'Ted Lasso': Where We Left Off in Season 2
Last we saw AFC Richmond, they were celebrating their promotion to the Premier League. While they only tied the game against Brentford, the draw was enough to bring the team back up in the ranks -- something Ted (Jason Sudeikis) promised Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) he would do at the end of season 1. The tie, however, wasn't a celebration for all involved, with an angry Nate (Nick Mohammed) seen storming off -- and eventually leaving the team behind -- despite being credited by Ted for his often faulty false-nine strategy. While the Greyhounds definitely still believed in Ted and the coaching crew, Nate did not, as made clear when Ted returned to his desk following the game to find that Nate had ripped down the BELIEVE sign and torn it in two.
We're left with several other questions for the team, including Sam's (Toheeb Jimoh) future with Rebecca, Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley's (Juno Temple) fate and what Nate's turn to the dark side means for AFC Richmond in the coming season.
Before stepping back onto the pitch for season 3, refresh your memory on where we left off in season 2 of Ted Lasso, and where the team is headed after landing that long-coveted promotion.
Ted, His Panic Attack and the Nate of It All
Following Trent Crimm's story exposing Ted's panic attack, Ted's feet are put to the fire by commentators. Despite the added pressure, he has messages of support from Rebecca, the team therapist, Sharon (Sarah Niles), and even his ex-wife. Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) claims he's not paying attention to the noise surrounding Crimm's article, but it becomes clear very early on that he knows Nate is the source who tipped The Independent off. Ted gets support from his team as well, after talking to them at practice, where he apologizes for not being honest with them.
The big draw also helps solidify the team's confidence in Ted, though it serves as a turning point for him and Nate. While Ted too knows that Nate was the source and even allowed Nate to follow through with his false-nine strategy, despite it failing for most of the game, Nate is ready to make his true feelings known.
Their big blow-up comes at halftime, however, with Nate finally coming clean, accusing Ted of only building him up, just to leave him in the dust.
"I think you're a [freaking] joke. Without me, you wouldn't have won a single match and they'd have shipped your a** back to Kansas where you [really] belong, with your son. Because you sure as hell don't belong here," Nate says. Nate also now believes Ted is calling it "Nate's false nine" so that he can blame Nate when it inevitably fails, just as he claimed Ted was going to take all the credit when it inevitably worked.
There's no resolution for the pair, despite Ted's attempt to always look at the positive. After storming off and ripping Ted's BELIEVE sign in two, it's clear Nate has hit his breaking point.
The Switch Up
Six months after Richmond's promotion, we flash forward to see that Nate has left the team behind, instead joining Rebecca's conniving ex-husband Rupert's (Anthony Head) team, West Ham United, as their new coach.
Speaking to ET about the shift at the end of season 2, Mohammed shared that while fans may have been surprised by his character, he knew what was coming for Nate when he took on the part.
"I felt like I was in my comfort zone in season 1 with Nate," the actor said of his character's first episodes, where he got close with Ted before becoming disillusioned with his cheery, positive coaching strategies. "I knew that heel turn was coming for a long time, even when we were filming season 1, so it's kind of drip-fed in there. They did such a good job, the writers, of planting a few seeds."
"But this year, it was fun playing the Darth Vader, season 2, Empire Strikes Back," he added with a laugh. "I got to relish it a little bit."
According to Mohammed, based on where Nate kicks things off in the show's upcoming third season, it seems he won't be returning to the fold anytime soon.
"I was like, 'Oh, we can start on a redemption arc, it's going to be good," he recalled, "and then I read episode one, and I was like, 'Oh, here we go...this isn't going to help.' I think it's a roller coaster, that's all I can say."
Sam and His Future
After being courted by Edwin Akufo (Sam Richardson) to join his new African football club for much of the second season, Sam makes his decision, and it's a simple sign that gives him his answer. After seeing some kids playing football in a park, one of whom is wearing an "Obisanya" Richmond jersey, he realizes his place is with AFC Richmond.
Despite Edwin threatening to destroy Sam, following the game, he tells Ted about his decision and very awkwardly delivers a speech that he originally intended for Rebecca.
"I wish I could say it was because of my feelings for you. But the truth is, I think I need to stop worrying about what others feel about me. I'm staying because it's what's best for me and my personal journey," he says.
As for Sam's relationship with Rebecca, while there are some obvious obstacles, i.e. her being his boss and their age difference, it's ultimately Rebecca who breaks things off with the Richmond star after her father's funeral.
She ends up telling him that being together scares her because he is "wonderful," and she knows that because of that, she could fall for him and feels uncomfortable knowing that she could be hurt as a result.
Sam also settles some of his inner conflict about being true to his home country and representing Richmond. After protesting Dubai Air due to the environmental damage their owners, Cerithium Oil, are doing in Nigeria, Richmond cuts ties with the sponsor and ultimately replaces them with an anonymous dating app that Rebecca and the players have been using throughout the season: Bantr.
A flash forward sees Sam doing something to bridge his worlds, as he closes on a property that he intends to turn into a Nigerian restaurant.
The Keeley Triangle
There's been a series of love confessions toward Keeley this season. With both Nate and her ex, Jamie (Phil Dunster), making their feelings for Keeley known, her head is spinning like never before. Even after finding out about both attempts to steal his girl, Roy seems calm and collected -- he's even friends with Jamie now?! We definitely didn't see that one coming.
In fact, it's not Jamie or Nate that has him feeling insecure, but rather Keeley's success. After seeing her solo shots from her Vanity Fair photo shoot, Roy can't help but think about how amazing she looked in pictures all by herself, making him feel almost unnecessary.
Keeley closes out the season by leaving her role as AFC Richmond's PR Manager to start her own firm, funded by Bantr, who take an interest in her after seeing how she marketed the team all season. The major move for Keeley puts her at a crossroads in her relationship with Roy. They no longer are working in the same building, and with the football season ending, Roy has free time on his hands, and he wants to spend it with his girl.
He shows up while Keeley is packing up her office with plane tickets for a six-week trip they can take together, but she has to tell him that she's starting work and can't go. Keeley urges Roy to take the trip, however, and when he asks if this means they're breaking up, Keeley says they are absolutely not.
Still, the pair walk out of her office in a state of uncertainty about exactly where they stand.
Is This the End?
Ahead of the show's season 3 premiere, Sudeikis told ET that the upcoming episodes were written to be the last -- though he did not definitively say that the show was coming to an end.
"I mean, that's how we went about writing it, that we wanted to close up this chapter of it -- so much changed with when you hire writers, when you cast it, just based on the elements of the day like, 'Oh, we want this to happen, but oh, it’s raining,' so you have go with the flow," Sudeikis explained. "So, there’s good ways to go with the flow, and there’s adjustments. It’s all been splendid and harmonious, but the idea was to do three years. I mean, if we had the opportunity, if we were able to, never know how something's going to be received."
He continued, "This thing could have really been a sticky turd, or it could have been just what it is, and people still not like it and not get to do it. The fact that we get to do it -- lovely."
Some of the show's stars also weighed in on the rumors, including Cristo Fernandez, who plays eternal optimist Dani. No matter the outcome, Fernandez told ET that he's just happy to be included.
"I know what has been openly said and I think it's so well-written that it can be [the end] or it cannot, but right now I just want to live the present," he said. "I cannot wait for all the fans to see their reactions with the show. It's been an amazing journey."
Season 3 of Ted Lasso airs Wednesday on Apple TV+.
'Ted Lasso' Cast Reacts to Rumors Season 3 Will Be Its Last
'Ted Lasso' Pub Can be Rented for $13 a Night Ahead of Season 3
Jason Sudeikis Says 'Ted Lasso' Season 3 Is Written to Be the Last