Ted Lasso Recap: "Mom City" has the makings of a killer Lasso episode (2023)

Ted Lasois the best when you remember that it is a football comedy. And while it's clear that over these three seasons, the sitcom has morphed into something more melancholic and dramatic — not to mention obscenely longer — the show can still find ways to revive what drew many of us to its charms in the first place.

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"Mom City" has killer bitsTed Lasoepisode. But it has just as many of its many flaws. As the penultimate episode, it works perfectly to start tying up many of its season (if not outright series) arcs all the while setting up what could be on the horizon in next week's final episode.

The title of this episode refers to the two main stories we were encouraged to follow: Ted and his reunion with Momma Lasso, and Jamie's with his own mom in Manchester. In both plots, these grown men had to re-examine their relationships with their mothers, with Ted finally being able to express the resentment he harbored about his upbringing and Jamie finally letting go of the pressure his father's influence had on his playing.



I will admit that Ted's plot didn't sell me as much as Jamie's. Mainly because, whether by design or by design, Ted felt like an outcast on his own show. Even this episode, with his mom randomly appearing as some kind of deus ex machina plot device, meant that he spent an HOUR AND TEN MINUTES (!) episode on his own little personal side quest that ultimately brought his character's central tension to this all season: his guilt about parenting from afar. I will say, though, that Sudeikis really found a way to make that Thanks/Fuck scene a nice payoff for Ted's long-term self-work.

And yes, we're all aware of the news he probably told Rebecca at the end of the episode, right? But that's for next week…


Meanwhile, Jamie, who returned to Manchester after leaving the team to pursue a career in reality TV only to return to Richmond, has given our beloved star a chance to reassess who he wants to be and how he wants to play. As a foil to Zava's narcissism, Jamie has found a way to be a key player for Richmond without thinking of himself as indispensable - even though everyone around him clearly sees him that way. And yet, it's the sickening taunts from Man City fans (and his father) that finally get to him, forcing Keeley and Roy to team up to help him cheer up.

And that includes, as well as many (many!) references toWizard of Ozhe reminds us throughout the episode, the return home. (You couldn't miss them, could you? Ted and Coach Beard were playing Dorothy and Friends themed pinball;You have mail,which the team watched together, ends with a performance of Judy Garland's famous song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"; and the closing song this week was, fittingly,Wizard“Home,” perhaps a rough indication of where Ted might be headed next week.)


Ted Lasso Recap: "Mom City" has the makings of a killer Lasso episode (1)

But it's Jamie who returns home and first has a lovely chat with his mother, finding the strength to face his hometown haters and emerge (surprise!) a hero as he leads Richmond to a nail-biting win against Man City — and yes, I'm setting the underdog team to win for the ages on next week's episode.


On the other hand, Nate, after quitting his job at West Ham, now seems to be thriving as a waiter alongside his girlfriend. Although, and you'll never guess it, he's kind of unhappy. Or, rather, disgruntled — so when three of Richmond's smartest guys come over and tell him how much the team wants him back (huh? Yeah, I don't know how that would happen, but okay!), he spends the episode reassessing whether a return to Richmond would be worth it. with Ted's blessing, of course, was something he would even consider. And yes, both he and the show know that such a return would require turning the face of Coach Beard, who has a wonderful speech with the child prodigy in which he can teach us all a lesson about the beauty of second chances.

The fact that all of these stories came to fruition during the Richmond v Man City game (we've seen so many amazing games!) only made this penultimate installment even stronger. His cast of characters always seem at their strongest, funniest, and most moving when they're held together by a match, or training, or even a common enemy—and that was definitely the case here, where issues of motherhood, grace, and kindness surfaced for everyone from Ted to Nate. to Jamie and even Roy, Keeley and Rebecca continued to understand that knowing how to win and with whom is more important than winning.


Moreover, Momma Lasso tells Ted that even though sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, what you always do is keep playing. Again, as the bestTed Lasoat times, sport is used as a useful metaphor by which to approach life. The key is to understand where you want to spend your playing life. Ted and Nate may have to make two very different (albeit complementary) choices next week, but both will come down to finally letting themselves do what they've wanted to do for a long time.

Will the season (series?) finale of the show stick around as it will likely set up Nate as Richmond's coach while Ted decides to go home to father his little boy? I hope so.


Stray observations

  • Becky Ann Baker continues to be a welcome addition to the screen, here making the most of Momma Lasso with just the right mix of folksy passive aggression that makes it clear the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. The show's drive to illustrate just how insidious the sweetness of honey can truly be is one of its most inventive aspectsTed Laso’s premise.
  • Can we all agree that Rebecca's "Freddie Mercury's greatest talent was a twist" is the funniest joke we've had maybe all season? (Also, don't blame me, I'll be listening to "Fat Bottomed Girls" for the rest of the day.)
  • Am I the only one getting triple vibes from Jamie, Keeley and Roy? (I did, didn't I?)
  • What do we think who is a music lover in theTed Lasowriters room? Except thoseWizard/Wizard of Ozmoments for which we even received an invitationExpensivei aHairreference with that "Manchester England" pin drop. (Also, I'm half-counting "The Unsinkable Jamie Tartt" as a passing reference to the 1964 Molly Brown movie, and there's nothing you can do to stop me.)
  • Would you rather have a poster of Keeley or young Roy in your childhood bedroom?
  • I was hoping we'd get more of Rebecca this episode (aren't we always?), but it seems from those visitors she got near the end that we might see Rupert get his payback once and for all sooner rather than later.


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