“My whole life is two lives really…I have an ache for both my lives to be my only life.”—Colin
I have seen some criticism of this season of Ted Lasso. Some haven’t enjoyed the story construction. I guess I can see that to some degree, but I have appreciated the ride. Even the quieter episodes that seem to stray from the larger idea of Richmond against West Ham have worked for me. I enjoy these characters and this world. And there is beauty in all these journeys.
This week’s episode will likely frustrate some because we don’t get incredible forward momentum for Richmond as a Football Club. In fact, the pitch is mostly secondary. Sure, we open with a friendly in Amsterdam where Richmond is still mired in a funk. A 5-0 loss has many hanging their heads and frustrated.
In response, Ted (Jason Sudiekis) gives the team a free night to enjoy the city, no limits and no curfew. Roy (Brett Goldstein), frustrated as he sees Keeley (Juno Temple) moving on, decides it’s a good time for special training in Jamie (Phil Dunster). In the past, we probably would have seen Jamie respond to this negatively. Instead, he sets out on an adventure.
In fact, this episode is an adventure for everyone. That includes the bulk of the team. Isaac (Kola Bokinni) as Captain is determined the team will all go together. Except for Colin (Billy Harris), who feigned an illness to step away. The problem is the team can’t seem to agree on what to do.
In the end, with the night slipping away, Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) offers an ideal solution—a pillow fight. It’s an epic battle, and just the kind of care-free evening the team needs to get out some frustration. But they aren’t the only ones that need an outlet.
Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) finds herself alone, wandering through Amsterdam. She’s on the phone when a mysterious stranger (Matteo Van Der Grijn) calls out to her as she crosses a bridge. In the distraction, a bike hits her and she falls off the bridge into the water, losing her phone along the way.
The stranger invites her aboard his boat. She takes a shower and dries her clothes, meanwhile they strike up a conversation. It wasn’t what she expected, but Rebecca finds a beautiful outlet. Her stranger makes her a meal, they share some music, and she drifts off to sleep on his couch.
The next morning there is palpable tension as they depart. And yet, they don’t even exchange names. Will more come of this? Is this the answer to the psychic’s prediction for Rebecca, or just a change of perspective? Time will tell.
Roy and Jamie’s big adventure
Roy and Jamie run through the city, with Jamie pointing out landmarks as they go. Finally, Jamie lands on them grabbing bikes to go in search of a windmill. Turns out, Roy can’t ride a bike. Instead of freezing up, Roy shares with Jamie that not learning relates to the death of his grandpa. Jamie, in stride, helps Roy learn how to ride a bike.
As they take a ride to find a windmill, Jamie in turn opens up about his own relationship with his father. He and Roy have grown a lot in different ways since the pilot. Their friendship has been one of the most surprising and rewarding of the series. I enjoyed this back-and-forth a great deal. I’m excited to see what comes of this.
Higgins Night Out
Higgins (Jeremy Swift) meanwhile has big plans. He heads to the Red-Light District, taking Will (Charlie Hiscock) with him. The running joke for many is that Higgins can’t be heading to the Red-Light district for what it seems like he’s doing. Turns out, that’s true.
Higgins is a jazz man. He takes Will to see the place where Chet Baker died. Then he takes Will to a club. They rock out to the music, and, at one point, Higgins is called to the stage. Turns out he plays a mean bass, and he performs with the group on stage, making both his and Will’s night. A secret talent embraced.
Ted, meanwhile, is with Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), who suggests he unlock his stuck state with some special drugs. The only thing is, Beard mixes the drugs into some tea. Ted is resistant. Beard drinks his tea and heads off on an adventure. Ted’s alone with his thoughts for a while but finally gives in. He drinks the tea and hits the road.
First, he stops at a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition. The tour guide talks of the artists’ inspiration, sharing with Ted, “when you find beauty, you find inspiration.” It does inspire Ted, who next turns to the American-themed restaurant, Yankee Doodle Burger Barn for a taste of home. Sitting in the Chicago section, enjoying a classic Bulls game, Ted is struck with inspiration. The Triangle Offense.
He sets about writing furiously in his Van Gogh book. The next morning, he shares his thoughts with Beard. A new strategy for the field, one that promises to shake up Richmond and, perhaps, get them back on a winning track.
Colin’s True Self
Colin, meanwhile, heads out in the night. He ends up at a gay bar, looking for a place where he can be himself. Instead, he runs into Trent Crimm (James Lance). He’s immediately shaken and heads for the door. Crimm gives chase. He assures Colin he knows his secret and is a friend.
Crimm shares his story, including his own coming out story. In turn, Colin shares his frustration, and the ways Dr. Sharon (Sarah Niles) helped him realize he wants more than his public life and his secret life. He wants one life. He wants to be honest. He wants to be accepted by his team and the Richmond fans. Can he find the courage to go for what he wants? We have six episodes to find out.
I really enjoyed Jamie teaching Roy how to ride a bike. It was fun. It was sweet. And it was engaging.
Pop Culture Reference:
People: We get references to Chet Baker, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Jordan, Kenny Rodgers, Andre Hazes, Miles Davis, Anne Frank, Vincent Van Gogh, Elvis Presley, Chance the Rapper, Ziggy Stardust, Tex Winter and John Keats.
Movies and Shows: We get a shout out to Chicago, and Roxie Hart, as well as The Fault in Our Stars
MVP: Colin. It takes courage to open up and share your secrets. I have appreciated the journey so far with Colin and I hope we see him get the life he’s dreamed of achieving.
That’s a wrap on this week’s episode, Sunflower. Check back next week for more as the final season continues.
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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