Television Review: Ted Lasso S3E10 “International Break”
I feel like I’ve used that word a bit when talking about Ted Lasso, but ultimately, it’s the best term I can use to describe most of the episodes. Each episode is designed to elicit some sort of emotion (in most cases, multiple emotions), and while small issues may be resolved by the end of the episode, a few of them tend to take a longer arc.
Episode 10, titled “International Break,” is a cathartic finish for a few loose stories that have been hanging around for a while. Keeley discovers Jack’s company is withdrawing their funding, essentially eliminating her business (and all but eliminating Jack from Keeley’s life, although that appeared clear already). Being unemployed can wield terrifying uncertainty (I was laid off at the beginning of the COVID isolation), and Keeley responds the way many of us would: rather than leaning on the support of her friends and family, she withdraws into herself, uncertain of what lies ahead.
Rebecca, on the other hand, faces a moment of opportunity, albeit at the hand of Rupert, who invites her to an owner’s meeting to discuss the possibility of a superleague, comprised of the best teams around the world (for those who don’t follow the sport, a similar proposition was overwhelmingly rejected a couple of years ago, although the proposal lives on in a new interaction). If implemented, it could be a huge cash cow for the teams involved, but it would also be prohibitively expensive, pricing out many of the lower- and middle-class fans in favor of the wealthy elite.
As the title indicates, the league takes a break while players get the opportunity to play a match for their respective nations. While a few Richmond players are selected, Sam is noticeably absent from representing Nigeria (although we find out why later on). It’s surely a harsh moment for him, which he tries to cover up, but certainly everyone in the locker room can feel how disappointed he is.
Moment of the match: Hands down it has to be Rebecca’s passionate speech against the proposed superleague. “Just because we own these teams doesn’t mean they belong to us,” is delivered absolutely perfectly (set against a beautiful violin piece provided by none other than Nate) and is a moving rebuttal of unadulterated greed. It’s a bit idealistic, if not unrealistic, but in the context of this show, which continually strives to make us try to see the best in each other, Hannah delivers perfectly. To top it off, her post-meeting rebuke of Rupert seems to finally make her realize the power she has over her own life. To quote an early episode, “boss-ass bitch” indeed.
If not for this moment, Nate’s discussion with his father would have taken the spotlight. In a moment that’s seemingly been building for the whole season, Nate’s father finally admits his struggles raising a gifted child and not knowing how to balance success against happiness. For anyone who’s ever felt the weight of their parents’ expectations on their shoulders, it’s a terrific moment.
It may not be as strong as the previous episode, but “International Break” was still an excellent entry in this season’s offerings. It isn’t perfect, but it’s still got that trademark blend of humor and sentiment that’s kept me watching for two-plus seasons. A lot of discussions have been had about whether this will in fact be the final season of the series. I’m personally hoping so (as much as I love it, they planned an arc for three seasons and have stuck to it), and if it is the end, the producers and writers have put an incredible ending in sight.
International Break gets a B+