In this week’s episode of Ted Lasso, aptly titled “Headspace,” everyone is in their feelings. Our crew is dealing with relationship problems, emotional baggage, and anger issues. Which seems heavy for such a positive show, but this episode is doing it the Mary Poppins way: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!”
First off, all is not well in KeelRoy land. Roy’s driving Keeley nuts and she confesses to Rebecca that it was easier when she and Roy didn’t work together, but now it feels like he’s her shadow. She loves him to death, but sometimes she just needs some time to herself. Rebecca suggests that Keeley talk to Roy about it, but that would be too easy. Keeley chooses to bottle it up instead.
Rebecca’s got problems of her own. We found out at the end of last week’s episode that Sam is Bantr Boy. The idea of him and Rebecca actually ending up together is kind of impossible to imagine and makes me a little sick to my stomach, but if it’s shock factor the writers were going for, then job well done I guess. This week, she’s ghosting him and still hasn’t responded to his request to meet. Sam is in major angst most over the three speech bubbles that keep appearing and disappearing as Rebecca tries to formulate a response.
On Rebecca’s end of the equation, she’s scared to meet him because – as wise Bilbo Higgins puts it, Rebecca’s worried that Bantr boy can’t live up to the fantasy she’s created in her head, so instead she’s going to let her insecurities keep her from possibly ever finding her one true love. And damn Higgins, just @ me next time! As they say – the truth hurts.
Meanwhile, Nate visits his parents and when he sees his “Wonder Kid” picture in the paper, he can’t help but be proud. His father is not impressed, though, and gives Nate a lesson in humility. It’s not “thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less.” Nate needs to learn not to base his own self-worth off the recognition and admiration of other people. But then again, don’t we all? It’s easier said than done, especially for Nate.
While Nate needs a lesson in humility, Ted needs one in denial – because that’s the state he’s in right now. He can’t admit that he had a full-blown panic attack/emotional breakdown at the end of last week’s episode. When he sits down with Doc Sharon for a session, he’s jittery and nervous; he spends more time fiddling with the things on her desk than talking about himself. When she finally does get him to sit still so they can talk, he bolts out the door faster than a [insert Lasso euphemism here].
Sharon’s surprised when Ted shows up for another session, but Ted tells her he’s only back because he doesn’t quit things and confesses that he hates therapy. It didn’t work for him and his wife, so why should he trust that it will work now? Ted gets angry and storms out. We rarely see Ted angry – really angry – so when it does happen, you know something’s cut him deep. Usually the issue is his divorce or his relationship with his son, but I think we’re in deeper than that now. He’s able to talk about the divorce and maintain his composure. Now it’s the unsaid trauma lurking beneath the surface that’s threatening to break Ted. We just don’t know what it is yet. Basically, this is Ted’s theme song this week:
Later at practice, Nate’s still riding on his high horse, bossing around the players, fully embodying his new “Wonder Kid” persona and being a full-blown asshole. I liked him when he was meek and it’s not that I wanted him to stay that way forever. He needed to transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly, but did he need to become such a douchey butterfly? There’s a way to be confident without being unnecessarily cocky. Nate takes his insecurities out on Colin, telling him that while the other players are great artists, Colin’s not – his work is mediocre, the kind of stuff you’d find covering bloodstains at a Holiday Inn. It is way harsh, Tai.
Beard notices and calls Nate out on it, scaring the crap out of him in the process, like the hero he is. Beard tells Nate to do better. So, tail between legs, Nate apologizes to Colin in front of the whole team for being an asshole, but it’s just a façade. Later, when no one else is around, Nate starts taking his anger out on poor Ball Boy Will. Turns out Nate the Great is still full of hate.
Eventually, Keeley can’t bottle her frustrations up anymore and when Roy interrupts her while she’s watching a particularly poignant episode of Sex and the City, she unloads her frustrations and tells him sometimes she needs to be by herself. Roy gets angry and storms out, upset that she’s been complaining about his “neediness” to everyone else but him. During practice the next day, Roy has a soccer metaphor-infused lightbulb moment (thanks to Jamie of all people) and realizes he was wrong to yell at Keeley and giving her space is the healthy thing to do in a relationship sometimes. The bow is tied a little too perfectly on this storyline, but I also hate the idea of Keeley and Roy ever breaking up so I’ll take it!
Finally, Ted shows back up for a third session with Sharon and apologizes for getting angry and storming out. He admits he’s scared and doesn’t want to learn the truth about his underlying issues. Sharon tells him that “The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off.” Ted hasn’t shaken his denial off yet, but he’s a little closer to admitting that maybe – just maybe – it’s not a river in Egypt.
We’ve got a lot of loose threads going into next week and I’m not sure how many of them can ever be tied tight. What’s Ted’s trauma? The root of Nate’s hate? Will BantrBecca ever meet IRL? I’ll see you back here next week to find out!
Want more Ted Lasso?
Jump over to our Ted Lasso Show Spotlight to see all our Ted Lasso coverage.