‘Ted Lasso’ Leaves Out Major Moments of Nate’s Journey Back to Richmond
Despite Ted Lasso season 3’s longer episodes, some important aspects of Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed)’s journey back to AFC Richmond have been left out—to the detriment of his character. Throughout Ted Lasso‘s third (and perhaps final?) season, Nate has been learning that alienating everyone who cares about you in a quest to build your self-esteem isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He wasn’t able to make friends with his new colleagues at West Ham United, Rupert a.k.a. “the devil” (Anthony Head) constantly undermined him, and he couldn’t find a way to forget how he’d wronged Ted and the rest of the Richmond squad after his abrupt departure.
Of course, as Ted Lasso is a show about growth and second chances, it was only a matter of time before Nate began to see the error of his ways. He found the root of his self-worth issues during an emotional heart-to-heart with his father and also apologized to kit man Will (Charlie Hiscock) for his bullying behavior back in season 2.
But two major milestones of Nathan’s path back to Richmond were, for some reason, left out of the storytelling completely. Instead, they opted to surprise the audience with two major revelations.
Spoilers through Ted Lasso season 3, episode 11 ahead.
The first abrupt revelation was when, at the beginning of Ted Lasso season 3, episode 10, the football pundits revealed that Nathan had left West Ham under mysterious circumstances. While the seeds for his departure had been sown, considering he’d clocked Rupert’s womanizing behavior and Jade (Edyta Budnik), his girlfriend, clearly wasn’t a big fan, this was still a major moment to skip over.
We later learn that Nate quit of his own accord, but why not show us the moment he finally stood up to Rupert? Not in a cruel way, like he did towards Will or Colin Hughes (Billy Harris) back when he was still at Richmond, but in a way that truly showed how much he’d grown? It would have made for a nice comparison to see how different Nate’s departure from West Ham was from his leaving Ted and the others behind.
The second moment that I feel should have been included is when the team decided to ask Nathan back to Richmond, before they randomly show up to offer the invitation. Though this scene wouldn’t have involved Nate directly, it’s still an important part of his path back to the club. Why have the players all suddenly forgiven him, when the video of him tearing down the BELIEVE sign made them play against West Ham like a bunch of rabid dogs? What was the logic behind their decision? And why do they think they need him when they’ve been dominating so much that they’re now in with a chance of winning the Premier League? These are all questions we could have gotten answers to had they included that scene in the show, but now, we’re left feeling slightly confused and even somewhat miffed. (At least, I am.)
Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt)’s scene with Nate in episode 11, “Mom City,” in which Beard finally reveals how he and Ted came to be friends, is perhaps one of the best scenes of Ted Lasso season 3. It almost made me forget about the other moments of Nathan’s developmental arc that we’ve somehow missed. But considering some of the unnecessary scenes that have been sprinkled throughout Ted Lasso‘s third season, despite how hilarious or heartwarming some of them might have been, I can’t help but feel disappointed that we haven’t gotten to see the whole of Nathan’s healing journey.
(featured image: Apple TV+)
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