Ted Lasso Continues To Illustrate Why Roy Kent Is the Perfect Male Lead—And Why Nate Sucks
Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso‘s latest episode, “Headspace,” shows us men accepting responsibility for their failures—as well as one being a total asshole.
**Spoilers for Ted Lasso’s “Headspace.”**
Now that we are moving into the second half of the second season of Ted Lasso, the show has been revving up its character drama. While that has left the element of football on the back burner, it has allowed us to see the foundation of why the team is struggling.
I think it’s hard to remember that AFC Richmond was set up to fail under Rebecca last season and that she doesn’t exactly have experience running a football club. Ted was hired as a joke, but his positivity and ability to bring men together has brought the team back from the precipice of complete disaster—but it was failing before he arrived.
The job was also a distraction from the personal issues going on in his life, the crumbling of his marriage, so in “Headspace” during the conversations with Dr. Fieldstone, we see all the things he has been keeping in. The anger. The bitterness. All of that comes out in therapy because even though Ted has issues with the profession, something in him wants to go.
It is so subtly dark to see Ted dismiss Dr. Fieldstone’s profession and express cynicism towards what she does for a living. He’s only ever that cruel to tea. It made me glad to see Dr. Fieldstone address it quickly and for Ted to be responsible, in classic fashion. Ted may have been holding things together on the team, but he has also been missing things: mainly the bullshit with Nate.
Nate is a big problem. He’s an asshole. After years of being put down, the power has gone to his head and he is displaying toxic masculinity in a way that makes me honestly hate seeing him onscreen. During practice, he punishes Colin for taking the piss (while allowing Jamie and Dani to do the same unscathed). When Colin comes in to confront this, Nate can’t even be bothered to take his eyes off his phone as he religiously checks his hashtag.
In true douchebag fashion, Nate calls Colin an uninspired painting in a hotel used to cover up bloodstains. It sounds silly to type, but it is delivered with such callous dismissal I want to put burn ointment on Colin. Thankfully, Coach Beard sees this and tells Nate to “do better” which prompts the latter to apologize to the team.
But not to Will.
Will has been the subject of Nate’s ire for a while, as his “replacement” as an assistant to the team/water boy. It is clear that Nate is unloading the same toxic behavior he received onto Will. It is gross to watch and even stranger that while Coach Beard has called this out, neither him nor Ted have called out this treatment they’ve both witnessed.
At the end of the episode, Nate receives a jersey that says “Wonder Kid” on it from the team that was Will’s idea. He accepts it and sees a tweet that mocks him and goes to Will and threatens him, taking out his aggression on this kid.
The fact that Ted isn’t seeing this and calling it out is jarring, and I think, intentional on the show’s part. Ted is missing stuff because he is so wrapped up in his own mental issues. Now, the question is how this will affect the rest of the team.
Thank goodness for Roy Kent. His story with Keeley was about how overwhelming it can be to work and live with your partner. Keeley wants some time to herself to just watch Sex and the City (love that they used the Aiden/Carrie fight “Don’t you ever just shut up!”—iconic). But Roy is reading Dan Brown, loudly, and turning her on all the time, and it’s just a lot.
Another theme of this season is telling the truth vs. keeping things inside, something that Ted has been prone to do. Before, it was with telling Coach Beard his relationship is toxic. This time, it is Keeley being afraid to tell Roy she wants space. Ted says it is good to bottle things in, after all that’s how we get pickles, but when Keeley does it she ends up exploding. Roy gets in his feelings for a bit, but after coaching Jamie of all people, he realizes that he needs to trust his partner and give her space.
He makes a playlist, runs her a rose petal bath with candles, and leaves her alone for three hours.
(image: Apple TV+)
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]