“That feels like an unnecessarily cruel response.”—Rebecca
Sure, Ted Lasso features soccer. It’s also a workplace comedy. Some episodes steer into that concept more than others. This second episode of the final season felt like a workplace comedy, with the characters dealing with a lot of issues at their workplace. In fact, we get going early.
For Keeley (Juno Temple) it’s still trying to settle into an office where she feels like an outsider despite being the boss. It’s clear from last week and the cold open this week that she and Barbara (Katy Wix), her assigned CFO, aren’t on the same page. Can Keeley break through that icy exterior?
At AFC Richmond, our old friend Trent Crimm (James Lance) is back. No longer with the paper, he’s seeking to embed himself with AFC Richmond to write a book. Keeley, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and Leslie (Jeremy Swift) say it’s up to Ted, but while Trent isn’t looking it’s clear they don’t want the book to happen. Ted (Jason Sudeikis), put on the spot, considers a moment before telling Trent he can write his book. This ought to be fun.
About the same time, word gets out that soccer phenom Zava (Maximilan Osinski) is leaving his team and wants to play in the Premier League, touching off a bidding war. Rebecca isn’t much interested until she realizes Rupert (Anthony Head) is making a play, then she decides to wade in.
Finally, word gets out that Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley are done. Jamie (Phil Dunster) tries to comfort Roy, but as always it’s more than a little awkward.
Soon, news leaks down to the locker room that Trent is shadowing the team—to which Roy threatens anyone that dares acknowledge or speak to him—Zava is possibly coming to Richmond and Roy and Keeley are through. The team doesn’t know how to react, meaning this will be a lot of fun—and a lot of distractions—leading into the season-opening match with Chelsea. Can all the problems get resolved? Let’s find out.
Keeley’s New Friend
It’s a big day for Keeley, leading a commercial shoot. It’s also a lot of pressure as she needs to keep things on time and on budget, per Barbara’s edict. While on site, she crosses paths with an old friend, Shandi (Ambreen Razia), who is there as a model. Shandi offers suggestions that help keep the shoot on track and Keeley sees an opportunity.
She hires Shandi to an unclear position, which leads Barbara to balk when she finds out. Still, Keeley knows this could be the shot-in-the-arm her firm needs, so she finally stands up to Barbara. Turns out they have some common ground. Will they be best friends? Perhaps not. But for the first time, it seems like Keeley is starting to thaw the frost between them.
Hitting the Road to Chelsea
Richmond arrives at Chelsea with plenty up in the air. The team embraces Roy Kent warmly, remembering the many years he played there. Roy seems to be uncomfortable. It’s not until later we learn it’s because Roy thinks of the road not taken when he remembers Chelsea, and his rash decision to leave. Ted reminds him if he hadn’t left, he wouldn’t have made all his new friends at Richmond. It’s likely that decision isn’t the only one Roy has misgivings about. Can he make things right with Keeley. They clearly still love each other and I’m hopeful, by the end, we get them to a better place. But that better place isn’t today.
The team faces a 1-0 deficit at half time. As they’re discussing how to come back, Trent pops up and the room falls silent. Ted can no longer ignore the elephant in the room, pulling Roy aside. We don’t see Ted take a stern line with people often, but he does here with Roy, pushing him to work out his issues. Roy does just that, admitting to Trent that he’s bothered by a negative clip Trent published when Roy was just a 17-year-old newbie. The two men find common ground, and Roy makes sure the team knows Trent is OK. That prods Jamie to continue his thought, giving the team a new strategy.
That strategy pays off. Late in the game, Jamie passes to Sam (Toheeb Jimoh), who fires a shot. That shot ricochets off the crossbar, smacking Dani (Cristo Fernandez) in the face and bouncing in for the tying goal. It’s unconventional, but it works. Richmond ends with a 1-1 tie, showing that they won’t be the easy out that everyone expects them to be.
Still, that’s not the only spot of good news. Zava appears at the game, presumably to sign with Chelsea. When she sees Rupert chatting with the star, Rebecca assumes the worst. She makes a play to pitch Richmond but it seems to be too late. Rupert has a wry grin and the deal appears to be made. Not one to take things lying down, Rebecca marches into the men’s bathroom and gives Zava a piece of her mind as he’s using the urinal no less.
Post game, Chelsea tees up the press conference to announce the signing. While there, Zava makes an announcement, he won’t sign with Chelsea. Instead, he intends to play for Richmond. Rupert is angry while a stunned Rebecca, Leslie and Keeley celebrate in the hallway.
It’s a long season ahead and a potentially fraught one, but for today, Richmond is coming out on top. Let’s see if they can stay that way.
It’s easily Rebecca and Zava in the bathroom. It’s an incredible speech and a hilarious moment in a strong episode.
Pop Culture References:
People, Places and Things: We get a nod to Claudia Schiffer, Skittles and the book Inverting the Pyramid of Success.
Movies and Shows: We get a reference to Good Morning Vietnam, The Office, and Hallmark Christmas movies
There are a lot of options here, but I’m going with Roy Kent. It was a tough episode for him but it was a beautiful arc, from beginning to end.
That’s a wrap on Chelsea, check back next week for the continuing adventures of Ted Lasso’s third 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.
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