Episode 8 of Ted Lasso, Season 2, “Man City” had so much packed in that a longer episode was necessary. But it’s doubtful anyone minded with all of the storylines, most of which concerned the concept of fatherhood and how those relationships have affected certain characters. But we also got some juicy romance too.

No one here is qualified to give someone an absolutely fantastic haircut, so let’s move along with our group recap instead. Hopefully, it’s more interesting than the coaches’ scouting reports.

Takeaways from the Ted-Sharon storyline?

Andrew Bucholtz: While Ted eventually opening up to Sharon seemed like something that was going to happen for the past several weeks, I appreciated the way the show got there. Sharon’s bike accident and Ted being there for her afterward did a lot for that relationship, as did Ted seeing her apartment and realizing that she’s a complete person, not just the team’s therapist. I also appreciated Ted opening up to the fellow Diamond Dogs (and Roy) about the previous panic attack he suffered; it was good to have that revelation before Ted’s eventual call to Sharon.

That call felt perfect for that moment, with Jamie, his dad, and Roy prompting Ted to reveal his past to Sharon, but also with that happening in just a short call and one promising a full discussion in person later. That, to me, felt more realistic and earned than if it had come out with him rushing over to talk to her, or even if it had come out in a full regular therapy session (given his previous reluctance to open up there). Ted Lasso may sometimes show us the general idea of where it’s going, but the journey to get there still often has some surprises.

Michael Grant: The set-up works well. It’s not uncommon for therapists to have their own therapists/mentors. Sharon is grappling with her own issues and the bike accident is a plot device to get her and Ted to communicate outside the office. Through their informal chats, Ted no longer sees this therapist as a potential adversary like the one who undermined his marriage. From there, a sense of trust is built, and we finally get some insight into Ted’s panic attacks. It’s a lot darker than anticipated. Am eager to see where this goes as we learn more about the suicide of Ted’s father.

Matt Clapp: As Sharon’s therapist was telling her, she’s much more like Ted than she realizes and that’s going to make her more accepting/understanding of Ted, even if he lashes out and craps on her profession again. There’s a real connection between them and it’s starting to come out. Ted opened up to her like he seemingly never has to anybody else; it took many conversations for him to realize he trusts her and that she can truly help him.

Ian Casselberry: My first thought when the car hit Sharon was, “Well, that’s one way to resolve this story.” I didn’t think she was dead, but it occurred to me for a second. The therapist who needs therapy feels a bit cliche, though I presume it’s a necessary part of the profession.

What was important here is that it opened up Sharon’s character. Dealing with Ted is having an effect, forcing her to deal with her own issues. And it surely helped Ted to see (hear) that Sharon is a real person, not just the buttoned-up professional at the office. Eager to see where this goes.

Are we happy about Rebecca and Sam?

MG: At first, no, but I see potential. The preposterous set of coincidences that led to them being matched on a dating app seems implausible. However, upon watching them together as a couple, the chemistry is undeniable. I

f you want to be cynical, this relationship is a human resources disaster since Sam works for Rebecca. But there seems to be a developing theme for Season 2, whether we’re talking about Rebecca and Sam, Ted and Sharon, or Roy and Jamie: We have a choice. We can waste time harping on the differences between us. Or we can focus on the things we have in common.

AB: I’m happy for these characters. They’re both amazing people and seem like they could actually be a good fit in a relationship. I liked how the show got there, with a little bit of awkwardness at the bar before realizing they were talking to each other, but not too much. A lesser show would have dragged that scene out much longer, and might also have given us multiple episodes before we saw them together again. This week’s longer-than-usual episode felt like just enough space to make that work. But I do still have questions about how an owner dating a player is going to pan out overall, and I’m interested to see where the writing team goes with that.

IC: I certainly get the appeal. Two gorgeous people getting together and a romantic storyline climaxing (ahem) in a satisfying way. But I couldn’t really enjoy it because it’s such a bad idea for them. Just enjoy the story, Ian. Yeah, OK. I admire the writers for creating a situation that’s complicated to unravel. But I also would’ve been fine if this plotline had ended at the restaurant, seeing more of their conversation, and these two eventually realizing that they might be a smoking couple in an alternate universe, but not in reality.

MC: Happy for them? Absolutely! The storyline itself is a bit far-fetched for a number of reasons, and it’s hard to see how this is going to work long-term (or even be made public at all). But, for now, good for them.

Did THE HUG work for you?

MC: Definitely. I don’t think there’s another person in the world in that situation that would’ve made Jamie feel better about getting a hug from than Roy Kent, as weird as that sounds. Roy’s slowly been showing some more respect from Jamie, and he knew this was a moment to put the Roy Kent grizzly bear act down and be there to support Jamie. That was the best scene in this episode to me.

MG: Oh God, yes. The best moment of the best episode of the season so far. Roy might hate Jamie, but he understands the value of being a good teammate. And maybe witnessing first-hand how terrible Jamie’s father is made Roy feel compassion. A moving gesture punctuated by the fact that Roy didn’t say anything. He just knew his former rival needed consoling.

IC: First, I had a twinge of “Ehh… I don’t know about this.” Because it seemed a bit out of character for Roy. But it worked because Roy saw a man drowning and threw him a life preserver. And the episode built up to this emotional maturity for Roy last week with his revelation about Keeley, followed by his realization that he’s a father figure whether he wants to be or not. What an emotional punch. I certainly got misty, as I’m guessing most everybody else did.

AB: I absolutely loved it. I think a big part of the appeal of Roy Kent is him knowing when to lay off the gruff exterior, and knowing when fervent and vulnerable emotional support is what’s needed from him. We saw that with the speech he gave Rebecca earlier this year, his Christmas efforts to find Phoebe an emergency dentist, him giving Keeley space, and his discussions with Phoebe about swearing this week. And I loved that that’s now translated to Jamie, once his biggest adversary.

Favorite quote or scene?

IC: Roy being an uncle is always going to resonate with me. So I enjoyed the scene with Roy and (Oi!) Phoebe in the car. I’ve never had that conversation with my own nieces. I’ve always tried not to swear in front of them. 1) Because I know it’s not right and 2) Because I do not want to hear it from my sister. Plus, they have their father so I’m not a father figure, though I can be influential. How we act in front of kids that look up to us has an impact. That definitely hit close.


AB: Jamie punching his dad was it for me. He showed a lot of patience and tolerance at first, more than many of us might have. But Jamie’s dad going from bashing him to bashing his teammates proved quite the breaking point. And I think it illustrated something the show’s been talking about for a while: when it’s time to stand up to bullies, whether that’s with Ted and darts against Rupert or with Phoebe dealing with bullies at school. Jamie’s punch is the most likable Jamie Tartt has ever been for me.

MG: “What’s worse is to not try at all. To try is scary because you can end up losing a lot. But you have to put your heart out there. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

Concern for Coach Beard needing to shake the Man City loss off by himself?

AB: I think it’s interesting that just when some Ted Lasso characters seem to be heading to better places (lately including Ted, Roy, and Jamie), others seem to be headed for more struggles. We’ve seen that with Nate over the last while, and we’re seeing it a bit with Beard, first with the past discussions of his relationship with Jane and then this week’s post-loss behavior. Maybe he shakes it off appropriately, but maybe he doesn’t.

That scene was notable for Ted’s response, though; Ted knows that Beard may be headed for some trouble, but he can’t do a whole lot about it right there (other than reminding him about bringing coffee for an early-morning meeting).

MC: Well, wandering off into the city while wearing his coaching gear is a bit weird, and certainly a gutsy decision after a humiliating loss! It’s perfectly normal for somebody to want to blow off some steam, have a cocktail or three after a very frustrating day. The loss was bad enough, and then he had to witness and deal with the situation involving Jamie’s father. But sure, it’s very possible there’s much more going on with Beard, who’s an extremely mysterious character.

Take a peek at the Episode 9 title and synopsis, and it seems we’ll learn a lot more about his night and what he’s going through.


MG: Didn’t get that impression. After a really bad day, sometimes you need to be alone. However, if he winds up quitting, that’s certainly an interesting twist since he’s Ted’s right-hand man.

IC: I don’t know if the show will go there, but ever since Ted’s first panic attack, it’s occurred to me that he and Coach Beard don’t know one another all that well. As coaches, they practically finish each other’s sentences. That’s surely intentional; Ted’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to get into Beard’s personal business.

But when Ted confesses his panic attack, we see a quick shot of Beard that I took as him realizing he had no idea his friend was going through this. And maybe that’s part of what compels Beard’s need to “shake it off” after the game. He’s been given a whole lot to digest.

Are all these storylines setting the stage for an exposé from Trent Crimm?

MG: AFC Richmond just absorbed a humiliating loss. Sports reporters always go snooping to discover possible explanations for unfathomable defeats. It would be quite a scoop to write about how the coach suffers from panic attacks and the team owner is involved with one of her players.

IC: We seem to be heading in that direction, especially with the revelation of Ted’s anxiety issues. Yet that feels a bit too convenient for storytelling purposes — even though it would work. Trent Crimm, The Independent reporting a tell-all would definitely provide a shortcut with Sam telling his teammates about his Bantr hook-up or the players discovering Ted’s panic attacks. But maybe this would set up a moral quandary for Trent too: Report a huge story or hold back out of compassion.

AB: I think we’re absolutely going to see more of Trent poking around following his discussion with Ted at the bar, and that might well lead to an exposé in The Independent. But I also think it’s possible that Ted winds up publicly correcting the record on his panic attack himself. Either way, that means more Trent Crimm and that’s always appreciated.