It was the best of times -- Richmond earned a promotion back to the Premier League.
It was the worst of times -- an unrepentant Nate managing Rupert's new football club.
In other words, watching Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 12 is like riding a rollercoaster -- lots of ups and downs.
Promotion may have been an afterthought for most of Ted Lasso Season 2, but it's good to see Richmond triumph.
And the joy is back at Nelson Road.Arlo
The Brentford match isn't as technically impressive as the Tottenham Spur or Man City matches. It is impressive watching the game tell the players' stories and bringing their arcs full circle.
Isaac, who lost faith in himself for a while, is the strongest advocate for "BELIEVE."
Jan Maas' blunt honesty saves the day, and his long pass recalls Jamie's long pass from the Tottenham Spur match.
Sam scores Richmond's first goal, reminding everyone he's a star on the rise and why he's the person who stepped up to fill the Roy Kent-sized void on the team.
Jamie figures out when to be a p***k and when to be a team player on his own. In turn, his generosity allows Dani to rise to the occasion.
Out of all these character moments, Dani's is the wobbliest. Sharon got him past the crisis point, and there had been no mention of him not taking penalty kicks since. Suddenly bringing back a seemingly resolved story beat kind of takes you out of the moment.
But then Cristo Fernandez's performance, Macy Greyhound, the camerawork, and small details like Earl's name on Dani's boots, suck you right back in.
To cap it all off -- Roy and Jamie hug again!
Yeah, instead of beating him beating him to death, I f**king forgave him. I'm still f**king furious about it.Roy
Ending the match with a draw instead of a win is a wise choice. Richmond barely scraping by is more consistent with their portrayal. They may be back in the Premier League, but they need to up their game. Otherwise, they'll be facing relegation again.
On a more spiritual level, the curse hanging over the team since their first Man City match is broken once and for all.
As exciting as the match is, the real showdown is between Ted and Nate. Nate's breakdown, oh man, it's a potent stew of truths, half-truths, lies, and misinterpretation. Hard as it is to hear, it's very well-written.
Nick Mohammed brilliantly performs it. He nails the tonal transition from sadness at the start when talking about Ted's abandonment, the most truthful portion of his speech, to rage as he calls out Ted for being an undeserving joke.
Sudeikis keeps Ted stoic and lets Nate talk, but it's very much a two-parter scene. The writing knows when Ted should speak. Sudeikis has the right reactions, showing us how Ted understands Nate better than Nate himself does.
Even as Nate tries to play on Ted's insecurities, his signatures, he's spilling his securities as well. Ted sees this as well. Unlike when Nate went off on Collin, which legitimately felt like he could push Collin over the edge, Nate can't break Ted. What made him scary in his interactions with Collin and Will make him look like a pathetic infant.
In the end, both Beard and Ted are right about confronting Nate. Ted needed to do it for his own sake, but it can't be forced. Nate needs to come to Ted.
It will be a while since Nate is now managing West Ham United for Rupert. Nate may think he has it made now, but he'll be getting a reality check. Everything he dismissed about Ted will come back to haunt him.
Meanwhile, the time has come for Ted to up his strategic game. The show has gotten about all the mileage it can get from Ted not understanding football. With Nate knowing the team's strategies, Richmond will need new tricks up its sleeves.
Not fully understanding the game is holding Ted back as a coach, and it's something Ted should strive to overcome before he and Nate meet again on the pitch.
Rebecca: I agree, concentrate on the task at hand, beating Brentford.
Higgins: Yes, because if we lose, it will kill me. Please don't lose Ted, I beg you.
Keeley departs from the Richmond family, too -- but on much better terms. She's starting her own PR firm, but it's already causing her and Roy to drift apart.
It's a bummer to leave Roy and Keeley on an uncertain note, but this seems like a more organic conflict for them to have instead of reviving the Jamie/Keeley/Roy love triangle.
Here's a prediction for Ted Lasso Season 3, Roy's growing fear of him and Keeley drifting apart because she's a rising star and his best days are over results in an attempt to make a comeback as a player.
Beyond Roy and Keeley's relationship, what are the consequences of Keeley professionally moving on? Rebecca and Keeley's scenes are one of the show's cornerstones, so there's not much chance they won't be interacting in the future.
Keeley, a good mentor hopes you move on. A great mentor knows you will.Higgins
Keeley's departure could open some opportunities for other characters. Higgins remains as lovable as ever, and Jeremy Swift makes the most of his screentime. The scene where Keeley confides to him about leaving is lovely. However, both the character and the actor should have more to do than mentoring everyone else.
Since Richmond will need a new PR person -- how does Trent Crimm, Public Relations sound?
PR probably isn't what Trent had in mind when he said he wanted something deeper, but it would be great to see him on a more regular basis and sharing scenes with different characters.
Can you imagine the conversations between him and Beard?
All in all, Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 12 provides a good mix of closure and setup for what's to come. The wait will be long, but -- say it with me now -- "We're Richmond till we die!"
Over to you, TV Fanatics!
Is Richmond's Renaissance portrait of masculine melancholy the best sight gag of the season?
What storyline are you looking forward to the most?
Hit the comments below.
Becca Newton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.