Bonds Are Tested With One Episode Left in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2 (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 11, “Midnight Train to Royston.”]
This isn’t something commonly said about Ted Lasso episodes, but — whoa, that was kind of a bummer.
Granted, there are sweet moments in “Midnight Train to Royston,” like the team trying to learn Backstreet Boys choreography. But overall, the 42-minute episode ends on a somber note — and it sets up what has the potential to be the show’s most emotionally complicated episode to date in next week’s finale.
First, team standout Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) is offered a place on a billionaire’s football team — but he’s no ordinary billionaire. As he takes Sam to a museum and out to dinner, the tech giant from Ghana explains that he plans on dismantling the fortune he inherited from his father so that he can help the world. And the football team? He plans for it to be one of the largest in the world, a place where black footballers can come and feel at home. That all sounds wonderful to Sam. In the end, even when he stops by Rebecca’s (Hannah Waddingham) home and she’s sitting outside, she says she can’t give him an answer about where their relationship is headed. “But I hope you don’t go,” she says with emotion, before walking away.
Even more emotionally devastating? The developments with Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley (Juno Temple) in this episode. Keeley’s having a photo shoot and feature written about her for a major magazine, which Roy is meant to be part of; but before that, she goes to help Nate (Nick Mohammed) pick out a proper suit, and he goes to pick up his niece from school. That’s where the first cracks start to form — as Keeley helps Nate pick out his new spiffy outfit, he kisses her, which is awkward to say the least. Roy, meanwhile, learns from Phoebe’s teacher that she had a half-day at school and that her mom already picked her up. He ends up chatting with the woman for a few hours, and when she asks if he’s married, he just says no — making no mention of Keeley. Also awkward.
All of this — plus last episode’s Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) love confession — comes tumbling out as Roy and Keeley sit on the couch for their photoshoot. In the aftermath, both of them look shattered by what the other has just confessed (well, Roy’s not so much upset about the Nate thing, but the Jamie thing does wound him). It’s hard to tell where their relationship will go after this, but currently, it doesn’t look to be headed anywhere good.
Lastly, Ted (Jason Sudeikis) reckons with his fears of abandonment as Dr. Fieldstone (Sarah Niles) leaves on her last day without saying goodbye to the team — or to him. Instead, she’s written everyone letters. That’s simply not good enough for Ted, who tracks her down and berates her for playing into his fears of being left alone…but in the end, she convinces him to read her letter, and when he does, he’s genuinely moved. (We don’t get to know what the letter said.) After that, the duo goes for drinks and they have a great time, playing pinball and laughing together. At one point, Ted says he needs to use “the loo.” Mae then gives Sharon a pint of beer with a note that says “Good-bye,” a play on Sharon’s own tactic for saying farewell to the team. Oh, and there’s an army soldier in the glass, because Ted’s gonna Ted.
Unfortunately, things take a nasty turn for Coach Lasso shortly thereafter. When he arrives home, he gets a text from Trent Crimm (James Lance) at The Independent, letting him know about an article the paper will be running the following morning. The story? An exposé about how Ted left the FA Cup match earlier in the season not because of a stomach bug, but because of an anxiety attack. “As a journalist, I had to write that,” Trent says. “But as someone who respects you, my source was Nate.”
It’s all there on Ted’s face — the shock, the hurt, the betrayal. And that’s where things stand heading into Season 2’s final episode: With everybody either heartsick or heartbroken, and Richmond one game from being promoted back to the Premier League. What could possibly go wrong?
Ted Lasso, Season 2, Fridays, Apple TV+