Television Review: Ted Lasso S3E5 “Signs”
“If you put your energy into the things you truly love, the universe puts its thing back into you. You’re welcome.”
Oh, Zava. You are so wise.
Well, as any fan of a sports team can attest (currently writing this as the Cardinals have just lost six of their last seven games), every season has its high points and its nadirs. AFC Richmond certainly had a high point when they won six in a row when they first signed Zava, but starting with the loss to West Ham have possibly reached the nadir, going on an extended winless streak even as Zava puts forth a strong individual effort. Things go downhill quickly to a point that Higgins suggests the possibility of replacing Ted as manager. And as they prepare to face their kryptonite, Manchester City, the team needs to rebound.
Nate makes a bit of a return as he takes Anastasia (the supermodel from the previous episode) on a date to A Taste of Athens, the restaurant he frequents with the oft-indifferent hostess Jade. Bit by bit, we’re seeing more of a return of Nate’s old personality, even as he’s struggling to balance his newfound fame. It seems like they’re setting us up for a Nate redemption arc, but given the unpredictability of the series at times, who knows? But the date seems to end well enough, even if it isn’t exactly what one might expect.
One storyline keeps popping up that I’m not totally crazy about: Rebecca and her visit to the psychic. I’m admittedly a skeptic when it comes to the occult as well as the idea of being able to see the future, but so far quite a few of the psychic’s predictions have come true, prompting Rebecca to rethink her own skepticism.
Finally, if you’ve watched the previous episodes, you saw in episode 3 that the series would be addressing the issue of homosexuality in professional sports with Colin and his boyfriend. Although there hasn’t been much added to it since then, the series doubles down on the issue in this episode with a different couple. I’ll let you watch to discover who, but based on the previous few episodes, it shouldn’t come as a total surprise (and as it turns out, one of the actors involved is LGBTQ in real life).
Moment(s) of the match: Alright, I couldn’t pick just one. The first moment is Roy’s inspirational instructions on how to get revenge on a bully. It’s so awe-inspiring, I won’t even hint at its contents.
But equally powerful is Ted’s post-match speech about belief in one’s self and one’s peers. Ted isn’t the most effusive person on the planet, but when he does speak, he tends to make it count, and this is no exception. Admittedly, it’s not quite on par with his barbecue sauce speech from season one, but it’s a shining reminder of why many people fell in love with the series in the first place.
Ted has never claimed to be a master of strategy or tactics; in fact, he admits he’s not great in the first episode of this season. But he is without equivocation a brilliant leader; rather than try to be something he isn’t, he delegates to someone more qualified, whether it’s Beard, Nate, or Roy. When he danced in the locker room in the first episode after winning the national championship, he showed he doesn’t consider himself above his players; rather, he’s right there in the mix with them. He doesn’t lead from the rear; when he challenges his players during practice to run to the bus, he runs right with them. Their pain is his pain; their joy is his joy. And in that moment, there isn’t a single person in that locker room that doesn’t do what the now-torn sign says:
“Signs” gets an A