'Ted Lasso' Season 2, Episode 3: Led Tasso Comes to Town, Sam and Rebecca Do the Right Thing
Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven't watched Ted Lasso season 2, episode 3, "Do the Right-est Thing."
As Ted Lasso began its rise toward becoming one of TV's most lauded and critically acclaimed new comedies, a sizable, and understandable, majority of the hype centered on the affable nature of the series' title character --played by Jason Sudeikis -- a good-hearted college football coach who makes the best of a fish-out-of-water situation when he is hired to coach an English soccer team.
However, what quickly became clear is that the true strength of the show lies in the ensemble -- not just Ted, but the AFC Richmond players, staff and townsfolk that make up his newfound family. Not just Sudeikis, but the cast of gifted actors and comedians he and the Ted Lasso producers have assembled to tell a variety of stories within the rich world of the Emmy-nominated series.
Such is the case in the third episode of the second season, streaming now on Apple TV+, where Ted takes a bit of a step back, allowing some other characters to shine through as they make major moves to stand up for themselves in the face of oppressive opposition off the field.
In fact, Ted Lasso isn't even the coach of AFC Richmond for a good chunk of the episode -- Led Tasso is. That would be Sudeikis' character's surly, snarling alter ego, who hurls insults at his players and makes them run laps, all in an effort to distract from the locker room drama that's begun to bubble up following the return of cocky former star Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster).
Just as the team's new sports psychologist, Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), intuits, however, the tactic doesn't exactly work. In fact, the team finds unity on their own terms, when rising star player Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) decides to stage a protest against the parent company of their major sponsor, Dubai Air. After learning the airline is owned by a massive oil conglomeration that has wreaked environmental havoc in his home country of Nigeria, Sam covers the Dubai Air logo on his jersey with black tape ahead of Richmond's next match.
His fellow Nigerian players follow suit, and eventually so does the rest of the team, led by, to Sam's surprise, Jamie Tartt (who has, coincidentally, recently sat down for his first session with Dr. Sharon).
"We're a team, aren't we?" Jamie replies simply, when Sam asks what he's doing. "Gotta wear the same kit."
ET spoke with Dunster last week, who shared how Jamie's vulnerable return to Richmond -- after getting voted off a Love Island-style reality dating show and burning his bridges at Manchester City -- has forced a turnaround for the once-arrogant ace.
"It's interesting, because I think that Jamie's probably never really been an outcast," Dunster noted. "He's probably always seen himself as maybe an outsider, but he's always had his talents and his bravado to hide behind and he knows that will get him anywhere he wants to, up until that point."
"Seeing him with his tail between his legs in start of season 2, we see the beginning of that evolution of, maybe that's not enough, maybe [it's time to] step away from this toxic masculinity," he added. "I think that we see, very clearly, that he needs to really put in the hard yards with people like Sam Obisanya, with Colin Hughes (Billy Harris), with Ted of course. So I think that he is coming to terms with this different perception that people have of him, which, it's probably the first time he's really ever listened to what anybody else thinks."
Elsewhere, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) has a motivating moment of her own, as her BFF, Sassy (Ellie Taylor), drops off her 13-year-old daughter, Nora, for some quality time with her godmother. Quickly realizing that that teen is no longer interested in the tea parties and playtime they used to share, Rebecca brings Nora along to work, where she inspires her to be a "boss-a** b**ch," standing up to the head of the oil company -- a slimy old friend of her ex-husband -- and refusing to fire Sam for his protest.
"Sometimes you have to do the right thing, even if you lose," Nora wisely points out to her godmother, who agrees.
And lose the team does, though they stage a post-game celebration anyway, in celebration of Sam -- who joins Ted in the press room to openly accuse the Nigerian government of corruption and negligence in their dealings with the oil company -- and finally breaking their tie streak.
As Ted Lasso, returned to form, points out, "Hey, doin' the right thing is never the wrong thing." But will there be consequences to come?
Ted Lasso season 2 is streaming now on Apple TV+.
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