Ted Lasso (Season 3 Finale) Episode 12: In the same week where the series finale of Succession literally ripped our souls, the Ted Lasso season finale had the opportunity to be the perfect antidote for that. Given how the season had progressed so far, I actually hoped for that. But the reality is often disappointing, in this case, surprisingly disappointing.
Because the episode which pretty much seemed like a series finale although Apple TV+ hasn’t announced anything officially- didn’t quite land. There were some moments of brilliance, but for the most part, it seemed like a desperate attempt at making everything right.
Ted Lasso (Season 3 Finale) Episode 12 Recap:
Did Ted and Rebecca just?
We don’t get to know what Ted was going to say at the end of the previous episode. What we get instead is a did or didn’t they situation with Ted and Rebecca when we find the two of them in Rebecca’s kitchen after a night where a lot happened, apparently. Beard and Jane joined it, indicating they were also very much involved in it. Does this Ted and Rebecca thing make any sense to you all of a sudden?
Anyway, more pressing matters are ahead. Richmond has to beat West Ham at their home to keep their premiere league title hope alive. Of course, Manchester City has to lose points against Liverpool to make way for Richmond’s ultimate triumph. The greyhounds are absolutely fired up; at least, that’s what it looks like in the dressing room. Nate is back in the fold and has been reinstated as the Assistant (to) Kitman (pretty neat The Office homage) Will.
The team spirit is at an all-time high, except for one spot of bother, which can’t be fixed. Coach Lasso is leaving for good. It was coming for a while, as for the entire second half of the season, Ted’s departure in order to spend more time with his son was hinted at by the writers. But even then, it is hard to digest- both for everyone in Richmond and the audience.
Roy, Jamie, and Keeley
Both Keeley Jones and Jamie Tartt had individually great arcs throughout the season. The latter, especially, should go down as the best Ted Lasso character after this season for sure. Roy Kent, on the other hand, has always been a crowd favorite who didn’t get to do as much as Keeley and Jamie, but Brett Goldstein still managed to shine with his signature physical comedy.
The finale, however, sort of ruins all the development regarding the trio when Roy and Jamie found themselves in a ridiculous physical fight over Keeley. While Roy made his intention of being with Keeley pretty much clear, Jamie still not being able to get over her is beyond logic- especially if you consider his heartfelt apology to Keeley in an earlier episode. If that is not a clear sign of moving on, then what is? Keeley didn’t choose one of the two men, thankfully though; which did save the narrative.
What is up with everyone else?
Since this is the finale, every single character more or less comes together and blends into one single narrative; so I am also going to follow the same path. Rebecca has a serious thoughts about selling the club and going for world exploration. She has a conversation with Ted regarding this, where she makes one last attempt to make him stay. But he has already made up his mind after all. Both Sudekis and Hannah Weddingham are fantastic in this scene, and it will possibly be their Emmy bid.
After their final practice with Ted, the Richmond players give the best possible parting gift they could- a song and dance performance of the So Long Farewell song- echoing the title of the episode. We finally get the much-awaited Nate and Ted scene where the former apologies to the latter, but we know for a fact that Ted Lasso is not a man who holds grudges.
I really liked Nate’s arc in this season, but one thing that didn’t sit right with me was Nate coming back to Richmond and getting a Kitman job after all he has done in West Ham. Despite whatever he has done, that man deserves much better, considering the amount of talent and knowledge he has. We do get an indication of that by the end of the episode, nonetheless.
Meanwhile, Rupert makes the news of inappropriate behavior at the workplace – something that is pretty much expected of someone like him. When Keeley and Higgins try to get Rebecca’s reaction regarding the matter, the boss-lady appears to be extremely calm and unbothered.
It was great to see her coming this far. We also get to see veteran British actress Harriet Walter two days after the Succession finale – here she also plays a mother to Rebecca but a much better one compared to the HBO show. Before the start of the match against West Ham, Beard shows the team a video of their time together over the course of the past three years, which makes everyone a bit too emotional.
Even Roy finds himself in tears. Trent Crime completes his book called “The Lasso Way” and gives Ted and Beard its first draft to give an honest reaction.
Ted Lasso (Season 3 Finale) Episode 12 Ending Explained
Who wins the match between Richmond and West Ham?
I was expecting a bit of drama, given this was the much anticipated Richmond versus West Ham game. What we got is actually way more than what I expected.
Saying a lot happened would be an exaggeration. Richmond starts in their usual blistering fashion, but none of their players manage to convert the chances. On the mark of the thirty-eighth minute, West Ham scores. Seven minutes later, they score again and pretty much eviscerate Richmond’s title hope.
But Richmond’s dressing room has always been a fairyland. In the halftime of his final game as Richmond coach, Ted just thanks everybody for letting him be there. He mentions what an incredible time he had at Richmond. And then comes the scene. I admittedly have a love-hate relationship with the show, which I have made pretty clear, I suppose. But even the cynic in me wept like crazy when it happened. The Richmond players take out one torn piece of the iconic “BELIEVE” sign, and together they put it all back. Whether or not Richmond wins the game or the Premiere League, Ted Lasso has won.
After that, depriving Richmond of a victory would have been a very cruel writing decision. The Greyhounds come back with a brilliant comeback- led by none other than Jamie Tartt, who scores first and then wins a penalty. Instead of Jamie or Dani, the players give it to their Captain. Isaac’s penalty initially looks like a miss as the ball goes straight to the stands, but only after making a hole within the inside net of the goal.
While the goalpost is being fixed thanks to Isaac’s doing, the stadium witnesses the ugliest side of Rupert- when he goes to the sideline and physically assaults West Ham’e, interim manager. It was ironic seeing Rupert leaving the pitch with the crowd chanting “wanker” at him. Of course, he totally deserved it. The game resumes, and Richmond seals a win thanks to a brilliant last-minute goal from Sam Obisanya.
Richmond gets three points, and the stadium erupts in joy. As everyone starts to celebrate like crazy, Colin brings his boyfriend and makes out with him on the field. Love wins. But did Richmond win the league?
Why did Ted Lasso leave Richmond for good?
Sometimes later, a fan takes a selfie with Ted Lasso at the Airport. We get to know about Richmond finishing close second to Premier League Champion Manchester City. I saw that coming considering Pep Guardiola himself making an appearance in the show. They couldn’t do him dirty after all.
Before coming up with the real reason behind Ted leaving Richmond- let us touch some of the other loose ends being tied up. Coach Beard, whose real name is revealed to be Willis- stays for Jane after doing full-blown Appendix drama in order to get out of the plane at the last moment. Rebecca doesn’t sell all of Richmond- instead, she sells 49%, keeps ownership, and brings more money.
Keeley eventually pitches the idea of a Richmond women’s team, which Rebecca gladly accepts. She does buy a plane ticket to bid Ted a final goodbye at the Airport- where the two of them don’t say much but still manage to convey a lot. Outside the Airport, a cute little girl stumbles onto her feet, with her concerned father following her. And guess who the father is? It is the Man from the boat.
Meanwhile, Roy joins Diamond Dogs– something for which all of us were probably waiting forever. This only shows how much he has evolved as a human being. Of course, he takes over as Richmond’s new coach with Beard and Nate in his corner. I am okay with this decision, but considering the amount of experience he already has, Nate could have been a better choice though. Sam finally breaks into his national team. Jamie decides to give his father a chance by visiting him at the rehabilitation center. Ted is gone, maybe, but the Lasso spirit stays in all these lives he touched.
But why did he leave? The answer is actually pretty simple really. At the end of the day, what really matters to him is his son. Being a good father who is involved in their child’s life is way more important to Ted than being a successful football manager. That only makes him a genuinely great human being. Ted Lasso reaches home, and we see Henry and Mitchell are genuinely happy to get him back. He soon gets back at work, though- by start managing his son’s soccer team.
One last thing, Ted approves Trent’s book, which eventually gets published and becomes a bestseller. Ted only had one issue with it- which was the name. Thanks to him, Trent publishes it with the new title “The Richmond Way.” Because for Ted Lasso, it was never about him- rather, it was always about all of Richmond.