Television Review: Ted Lasso S3E6 “Sunflowers”
“Where is she going?”
“With someone that believes they deserve her.”
And so we’ve reached the halfway point of the third (and likely final) season. After dropping a friendly match in Amsterdam, Ted decides the team needs a bit of a break. After boarding the bus back to the hotel, he announces to the team that they have no curfew for the evening, to the delight of the players. There’s a LOT to unpack in this episode, so I’ll touch on a few of the highlights.
It’s another atypical episode, as aside from the friendly match, the bulk of the action is more introspective. There’s no Nate Shelley (except for one quick odd scene) to antagonizeTed, there’s no Rupert to send Rebecca into a rage; the only opponents Richmond face come from within. The disunity amongst the team is evident as they gather in the hotel lobby and are immediately drawn into an argument first about what to do, then about what to eat beforehand.
Rebecca has one of the more interesting storylines as she stumbles over a bridge into a canal. She’s immediately picked up by a charismatic stranger (Matteo van der Grijn) who offers her a change of clothes and dinner, which she hesitantly accepts. The stranger (I don’t think we ever learn his name) is incredibly considerate and funny (he has two of the bigger laughs in the episode, including the last line he says to her), and hopefully this isn’t the last we see of him.
Ted and Beard, on the other hand, decide to dabble in a hallucinogen before going their separate ways for the evening. Ted visits an American-themed pub, and it’s here that his walls crumble slightly and we see some signs of him being homesick, making us wonder if perhaps he wouldn’t mind being fired so he could head back home. But it’s also here that he has a bit of a revelation that may help the team going forward.
I almost selected Roy and Jamie for the next segment, but I felt Colin’s breakthrough deserved the spotlight. Rather than get to hang with the team, Roy pushes Jamie to train instead, and Jamie leads him throughout the town, first running, then riding bikes in search of a windmill (which Roy seems to think are fake). While it’s still a bit of a mentor/pupil relationship, in this episode it swings back around to a more equal friendship, as Roy confesses he never learned to ride a bike, presenting an opportunity for Jamie to teach him. As they continue the search for a windmill, they continue to open up to each other. I’m genuinely curious what’ll come of it in the end, and if their affection for Keeley will come into play in the second half.
Moment of the match: Quite a few incredible moments to choose from, but for me it has to be Colin and Trent Crimm’s heartfelt conversation shared over a beer. His sexual orientation still a secret, Colin finally opens up about the struggle to be a closeted professional athlete, admitting it’s brutal for him to be in the limelight while keeping a secret in the dark at the same time. And it’s a beautifully written dialogue about heartache, one that should resonate with all of us, regardless of who we like. “I know we can’t fix every ache inside of us, but I shouldn’t have to pretend it’s not there, either.”
Even though it’s ostensibly a show about football/soccer, some of Ted Lasso’s best episodes have had very little football actually shown, and this may be the best one yet. It’s heartfelt and raw with just enough humor and charm to remind you that you’re still watching Ted. Colin and Trent’s conversation was absolutely top notch, as was Rebecca’s evening on the houseboat. And Ted’s late-night dinner set us up for a dramatic second-half finish that will hopefully match the quality of the first.
Sunflowers gets an A