Ted Lasso: 2×2 “Lavender”

The show continues to be a delightful bundle of happiness, but cracks are starting to show in Ted Lasso’s perfection. In this episode, he lets down Sam in a big way, and I don’t know how to feel about it! He also continues to struggle with his feelings about therapy, specifically about his new colleague, Dr. Fieldstone, who is basically his frenemy–someone he’s aggressively trying to befriend despite subconsciously wanting to defeat her.

The episode’s title comes from the newly-minted Coach Nate continuing to be unable to let go of his previous post. His replacement, Will, used lavender-scented fabric softener in the laundry and pineapple in the water, and Nate is incensed. It’s a cute little parallel to how Ted is unable to let go of the notion that he’s the only one who can psychologically help the team.

Roy and Keeley are still going strong. He is nice enough to drive her to work (she’s setting up a campaign for Dubai Air with Richmond, which will be important later) even though he refuses to set foot in Richmond territory. And he cooks for her! Meanwhile, he’s coaching Phoebe’s team, though he isn’t exactly into the “consolation trophies.” He’s also not thrilled when he arrives home and finds Keeley jerking off to his own resignation press conference, where he apparently cried. The message is obvious: it’s sexier to women when men have emotions rather than try to act like ultra-masculine robots. But obvious or not, it’s hilarious. Keeley, who’s , convinces Roy to try being a pundit. He basically just growls and swears up and down until the other pundits are literally giggling in embarrassment. (“Again, we apologize for almost every word Roy just said.”) But people love him. He’s a viral success! He admits to Keeley that it felt good to be back around the game, just as she’d predicted. It all ends with Roy putting on the hot video of his press conference and going down on Keeley, so… it’s romance catnip.

Meanwhile, Ted has not gotten over being majorly threatened by Dr. Fieldstone… and it turns out Higgins hired her for the season without asking Ted. Then Ted finds out that Dr. Fieldstone is not amenable to being bought with biscuits. Disaster! For his part, Higgins has to give up his office for Dr. Fieldstone so the running gag of the episode is Higgins working from unsuitable spots like Rebecca’s couch. (Until Ted offers him half of Nate’s office without asking Nate first, which is hilarious, because it shows that even Higgins is still above Nate in the social hierarchy, which is… tragic for Nick.) After observing practice, she observes that everyone on the team is thoughtful and kind–but they’re still eight straight draws, so it probably still needs some fixing. However, she is eventually won over enough to let Ted call her “Doc.” Progress!

However, Ted manages to seriously disappoint one person this week: Sam. Jamie, having been voted out of the trashy reality show Lust Conquers All right in front of Ray and his cadre of yoga moms, finds out that he’s unhireable, both at his old team (Man City, which he ditched to go on TV), and also on all the other teams, including in other countries. His main option is to be on another reality show where he does ecstasy for three weeks straight. He decides to go for secret option C, stalking Keeley and asking her to help him get back in with Richmond. She tells him she’s the wrong person to ask, so he finds Ted at the bar and the two share a drink. Even though Ted says no, Sam hears the rumors and gets PISSED. Ted reassures him that he has Sam’s back… but then, psych! He actually does decide that Jamie needs to be saved by his folksy wisdom, and brings him back after all. I hate that he let Sam apologize for making assumptions, and made Sam feel like he was really safe here, and then just… betrayed that. What are you doing, Ted?!

Other thoughts:

  • I like how Jamie’s not a total monster; after his humiliating talk show appearance, he signs autographs with good spirit for young fans crowded outside, playing his part dutifully and not throwing a shitfit like such a character probably would on a lesser show. He expresses his feelings not with anger but by politely declining a ride home in his limo, saying he’ll walk. It’s not because he’s secretly an awesome person–just that he’s only run-of-the-mill arrogant and stupid, not a caricature.
  • Coach Beard is still fighting with Jane, or something, even though they’re broken up. I have trouble caring about this haphazard throughline.
  • Ted can’t decide if he is mad or supportive of Higgins making this kind of decision without him. I enjoy Coach Beard coaching Higgins on how to respond to Ted’s contradictory about how Higgins should or shouldn’t have asked him about hiring Dr. Fieldstone. Like Higgins, I am really bad at playing along with bits like this. I would appreciate a Coach Beard on my shoulder telling me how to play along.
  • Sam’s not the only person who has the right to be mad at Ted this week. I love this show and think it is nearly perfect but it is 1000% out of character that Ted, even a completely flummoxed and flabbergasted Ted, would have appropriated Rebecca’s biscuits for Dr. Fieldstone. Hello! He would’ve come in the next morning having baked two boxes of biscuits! It’s just cruel to disappoint a person who is expecting homemade cookies.
  • Rebecca takes it well, though. She just sees her half-eaten biscuit, learns that Dr. Fieldstone doesn’t eat sugar, and calls her a “fucking asshole.”
  • It is absolutely hilarious how the sad, tinkling music that plays when Dr. Fieldstone casually kneecaps Ted by saying the biscuits and personal questions are his “way of connecting with people” is basically the music that plays in the beginning of every Christmas movie when the kid is ditched by his/her divorced or workaholic parent.
  • I love that Keeley is buying a pink-frosted cupcake at a cafe when Jamie shows up.
  • There’s also a cute bit where a girl wearing her soccer uniform tied at the midriff is miffed not to get the “best dressed” consolation trophy.
  • The three fans at the bar: can’t decide if they remind me more of the Fates, the hyenas in the Lion King, or maybe the witches in Macbeth.
  • Dr. Fieldstone comes to observe practice, and Ted imagines that she’s moving closer. Coach Beard interprets this as his psyche causing an optical illusion, but she really is moving closer, which is hilarious.
  • I love Roy’s growl of “What the fuck are you doing” when the makeup artist goes for his eyelashes.
  • Interesting that Coach Beard votes against bringing Jamie back but Ted does it anyway. I feel that that is a radical move on Ted’s part.

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