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Clown Music Is Blaring as I Let Myself Believe This Ship Might Actually Happen on ‘Ted Lasso’

Why have a couple when you can have a throuple?

One of the first scenes Roy, Keeley and Jamie shared together on Ted Lasso

***This article contains spoilers for Ted Lasso up through season 3, episode 10. Proceed with caution.***

The latest episode of Ted Lasso, “International Break,” saw the Greyhounds and the people around them take a step back for a weekend as some members of the team head back to their home countries to play for their national teams. Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández), who is a different (and terrifying) person when he’s wearing Mexico’s jersey, know that I love you.

The ones that are left behind, however, do not remain idle—they all have a fair share of emotional labor cut out for them. From Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) finally standing up to Rupert (Anthony Head) and the power he still somewhat held over her to Nate (Nick Mohammed) finding some closure with his family after quitting West Ham to Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) dealing with not having been chosen to represent Nigeria, everyone was putting in some serious work.

That, of course, includes Roy and Keeley (Brett Goldstein and Juno Temple, respectively). While she finds out that her PR firm is getting shut down and has to grapple with the blow to her ego, Roy finally realizes what we all knew pretty much from the beginning of the season—his decision to leave Keeley wasn’t exactly his best moment. At all. And Roy coming down the stairs in Keeley’s pink nightgown at the end of the episode is as good an implication as any that he did not in fact leave after confessing his mistake to her.

Then there’s the whole “Uncle’s Day” scene, which was honestly one of my favourites. Everything with little Phoebe (Elodie Blomfield) in it is absolutely precious—the way I screamed when Roy walked into Richmond headquarters with “Red Right Hand” of Peaky Blinders fame blaring and the tie-dye shirt Phoebe made him can’t be described—and the fact that she went out of her way to invite Jamie (Phil Dunster), presuming that Jamie is her uncle’s best friend because of how much Roy talks about him, was yet another beautiful addition to the relationship that has been building between Roy and Jamie episode after episode.

Roy Kent and Jamie Tartt on a bus in Ted Lasso
Honestly, there’s potential here. You know there is (Apple TV+)

Re-watching that scene I also realized that it was very romcom-coded. Family goes behind character A’s back to invite character B to some sort of function or event, character B shows up all smug and with a well-thought-out gift, the two bantering along the way. And of course, I do firmly believe that depicting healthy male friendships is important in media—then again, it’s not the first scene of this kind that Roy and Jamie share. Let’s all think back to Jamie teaching Roy how to ride a bike in Amsterdam and then the two of them sharing some deep and painful memories of the past while looking at a windmill.

On the other hand, let’s also not forget that Jamie has done his best to mend his bridges with Keeley—recognizing that he was not a spectacular boyfriend and also apologizing for having unwillingly caused the leak of her intimate videos online. Jamie is definitely one of the characters that have grown the most ever since we first saw him in season 1, and his attitude towards Keeley is a clear exemplifier of that.

So you can see where this is going—there are three sides of this triangle and all of them have potential, because all the characters involved love and care for each other deeply whether they might be saying it out loud or not. And I personally couldn’t choose which one I would want to see most, because again, all of them have a strong basis and good chemistry to prop them up.

Roy Kent and Keeley together in Ted Lasso
Literally mother and father for me specifically (Apple TV+)

This is why it’s time to whip out the best solution ever created for a love triangle—polyamory, exactly. The Roy/Keeley/Jamie ship might not be the most popular within the Ted Lasso fandom but it’s still pretty significant, and looking at where this final season is going it’s starting to feel like an actual possibility in the way all somewhat niche ships feel like a possibility.

I know that you might be hearing my clown shoes squeaking as I say this, but going in an OT3 direction would be an extremely refreshing decision for Ted Lasso to take. Polyamory is still not that widespread in media and when it’s represented it’s not always in a great or authentic way. A throuple in which all people involved love each other deeply and are all involved with each other would definitely be a step forward, especially considering the huge LGBTQIA+ fanbase that the show has amassed throughout its run.

And besides, it just makes sense from a character’s point of view. They’ve all grown together and apart and then together again, and they’re now not just changed people but arguably better people than they were before.

I think we can all agree that Jamie is the walking definition of a babygirl—and the show itself knows what level of queercoded-ness he’s operating at, just look at the nod the rest of the team gave him in episode 9, when they were discussing that statistically, someone on the team other than Colin is likely to be gay. Roy and Keeley are literally father and mother. Roy is Jamie’s childhood hero. Jamie and Keeley are outgoing and talkative, in contrast to Roy’s brooding-ness. What’s better than seeing all three of them together and maybe, you know, kiss a little?

Of course, all of this is pure unadulterated fandom fun. It’s great to talk about this OT3 in fandom spaces from Tumblr to Twitter and read the considerable amount of fan fiction about it on Archive of Our Own—where it currently has more than two hundred dedicated works—less than Roy/Jamie or Roy/Keeley but still ranked fifth overall among all the show’s romantic ships. But I’ll be happy to see whatever ending for Roy and Keeley and Jamie as long as it makes narrative sense and they finish up in a place in which they’re content. 

(featured image: Apple TV+)

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Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.