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Isaac and Colin’s Friendship Journey Is One We Needed on ‘Ted Lasso’

Isaac and Colin in episode "La Locker Room Aux Folles" of Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso has shown us a wide range of friend groups and the various ways in which they interact with each other. But for the most part, the Greyhounds have just been one unit. Sure, some players seem closer than others but these friendships typically only get to take center stage when they involve one of the coaches, like with Jamie and Roy’s developing relationship this season. But in season 3 episode 9, titled “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” we got to see what one friendship means to both Colin Hughes (Billy Harris) and Isaac McAdoo (Kola Bokinni).

Throughout this season, Colin has been struggling with trying to keep his sexuality a secret. When Trent Crimm sees Colin kissing a man, the two eventually have a heart-to-heart about their experiences as gay men. That was back in “Sunflowers,” when the team traveled to Amsterdam. Since then, there hasn’t been much talk about Colin and his love life. Until episode 9.

Spoilers for season 3, episode 9 of Ted Lasso ahead

For most of the episode, Colin thinks that Isaac is furious and freezing him out because he’s found out he’s gay. He mistakenly thinks that his friend and team captain’s anger is over Colin’s sexuality. The reality is that the moment I saw Isaac’s reaction, I knew it stemmed from his friend not talking to him about it. That was made clear in the way he reacted to a fan who said a slur at them as Colin and Isaac were walking back into the locker room, jumping into the stands, ready to fight for his friend.

But their dynamic brought up a lot of important points about friendship, talking to each other, and how someone else’s decision to come out is entirely up to them and not their friends around them. Which is all things that Trent Crimm does reiterate in the series.

Just two friends, not talking to each other

What “La Locker Room Aux Folles” boiled down to was Isaac’s anger over Colin not talking to him and the two friends coming to terms with the fact that they are close. It took Colin seeing the team rally behind support for Isaac when they thought he was gay to realize that his fear of coming out with the Greyhounds wasn’t something to really worry about. And he even told Trent that it was the second-best scenario for it (the first being that everyone on the team was also gay).

But Isaac’s dedication to protecting his friend and his fighting a fan, even when he’s not supposed to, showed us that it was never about Colin being gay. His anger was always at the fact that Colin didn’t think he could trust Isaac to react positively. It took them both having separate realizations for Colin and Isaac to actually talk to each other. But when it did happen, it was a beautiful look into how their friendship would never change but the two could still open up a bit more to each other.

Colin even went as far as telling Isaac that he loved him but also recognized that Isaac loved him too, even if that’s not something Isaac can say. Getting to see these two talk out their issues and still stay true to their characters was surprisingly refreshing. And I loved that the pain Isaac felt was only because he thought his friend didn’t think he could be trusted. But I also love that Colin made it clear that it was more about him waiting for the time to be right for himself. It doesn’t matter how supportive Isaac wants to be, that’s a decision that only Colin gets to make.

I hope we get to see more of their friendship as the series goes on. Because it really was sweet getting to spend time with Colin and Isaac.

(Featured image: Apple TV+)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.