Penultimate episodeTed Lasohas arrived, bringing us to the (almost) bittersweet end of our journey with AFC Richmond.
Dottie Lasso does EnglandThe taste of NateWhat's eating Jamie Tartt?"That's walnut fog, mate."Jamie Tartt, MVPOlive branchWords that are no longer unspokenTop Ted-isms of the weekBonus — Dottie-izmiDouble bonus — sweet stuff with Roy Kent
Dottie Lasso does England
Dressed and ready for the day with a backpack on his shoulders, Ted walks out of his apartment, only to find none other than his mother sitting on the bench with a suitcase. They go back inside, and although Ted is full of unusually nervous energy as he experiences the surprise of his mother showing up in London without warning, it becomes abundantly clear to viewers where our favorite trainer learned all of his beloved, quirky mannerisms. After learning that his mother has been staying at an "adorable little hostel" for a week during her Mother's Day trip, he insists on staying with her until the end.
Inviting her to come to work with him that day, Ted was already upset because his mom sings a little song on the way out - ironic, huh? Dottie initially introduces herself to Rebecca as Ted's bodyguard, and her familiar expressions immediately hint at the club owner to whom she is introducing herself. Rebecca gives her a tour of the facility, and the team gathers around Dottie in the locker room, laughing as she recounts stories from Ted's childhood. Later, Dottie is just as popular at The Crown & Anchor, and Mae takes a moment to give Ted a moment of clarity when she recites Philip Larkin's "This Be The Verse" (a poem about the emotional weight parents place on their children).
That evening, Ted's mom gives him a small bag full of newspaper clippings about him from home. Before he left the room to go to bed, she asked him if he still had panic attacks and he lied and said no, not recently. We also learn that while Ted has taken steps for his mental health by seeing a therapist... therapy is not his mother's cup of tea.
The taste of Nate
The snake shed its skin once more. After finishing as manager of West Ham, Nate decided to pursue other career aspirations - working alongside his girlfriend at his favorite restaurant. While he and Jade are in the middle of preparing to open, a few stray greyhounds walk in the door. Isaac, Colin and Will immediately cut to the chase when Nate approaches them with a broom in hand: they want him back in Richmond. The whole team discussed it and everyone agrees. It's obvious that Nate is excited about the prospect of returning, but his apprehension takes over when he explains that they haven't talked to Ted about it yet (they wanted to see if he was even interested first). A bit deflated, Nate turns them down, though he sends them off with 75 kebabs to go.
Higgins shares the news of Nate's new job with Ted and Beard, hinting that the coach would likely be willing to return to Richmond if invited. Although both Roy and Higgins are open to it without hesitation, Nate the Great is still Judas in Beard's eyes. He won't take it.
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What's eating Jamie Tartt?
It's no secret that Richmond's #9 has been a great example of character development from the show's premiere episode until today. However, all healthy travel comes at a price as now Jamie Tartt's mellow demeanor has descended into something else entirely ... and it's worrying. During a press conference with Roy and Sam, Jamie does the unthinkable when asked how it feels to be named Premier League Player of the Month - he's not just humble, he's downright self-deprecating.
Roy's initial concern during the press conference only grows when Jamie doesn't join the team in mocking Van Damme's mask, going so far as to shrug his shoulders while telling everyone that being safe is more important than looking cool. It's the final straw for the grumpiest man in the room as Roy growls inviting Jamie to meet him in the boot room. Roy starts ranting about how Jamie needs to drop his humble act and be "the sharpest jerk" for their upcoming game against Man City. To Roy's complete and utter shock, which he literally cannot hide as he watches this happen in real time, Jamie bursts into tears. With a shaky voice and shaking hands, he explains that he doesn't understand what's wrong with him, but he can't sleep or eat. Will, always the king of bad weather, walks in just as Jamie hugs Roy and sobs on his shoulder. (I just want to know how many takes it took for Phil Dunster and Brett Goldstein to get through this scene without breaking down).
There's no doubt that Roy has grown to care about Jamie and his well-being as the two have overcome their animosity and developed a friendship (even best friends) over the past two seasons. However, if Roy's relationship with Keeley is anything to go by, he's not good with words - which is why he goes to the woman in question for support, knowing she cares about Jamie too.
"That's walnut fog, mate."
Having now witnessed first-hand the deflated bubble left by Jamie Tartt's otherwise explosive personality, Keeley stops by Jamie's hotel room when they arrive in Manchester, where he becomes even more nervous after she draws his attention to the fact that he will be walking into a stadium full of fans who hate him... and his father. After a team movie night (in which Roy Kent shed one tear forYou have mail), Jamie sneaks out, and Roy and Keeley follow him across town to his mom's house. In contrast to his awful relationship with his father, Jamie's mum is a ray of sunshine, and the footballer can't keep the big smile off his face when she hugs him.
Simon takes Roy and Keeley on a grand tour of the house while Jamie has a much-needed face-to-face with his mom, where he admits that his hatred of his dad drove him to become a big gamer. But what drives him now? Mom assures him that he is not lost; he's just not sure which direction he's going yet. Meanwhile, Roy tells Keeley he wants to be more than friends again as the two sit on Jamie Tartt's childhood bed...staring at posters of themselves on the walls. (He also subtly takes a shot with Jamie's mom before they leave.)
Jamie Tartt, MVP
The day has finally come for Jamie Tartt to return to the Man City pitch decked out in Richmond orange - and it's also a wonderful, pivotal highlight for his character development. The moment Jamie takes the field, the fans make no attempt to hide their disdain for the return of Manchester's prodigal son. Between the constant boos from the crowd and the way the Man City players almost beg the referees to step in with the relentless way they touch him, Jamie has his work cut out for him whenever he tries to dribble across Polje.
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The competition may be strong, but the Greyhounds are on fire when Colin sinks a goal after Jamie's quick thinking on the feet and Van Damme is an impenetrable wall in net. Man City almost scored at one point, but Jamie swooped in to save in the last minute ... injuring his ankle in the process. The audience jeers when he tries and fails to stand up. Richmond temporarily plays 10-11 on the field while the medics attend to Jamie, then Ted kneels next to him for a quick pep talk. Mindful of the power of forgiveness over hate and pumped full of adrenaline and painkillers, the Richmond star bounces back onto the pitch as echoes of his fun and confident persona finally catch on. Jamie is untouchable, making his way through the pitch to score and win the game. He is replaced straight after so he can get his ankle off and his face is full of emotion as even the Man City fans cheer for him.
After a victorious victory, most of the team change into their club clothes and go out to celebrate. Before Beard leaves, Ted shows him the rest of the security footage from the night Nate cut the Trust sign in half - he spent the night trapped under the table. Jamie excuses himself from the party to stay and ice his ankle, finally texting his dad while he's sitting there (and the elder Tartt seems to be finally on the road to getting sober). Keeley and Roy bring the party to him instead.
Jade knows how much Nate loves football — and what a great coach he is. She begs him to leave the restaurant and return to Richmond, but he digs his feet into the ground. Ever the sly girl, she forces their boss to fire Nate because she knows he needs it
pushpush. Nate isn't mad that Jade was pulling strings behind his back. Instead, he tells her he wants to get back to Richmond to make things right, even if there's only one game left. Ironically, Beard shows up as they discuss this, enlightening Nate about his questionable past. After getting out of prison, Ted took in Beard, who took advantage of his kindness and stole his car. And yet he forgave him everything. In recognition of this, Beard offers the same forgiveness to Nate, inviting him to return to the Greyhounds.
Words that are no longer unspoken
Despite his big win, Ted struggles to look happy when he walks into his apartment for a home-cooked meal from his mom. After years of suppressing his emotions, Ted Lasso reaches a boiling point and tells Dottie exactly how he felt about her decision not to seek help after his father died. As an adult, he now realizes that his bad habit of always glossing over the problems in his life and pretending everything is fine is something he unfortunately learned from her. The conversation hits home hard, and Dottie in turn tells Ted that she misses Henry. Ted's face frowns as he admits that he's afraid to get close to his son because he knows he'll be gone one day.
In another interesting development, both Bex and Mrs. Kakes show up on Rebecca's doorstep asking for advice.
Finally, just before the end of the episode, it seems like it's time for Rebecca to show up at Ted's office to drop another annual truth bomb on him. However, this time there is nothing to say. But there is ... and we'll have to wait until the finale to find out exactly what it is.
Top Ted-isms of the week
Rebecca:"Look, sometimes the truth can ruin a perfectly good story."
Ted:"Yes, you should work for the Daily Mail."
Rebecca:"I must go and see the man about the horse."
Ted:"Oh. I didn't know girls said that when they had to pee."
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"Coming all the way to England and not seeing a football match is like going to Rome and not going to church or getting your pocket money."
"I hope that we will judge all of us, or none of us, by our actions in our weakest moments, but by the strength we show when and if we are ever given another chance."
Bonus — Dottie-izmi
"Winner, winner, B.F. Skinner!"
"This one jumped out and immediately asked the doctor if he needed anything."
Double bonus — sweet stuff with Roy Kent
Ted:"All is well?"
Roy:"Yeah. I just encountered a case of 'none of your fucking business'."
Watch the series finaleTed Laso(say it ain't so!) next Wednesday, May 31st, and be sure to follow all of oursweekly episodic recaps.
If you missed it, check out our introspective feature on the audience's relationship with Natehere!