This is my favorite episode of the season I’ve seen so far. It’s got drama. It’s got character insights. It’s got humor. It’s got Oklahoma. It’s got Jamie’s bare ass. What more could one hope for from the fourth episode of a twelve-episode season of Ted Lasso? Let’s get into it.
The episode starts with Roy (Brett Goldstein) arriving at Jamie’s (Phil Dunster) house at 4am to start training. Jamie’s a sleepy boy, so Roy reminds him of his mission to be better than Zava (Maximillian Osinski). Jamie concedes and goes off to change because the only thing he’s wearing is a sleep shirt. I think Roy checks out his ass slightly, but I could be wrong. At Nate’s (Nick Mohammed) house, he has a miniature football pitch set up. It’s pretty cute. He’s doing a mockup of the upcoming Richmond vs. West Ham game. He knocks Ted’s figurine off the table and laughs, but then he picks it back up because he feels terrible.
Over at Ted’s (Jason Sudeikis), he’s waking up as Sassy (Ellie Taylor) is getting dressed to leave after spending the night with him. He asks her out on a date, and she replies with a mildly horrified “god, no.” That’s a bit much, but I did laugh. She explains that he’s a mess and she’s further along in her post-divorce journey than he is in his. She doesn’t want anything more than casual with him. I would also like to point out that I have never heard him call her by her government name. Not even once. But in other news, Ted’s Uber rating is a perfect 5 stars because he’s a lovely little guy. On the Richmond Green, Jamie is training with Roy, and he throws up,
At KJPR, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) is reading what Rupert (Anthony Head) has told the press about their upcoming match and Keeley’s (Juno Temple) providing moral support while she works. Shandy (Ambreen Razia) comes in and will be doing Keeley’s old job at the club with all the Bantr nonsense. She’s getting some of the players to do profile videos for promo for the app. Rebecca not-so-subtly asks if Sam’s participating, and Shandy says he’s not anymore, and even Keeley shakes her head. Barbara (Katy Wix) requests two tickets to the match for her and Jack. This is where Keeley learns that Jack is the head of the Venture Capitalist group that funded Keeley’s company. Rebecca tells Barbara that she’ll get them tickets in the owners’ box, and Barbara acts like an adoring fangirl over her.
In the coach’s office at AFC Richmond, Beard (Brendan Hunt) and Roy are going over strategies with Higgins (Jeremy Swift) because of the Nate of it all. They’re overthinking everything. A gem we get out of this interaction is Roy saying, “fuck thinkin’,” which, yeah, exactly. Anyway, when Ted gets in, they’re all arguing about who thinks they can’t beat Nate, but then Ted tells them to relax and asks them if he’s a mess. They do the Diamond Dog howling thing, and Roy goes to his office. Beard tells Ted that he is a mess because he’s not stressed over going up against Nate. Ted claims that Nate didn’t hurt him, and Roy calls bullshit (from his office).
Zava convinces Zoreaux (Moe Jeudy-Lamour) to change his name in the locker room. Also, Zava has kids. Isaac (Kola Bokinni) taps the Believe sign, which rips in half. The players take it down and discover someone previously ripped it in half, and someone else taped it back together. This is very upsetting because the sign has come to mean a lot to them. Trent (James Lance) observes. Nate returns to A Taste of Athens to pick up an order in another part of town. He greets the hostess by name –it’s Jade (Edyta Budnik) and tries to banter with her, but she’s not giving him much to work with. The manager brings his order out and is a massive fan of West Ham. He praises Nate and gives him his food for free. Nate is being very normal and nice during it all.
Back at the training center, Shandy has the single Richmond players doing their Bantr promo videos. Keeley stops by to bring her coffee, and she asks Keeley what the deal is with Jamie. Keeley reflects upon her experiences with him and how she’s watched him grow as a person since they broke up. Zoreaux’s going by Van Damme now. At the end of the day, Beard, Roy, and Trent are in the coach’s office. They show Ted the video of Nate ripping down the Believe sign and tearing it up. Beard and Roy want to use the video to motivate the team against West Ham. Ted tells them to go home and get some sleep.
Nate is in his office at West Ham reading articles about him vs. Ted when Rupert comes in to be a manipulative shit, as always. Nate expresses his desire to give Ted an apology for the way he left things, but Rupert tells him he doesn’t owe Ted anything. That is categorically untrue because we, as people, owe each other quite a lot. But that’s a conversation about community living for another time. Back in the coach’s office, Ted is texting Michelle and looking back on his texts from Dr. Jacob because this man never deletes a text thread, apparently. He’s just like me, for real!
Rebecca comes in and butchers a joke, and Ted’s like, babe, that’s now how you say that joke, but okay. Rebecca then tells Ted that she wants to win this game, and Ted says he knows. But his micro-expressions are micro-expressioning, and she notices and asks him what’s wrong. He asks her if he’s a mess, and she says yes, that’s why they get along so well. Sassy already told her about what she and he discussed that morning because “girl talk.” Rebecca asks him if everything’s alright, but he lies (like he usually does when she asks how he’s doing) and says he’s good. And Rebecca, the absolute legend that she is, even though this is also deranged of her, says, “Oklahoma.”
For those of you who don’t remember, back in early season 1, Ted told Rebecca that “Oklahoma” is the word he and Michelle used when they wanted the other to be completely honest with them. So Rebecca using it so long after learning about it is very interesting and funny, and other adjectives I won’t get into right now. Ted calls himself a work in “progmess” and they giggle about it. When Rebecca is leaving, Ted tells her she’s already won by getting Rupert out of her life. Rebecca’s like yeah, but still, win this game.
It’s the day of the game, and it’s at West Ham’s big fuck off stadium. Rebecca and Keeley show up, and Keeley is nervous, so she goes off to the toilets. Rebecca then immediately runs into Rupert and Bex (Keeley Hazell) because, of course, she does. Bex always looks so happy to see Rebecca, which is funny to me. Rebecca compliments her and asks after Diane. Rupert complains without properly complaining and Bex makes a funny ass joke about him being a senior citizen (which he is). In the restroom, Keeley starts her period and gets a tampon from the person in the stall next to hers. She compliments their shoes because they have on cool shoes.
Elsewhere at West Ham, Ted gets into an elevator with several West Ham staff. They all get out on the same floor, and he’s left in the lift with Nate, who is hiding in a corner. Ted tries to act like nothing’s wrong, and Nate tries to apologize. Unfortunately, the lift opens, Rupert stands there before he can, and Nate walks off. Ted greets Rupert nicely, and Rupert scoffs because he knows Ted would punch him in the throat if sufficiently provoked. When she returns from the toilets, Keeley finds Rebecca, Barbara, Shandy, Higgins, and Jack (Jodi Balfour). She recognizes Jack from her cool shoes, and she’s embarrassed. They all mingle and chat for a while. Keeley’s caught off guard, Shandy’s the same as always, Rebecca’s lovely and charming, and Barbara is a little bit obsessed with Rebecca. She’s so me vibes.
The game starts, and it’s honestly stressful because I care. Nobody scores until the last minute of the half. West Ham scores twice. Rebecca is upset and keeps looking over at Rupert, who is seated a section away from her. During halftime, she goes down to talk to Ted. She tells Ted that while she has been pressuring him to win, she believes in him. She tells him to forget about winning, be himself, and have fun. Ted looks terrified and amused because she is very intense about it. She even jumps up and down in her heels and red bottoms. I love that woman so much. Ted goes into the locker room, and while Rebecca, Beard, and Roy are accosting him, showed the boys the video of Nate. They stand by their decision, but Ted is not pleased.
In the second half of the game, AFC Richmond is playing mad aggressively and getting a bunch of red cards. It’s horrible for them. It’s leaving a bad impression on Jack, but Barbara likes it. Rebecca’s pissed because what the fuck is going on. Anyway, Richmond loses because the boys are dumb. Ted walks over to shake Nate’s hand, but Nate walks away to celebrate with his team. In the post-match press conference, Zava supports his team. Kind of. Rebecca walks by Rupert cheating on Bex with his assistant Ms. Kakes (Rosie Lou). Who was shocked? Clap if you’re shocked. Beard and Roy are upset with themselves and wait for Ted to chew them out. Ted doesn’t, though. He says they tried something new, and it didn’t work. Now they know better for next time. He does take the USB drive with the video on it, though.
In Nate’s post-match press conference, a reporter tells him that he snubbed Ted’s handshake. He didn’t notice it at the time, so he walks away to find Ted. Ms. Kakes interrupts him on his way, and Ted leaves before Nate can talk to him. When Rebecca leaves the stadium, Bex is right outside waiting with a cute smile. Yes, she is obviously waiting on her nasty ass husband, but it 100% looks like she’s waiting for Rebecca. I love it. Rebecca smiles back at her, and Bex says it’s so good to see Rebecca for the second time that day, mind you. Rupert comes out right after to be the worst, and Bex jokes about Rupert being elderly. He’s visibly annoyed, and Rebecca laughs because it’s fucking funny. Rupert kisses Rebecca’s cheek, and she quietly tells him to stop cheating on his wife. It’s giving “this is a threat.”
Keeley, Jack, and Shandy are having drinks together after the game, and Shandy reveals her new tagline for Bantr. She changed it when she uploaded the promo videos earlier. Unfortunately, it makes Bantr look like a hookup app, which is the opposite of what the developers want. It gets them many new sign-ups, but Keeley tells Shandy to change it back to its original tagline. It makes Keeley look bad in front of Jack on top of the bad impression the players made by playing dirty.
Over at Ted’s apartment, he calls Michelle (Andrea Anders) and tells her that he’s really upset that she didn’t tell him about Dr. Jacob. He says he knows it’s crucial for them to communicate and be on good terms for Henry because they’ll be in each other’s lives forever. He would be doing their family as it is now a disservice if he pretended like he was okay with how things were at the moment. Ted loves her and Henry and their family no matter what it looks like, and he wants things to work smoothly between them. After they hang up, Michelle looks really proud of him. That makes sense because all she ever wanted from him was, to be honest about his negative emotions, and he finally is.
I really loved this episode a lot. I think it’s the beginning of some characters being cracked open in ways that will benefit them in the long run. The song I would choose for this episode is Angela by Flower Face.