Jason Sudeikis finally returns as the American coach in English Premier League football as the third season of the celebrated sports comedy-drama series “Ted Lasso” streams this week. The very first episode of “Ted Lasso” Season 3 brings back the same fervor of positivity and kindness that has become a staple of the show so far as coach Lasso and his troop at AFC Richmond prepare for the new season. On the other side, Nate Shelley, the once-kitman and then assistant coach at Richmond, has started his new job as the head coach of West Ham United. The differences between these two sides and some new revelations about the personal lives of a few characters are the focus of this new episode.
What Happens In The First Episode Of ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3?
After spending six weeks in London with his father, Henry has to return to Kentucky and his mother. Before leaving, though, Henry has one last gift for Ted—a small LEGO Premier League trophy. The boy gives it to his father, saying that it was just a temporary gift until Ted and Richmond won the actual trophy at the end of “Ted Lasso” Season 2. There is clearly an expectation on the part of Henry that his father would lead Richmond towards being a Premier League champion, or at least try his hardest to do so. But the overall perception of football fans and critics towards Richmond is not as hopeful, as all prediction lists have the team finishing 20th and therefore being relegated back to the Championship at the end of the season. Unlike the players or the management, Ted is not affected much by these predictions, as he is as confident and cheerful in every situation as ever, for it is still the experience and not the end result that is more important for Ted Lasso. However, the man does have some questions of doubt regarding his position in life at the moment. He admits that he wonders why he and coach Beard are still part of Richmond; although they had been brought in for a sabotage plan, sticking with them for a third season does seem unnatural, even to Ted. He talks about all these concerns to Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, the psychologist Richmond had hired in “Ted Lasso” season 2. It is clear that Ted and Sharon maintain their old friendship, with the man continuing therapy with Sharon. There also seems to be a personal interest, as Ted asks the therapist if she is single, and Sharon refuses to answer the question, but she is then seen with a younger man in her house.
Unlike the head coach of her club, Rebecca is not as cool and accepting of the predictions of pundits and experts about Richmond finishing dead last in the season’s competition. Rebecca is all the more furious about the fact that most of these pundits have even predicted a top-four finish for West Ham United. As was established at the end of “Ted Lasso” season 2, West Ham is not just a rival club in London for Richmond; there is a personal rivalry too. West Ham is now owned by Rupert Mannion, the devilish ex-husband of Rebecca, and there now seems to be a competition between these two individuals over the results of their clubs. Rebecca is hell-bent on proving the critics wrong and, more importantly, on somehow beating Rupert, for she now feels passionately for Richmond and wants her club to succeed. On the other side, Rupert is also quite mindful of his actions and words about Richmond, always trying to demean and hurt Rebecca through his decisions, especially in front of the press. But Rebecca is perhaps too obsessed with this new development, as is evident in her hurry to watch Nate’s first press conference for West Ham. She is also seen disagreeing with her coach for the first time, at least after she has started thinking for her club and not against it, over these very predictions. Rebecca, at first, wants to buy more players in order to avoid the predicted relegation, but Ted opines against it, saying that their players were already gelled up and did not need a change of chemistry. Later on, Rebecca also expresses her disapproval of coach Lasso’s unusual management decisions, saying that she wants to avoid her ex-husband’s and the whole world’s ridiculing of herself and her club. If things continue like this for Rebecca, she, too, will need Dr. Sharon’s help soon enough.
We also see Keeley Jones in her new office environment, which is her own public relations firm with a luxurious office and a set of employees too. The company that had helped her start her own PR firm has also placed a CFO at the office, which seems like a great decision for the impulsive Keeley, who spends exorbitant amounts of money on flowers every week. But that is not the most troubling matter in Keeley’s life at the moment, as the woman is extremely busy at all times and hardly gets any time for herself. Although Keeley seems to be enjoying running her own firm, she is also overworked and starting to feel stressed because of this. Later on in the first episode of “Ted Lasso” Season 3, it is also revealed that Keeley and Roy Kent have decided to take a break from their relationship. At least Keeley calls it a break, while Roy outright calls it a breakup when the two inform young Phoebe of their decision. The reason for this breakup was the fact that both Keeley and Roy were now busier in their lives than before, owing to new work situations. While Keeley was running her own firm, Roy’s responsibilities and duties as an assistant manager at Richmond had greatly increased after Nate had left the club. From their conversation, it is clear that Roy is rather stressed about this new role, but as is characteristic of the man, he doesn’t talk much about it. In the end, though, the young niece Phoebe tells her uncle how he was making a mistake by letting Keeley go, and that seems to get Roy thinking as well.
How Do Ted Lasso’s Unusual Coaching Techniques Fare Against Nate’s?
Nate’s time at West Ham is also given enough stress in the episode as the man drives up to the team facility at Stratford in his small, unassuming green Mini Cooper. Unlike the accepting environment he was used to at Richmond under coach Lasso, the air at this new club is very different, mostly owing to the new owner, Rupert. The man is embarrassed by the presence of a Mini Cooper in the parking lot of his club, which is filled with supercars and is almost about to get it towed. As of now, Rupert puts a lot of faith in his new manager, Nate, and is expressively encouraging him to lead the club to success. At the end of Episode 1 of “Ted Lasso” Season 3, Rupert even gifts Nate a shiny new silver Aston Martin, showing his belief in the new recruit. But one cannot help but wonder why Rupert does so, and there seems to be some evil intent behind the owner’s actions. Nate is seen having a difficult time fitting into the new role as well, especially during his first press conference, when the man has a sudden lack of confidence, just like he used to in his earlier days. Nate once again has to bring out that confident but harsh side of himself, which makes him say brash and mean things about his old club and manager. When asked about his opinion on the predictions placing Richmond at 20th, Nate says that Richmond could not be placed any lower and that they would surely be relegated to the second division at the end of the season. When asked about Ted, Nate lashes out and ridicules his former head coach, saying that he was not good enough for any football league.
On the other side, Ted remains focused on his work but notices the negative effects of the predictions on his players. In order to help them with this, Ted decides to take a very unusual trip to the London sewers and gives them a lesson on how they, too, need to let go of all the wasteful and dirty comments the world has to make for them. This strange technique does work by the end, though, as Jamie Tart is seen reminding his teammates how they should not let hurtful tweets and public opinion distract them from their preparations on the field. However, this trip to the sewers also has a negative repercussion when some construction workers photograph the team and players climbing down a manhole and tweet about it online. The photos go viral, and Nate is also asked to comment during his press conference, in which he mocks coach Lasso. Rebecca is furious after seeing the photos and asks Ted for an explanation, also telling him to prepare for his own press conference. But when Ted is asked about his comments on Nate, the man stays true to his nature and heaps praise and best wishes on his former associate, implying that he was not seeing Nate as a rival but still as a dear friend. Ted also ultimately wins over the media, the fans, and Rebecca herself with his self-deprecating humor and jokes, reminding everyone why Ted Lasso was such a loved manager after all.
What Should We Expect From Episode 2 Of ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3?
While the first episode of “Ted Lasso” Season 3 focuses on the timeframe before the season officially begins, the next episode is sure to show the Premier League kicking off. Although Coach Lasso seems unperturbed by the predictions of the world for his failure, he does seem affected by the prediction of success made only by his young son. Ted would genuinely make an attempt to give his team’s best effort in the season’s competition, and how he will go about doing so will be interesting to watch. How he would also maintain his friendship with Nate, which is also something suggested by his son, is something interesting as well. Meanwhile, the fates of the other characters will also come into play gradually as we proceed through the season. Lastly, the whole premise does remind me of the 2015-16 Premier League predictions, in which most had written off Leicester City as a relegation candidate. Yet, what had happened was nothing short of a fairytale, and will “Ted Lasso” finish off with a similar ultimate triumph for AFC Richmond?