For a review of last week’s episode of Ted Lasso, click here.
Ted Lasso returns this week with a strong character-focused episode that comes with a great change in the status quo. This week’s episode revolves around both the coaching staff and the captain of AFC Richmond: Isaac. The team dynamics continue to be explored this season, with the focus of this episode on both Nate and Isaac’s place on the team. Ted Lasso continues to rise above the first season, and this episode is a prime example of that.
Nate’s character and his small presence throughout the series are finally acknowledged, for one thing. Trying to get a dinner table for himself and his family for a special occasion, we get to see Nate with Rebecca and Keeley as they try to help with his assertiveness. Another benefit on this ever-expounding season: unexpected character pairings. Watching Nate finally come to terms with who he is was an interesting part of the story. Moreover, the confidence he finds within himself also helps to develop himself as a coach.
Meanwhile, Lasso finds himself teaming with Roy Kent to help the captain of his team find his groove as well. Isaac, clearly in his own head because of mounting losses, is able to find a confidence of his own thanks to Lasso and Kent. Roy’s new relationship with the Richmond team was still something up in the air up until this episode. In working with Ted to help Isaac, Roy finds insight into how he wants to move forward with his life. While Ted takes more of a backseat in this episode, Sudeikis is still able to elevate those who are at the forefront of the episode. In the case of this episode, it’s Roy Kent.
Kent has one of the best scenes in this season, in which he comes to the realization (on live television no less) of what he really wants to do. It’s an incredible ending to the episode, filled with emotion and bringing Roy Kent where he belongs. The long sequence feels earned, as the first few episodes of the season had viewers wondering if his time with Richmond was really over. The subtle intersection of stories works at the end of the episode, too. There’s a brief hesitation from Nate, as Roy welcomes himself onto the coaching staff along with the trio of Ted, Beard, and Nate.
So, while Roy has found his calling and Nate has found his confidence, the two intersecting stories seem to potentially be at odds with each other. Will Nate’s confidence go away due to his intimidation at Roy Kent now being on the staff? Will he and Nate butt heads? These are the kinds of questions the storytelling of Ted Lasso brings to the table. In interweaving storylines, the show elevates itself with genuine character development. The opportunity presents itself to put these characters in conflict, and also bring them together. Ted Lasso doesn’t waste those opportunities. Instead it uses its charming characters to its advantage while bringing new potential conflicts in future episodes.
Overall, this fifth episode shifts the status quo of the team at Richmond. Paired with some beloved characters figuring out who they are, and Ted just being Ted, you have a winning episode. It will be exciting to see where the season and the team go from here. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Ted Lasso streams new episodes every Friday on Apple TV+.