Ted Lasso: 2×9 “Beard After Hours”

You guys, I’m not even going to pretend I’m putting a lot of effort into this recap. It’s a Beard-centric filler episode, which should strike boredom into the hearts of even more pro-Beard viewers than I. But as for me, I have already established that I am incapable of finding Beard compelling as a character, and this episode, in which Beard wanders around for a night getting into trouble, did nothing to change it. It just made me mad that I had waited all week for a continuation of plotlines I’d grown truly invested in–Jamie’s quest to become a worthwhile human being, Rebecca’s bizarre thing with Sam, Ted’s therapy with Dr. Sharon–but instead I had to spend forty-five minutes watching something completely unrelated. Gah.

So, this is what happens: after walking home, Beard goes out for a solo beer. Jane is encouraging him to join her at some club, but she doesn’t actually tell him where it is, like a giant asshole. So instead he drinks with the Three Fans. Then they break into a fancy club and pull a Good Will Hunting to embarrass some fancy snobs who assume that they don’t belong. Then Beard follows a mysterious woman to her apartment, only to have to run from her jealous boyfriend, who sorta looks like Stromboli from Pinocchio, while wearing sequined pants for reasons it’s not worth going into. There are some shenanigans around a lost phone which resolves itself with Stromboli returning the phone that Beard left in the apartment. Before that, Beard gets beaten up in the street by Jamie Tartt’s dad and his friends and it’s quite unpleasant. Finally he stumbles into a church which happens to have a club inside it, which coincidentally is the club that Jane is actually in. Yay! And by “yay” I mean “whatever.”

In the last four minutes we get to see a few other characters–the coaches, who meet up early in the morning after their horrible loss. Ted wants to rewatch the game from the day before, but at ten times the speed to reduce the pain–and it actually works, the guys laugh. Except Beard, who faces away and crosses his sequin-clad legs.

Other thoughts:

  • Keets turned to me at one point and said, “That’s really Thierry Henri.” This meant nothing to me because to know that was a person I would have to care about sports outside of Ted Lasso and Friday Night Lights.
  • We learn that Beard thinks everything is a simulation. That doesn’t surprise me at all. I bet he spends a lot of time on Reddit.
  • It is mildly amusing when Beard mind-tricks a rude hostess into revealing her full name so he can socially engineer a way into the fancy club. “What’s your name?” “Sarah Coombs, what’s your name.” “None of my business,” he lisps, straightfaced.
  • It is also mildly amusing that the guys all order beer once they’re in the club instead of trying something fancy. Beard pulls it off by snottily saying, “No,” when the bartender asks if he wants a glass for his beer.
  • Sorry to be repetitive, but “mildly amusing” is by far the most positive review I can provide for anything in this episode.
  • Beard tells God that he cares deeply for Jane and finds the world more interesting with her in it. It’s confusing. She’s offscreen most of the time, like a weird bogeyman. When she’s onscreen, she plays bizarre mind games with him. He’s obviously miserable. But they haven’t shown enough of her charisma to make clear why he is saying this shit to God about someone who sucks this much. So the whole thing is like, “…Okay?”
  • Beard finds Jane and instead of hugging him hello she makes him hula hoop. She definitely sucks.
  • This scene with Beard and Jane dancing in the club lasts for SO LONG. Seriously, it is just… dancing. For like three minutes! Why?! This episode could have just been shorter! Episode lengths have no meaning in streaming world! You didn’t have to fill up all that time! Sigh.
  • A friend of mine told me, and this blog post confirms, this season was originally ordered for ten episodes and then they increased it to twelve, so this episode and the Christmas episode (which was far, far better than this one) were added later as, essentially, filler. Sometimes more is not better.

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