Ted Lasso (Season 3) Episode 4: Whoa, that was heavy. Never really thought I would start a Ted Lasso recap like this, but here we are. First of all, I did not think we would be getting the big Richmond versus West Ham encounter this early, but I guess it was about time, after all.

And yes, my last week’s wish regarding that somewhat came true as well. But what I really appreciate is how cleverly the show played it here by putting the ninety-minute football match in the background and everything else up front.

As a result, we received a truly heartfelt episode that reminds me of why I stuck with this show for so long, despite its obvious flaws. I don’t know, maybe the cynic in me finds it too difficult to believe that someone like Ted Lasso can actually exist in the world.

Ted Lasso (Season 3) Episode 4 Recap:

It is West Ham vs. Richmond actually, as this is an away fixture for us. For the uninitiated, football (or most competitive sports) seasons have two games between every participating team, one in their home ground and the other on away ground. This is for bombarding you all with random football-term in last week’s recap, which I thought was a bit too much. Anyway, let’s take a deep dive.

We pick up pretty much from where we left off last week, with Jaime waking up after hearing a violent knock at his door at exactly 4 in the morning. That can only be one man, and it is obviously Roy Kent. He meant exactly what he said, and he absolutely doesn’t want to waste a minute and wants Jaime to start at exactly 4. A bottomless Jaime (you know what I’m pointing at, right) sluggishly goes along with Roy with a flashlight on his head as if he has any other option!

Is Ted a mess?

I was frankly delighted to find out Ted and Sassy did hook up after all, like always. But Ted hints that he wants something more meaningful and asks Sassy out for a date. She declines, which is not at all surprising, but still heartbreaking, and the reason is “Ted is a Mess.”

A not particularly heartbroken Ted takes the question to everyone, from Higgins to Beard to Roy and Rebecca. And guess what, everyone answers “yes” without hesitating, unsurprisingly. Beard and Roy also mention that they find it amusing that Ted is so chill about the big West Ham game and, most essentially, Ned. At a new “Diamond Dog” conference (oh yes, that is back, and Nate is genuinely missed), Ted is told to confront the person who has hurt him instead of bottling things inside him and dying off that stored poison. Very rational advice, but Ted keeps saying that he doesn’t have anything against Nathan, which everyone finds hard to believe.

Meanwhile, Richmond players are horrified to discover that their iconic “BELIEVE” poster right on top of the door has been slashed in half, indicating sabotage. That mystery is eventually solved when Roy and Beard show Ted security camera footage, and it is none other than a very nervous Nate committing an act of passion. Roy and Beard harbor the idea of using the tape to motivate the players before the big game, but Ted, the head coach, stops them from doing so.

What’s cooking up in Keeley’s front?

Keeley’s arc in this season seems so disconnected from everything else, even though I know it’s not. But finding interest in it has been quite a struggle for me, to be honest. Not to mention that the Shandy character has not only harmed the cause. That changes this season with the introduction of Jack Danvers, Keeley’s primary investor slash technical supervisor, who is initially misidentified as a man due to his name. But Jack turns out to be a pretty young girl boss, played by For All Mankind actress Jodi Balfour. In a really sweet, meet-cute manner, Keeley and Jack have their first encounter at the women’s toilet, where the two don’t see each other, and Jack helps Keeley with the very urgent period problem.

The two finally meet face to face right before the game, where Keeley’s right-hand cum assistant Barbara takes care of the formal introduction. Jack appears to be a calm, soft-spoken young woman who is not quite like Keeley. But given opposite attracts and I did feel a clear vibe between the two of them, something might just happen who knows?

Meanwhile, Keeley films a commercial for her dating website with all of the single Richmond players, and Sam not taking part in it upsets Rebecca (sort of). And Shandy, who is actually in charge of the commercial, asks if she can ‘bang’ Jamie. Shandy further messes it up by using a “bang a celebrity” tagline for the site, which spikes its number of subscriptions but embarrasses Keeley in front of Jack. A flustered Keeley asks Shandy to take the tagline down, rightfully.

Rebecca versus Rupert

To be honest, the Rebecca versus Rupert rivalry is actually much bigger than West Ham versus Richmond or Ted versus Ned (which doesn’t even count as a rivalry, but coming to that later). As you expect, Rebecca appears to be really tense as it is a matter of pride for her. The night before the game, she pleads with Ted to win it for her. To which Ted replies that Rebecca has already won as she has thrown Rupert out of her life. How do you manage to say the very right thing while going through your own shit, Ted?

Rupert appears to be in his usual charming self during the match, asking Rebecca to “take things easy” on them with his typical snarky vibe. Meanwhile, Rebecca finds out Rupert is doing Rupert’s stuff with his new assistant, obviously cheating on his wife, Bex, and setting a terrible example for their daughter. Rebecca does her part to caution Rupert not to screw things up, but given everything, that’s probably not going to work, right? Come on, Bex, you need to wake up and get out with your daughter as quickly as possible.

What’s eating Nathan Shelly?

Sorry I called you an arsehole Nate. I mean, he still is for whatever he has done, but the former sweet Nate hasn’t left him yet. Despite everything, at the core, he still remains his own self which is further established when he fumbles in front of the receptionist girl at the restaurant which he used to visit when he used to be on our side (remember the window table he once wanted to book for his parents?). The restaurant manager turns out to be a West Ham fan and gives Nate a warm welcome, though that doesn’t change much for him.

Contemplating about apologizing to Ted, Nate finds himself alone with his thoughts on the night before the big day. Seeing him in that state, Rupert walks him and ensures he has done nothing wrong and gives him a moral boost. Rupert is an arsehole for sure, but I would say that is one right thing he has done as the owner.

Ted Lasso (Season 3) Episode 4 Ending, Explained:

So, why haven’t I talked about the match yet? Well, two reasons; firstly, I already mentioned the match had been kept in the background of the episode, and secondly, I was saving it for later as the exciting bit of the article. So here we go.

Who wins the all-important game between West Ham and Richmond?

Before getting into it, let me just address the scene where Nate and Ted finally meet in the elevator, and while Ted greets Nate as if nothing happened, Nate looks visibly awkward and almost apologizes to him. The moment is ruined when the lift door opens, and Rupert appears outside, taking Nate away from it.

Richmond starts the match really well against an unusually cautious West Ham. They do everything in the first half except scoring a goal, which would have also happened if Jaime hadn’t hit the bar, wasting a brilliant pass from Zava. However, right before halftime, Nate shows why he is the “Wunderkind” (I’m back calling him what he wants) as West Ham takes a two-nil lead where the second goal came as a big surprise.

At halftime, a very “I’m losing it” Rebecca tries to cheer up Ted in a very Ted-like manner. Meanwhile, Roy and Beard take desperate measures by showing the “Nate tape” to the players. However, that backfires heavily as the players get overcooked with anger and play absolutely nasty, terrible football where many, including their Canadian goalie Zoreaux (who’s now calling himself Van Damme, thanks to Zava), is sent off.

Richmond suffers a 4-1 loss in a game where they could have ascended to the top of the table over the mighty Manchester City if they had done right. Zava still manages to score the only Richmond goal as a saving grace.

After the match ends, Ted goes to shake hands with Nate. However, a pumped-up Nate unknowingly ignores that, which makes it to the news when it is addressed. Nate honestly confesses that he had no idea and unintentionally missed it in a fit of hysteria.

Nate does get another chance to make amends with Ted before the Richmond bus leaves. But he misses that moment since Rupert’s young assistant (the same one he is cheating with) invites him to the unavoidable celebration party.

At the party, Rupert introduces Nate to a Russian model, and we clearly understand why, but Nate looks visibly uncomfortable. Nate has tasted success in life, but in the process, he has unfortunately lost one thing that matters the most- Home (is where Richmond is).

Why does Ted finally confront Michelle?

Ted Lasso has been pretty much nailing with their ending scenes, and this episode is no different as it saved the most important scene for the final moments. Late at night, Ted video calls his ex-wife and tells her the thing with Dr. Jacob is something that doesn’t sit right with him. He also mentions that he still loves Michelle and will always be stuck with each other as they have a kid to raise and will eventually share grandkids.

This scene also proves that Ted did take the advice of the Diamond Dog committee. But it was not Nate who hurt him, it was his ex-wife. Because if you think about it, Nate’s action, despite problematic, makes a lot of sense, and I believe deep down Ted sees that.

But what Michelle did was really dirty, especially considering it happened during the time Ted was under the impression that they were trying to save their marriage. Of course, individuals sometimes do questionable things in matters of the heart, and Michelle is in no way a bad person.

But it was still very much unfair to Ted, and confronting Michelle was the healthiest thing that he could do. Maybe now Ted will improve from his “work in prog-mess” state, which is labeled by himself.

Some Tidbits:

  • While addressing their “Friends with Benefits” status quo, Sassy references “No Strings Attached” instead of the actual “Friends with Benefits” movie, which gets corrected by Ted. Not only does the show get the reference right, but it also makes the state of mind of the two individuals pretty clear. For Ted’s sake, I hope Sally shifts her loyalty towards the superior Mila Kunis-Justin Timberlake starrer to the not-so-great Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman starrer.
  • While the episode starts with Jaime struggling to start his day at four thanks to a very punctual Roy, at the end of the episode, we find Jamie is ready to go with his torch shining bright on his forehead. Roy couldn’t be happier, and so could we.

<<Previous Episodes

Ted Lasso (Season 3), Episode 4 Links: IMDb
Ted Lasso (Season 3) Episode 4 Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Hannah Waddingham
Where to watch Ted Lasso

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