Ted Lasso (Season 3), Episode 7: I think by now I have made myself pretty clear about the reason why I found the last season of Ted Lasso pretty much underwhelming, and the latest one, well, overwhelming is not the ideal word here so let’s settle at the exact opposite of that. No-more quick conflict resolution just for the sake of it- whether it’s on or off the field.

And I was glad to see the latest episode, where Richmond loses another game which has become a regularity now; it continues to deliver by going extensively deep into the conflicts, issues, and messiness that comes with life. There is still plenty of sunshine, though, as the show still tends to remain the same- giving us the light we need while we are in a dark tunnel. And this time around, the light actually seems pretty much earned.

Ted Lasso (Season 3), Episode 7 Recap:

Picking up from what happened in Amsterdam, the trio of Ted, Beard, and Roy waste no time to plant the seed of “Total Football” inside the head of Richmond players – starting with a history lesson by Beard with the mentions of Johan Cruyff to our very own Pep Guardiola, who receives a staggering boo from the Richmond players. But nobody can deny the effectiveness of Total Football, so Roy puts the players in a hard, grueling drill in order to embrace it. And Coach Ted wants to implement it no sooner than the weekend game where Richmond is facing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

Is Jack love-bombing Keeley?

I didn’t think we would see the Jack and Keeley relationship trading in murky water this soon, but then the new Ted Lasso pretty much does everything like real life, so this is not particularly surprising. 

The term love-bombing usually implies showering your partner with lavish gifts and grand gestures, with the hidden intention of manipulating or hiding your own wrongdoings. Given Rebecca very much relates to this with early-day Rupert, who literally bought her a Jaguar on their second date, she gets concerned about Keeley being bombarded with simultaneously expensive and meaningful gifts by Jack which ranges from the first edition of one of Keeley’s favorite books to gallons of flowers in her office. 

However, despite Rebecca’s concerns which are legitimate enough, Jack still seems like a genuinely nice person who is just in love and can do no wrong. When Keeley gets awkward about the office people finding out about their romance, Jack takes her hand and announces they’re dating in front of everyone, indicating she really means it. Keeley does have a much-needed talk about the love-bombing part, which might have disheartened Jack a little, but she does seem to understand. Of course, she can’t do anything about the already-ordered croissant for Keeley with a “ring” inside it. Honestly, it is really sweet, and I still hope Jack and Keeley’s ship sails it through and doesn’t get drowned in the end.

Mediocre footballer vs. World-class bigot

Sam Obisanya has been pretty much sidelined this season. The recurring character from season 1, who got promoted to one of the main ones in season 2 and made an immediate impact, is still very much an important part of the show. Still, I was wondering when he would get some narrative focus. With this week’s most essential story arc focusing on Sam, my doubts have been pretty much cleared.

Ted Lasso, as a show, has always taken the right kind of progressive stance when it comes to social issues. While they have handled the LGBTQ angle of the season with subtlety, their decision to take a head-on approach regarding a matter as grave as UK’s recent Migrant situation makes quite a sense to me. And having Sam in the middle of it as a concerned party brings in an unfortunate racism angle in it as well, although it is never mentioned. 

It begins with Sam tweeting against home secretary Barot when the latter firmly declares refugees are not welcome in the United Kingdom. Barot responds that a mediocre footballer of a mediocre club should not get involved in grave political matters. This further fuels Sam, who then burns Barot, stating that he would rather be a mediocre footballer than a “World-class bigot.”

Barot’s jingoist supporters vandalize Sam’s restaurant to make a statement that further upsets Sam, especially because his father is just about to arrive, and he was really excited about showing him the restaurant. In a very unfortunate manner, Sam’s father (played by Nonso Anozie), Ola, finally arrives right at the moment. He loses it in the Richmond dressing room right before going for a practice session. However, Ola shows what a good father he is by consoling his son right away and also telling him the best course of action would be not to fight. Naturally, he quickly strikes a chord with Coach Ted as well.

Nate gets a date with Jade

Meanwhile, in what can be considered the sweetest possible way, our Wonderkind Nate manages to get a date with the receptionist Jade. The road was not at all easy for him, though, as he went through so much hesitation and anxiety before actually approaching her. And even in the final moment, his handmade proposal got destroyed by a running car after he tripped on the street in front of Jade. But Nate went ahead and finally asked her out, to which she said yes.

And just as Nate starts wondering about whether he is getting stood up or not, Jade appears, looking much different from how she is when she is the receptionist.

Ted Lasso (Season 3), Episode 7 Ending Explained:

How does Richmond still have hope, despite losing the game?

Richmond fails to yield magic with their total football in the away game against Arsenal as they finish the first half down by 3-0. They don’t concede any more goals in the second half. But in the last quarter of the match, they score a genuinely beautiful goal, and despite him not being the scorer, the mastermind behind the goal happens to be none other than Jamie Tartt. It is Jamie who comes up with the idea of dropping down and serving as a playmaker during Halftime, which makes things a lot better during the second half.

Richmond has lost the game for sure, but the way they’ve played the second half does give a lot of hope for better results in the upcoming games. Along with that, Jamie’s transformation as a playmaker is a huge positive. Richmond is still exactly where they were in the league table, but going up the ladder seems like a real possibility. 

After the game, the players decide to fix Sam’s restaurant and surprise their teammate, which clearly works as we see a glowing Sam at the end of the episode. This also implies how much of a unit this team has become under Coach Ted Lasso. Richmond might have lost three points on the field, but outside of it, they’ve won millions of it.

One small tidbit

Trent seems skeptical about the new Total Football strategy at first, but after the Arsenal match, we see a rare elated Trent firmly telling Ted that it’s gonna work. When he goes away, Roy scoffs, “Dork,” to which Ted says, “He’s our dork.”

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Ted Lasso (Season 3), Episode 7 Links: IMDb
Ted Lasso (Season 3) Episode 7 Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Hannah Waddingham
Where to watch Ted Lasso

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