TED LASSO Review: 'Make Rebecca Great Again' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TED LASSO Review: ‘Make Rebecca Great Again’

September 11, 2020 by  

TED LASSO Review: 'Make Rebecca Great Again'

Jason Sudeikis in “Ted Lasso,” now streaming on Apple TV+.​ (Credit: Apple TV+)

Hello, TED LASSO fans! In my season 1 quick overview, I mentioned this show has a lot of heart and that each character has room to grow. This episode, “Make Rebecca Great Again,” was no exception. As characters made moves and came to realizations, the show took care to make sure no one is all bad or all good. Like most of us, the characters make decisions either out of pain or peace, and there are always consequences either way. And, oh yeah, there was some football.

The Plot:
Road trip episodes are always great to shake the plot up. Here, the team is anxious about a trip to Liverpool as they haven’t won in that city in 60 years. Jamie Tartt has been called back to Manchester City, and the Richmond team is in danger of relegation (think if a Major League baseball team/org could be sent to the minor leagues due to poor performance).

Ted, determined to keep the team’s energy up, is facing emotional hardship of his own as his wife, Michelle (played by the always great Andrea Anders) is pushing hard for him to sign divorce papers. Rebecca, facing what would be her anniversary with ex-husband Rupert, invites Keeley along for PR purposes, and they are joined by Rebecca’s recently divorced childhood friend, Flo—aka, Sassy. Sassy pushes Rebecca to find a one-night stand with a waiter and be more like her old self, and also finds Ted to be funny and handsome in a Magnum PI kind of way.

The team wins the match and celebrates at a karaoke bar. The excitement, combined with the skillful and surprisingly poignant Rebecca-led rendition of “Let it Go” sets Ted into a panic attack. He makes his way back to the hotel, only Rebecca the wiser, and the rest of the party eventually splits up: Roy and Keeley walk back, we see Ted sign the divorce papers and later allow Sassy to invite herself into his hotel room, and Rebecca connects with the flirty waiter.

The Players:
Coach Lasso asks Nate for insight into how the team could beat Everton. Nate admits he has thoughts but is worried they could be wrong and ruin his life in a face-melting scenario. He gets up the courage to slide his notes under Ted’s door; Ted, possibly drunk and definitely upset at the seemingly simple/perfunctory way divorce papers can be completed, chastises him. The next morning, he apologizes and convinces Nate to share his thoughts with the team. They’re brutal, but honest. Nate calls out several players for losing focus or being indecisive.

Perhaps most telling is Nate’s feedback for team captain Roy. Roy gets in his face and Nate tells him he’s getting older and less effective on the pitch, true, but the real problem is that he’s stopped utilizing his anger as part of his game. Many of us like the grumpy side of Roy, but Nate’s point that bottling up all of that anger is dangerous. Roy non-verbally agrees by ripping up a bench in the locker room and shouting for the team to bring it against Everton. This win allows Roy to be more comfortable in his skin. He doesn’t go crazy after, but he leads the team in how to celebrate an unexpected win, actively joining in (vs. earlier in the season when he avoided any additional time spent with the team). Roy, still a man of few words that we see, escorts Keeley back from the karaoke bar and makes his move, kissing her outside her hotel room. His shy determination makes her smile, but his quick “good night” echoes a scene in a previous episode and leaves Keeley feeling a bit confused.

Honorable character growth mention to Isaac, one of Nate’s previous tormentors under Jamie’s tutelage. Isaac is quick to verbally encourage Nate to share his thoughts for success, and he tells another player to put his phone away during the team’s movie night. I like the subtle shift in his taking on leadership skills…very real in how the dynamics of a team can shift for the better.

The Purpose:
The show continues to spotlight female friendships that aren’t 100% focused on the men in their lives. It can continue to get better at this (and female diversity), but in the meantime, we saw a lot of sex positivity for Keeley, Rebecca, and Sassy. This is refreshing in a television program centered around sports.

Additionally, Sassy and Rebecca have a good, candid conversation about the way their friendship drifted apart. Rebecca blames Rupert for stealing years of her life. In the way a true friend can, Sassy confirms Rupert’s horribleness, but confronts Rebecca on the way she took steps away from her family and friends—she has to be accountable to what she’s done. Rebecca continues to grow as a multi-faceted character, as SHE realizes there are more facets to those who live and work around her. A pleasure to watch.

It’s Ted’s breakdown and panic attack that serve as a crucible for his character and the remainder of the season. Once again, Jason Sudeikis delivers a convincing and compelling portrayal of what happens when a man who leads and forgives with a big heart is heartbroken. It was real and raw without being overdramatic.

All in all, a great episode that moves the plot (Rebecca’s conflict/fear of relegation) and character development forward. Looking forward to more!


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