SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this if you haven’t watched Season 2, Episode 8 of Ted Lasso. The goal here is not to give a blow-by-blow recap, but light spoilers are inevitable.
Ted Lasso is back! Apple TV+ is releasing one episode of the new season per week. Episode 9 will be available on Friday, September 17. And yes, we’ll be breaking down each episode individually here on High Press Soccer.
Below are links to the previous installments in this series:
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 7
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 6
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 5
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 4
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 3
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 2
- Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 1
WHAT AN EPISODE
I’ll unpack the reasons I loved it so much soon enough. First, I have to start by saying that Season 2, Episode 8 was the best of the series – yes, the series, not just this season. Did I say roughly the same thing two weeks ago? Yes and no. Season 2 Episode 6 was outstanding, and I praised it for righting the ship after a couple weak episodes, but I didn’t quite call it the highlight of the whole series.
Regardless, we just got an episode that (justifiably) lit up social media. More importantly, Ted Lasso’s momentum continues to pay dividends for not only Apple TV+, but the people behind it. A story in The Hollywood Reporter on Monday claimed the writers will receive big raises for their work on season 3, with Jason Sudeikis reportedly set to rake in around $1 million per episode.
Good for Sudeikis, and good for everyone involved, especially after the 48-minute masterpiece that was Season 2 Episode 8.
WHERE DO WE START?
An episode full of massive emotional swings begins with Sharon being hit by a car while riding her bike. The moment comes as a terrifying surprise following an entertaining conversation she was having about her struggles getting through to Ted. We’re left to wonder if she’s OK throughout the intro sequence. Fortunately, we learn that she’s alright, and her favorite coach picks her up from the hospital.
Season 2 Episode 8 features big progress on two story lines that would be worth a closer look if not for the devastating conclusion to this episode, which will be the focus of the rest of this recap.
BOY (PLAYER) MEETS GIRL (OWNER)
First of all, we finally see the highly anticipated first date for Sam and Rebecca. Yes, it happens, and they’re … great for each other. Their chemistry is strong enough that I’m going to consider the 20-plus-year age gap and the fact she writes his checks “minor details.”
ROY THE ROLE MODEL
We also get another great look at arguably the most compelling duo in Ted Lasso: Roy and his niece, Phoebe. This time, she’s in trouble at school for calling a classmate a “pathetic shitfucker!” Incredible. Phoebe’s teacher* admits that the kid Phoebe called that is exactly that – “Oh yes!” she answers when Roy asks, “Are they?” But, as the teacher points out, “that’s not the point.”
This arc ends with Roy begrudgingly agreeing to (try to) limit his profanity in front of her. I bring it up here because it’s worth pointing out that even in an episode as heavy – both emotionally and in terms of plot development – as this one, Ted Lasso still brings plenty of laughs.
*Irish actress Ruth Bradley is great in her short appearance as Phoebe’s teacher.
A LONG NIGHT AT WEMBLEY
AFC Richmond’s trip to Wembley to face Manchester City in the FA Cup ends in a 5-0 loss, but the match features plenty of drama, just not on the pitch.
Prior to kickoff, Ted lets everyone know the real reason he left the sideline during the Tottenham match: it was a panic attack, not an adverse reaction to a fish pie. His inner circle of Diamond Dogs embrace him, and each share a confession of their own. Beard admits to “accidentally coaching a game while high on mushrooms” in one of the funnier moments of the season.
JAMIE FACES HIS FATHER
Jamie Tartt’s relationship with his dad has been mentioned plenty of times, and our first look at the star player’s father tells us all we need to know. The guy is vile, and not just because he’s a Manchester City fan who cheers against his own son. The longer his creepy father is on screen, the harder it is to hate Jamie.
Their confrontation in the locker room* after the match, when Jamie’s father ridicules him in front of everyone, is excruciating. It finally ends with Jamie decking his dad, then immediately (understandably) melting down as his teammates look on, frozen in shock. Jamie’s haymaker hits Ted and the audience as hard as it hits his dad. The prolonged hug he gets from Roy, of all people, represents the most dramatic moment of Ted Lasso to date.
*Sidebar: Why the hell is he allowed anywhere near the AFC Richmond locker room??
TED OPENS UP
As if that weren’t enough, while everyone in the locker room is still processing what’s just happened, Ted runs outside the stadium and finally breaks through to Sharon about the root of his psychological issues. He tearfully tells her his father committed suicide when Ted was 16. He ends his conversation with Sharon shortly after that breakthrough. The camera soon pans away from Ted and over the stadium, with Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger”* playing as the last sight we see from Wembley is the stadium’s iconic arch lit up in City blue.
The final four episodes of the season, especially Season 2 Episode 9, have a tough act to follow.
*The musical choices on Ted Lasso have been outstanding. That’s especially true in this episode, which also featured Rex Orange County’s “Loving is Easy” (feat. Benny Sings) and George Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness” at pivotal moments.