted her even years later. It’s a moving and emotional cross-section after the humor of the preceding few moments. Both Ted and Rebecca carry scars. Ted has begun the path working his out, and now Rebecca must do the same.
At the service, Rebecca is called to do a eulogy, but she’s at a loss. Ted finally arrives and sneaks into the back. Flummoxed, Rebecca begins to sing “Never Gonna Give You Up,” but loses her voice in the middle. Ted, sensing a friend in need, comes to her rescue as she’s done for him on more than one occasion. He picks up the song, and soon everyone joins in.
Later, at the reception, Rebecca decides she needs to put things on pause with Sam to get to the root of what her father’s infidelity—and keeping it a secret—did to her view of relationships. Sassy, meanwhile, sets her sights on Ted. But it’s Keeley that gets the biggest surprise.
First, Jamie (Phil Dunster) professes his love. He tells Keeley he has no expectations but feels he’s on the path to becoming the man he’s meant to be, and that’s thanks to her. Still stunned, she encounters Roy, who apologizes for his glib remarks, shares a story from his own childhood and tells Keeley how much he loves her. This triangle feels like it isn’t done yet, but that’s a struggle for another day.
Rebecca finds a quiet moment with Sam—in a closet of all places. She puts the relationship on pause and he’s gracious as ever. He loves her and I don’t know why, but I really want to see their relationship work out. I hope we do but for now, Rebecca is focused on fixing her own wounds.
As the episode closes Rebecca and her mother are—finally—in a better place. They look at pictures and a home video which devolves into a recording of, who else, Rick Astley. It’s the perfect end to a beautiful episode.
Episode Grade: A-
This is easy, it’s the dual stories told by Rebecca and Ted, the heart of the episode and a big moment for each of these terrific characters.
Pop Culture References
Songs: This was a music-rich episode. We got Easy Lover, Never Gonna Give You Up, Amazing Grace and Baby Got Back.
Movies and More: We got a shout out to Star Wars, Singing in the Rain, Friday the 13th and Johnny Tremain
This week it’s Ted Lasso. He made a lot of progress in his journey of self-reflection and made it just in time to save the day at the funeral. Way to go, Ted!
That’s a wrap on No Weddings and a Funeral. Check back next week for the penultimate episode of this second season.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.