OK, here it is. The confrontation that was nine episodes coming. The big reveal. The moment a character will finally lose their temper over what others have been doing this whole season.
I was pleasantly surprised who it was.
See, the season has played out that Rebecca, angry over her divorce, was tanking the team on purpose. Higgins knew, finally grew a spine, and quit since she wouldn’t tell Ted Lasso, the World’s Nicest Man. Keeley figured it out. She was livid and, as Rebecca’s friend, had the personal stakes to push Rebecca to be honest with Ted. Now, the idea that Ted Lasso should somehow lose his temper seems, well, unlikely. He’s more likely to find some way to be low key disappointed more than anything else. Would this be enough?
OK, to be honest, there was a part of me that figured the more likely scenario would be Ted, since he’s not an idiot despite what many assume, would have figured things out on his own. What business does a college football coach known entirely for his easygoing manner have coaching a professional team that plays the game the rest of the world calls football? He didn’t even really know how the game was played when he first arrived as near as I can make out. Did Ted never question how he got hired to run this team? Ted’s genial. He’s not oblivious. That’s actually part of the point of the character.
But when Rebecca finally tells Ted how she’s been behind, well, every bad thing that has happened to the team, Ted surprises me by basically forgiving her on the spot. He never dwells on it. All he says is people do things when they go through an unexpected divorce, and he knows that firsthand.
Huh. That’s an in-character sort of reaction. I can buy that. Rebecca and Ted are on good terms. Higgins comes back. Rebecca is even treating him like a human being.
So, who did lose his temper?
That I didn’t see coming, but that’s largely because Beard is more of this largely silent, laconic man who holds the same facial expression at all times. The main plot, so to speak, is whether or not to bench Roy since he’s getting old and can’t play at the level he’s used to. Ted doesn’t want to hurt Roy’s feelings since benching Roy could cause more problems off the pitch than it solves on it. Beard (and Nate) both think Ted should bench the guy. And when Ted confesses his plans, Beard explodes.
That I didn’t see coming, but it also made sense. Ted’s the coach of a professional sports team that doesn’t care about winning? The only person who really can get through to Ted at a moment like this would be Beard. Beard is his oldest friend, another coach, and if there’s one person who has to remind him that, yeah, for a sports team winning matters, it would have to be Beard.
Granted, this is Ted Lasso, so Ted doesn’t hold grudges. Likewise, he and Roy worked something out to allow Roy to sit a game out without ruining his reputation, something that came about with help from Keeley. It’s a good moment, one working off the whole “Roy’s getting old” plotline, and actually allowed Beard to show some personality. But man, that was the unexpected part. Did I expect someone to lose their temper and said person would be Beard? No, but I was happy to see it.