‘Ted Lasso’ S2, Ep2 – ‘Lavender’ Review: “The Tartt is Back”

Viewers are once again back with the overbearing and arrogant Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) in the second episode of Ted Lasso Season 2. However, this is not the same Jamie we encountered at the beginning of the last season. This is a Jamie living in his version of hell, where everyone around him no longer wants or praises him. It is also a Jamie humbled by his past actions and on a parallel track to Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein).

Roy and Jamie are once again thrust back into each other’s orbit. Only this time, Jamie seems to be more willing to make a change. Roy, on the other hand, has his own beliefs tested after retirement. Goldstein weaves such a level of nuance to his characterization of Roy it’s almost impossible not to follow him into this journey along with Dunster’s own masterful performance as Jamie.

The glue holding these two characters together (and most of AFC Richmond) is Keeley Jones (Juno Temple). Playing more than the supportive girlfriend, Keeley becomes the support system to Rebecca and almost everyone in AFC Richmond. She dispenses dating advice and sets up the players for success. The larger-than-life presence of Keeley hints at a character growth that hinges on her newfound confidence as a self-accomplished woman.

Ted Lasso

The second season of Ted Lasso seems to be unafraid of taking creative risks. These risks come in tackling the psyche of the title character. Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles) starts to carefully pick apart the ever-cheerful persona of Ted to delve deeper into the human being itself. As she unfolds Ted, Dr. Fieldstone is also exposing viewers to the cracks beneath him. A more fallible side. One who is afraid of losing control of not just as the caretaker of his team but also himself.

READ: ‘Ted Lasso’ S2, Ep1 – ‘Goodbye Earl’ Review: “An Intriguing Season Premiere”

In the same vein, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) gets a slight poke from the doctor, however brief it may be. It comes to no surprise then that she and Ted share the same skeptical reservations on not just Dr. Fieldstone but on the therapy itself. Perhaps it’s all wrapped up in foreshadowing as these two characters unleash an onslaught of insecurities but either refuse to address them with one another, much less with Dr. Fieldstone.

There’s an underlying current of tension that seems to bounce from character to character this season as their problems become more cryptic to viewers. It is the attention to detail that pulls viewers in. Whether it’s Jamie’s more subdued approach to getting back into the good graces of AFC Richmond or the quick disarming of Ted’s optimistic approach to meeting someone new by Dr. Fieldstone, this season promises to push their characters to their limits. Perhaps not in the same vein as Sons of Anarchy or Game of Thrones but a darker tone than the first season of Ted Lasso.

Finally, it’s the newfound assertiveness of Sam Obisayan (Toheeb Jihom) that promises to be the highlight of this upcoming season. As a sharp contrast to a more held-back Sam in season 1, this season is poised to turn Sam into a leader.

This second episode more or less sets up dynamics that will unravel as the season progresses. However, nothing says “sports comedy” more than a theatrical walk into a field by one of its comeback characters set to the rowdy beat of Queen’s “Tear it Up” as everyone else looks on. Ted Lasso will consistently deliver on the feel-good even amid the emotional turmoil of its characters. – Mariana Delgado

Rating: 8.5/10

Ted Lasso Season 2 episodes premiere every Friday on Apple TV+.

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