The fifth episode of the third season of Ted Lasso feels like the writers reached into my brain and manifested my ideas. I truly love this episode. It has layers, and I will walk you through it.
The episode starts at the end of a match AFC Richmond has lost following a string of losses after the West Ham game. Despite the Zava element. It’s so bad for them, guys. The crowd is booing them, and they’re all down in the dumps. The commentators make a remark about the coaches being the problem instead of the players, which will come back. Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) charges into the coach’s office mad as hell and screams, wondering if they will ever win another match. Ted (Jason Sudeikis), Beard (Brendan Hunt), and Roy (Brett Goldstein) are all startled, but Ted tries to soothe her. Subsequently, they all get into a heated debate over where North is because these people are very silly. Trent (James Lance) observes in the corner of the office.
After the credits are done, Rebecca’s at the same coffee shop she was in at the beginning of season 2, where she dumped John Wingsnight. She also came to some realizations at the same time. She has the green matchbook from Sam’s restaurant, Orla’s, with her, and she tries to send it away with her finished food. The server walks away before she can, though. Funnily enough, she runs into John Wingsnight (Patrick Baladi) and his new fiancé, Jessica (Victoria Elliott). He’s still quite weird, but his weirdness matches Jessica’s weirdness, and that’s what matters. They all talk briefly, and Jessica accidentally says “shite in knining armor” instead of a knight in shining armor. It breaks Rebecca’s brain slightly because of what the psychic said to her in episode three. Rebecca decides to call Keeley.
At KJPR, Keeley (Juno Temple) doesn’t pick up because her phone is on silent. She’s meeting with Barbara (Katy Wix) and Jack (Jodi Balfour) to discuss expanding the company. Barbara wants to, but Keeley does not. Jack agrees with Keeley, and Barbara leaves for her office and sulk. Shandy (Ambreen Razia) comes in and announces her new app, “Starfucker” because she’s still mad about the Bantr thing from the last episode. Jack encourages Keeley to fire her when she leaves. Keeley is reluctant to do so. She and Jack have quite a lot of banter and chemistry, so it’s no surprise when Jack invites Keeley to lunch. Keeley enthusiastically accepts.
Over at AFC Richmond, the boys are in the locker room, and they get onto the topic of She’s All That/My Fair Lady/Pygmalion because Rebecca’s boys are well-rounded. But it comes off the back of them theorizing about Nate dating Anastasia, a supermodel. They ask Zava (Maximillian Osinski) what he thinks of Anastasia, and he says he doesn’t think about any woman other than his wife, Christina. He doesn’t watch movies because he’d rather watch his wife. It’s very sweet. In the coach’s office, Ted, Beard, and Roy are strategizing again. My god. They can’t come up with anything new, and it’s not even because they’re incapable. They’re just so in their own heads about it that they can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s extremely annoying. But we do learn that Beard danced at a strip club called Man City when he was in college.
Ted gets a message from Michelle about a bullying incident with Henry, and Ted assumes Henry got bullied. As a result, everyone starts talking about how to deal with bullies. Roy is nuts, by the way. In Rebecca’s office, she’s still staring at that matchbook while eating her biscuits. Higgins (Jeremy Swift) comes in and tells her he thinks they should fire Ted because Ted is not good at his job. Rebecca’s like, “… ANYWAY! Do you believe in psychics?” Clearly deflecting the thought. And he does because, of course, he does. He gives her a different perspective on interpreting what she heard from the psychic, which I think is actually very helpful. He tells her psychics can help people see things within themselves that the person can’t otherwise see. And then immediately, there’s a shot of Rebecca holding the matchbook, but behind her hands, the pink biscuit box is in focus.
Over at West Ham, Nate (Nick Mohammed) gets a message from Ms. Kakes (Rosie Lou) to call Anastasia. Rupert introduced them at Bones & Honey after the game with Richmond a month ago, mind you. He didn’t get her number then because he didn’t want to appear too forward. Once Ms. Kakes leaves, instead of calling Anastasia immediately, he calls his mother to practice asking a woman out. It was very cute, and I did chuckle.
Back at AFC Richmond, Rebecca, and Ted pass each other in the hall, and they’re so damn weird about it. It’s suspicious and hilarious. It’s suspicious because they’ve never been weird with each other and hilarious because they’re funny. They both realize their weirdness and giggle the tension away. Ted correctly predicts that Rebecca is coming down to apologize to him for yelling at him at the start of the episode. He says, “I can be a little bit psychic,” and the face she makes is hysterical. She haltingly tells him she shouldn’t have bullied him, and at the word “bullied,” Ted makes a face, and they get bizarre again. And then they walk away from each other a little weary of one another.
At KJPR, Keeley fires Shandy, and Shandy makes a huge scene of it. It’s very entertaining but also sad because even though she sucked and actively harmed Keeley’s business, firing a friend is just sad. Also, I liked Shand. I thought it was nice that Keeley gave her a chance the same way Rebecca gave Keeley a chance back in season 1. Of course, it doesn’t always work out how it did for Keeley, and it’s essential to show that.
Moving on, we’re back with Rebecca, and she’s at a fertility clinic. You guys don’t understand just how much this appeals to my interests. I could tell you, but we’d be here for years. Just know that I used to pray for times like this. Rebecca’s in the waiting room looking around at the couples there, and it’s a direct callback to the coffeeshop scene in season 2 when she was dumping John Wingsnight and realizing things. The couples in the waiting room mirror the couples in the coffee shop. Rebecca then looks down at the forms in front of her, and she needs to write down an emergency contact, but she doesn’t have anyone to put. At first, this bothered me. However, it’s in line with Rebecca’s characterization not to want anyone close to her to know about this.
Before Rebecca can spiral about this, the doctor (Julian Forsyth) comes out to see her because they know each other. He tells her she doesn’t have to fill out the form and takes her back to his office. He’s very happy to see her, and they chat about Richmond for a bit before he asks why she’s there. She wants to know what her chances are of having a child. The doctor, Dr. Wagner, says there’s no guarantee, but he’s helped people her age and older conceive. So it’s not hopeless, but he wants to start at the beginning to determine their options, so he orders a blood test for her.
Back at AFC Richmond, the boys are finishing up a workout the night before their Man City game. They’re talking about how they’ve been playing awful, and Jamie reminds the team that Man City’s a great team, but we are also great, so can everybody get a grip? Zava concurs in his very Zava way. At the end of the night, Ted gets back to his apartment and gets a call from Michelle (Andrea Anders). She clarifies that Henry wasn’t bullied, he was the bully, and Ted is shaken.
There’s an immediate cut to the next day just before the Man City match. AT KJPR, Keeley has a funny interaction with one of her many emotionally closed-off employees. Barbara comes by to say goodnight, and then Jack comes by to speak to Barbara. Because she has a crush on Jack, Keeley immediately invites Jack to the Richmond match and then hastily extends the offer to Barbara. Barbara declines, citing the lack of violence likely to ensue, but Jack accepts because she has a crush on Keeley. At AFC Richmond, the crowd and the boys are getting excited in the locker room, including Roy. But Zava’s not there. Jamie’s the only one who doesn’t give a damn.
In the coach’s office, Ted and Beard talk about Henry, and Beard says, “Henry’s a good kid ’cause you’re his dad.” And that is just so sweet and true. But then Roy comes in and tells them that Zava is nowhere to be found. Back with Keeley, she and Jack are getting ready to leave when they smell something awful. They investigate, and in a conference room, they find a lamb there. The lamb has littered the room with feces. That poor lamb. Shandy left it there as revenge for being fired.
At A Taste of Athens, Nate shows up with Anastasia (Elee Nova), and Jade (Edyta Budnik) is dubious of them even being together. The manager gives Nate and Anastasia the seat by the window. Anastasia doesn’t think the restaurant is very nice at all, and Nate’s like, okay, but the food is delicious. Jade is obviously their server. The same server refused to let Nate sit by the window the first time he visited that restaurant back in season 2. Back at AFC Richmond, Rebecca receives a text from Keeley saying she won’t make it to the game. Keeley also helpfully attaches a picture of the shitty little lamb, which makes Rebecca laugh. Rebecca then receives a text from Dr. Wagner. He has her results, and he’ll call her after the game to tell her what they are. Higgins then shows up to let her know he has bad news. Unrelated to Rebecca’s results but clearly points to the future results of her fertility tests.
On the pitch, the starting lineup includes Colin instead of Zava, and everyone is confused. In the technical area, Roy and Beard tell Ted that, literally, no one can get in touch with Zava or any of his reps and associates. Ted says maybe he’s dead, which is such a me thing to say. Also of note, the Richmond pitch has been mowed in a gingham pattern. In Keeley’s office, she and Jack have called the lamb handler, Edward (David Boyle). He’s come to pick up the lamb and the bag of lamb shit Keeley, and Jack cleaned up. When Edward and the lamb have left, Keeley and Jack return to Keeley’s office, light some candles “for the smell,” and start drinking and flirting. Gay.
On Nate’s date, Anastasia is still not fond of the venue at all and makes that more than clear to Nate. Nate then explains to her how important A Taste of Athens is to him and his family. It’s where they celebrate his life’s and his family’s most special moments. They even went there after he got promoted to assistant coach at Richmond, which is sweet. Anastasia disagrees, however, and ditches him. He watches her leave out the window. It’s for the best, though. They were not very compatible.
Richmond loses to Man City again. I knew they would, but it was devastating to watch. Up in Rebecca’s office, Higgins texts her a video of Zava announcing his retirement, but she doesn’t watch it. She gets a call from Dr. Wagner, and we don’t hear what he says, but it’s clear that her suspicions that her chances of conceiving naturally (or at all?) are extremely low are confirmed. Her face tells such a story here, and Hannah’s acting is breathtaking. When she gets off the phone with Dr. Wagner, she calls Keeley, and watching Rebecca wait for her to pick up is heartbreaking.
Keeley, of course, does not pick up because her phone is still on silent. She’s still in her office getting drunk with Jack and swapping past relationship stories. Jack dated a clown, and Keeley decided not to talk about or be sad about Roy then. She says she used to be a really happy person, and Jack says Keeley seems pretty happy to her. And then Keeley kisses her. But then she pulls back and apologizes, but Jack kisses her back. It’s so incredibly gay.
Back with Nate, Jade brings him the baklava he ordered, and they banter a bit. He invites her to join him if she can and wants to since he can’t eat it all alone. She accepts. Love that. Love them.