Ever since Richmond lost to West Ham United a couple of episodes ago, everything has been going downhill for them. And to make things worse, Zava is officially retired and no longer on the team! The team just can’t seem to catch a break!
But, Ted Lasso’s latest episode changes that. Episode 6 of season 3 gives us a long overdue filler-sort-of episode that allows the characters to breathe a little and forget about football for a night.
The reason I say “sort of” is because fillers normally don’t have much to do with the main plot of the series and this episode is slightly different. Yes, most storylines essentially go nowhere, but a couple of them actually end up having an impact on the characters’ lives.
It’s one of those episodes I wouldn’t recommend skipping, despite it being outside the regular football setting and running for an entire hour.
In episode 6, AFC Richmond goes to Amsterdam to play a friendly (exhibition) match against the Dutch team AFC Ajax. Unfortunately they lose to them 5-0. Since the team is obviously upset, Ted attempts to cheer them up by lifting their curfew.
Everyone then splits up in different ways to go on their own journeys of self-discovery.
1. Ted finally gets out of his head
A long-running theme this season has been Ted’s loss of focus and him questioning his purpose as Richmond’s football coach.
But once Ted realises that his mental state isn’t helping anyone, he tells Coach Beard that he needs to get out of his head and Beard is of course more than happy to help.
Beard makes them both a cup of tea with a special ingredient (a hallucinogenic drug). Ted is hesitant but Beard finishes his cup almost instantly. He leaves soon after because he’s got bigger plans than sitting in a hotel room with Ted.
Eventually Ted gives in and drinks the tea. He then leaves the hotel and makes his first stop at the Vincent Van Gogh museum.
After looking around for a while, a tour guide comes up to him with some advice, something Ted desperately needed to hear at that moment: “When you know you’re doing what you’re meant to do, you have to try.”
Ted then makes his way to the Yankee Doodle Burger Barn (they serve American food, if that wasn’t already obvious), where he orders some fries and a tower of onion rings.
The triangular tower of onion rings, along with the Jordan-era Bulls game playing on the television, triggers a hallucination where Ted gets the idea to try a triangle offense suitable for soccer. It seems like the tea finally took its effect.
Surprisingly though, the drugs he took were a bad batch, which we find out when Beard returns from his own adventure the next morning in a “Piggy Stardust” costume. And no, we have absolutely no idea what Beard was up to. Perhaps it was another “Beard After Hours” episode.
Ted also explains his new strategy to Beard who is visibly impressed by it. Turns out, the strategy had already been invented in Holland in the 70s and it was called “Total Football”.
But whatever it is, it’ll surely be worth a try. Let’s hope this will be the key to finally getting the team back in shape.
2. Rebecca spends the night with a mystery man
After Higgins reveals he has plans and Keeley goes off on another date with Jack to see the Aurora Borealis, Rebecca is left alone to explore Amsterdam.
Two more of Rebecca’s psychic’s predictions then come true, when she gets knocked over a bridge by someone riding a bike, and falls into a canal upside down. In case you didn’t remember the predictions, the psychic said Rebecca would be “upside down and drenched”.
Luckily for Rebecca, one of the nearby houseboat residents is kind enough to let her dry her clothes and use the shower at his place. The Dutch mystery man, whose name we never learn, seems sketchy at first, but we slowly see that he only has good intentions.
Rebecca ends up spending the night on the man’s houseboat. He makes her dinner, they drink some wine and they even share a bilingual duet of Kenny Rogers’ “She Believes in Me”. This whole subplot is incredibly sweet to watch.
Although Rebecca sleeps over at the man’s place, the two never get intimate with each other, besides sharing a kiss before Rebecca leaves the next morning.
Even still, you can tell that they have a special connection because of how easily they’re both able to make conversation.
It’s not clear whether Rebecca will find the man again and start a relationship with him, something we all would love to see. However, it could still be an experience that teaches Rebecca to be more comfortable with letting her guard down.
We also learn that the man has a daughter, which gives me hope of the former happening, knowing how desperately Rebecca wants to raise a child.
3. Roy and Jamie bond while training
Roy finds out about Keeley and Jack and this immediately puts him off, more than usual, for the rest of the episode. He pulls Jamie aside from the team and makes him train while everyone else goes out to have their fun.
Although it takes a while, Roy eventually admits that he was taking his frustration out on Jamie rather unfairly. Jamie isn’t too fazed by it and he understands that Roy doesn’t want to talk about Keeley so he chooses to keep Roy distracted instead.
In a hilarious montage, Jamie teaches Roy to ride a bicycle, and the two of them ride until they find a real-life windmill. Along the way, Jamie reveals that he knew a lot about Amsterdam because his father had brought him there once to lose his virginity at 14.
Roy notes that it must have been traumatizing for Jamie but the conversation doesn’t progress any further from there.
This subplot shows how much both characters have grown since their days of hating each other. They’re able to share their thoughts while simultaneously sympathising with what the other is feeling.
It also gives us slightly more hope that Roy and Keeley will get back together because clearly, Roy hasn’t moved on.
4. Colin and Trent confide in each other
Trent Crimm has known about Colin’s secret for a few months, but after following Colin into a gay bar in Amsterdam, he finally comes clean. Colin is terrified at first, but Trent reassures him that he has a good reason for not revealing it to anyone.
And that reason is – Trent is also gay and he perfectly understands Colin’s situation. It wasn’t very obvious but it still feels like we should have seen that coming.
Trent tells Colin that coming out to his wife and daughter was tough, but it was the best thing to do for everyone. This prompts Colin to talk about his own experiences.
Colin confides in Trent about feeling like he’s living two lives: one where he’s gay and the other where he’s a football player.
He explains that he doesn’t want to be a spokesperson, and neither does he want any apologies. All he wants is for when they win a match “to be able to kiss his fella the same way the other guys get to kiss their girls”.
The heartfelt conversation between Colin and Trent provides an interesting but painful perspective that was very well-addressed. It looks like we’ll be getting a Colin coming-out scene pretty soon.
5. The team debates over how to spend the night
Besides Jamie and Colin, the team is kind of pushed away into a frivolous but still entertaining subplot. They spend almost the entire night trying to decide what they should do together as a group.
Suggestions like watching a sex show, attending an all-night party that Jan Maas’ cousin is DJ-ing, finding a singular tulip and huddling around a laptop to watch a movie all get thrown around. But after taking a vote, they agree on the all-night party.
However, when they realise they haven’t eaten anything yet, it sparks another loud and tedious debate about which restaurant to go to.
Before things get even more out of control, Sam passes around a napkin note with a solution. Towards the end of the episode, we cut to a montage of the team fighting each other with pillows.
It’s strange to think that this was the best they could come up with but it’s also wholesome to watch a group of professional footballers enjoying a light-hearted pillow fight.
6. Will sees a new side of Higgins
On to the last pairing of the episode, Will, the kit boy, tags along with Higgins who had already planned his evening in advance. Higgins tells Will that this will be the night he becomes a man, but coming from Higgins, I’m sure he doesn’t mean what we’re all thinking.
As predicted, Higgins takes Will to a jazz club in the Red light District to show him the place where Chet Baker died – the spot where he fell out of a window in 1988.
It’s a very brief scene, after which the two of them eat and enjoy the live jazz band. Will gets Higgins to join the band up on stage where he plays Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost” on the standing bass and the entire audience cheers him on.
Once again, we’ve learnt something new about a character.
7. About Ted Lasso
Ted Lasso is an American sports-comedy streaming TV series developed by Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Joe Kelly, and Brendan Hunt. It’s based on a character of the same name that Sudeikis first portrayed in a series of promos for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Premier League.
It follows the life of Ted Lasso, a coach of college-level American football who is unexpectedly recruited to coach an English Premier League team, AFC Richmond, despite having no experience at all in association football.
It stars Sudeikis as the titular character, Ted Lasso, joined by Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple, and Sarah Niles among many others.