Nick Mohammed as Nate Shelley in Ted Lasso

Did One Tiny Detail Just Give Away Nate’s Future on ‘Ted Lasso’?

Ted Lasso’s Nate Shelley (Nick Mohammed) has had a character arc that really has made fans of the series upset. In season 1, Nate was someone that no one cared to learn about—that is, until Ted (Jason Sudeikis) showed up. In that first season, we saw Nate go from someone who was in the background to an important player on Ted’s side because Nate helped him learn and Ted trusted him.

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That’s why Nate’s eventual turn hurts as badly as it did. Nate eventually thought that he deserved a spot on the coaching team more than others, and his own ego drove him to side with the villain that is Rupert (Anthony Stewart Head). So, what we’ve seen so far in season 3 is one moment where Nate is coaching West Ham and watching his former friends at press conferences.

But it is that moment in particular that might give some insight into what the future may hold for Nate. Look, I would not consider Nate a villain, but he’s not exactly the good guy right now. He’s turned against his friends and he’s less than favorable in the eyes of our Greyhounds. But one important fact remains: Nate was using an iPhone.

Now, if you don’t know what that means, then you might be thinking to yourself, “Yes that is a popular phone.” But the reality is that iPhones cannot be used by all fictional characters.

The iPhone dilemma

In an interview with Vanity Fair, director and writer Rian Johnson revealed that Apple will not let villains use their phones. “Apple, they let you use iPhones in movies, but—and this is very pivotal if you’re ever watching a mystery movie—bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera,” Johnson said. He went on to reveal that he was reluctant to say that “because it’s going to screw me on the next mystery movie that I write,” but he went on to say, “Forget it, I’ll say it. It’s very interesting.”

When it was revealed that villains can’t have iPhones, it resulted in two specific issues: Everyone was judging characters faster and, well, you’d figure out whether or not a character was a villain sooner rather than later. In the case of Ted Lasso, I wouldn’t classify anyone a “villain,” but there are characters who are currently against our favorite team.

And one of those character is Nate. But because of his complicated relationship with AFC Richmond and his past with the team, I wouldn’t be surprised if his iPhone were a bit of a tell. After all, this is a show for Apple TV+. So, Nate having an iPhone might just mean that he’s not classified as a villain, but it also might mean that he has a redemption arc with Ted and the team.

Honestly? That’s what I hope this season is heading towards. Nate deserves a chance to explain where he’s at mentally and have a heart-to-heart with Ted. And I hope that this iPhone is leading towards that.

(featured image: Apple TV+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.