‘Ted Lasso’ Finale: You Win Some, You Lose Some…and Some Become Your Enemies (RECAP)

ted lasso season 2 episode 12 ted beard roy
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Ted Lasso

Inverting the Pyramid of Success

Season 2 • Episode 12

rating: 5.0 stars

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 12, “Inverting the Pyramid of Success.”]

With one game standing between Richmond and promotion back to the Premier League, there’s a lot on the line for the Greyhounds. But it doesn’t necessarily feel that way in “Inverting the Pyramid of Success”; instead, the stakes are tied not to the team’s standings but to the many interpersonal relationships that were left in jeopardy. By the end of the episode, one former friendship is damaged so badly it might never be repaired, and one key member of Richmond’s team is departing (but it isn’t who you think!). Here’s how it happens.

The article about Ted’s (Jason Sudeikis) panic attack is in the paper, and everyone from the newscasters to the folks in Mae’s (Annette Badland) pub are talking about it. For Ted’s part, though, he only really cares about his players. He apologizes to them for not telling them about what he was going through sooner, and they, in turn, promise to “beat the s**t” out of Trent Crimm’s anonymous source, an impulse Ted strongly discourages.

ted lasso season 2 episode 12 ted jason sudeikis

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Speaking of Trent Crimm’s anonymous source, Nate (Nick Mohammed) goes from bad to worse in this episode. He’s foolishly confident that his False Nine play will work. But with Richmond’s promotion to the Premier League hanging in the balance, it just isn’t doing the trick, and as the team is down two points, he’s rattled. After the team chats in the locker room and decides to keep going with it, Ted asks Nate what’s wrong—and his pal-turned-foe lets him have it.

“You abandoned me,” he snarls, telling Ted, among other things, that he thinks the coach is a “f***ing joke” and doesn’t belong at Richmond. Ted apologizes for how he made Nate feel, but Nate won’t hear it. Both Mohammed and Sudeikis are excellent in this scene; especially Mohammed, who manages to convey Nate’s massively swollen ego as well as his myriad insecurities, and the part of Nate that was genuinely hurt by how the dynamic in the coaches’ room changed when Roy arrived.

In the end, Richmond does get a handle on the False Nine and ties the game, earning them their promotion. While the rest of the team celebrates on the pitch, Nate storms back to the locker room—when Ted goes to his desk, he finds the “Believe” sign ripped in half and Nate nowhere to be found. But don’t worry, he’ll be back later.

ted lasso season 2 episode 12 roy keeley juno temple brett goldstein

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Other developments this episode include Sam’s (Toheeb Jimoh) decision not to go with Edwin (Sam Richardson); after a conversation with his father and seeing some young players wearing his Richmond jersey, he decides that the universe has given him a sign and he should stay. (That turns out to be an excellent move, because the Ghanaian billionaire throws a colossal temper tantrum when Sam breaks the bad news to him.) Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), obviously, is glad to hear the news, but neither she nor Sam has much to say about their relationship status—and given the complicated power dynamics therein and the polarizing reception to that plot thread, maybe it’s best if the Sam-Rebecca story doesn’t make the jump to Season 3.

Meanwhile, Keeley’s (Juno Temple) gotten the chance of a lifetime. Bantr is offering her the chance to lead her own PR firm, which, of course, she accepts. And while it seemed like she and Roy (Brett Goldstein) were on the rocks last episode, now it seems like they’re fine—until the last five minutes of the finale. As Keeley moves the last of her stuff out of her office in Richmond, Roy surprises her with tickets for a six-week resort getaway…which she can’t go on, because she’s already started her work. Roy is obviously crestfallen, and he asks, “Are we breaking up?” “No,” Keeley responds. “Why would you think that?” She maintains she loves him and they kiss, but it’s clear that they’re not quite as in sync as they used to be.

Perhaps most unexpectedly—and to the relief of journalists everywhere, who had a bone to pick with a certain aspect of last week’s episode—Trent (James Lance) has lost his job at the Independent because he revealed an anonymous source, a huge no-no in the field. As Ted points out after the match, this now makes him “Trent Crimm, Independent.” Since he’s no longer a sports reporter, it’ll be interesting to see where he winds up next season.

We know exactly where one character will be when Season 3 picks up, and it’s nowhere good. Early in the episode we learn that Rupert (Anthony Head) purchased West Ham, which will put the promoted Richmond directly in conflict with him. If you were wondering what Rupert whispered to Nate during the funeral episode, wonder no more: It appears to have been a job offer.

We see a gray-haired coach overseeing a team of West Ham players running drills…and that gray-haired coach is Nate, now working for the enemy. He turns around, stares directly into the camera, and gives it a knowingly cocky eyebrow raise. Come on, Nate! If he thought Ted was going to let him take the fall if the False Nine didn’t work (which Ted wouldn’t have done), we shudder to think what Rupert would do if Nate’s not always the fabled “Wonder Kid” next season. But oh, well—that’s not Richmond’s problem. Or maybe, since they’ll be competing against each other, it is.

Ted Lasso Season 3, 2022, Apple TV+