Roy Kent and Jamie Tartt Is Truly the Love Story of Ted Lasso Season 2
Friend love, but still, it's important.
In season 1 of Apple TV+ hit Ted Lasso, we were shown two enemies fighting for the same girl and the title of AFC Richmond darling. Those two men were Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) and Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), and by the end of the season, it seemed as if Roy won whatever pissing contest the two were having.
Now that we’re in season 2, the dynamic has shifted mainly because Jamie ended up back at AFC Richmond after leaving to go to Manchester City (and being on a Love Island-esque show), and now Roy is an assistant coach of the team. They went from teammates where Roy was captain, to rival love interests, to coach and player, and now they seem to be … friends?
During season 2 episode 8, “Man City,” we got to see an incredible journey for both Roy and Jamie that makes me feel as if their relationship has changed for the better, and their love of each other clearly runs deeper than whatever rivalry we saw in season one.
**Spoilers for Ted Lasso season 2 episode 8, “Man City,” lie within.**
Roy Kent and Jamie Tartt are the perfect enemies-to-friends storyline, and that was driven home by “Man City.” Jamie has had a tenuous relationship with both his father and Roy from the start of the series. Roy was the man he thought was better, and his insecurities manifested themselves in his cocky behavior and his ability to ruin his own life. But that was the Jamie Tartt of season 1.
In season 2, he was confronted with the reality that there will always be someone better than himself and that he will always have to fight for his spot, and when Man City doesn’t want him back, he comes back to Richmond with his tail between his legs. And obviously, not everyone is happy—especially not Roy, when he ended up becoming a coach of the team.
But what makes this most recent episode so special is that it peaked with a moment that we’ve been waiting for with Jamie and Roy. Throughout the season, Roy and Jamie have made leaps and bounds as coach/player, but also as friends. Jamie was open and honest to Roy, telling him how he wanted to be coached by Roy, and from then on, their relationship started to shift.
Dunster already talked about how the love story of season 2 was between Jamie and Roy, telling Decider, “I’ll say to you what I said to Brett [Goldstein], to Jason [Sudeikis], to Brendan [Hunt], to Joe Kelly, the creators of the show … the real love story here is Jamie and Roy. I think that the great thing about the two of them is that they’re so similar. More similar than they’d—well, I actually think they do know they’re very similar and hate that.”
But how does that all tie into “Man City”? Well, Jamie’s father wants tickets to the game, and it is clear that Jamie does not want to do it. He reluctantly asks Higgins to get him the tickets and gets advice about fathers and sons from him. But when it really shifts is when his dad comes into the locker room after Richmond lost and is basically mocking Richmond for their loss. Jamie fights back, punching his father in the face before Coach Beard kicks him out.
And while Jamie is standing there, clearly upset by what was going on, no one knows what to do except for Roy. He walks up and hugs him and just holds Jamie, waiting until Jamie breaks down and hugs him back, crying into Roy’s shoulder about his father. It’s truly one of the best character arcs I have seen on television between two characters, and watching as both Roy and Jamie just try to function together and grow is overwhelming.
That hug, while brief, showed us exactly how Roy and Jamie feel about each other and how well they know one another. As we saw throughout the season, Roy knows what Jamie needs over and over again. He knew how Jamie needed to be coached, he knew when to intervene, and now he knew exactly how to comfort Jamie. I hope that this show continues to explore these two and their dynamic together, because I like that they are growing and understanding the other—especially if it means these emotional hugs.
(image: Apple TV+)
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