SPOILERS!!!!! Do not read this if you haven’t watched the season (series?) finale of Ted Lasso.
There are some shows that get under your skin and stay there – in the best way possible – and that was Ted Lasso. When I wrote about the show in August 2022, I was behind the curve but caught up very quickly because, as we all know, it was that good.
In a time of remakes, reboots, and redoes, it was so refreshing to not only watch a show that was brand new (the character Ted Lasso had only been seen before in a 2013 NBC Sports commercial) but also funny, clever, quote-worthy, and real. Lasso singlehandedly showed the world how to talk about mental health in a way that was kind without being cheesy, helpful without being preachy, and authentic. In my review, I also mentioned about how hard it is to have a quality ensemble cast and make viewers care about each character and Lasso did just that. The viewer cared about everyone – including the main cast (Ted, Beard, Rebecca, Roy, Keeley, Jamie, Higgins, Nate) the fabulous Richmond team, the bar trio, and the supporting characters (Sassy, Mae, Rupert, Trent, Dr. Fieldstone).
In addition to all the reasons everyone loved this show, from a writing standpoint the plot details were everything. From season one to season three, attention was paid to all the details and each character ends up getting the story arc they earned. A few examples – both small and big:
- The Wizard of Oz. From the pilot (“We’re not in Kansas anymore”) to the finale (Ted plays a Wizard of Oz pin ball game at Mae’s bar) these references are abound.
- Ultimately Lasso is about redemption, not judging a book by its cover, and keeping in mind that being pleasant (without being a doormat) never goes out of style.
- Rebecca and Keeley’s friendship is one of my favorite relationships of the show and it just grows and grows from episode one to the finale. Two completely different women with completely different backgrounds and outlooks on life are the best of friends and support one another. What’s better?
- The stories of redemption (especially Nate, Jamie, and Trent) are handled beautifully. Ted’s impact on those three characters could be three different blog posts.
- Trent epic t-shirts (i.e. his “Stay Golden” shirt that has a photo of the Golden Girls ladies on it) and leopard skin shoes are some of my favorite season three details.
- While the finale was busy tying up the show’s storylines, the penultimate episode featured two aspects that were very important: 1) The blink-and-you-miss-it shot of Jamie’s father in rehab which was classic Ted Lasso – you have to pay attention or you’ll miss something big. 2) Learning the Lasso/Beard background story. I’m getting goosebumps as I write about how epic that monologue was and how much it explained about their friendship.
- Sharon Fieldstone. Wow what a huge impact from start to finish. I loved watching her drop her stoic face as she watched AFC Richmond beat West Ham.
- In the pilot, the coaches fly coach and on the way back they are in first class. It’s so great.
- Rebecca’s last-ditch effort to convince Ted to stay and then their scene at the airport was something else. Her “If you go, I go” line broke my heart in real time because Ted changed her life in so many ways and she is forever grateful.
- In fact, I thought she might get on the plane with Ted. It was almost like they were each waiting for the other to make a move but neither did. In the next scene, Rebecca sees a young girl running. And then sees her dad. Boat guy from Amsterdam! Yes! Rebecca gets her happy ending.
- Meanwhile Rupert – wearing his black trench coat in the finale that made him look like the villain that he is – got what he deserved as well. He sucks.
- All the characters are present throughout all three seasons – even the selfie/usie guy is in first and final episodes!
- I want to read the book Trent wrote about the AFC Richmond team (The Richmond Way) almost as badly as I wanted to hear the Daisy Jones songs! Can someone please make that happen?
- Roy comes so far – from an angry aging player to someone who cares and thinks before he speaks while still remaining his hysterical self. He was beyond brilliant.
Although Ted wasn’t himself in season three – he was lost and we all knew it – he never ceased to amaze. For example, one of the biggest jokes of the series is how he doesn’t actually know the rules of soccer (football) and next thing we know he notices the offsides call that saves the game against West Ham. But even before that game, and before his mother visited, Ted was ready to go home. He did what he needed to do which was transform Richmond into a winning team, heal the people around him, and heal himself. It was time to get back to his son Henry.
Looking back at the initial premise of the show – an American football coach moves to England to coach a soccer team – it’s amazing that Ted Lasso got made. I’m so glad it did. After all, where would we be without Ted reminding us to be a goldfish and to never bring an umbrella to a brainstorm?
Does Keeley end up with Roy or Jamie? Or neither?
Did we learn Beard’s actual name in the season finale? Did Ted call him Willis?
Did Ted and Michelle get back together?
Why did some people complain about the longer season three episodes? I loved that they were an hour rather than 30 minutes!