Following Richmond’s match against Arsenal in the April 26 episode of Ted Lasso, Trent Crimm posed an interesting theory: Over three seasons, Coach Lasso “slowly but surely built a club-wide culture of trust and support through thousands of imperceptible moments, all leading to their inevitable conclusion.” He hadn’t just switched tactics ahead of a pivotal match; he’d unwittingly applied Total Football all along.
That scene also seemed to be winking at the audience, as if to suggest that Total Football applied to the plotting of the show.
We bring this up now because we’re genuinely baffled about where things stand, two-thirds of the way into Season 3. While Apple hasn’t confirmed that this is the final season of Ted Lasso, we’re all operating under the assumption that this is the final season of Ted Lasso. And with just three episodes remaining before the May 31 finale, we can’t help but wonder where everything’s headed — especially as episodes, now running almost a full hour (if not longer), continue to introduce new storylines without resolving others.
Let’s start with Ted. He spends Episode 8 worried that Dr. Jacob is going to propose to Michelle. (He doesn’t.) Higgins encourages Ted to “find out before you flip out,” but he can’t help himself. He can’t just turn his feelings off for his ex-wife. We also get a pair of moments — first, when Henry’s ‘rents have a laugh about all the things that are just as weird as Ted referring to Dr. Jacob as “Jake,” then when they share a fleeting glance as Michelle gets into the cab — that lead us to believe that maybe, just maybe, Ted and Michelle are endgame. We say this while also recognizing that the audience hasn’t been given any reason to root for such an outcome — or, frankly, any reason to like Michelle. Concurrently, the show seems to be goading Ted and Rebecca (#Tedbecca) ‘shippers — such is the case when Ted pulls a little green matchbook out of his pocket while burrowing for change.
Then there’s Keeley, who’s been off on her own island. Like Nate, she’s spent large swaths of this season separated from the rest of the ensemble, often to diminishing returns. There’s been no further exploration of why her relationship to Roy imploded the way that it did, and it’s beginning to feel like reconciliation is a pipe dream. In the wake of her split from Jack — that was totally a breakup, right? — Jamie shows up at Keeley’s front door and apologizes for his inadvertent role in the #GreatAwankening. It’s a great moment between exes who should remain friends, nothing more. Keeley’s been coupled up, in one way or another, since she first strutted into the Greyhounds’ locker room on Ted’s first day, and it’s starting to feel like the best possible outcome for her character is to take some time for herself.
But most troubling of all continues to be Nate’s arc. By the start of Season 3, the “Wonder Kid” had grown evil — cartoonishly evil — and he hasn’t done anything to atone for his actions. (Sorry, almost apologizing to Ted doesn’t count.) We get that he has deep-seated issues — deep-seated daddy issues, to be more precise — but he’s not doing the work to resolve them. He’s a bitter little man, and the only reason his mood has changed is because he found love with Jade. That doesn’t make him a better person, or even a likable person. Perhaps once he stops kowtowing to Rupert, we’ll believe he’s capable of redemption.
But enough about what we think. How are you feeling about Ted Lasso Season 3 as we enter the homestretch? Sound off in Comments.