Television Review: Ted Lasso S3E9 “La Locker Room Aux Folles”
“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” – John Stuart Mill
When Colin was shown to be gay in an earlier episode this season, it was made clear pretty quickly that he was not open about it. Be it for fear of his teammates not accepting him, let alone the abuse opposing teams and fans would hurl at him, he did his best to keep up appearances as a straight man. Unfortunately for him, this plan went out the window last episode when Isaac grabbed his phone and found out the truth. Although Isaac keeps the secret, it clearly affects the relationship between the two, although we don’t see why until this episode, when it begins to affect the team’s performance.
I mentioned in my last review that if an episode doesn’t feature much football action, it has to be incredibly strong story-wise to make up for it. While this episode does have a little bit of game action, the bulk of the episode focuses on Colin and Isaac and their impact on the rest of the team. And thankfully in this instance, the writing and development are more than enough to compensate. The dialogue is superbly written and delivered, and episode 9 is easily one of the strongest of the season.
Nate has a smaller subplot in the episode, but it’s an important one. After a win by West Ham, Rupert invites him for a guys’ night out, which turns out to be an evening out with a couple of ladies, neither of which is Jade. It’s an interesting dilemma Nate faces, choosing between Jade and his boss, and the choice he makes could be prescient of how the season (and series) concludes.
Moment of the match: For me it was Roy’s press conference filling in for Ted after the game. When pressed about the actions of a Richmond player during the game, Roy provide an anecdote from his own playing career to illustrate that we don’t always know what’s going on in people’s lives that may set them off; furthermore, while we may not condone a person’s actions, we can at the very least try and understand and support why they’re doing something. It’s a superlative moment, and one that many of us would do well to take to heart.
I also want to mention Ted’s halftime moment, though, as it remarkably parallels something I personally experienced. When I was younger, I attended a private, all-male high school. My family wasn’t wealthy or anything, but made enough money to send me and my sister both to private schools, as they felt I’d get a better education there. I excelled academically, but in hindsight, I think it absolutely stunted my development as a person.
My freshman year, I developed a good friendship with a classmate who, for the sake of anonymity, I’ll call Matt. We hung out a lot, went to Six Flags often enough that I got a season pass for the summer, and just had a good time in general. Sophomore year, though, Matt stopped attending first semester. He called me one night and told me he was gay and his parents hadn’t taken it well; they pulled him from our high school and transferred him to his local public school. I didn’t really think anything of it, but when I mentioned it to my parents (who were very conservative), they told me I couldn’t be friends with him anymore. I didn’t understand why, but I let it go. A couple years later, I tried his old home phone number (this was before I had a cell phone) but it was disconnected, and none of our mutual friends had his number either. I’ve never managed to track him down since, but I’ve always felt a bit of guilt that I wasn’t a better friend to him, as he probably felt pretty alone in the world (believe it or not, a private religious school was not very receptive to gay students), and since then I’ve tried to be as good of an ally as I can be to any of my LGBTQ+ friends. Obviously, that doesn’t help my old friend Matt, but maybe it can help someone else who’s in his spot. As far as I’m concerned, love is love, and in this world of insanity, if you can find someone who makes your world just a little more sane, who am I to judge?
“La Locker Room Aux Folles” gets an A+