Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Smells Like Mean Spirit

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Is there a way forward for AFC Richmond?

That was the big question we were reminded of throughout Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1 as the ailing football team remained criminally undermined.

Did anyone else feel robbed of the immediate aftermath of Nate's betrayal?

Back on the Pitch - Ted Lasso

Time jumps are great, but there should have been more when you have 12 episodes and what can only be described as an unlimited run time.

Nate's character arc throughout the first two seasons culminated in this betrayal, so it would have been fantastic seeing the players' reactions in real-time.

Talking About Ted - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

Then again, maybe leaving it up to the imagination was better because I must imagine that whatever was said would have been for a mature audience only.

It's hard to believe that Nate is now the coach of West Ham, but when you look at who's calling the shots behind closed doors at the team, it makes sense.

Ted: Sorry about that. We got distracted. Little guy was trying to unlock Princess Peach on Super Smash Bros.
Airport worker: Totally understand. I once held an entire flight to Sydney hostage until I finished the final level of Breath of the Wild.
Ted: Hmm. Feels like a potentially troublesome sentence to say in this setting, but, hey, I appreciate you.

Anthony Head plays a great villain, and you just know that Rupert won't be happy until he has his ex-wife squirming.

Ahead of Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1, I had a theory that Nate would realize the error of his ways and spend the entirety of Ted Lasso Season 3 trying to get back in the good graces with the people he wronged.

Speaking to His Boss - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

After watching the premiere, it's clear he's embracing this villainous streak, and he won't think about his actions until he falls from grace.

He's struggling with a severe case of Imposter Syndrome, and it's not that shocking. He second-guesses everything he does, even though he's driven by this desire for recognition.

Sharon: So, how did the drop-off go?
Ted: For me or for him? 'Cause I think those are two very different answers. But no, I'm fine, I think. I don't know. I just feel kinda guilty about the little guy flying all by himself again, you know?
Sharon: I understand, Ted. But children are resilient. And a sense of autonomy at Henry's age is good for him.
Ted: No, I know. That's true. I remember being left at school when I was Henry's age. I ended up helping our custodian, Mr. Maher, clean half the school until my dad remembered to come pick me up. He gave Mr. Maher cash for babysitting me. I showed up to school the next day and Mr. Maher gave me the money as payment for the work I'd done. So then I used that money to buy him a thank-you gift, but never got the chance to give it to him, 'cause, well, he ended up getting hit by a train.
Sharon: Oh, wow. I didn't see that coming.
Ted: Yeah, well, neither did Mr. Maher.

Nate's journey will be governed by whether he embraces the darkness and doesn't care about the repercussions or if he realizes the error of his ways.

He hasn't made the best impression on his players, but he will show blind loyalty to Rupert because he's willing to give him expensive gifts that validate Nate's decisions.

Nate's New Role - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

Nate making fun of AFC Richmond's chances in the league was just par for the course, but I couldn't be the only one expecting Ted to go nuclear when he got the opportunity to bite back at his rival.

Fortunately for Nate, Ted doesn't have a mean bone in his body and tends to use humor to mask his pain.

He was coming off a high of spending six weeks with his son, so his mind was in a much better place.

As we've witnessed throughout the series, Ted takes a more unique approach to fix problems than other people on the series.

Ted Listens - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

That's what makes the show so watchable. Just when you think things are going one way, Ted pops up to subvert expectations.

Taking the team to the sewers beneath London as the media dragged the team through the mud wasn't the best look for many reasons.

I understand. I just don't think Ms. Welton will have a whole lot to say about the unfair advantage of being a female owner in sports. Thank you. f--k you, Joe Rogan.

Keeley

AFC Richmond needs an image to revamp if it wants to be taken seriously as a football team again.

Rebecca has primarily supported Ted, but you could tell she struggled with the media scrutiny leveled at the team.

Rebecca is Upset - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

Most of that struggle stemmed from the notion that Rupert would laugh at the team's failure.

It's easy to understand why Rebecca lashed out at Ted's methods.

As the owner of AFC Richmond, Rebecca has much more to lose, and this storyline could be the beginning of a rocky relationship between her and Ted.

Ted's struggling with his family being in the U.S. and while he's based out of the UK. You could see the pain on his face when he sent his son back home alone.

Making Comments - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

You have to think Ted's storyline will end with him returning home and leaving AFC Richmond in the hands of someone who will emerge as a frontrunner as the season progresses.

It feels like we're reaching a sense of finality with the story because, truthfully, where could the show go when the team starts winning again?

Keeley: I feel so much better.
Rebecca: Crying is the best, isn't it? It's like an Š¾rgasm for the soul. Oh. You know, in the last three years married to Rupert, I don't think I cried once about anything. Not even a John Lewis Christmas commercial.
Keeley: Oh, I'm really sorry again about your blouse.
Rebecca: What are you talking about? It's barely noticeable.

The most significant message since Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 1 has been "believe," and if people believe the team can dominate, it probably will.

Seeing Keeley thriving with her publicity company was exciting, but I rolled my eyes when we learned of her breakup with Roy.

Keeley at Her Offices - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

After the conclusion of Ted Lasso Season 2, the intention to break them up was clear, but it didn't make it any less painful.

As a viewer and fan of this pairing, I would have enjoyed the premiere much more if we had witnessed their struggle to find time for one another.

Keeley telling Phoebe it was a break certainly hinted at Keeley believing they would reunite when their schedules align.

Roy is much more of a realist, so he probably didn't want to give himself the false hope they could rekindle things down the line.

Telling Phoebe - Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1

Juno Temple and Brett Goldstein have a lot of chemistry, so they could sell the relationship, and I hope this parting of ways doesn't mean they have reduced screen time together.

All things considered, the premiere delivered in many ways, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the season ahead.

Keeley: Oh, and I found out why I got such a good deal on this place.
Rebecca: Oh, I love a bit of corporate real estate scuttlebutt.
Keeley: That. Yeah. So, the previous tenants, they had to break the lease because the boss kept getting caught pinching his employees' butts all the time.
Rebecca: Oh, well. One man's grope is another woman's gain.

What are your thoughts on Nate's betrayal? Do you think the show did a decent enough job of highlighting why he did it?

What are your thoughts on Rupert being a part of it? Do you think Ted will leave the team in the end?

What's your take on the breakdown of Roy and Keeley's relationship?

Hit the comments below.

Ted Lasso continues Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

Smells Like Mean Spirit Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (5 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Sharon: So, how did the drop-off go?
Ted: For me or for him? 'Cause I think those are two very different answers. But no, I'm fine, I think. I don't know. I just feel kinda guilty about the little guy flying all by himself again, you know?
Sharon: I understand, Ted. But children are resilient. And a sense of autonomy at Henry's age is good for him.
Ted: No, I know. That's true. I remember being left at school when I was Henry's age. I ended up helping our custodian, Mr. Maher, clean half the school until my dad remembered to come pick me up. He gave Mr. Maher cash for babysitting me. I showed up to school the next day and Mr. Maher gave me the money as payment for the work I'd done. So then I used that money to buy him a thank-you gift, but never got the chance to give it to him, 'cause, well, he ended up getting hit by a train.
Sharon: Oh, wow. I didn't see that coming.
Ted: Yeah, well, neither did Mr. Maher.

Ted: Sorry about that. We got distracted. Little guy was trying to unlock Princess Peach on Super Smash Bros.
Airport worker: Totally understand. I once held an entire flight to Sydney hostage until I finished the final level of Breath of the Wild.
Ted: Hmm. Feels like a potentially troublesome sentence to say in this setting, but, hey, I appreciate you.