Warning: The following contains spoilers about Season 3, Episode 6 of Ted Lasso.
We need to talk about what happens in Amsterdam. More specifically, what happens to Rebecca in Amsterdam. Because after watching Wednesday’s Ted Lasso, we have some serious questions about what, exactly, went down between AFC Richmond’s owner and the Man With No Name (played by Dutch actor Matteo Van Der Grijn), and whether we should be skeeved out at all.
We begin with Rebecca falling into the canal — perhaps another one of Tish’s visions come true? — then taking the Man With No Name up on his offer to warm up on his houseboat. He makes himself scarce so she can be alone once she steps out of the shower — but not before throwing her clothes in the dryer and brewing a fresh pot of tea. Rebecca is surprised to find the place empty when she gets out, but uses the opportunity to survey his home, which includes a children’s bedroom that clearly belongs to a young girl.
The Man With No Name eventually returns and tends to a cut on Rebecca’s ankle. He tells her that he was in the military and trained for a moment like this. Then, after bandaging her wound, he kisses her foot. “Sorry,” he says. “Force of habit.” This seems to suggest that he does, in fact, have a daughter. He never mentions her by name, but he does mention a former partner, likely his kid’s mother, who was unfaithful. Her infidelity came dangerously close to destroying their family, but then he realized that this thing didn’t happen to him, it happened for him, and he’s clearly better off on his own — a conclusion that Rebecca has yet to fully grasp in the wake of her own failed marriage to the philandering Rupert.
Over the next several hours, Rebecca and the Man With No Name sip brandy, sing along to André Hazes (performing a Dutch rendition of “She Believes in Me,” originally sung by “the Gambler himself, Mr. Kenny Rogers“) and sit down to dinner. It’s all very cozy. Or gezellig, as the Man With No Name puts it. Neither of them wants this night to end, so they toss two cups of water on Rebecca’s clothes and let the dryer run an additional cycle. They drink wine, they dance, and the evening culminates in an extremely sensual foot massage.
When Rebecca falls asleep, the Man With No Name covers her with a blanket and returns to his bedroom like a proper gentleman. There is no indication that they’ve had sex. And yet, the following morning, Rebecca asks, “Did we…?” The Man With No Name says “no.” But as soon as she leaves, he has a different answer. “‘Did we…?’ Oh, yes, we did,” he says to himself, which is a weird note to end on — no matter how you spin it. It’s also strange that Rebecca would have to ask. Did she ever appear blackout drunk? Surely, she would have remembered if they had sex. We’re happy that she’s happy (see: “Three Little Birds”) but we’re going to need some clarity here.
Among other notable developments in Episode 6…
* The placebo effect works wonders on Ted. After downing a dead batch of hallucinogenic tea, Ted conceives of a strategy to turn the Greyhounds’ luck around. It involves less rigid gameplay — giving the guys freedom to go wherever they want on the pitch so long as they work together, which is something they’re likely prepared for after their cathartic pillow fight back at the hotel. Turns out, there’s already a name for this strategy — Total Football — and it’s been around since the 1970s. He runs it by Piggy Stardust—err, Coach Beard, once they get back on the bus, and his assistant coach thinks it’ll work. We’ll see if he’s right.
* Not only does Trent confront Colin about being gay, but we also get confirmation that Trent is gay. He tells Colin that he and his former partner have never been closer, and their daughter — who was previously mentioned only once, in Season 1 — has never been happier. D’aw! Colin, in turn, confides in Trent, explaining how he currently lives two lives. “You got my work life,” where no one at the club knows, “and then you’ve got my dating life,” he says. “Some guys think it’s hot. Others, they don’t care, but eventually they get tired and move on.”
Once the club brought in Dr. Sharon, she helped Colin see that he has an ache — “an ache for both my lives to be my only life.” At the same time, he doesn’t want to be a spokesperson. “All I want is for when we win a match to be able to kiss my fella the same way the guys get to kiss their girls,” he says. “And I know we can’t fix every ache inside of us, but I shouldn’t have to pretend it’s not there, either.” Well said, Colin.
* Roy and Jamie’s night out culminates in Roy opening up to Jamie about Keeley having a girlfriend. Jamie, in turn, opens up to Roy about his initial trip to Amsterdam at age 14, when his no-good, rotten dad took him to the Red Light District to lose his virginity. But Jamie also tells Roy about a subsequent trip with his mum, who opened his eyes to Amsterdam’s vibrant art and culture. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t at least mention Jamie teaching Roy how to ride a bike — hands down the funniest moment of Season 3.
* Speaking of the Red Light District, can we take a moment to acknowledge Higgins and Will’s evening together? Higgins, who is always doing for others, gets to live out his dream of playing upright bass with a jazz quartet. Meanwhile, Will, a character who is frequently infantilized, is finally seen as a sexual, adult being by the couple who ask him to partake in a threesome. Whether or not he took them up on their offer remains unknown.
What did you think of Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 6: “Sunflowers”? Grade it via the following poll, then sound off in Comments.