The wait is (almost) over! Ted Lasso returns on Mar. 15 for its third and final season on Apple TV+. What started out as a funny commercial earned the American football coach an entire tv series as a soccer coach in the Premier League. As the head coach of AFC Richmond, a fictitious club inspired by Crystal Palace Football Club, Ted has the monumental challenge of taking the team to the highest glory.
Here is the problem (which turns out to be the icing on the cake): Ted has ZERO knowledge of the sport and its rules. What could be mistaken as a series focusing on the sport (which it does as well), Ted Lasso’s focus is the relationships between players, management, the club, and the fans. The Illuminerdi received the first episode of the season and we have a review for you. Buckle up.
NEW SEASON WITH THE SAME OLD CHARM
Season 3 picks up after the shocking turn of events of the previous season’s finale. Nathan Shelley, the former assistant of Lasso, is now the head coach of West Ham United Football Club. After feeling unappreciated, Nate blows up at Ted releasing pent-up anger that goes much further than the relationships at AFC Richmond. It seems like Rupert, the former owner of the club and Rebecca’s ex-husband, might’ve been the catalyst to push Nate over the edge. Now as the owner of West Ham, the former AFC Richmond majority holder has brought Nathan over to his side. I’m getting major Anakin and Palpatine vibes here.
As the series enters its final season, we get a very familiar feel for the overall pacing of its storytelling. The first episode picks it up right at the start of a new season, but this time at the Premier League. The are several reports about each team coming out in the press and things aren’t looking that great for AFC Richmond. At least in the eyes of the press.
Old rivalries rekindle such as Rebecca and Rupert’s ongoing toxic relationship. What started as a vendetta to ruin Rupert’s life outside the pitch, Rebecca is making it her sole purpose to ruin Rupert’s life inside the pitch as well. West Ham United is now under the leadership of Nathan Shelley. A character that will continue to grow as the season goes along.
Nate The Great, as Ted calls him, calls back to old techniques to get himself into the state of mind we see him shift to at the end of last season. How long he can keep that up is a question we will most likely ask ourselves for the remainder of season three.
Although the episode added nothing new to the Lasso formula, it doesn’t necessarily need to. The bar with this first episode wasn’t set too high and that is ok. It’ll give room for more memorable and better episodes to do their job when the time comes. A few personal relationships develop a bit further, which is a theme sprinkled throughout the 43 minutes of storytelling (this is one of the longest episodes in the series).
TED LASSO GOES INTO EXTRA TIME
The final ten episodes of Ted Lasso promise to bring this story to a close. I see the first two seasons as the two forty-five-minute halves of a match, with the third season coming as the extra time before the players (and the audience) become too tired to continue playing along. The secret to a great show is knowing when to bow out (or when to hang up the boots in this case).
Much like Roy Kent retired to continue as a coach, Ted Lasso will find purpose after its final season. The question is: Where to go from here? A Spin-off with Rebecca? Following Jamie and Roy on a buddy-like adventure? Or perhaps seeing Ted move back to the US and taking on the challenge of coaching an MLS team (fresh off of a successful premier league season)? I guess we will find out soon enough.
What are your expectations? Where do you want to see the final season go? AFC Richmond to reach the highest glory or to fail miserably on their triumphant return to the Premier League? Leave us your comments down below or let us know what you think about the show on our Twitter account. Don’t forget to follow our social media pages as we will continue to track the season. Check back often as we’re always posting some amazing exclusives! Until next time!