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No One Is Happy on This Week’s ‘Ted Lasso’

Ted wearing a red shirt and smiling in Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso.

There are so many moments throughout Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso when someone is upset. Whether it’s Ted’s panic attacks or the characters crying in their offices, it seems as if each week, we focus on one character’s issues. Last week, we watched as Colin and Isaac figured out their friendship, and they’re stronger for it. In “International Break,” though, it seems as if every single character going through something is at their lowest all at the same time.

Despite many having complaints about the series as a whole, for me, I’ve been letting it “cook,” as it were, waiting to see where the journey will take these characters and how it will look as the season concludes. We still have two more episodes to go in the season, but we’re starting to see where each character’s lowest points will take them.

For the most part, season 3 has been about relationships and upheaval, but one character at a time. Prior to this season, we focused on Ted’s journey with smaller side episodes. We’ve seen a lot of Rebecca’s growth throughout this season in regards to Rupert, but it’s still not like anything in season 3 episode 10, “International Break,” because watching as every character who has continually looked at Ted as the positive light in their life all hit their own respective breaking points is interesting to unpack.

That starts with the choice to have Nate leave West Ham on his own and how he coped with that decision.

Nate’s journey to self discovery

Nate and his violin on ted lasso
(Apple TV+)

Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed) has had quite the arc from season 1 to now. Despite turning against the Diamond Dogs, he’s been bogged down by his own self hatred and inability to see his own success. Even when he left AFC Richmond to go work with Rupert and West Ham, he still couldn’t get out of his own way. After all that betrayal, even with Ted still trying to root for Nate, we finally got to see Nathan do the right thing. After Rupert takes him to a bar where he’s ready to cheat (and encourages Nate to do so, even though he just met Jade), Nate quits the team.

And his own fear over it is not about finding a new job but instead about how his father will see this failure. It leads to Nate having a long-overdue conversation with his father about their relationship and the burden that Nate often felt about trying to make his father proud of him. For three seasons, we’ve watched him struggle to make his dad happy, and after spending weeks in bed at his parents’ home and realizing what is important to him, Nate comes back into his own self-worth.

He plays a song on the violin, something he hasn’t played since he was a child because his father would tell him he wasn’t good enough (simply because he didn’t know how to raise a “genius,” as he tells Nate). It has been a long time coming for Nate to have some kind of emotional reaction to everything he’s done and seeing him come to terms with his time at West Ham and his next steps is going to be interesting in the coming episodes.

You’re not a failure, Keeley Jones

Keeley on the phone in Ted Lasso
(Apple TV+)

For most of this season, Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) has been in a romantic relationship and had very little else to do. Briefly, she dated Jack (Jodi Balfour), but when her phone is hacked and she’s embroiled in a private video scandal, Jack takes the side of the patriarchy instead of her girlfriend. It results in the end of their relationship and Keeley being left wondering what she possibly did wrong. To be clear, Keeley is innocent. She simply sent a sexy video to her then-boyfriend, Jamie, and somehow winds up being the one blamed for it getting out.

Jack then continues to ruin Keeley’s life by not telling her that they’re pulling the KJPR funding, and that means that the company Keeley built is gone. It leads to an episode of Keeley drinking away her problems, ignoring Rebecca’s calls to check in on her, and struggling to come to terms with her life as it now is. But what’s really great is when Keeley finally opens up to Rebecca, she’s met with understanding and open arms, which is what she has needed from the start of the episode.

We see her at her lowest, drinking and in sweats because she’s resigned herself to a failure that wasn’t her fault. So, when she does finally realize that she still has people on her side, it means a lot.

Sam getting left out isn’t his fault

Sam and Simi on Ted Lasso
(Apple TV+)

Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) has always wanted to make his home proud. Being from Lagos, Nigeria, he has a dream of playing for the Nigerian national football team during the international break, where many of his teammates are going to play for their home countries. The difference here is that Sam, while being singled out for his work at Richmond and how good he is, isn’t chosen for the Nigerian team, and it is not his fault, either. It is down to Edwin Akufo (Sam Richardson).

He’s determined to ruin Sam’s reputation and will stop at nothing to do it. To Sam’s credit, he tries to keep his head up, and he finds joy in Jamie wearing his number to play for England. Because even though Edwin wants to ruin Sam, it won’t work because Sam will always have a good heart and Edwin will always be lost in his own misery.

From here on out, we might see our favorite characters on the upswing. They’ve all hit their bottoms and are now trying to climb back up to their own versions of success, and it will be quite the journey to unpack in the remaining two episodes of the third season of Ted Lasso.

(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.