Warning: The following contains spoilers about Season 3, Episode 5 of Ted Lasso.
Any other week, the surprise retirement of AFC Richmond’s star player would be a big effing deal. But coming out of a Ted Lasso episode that features a half-dozen other major developments, at least one of which seems to hint at the series’ endgame, Zava’s exit feels relatively small.
For starters, there’s everything going on with Ted. Ever since he saw Henry off at Heathrow in the Season 3 opener, we’ve suspected that Coach Lasso will return to Kansas sooner rather than later, and take a more active role in his son’s life. Four weeks later, the very thought of being separated from his boy, who’s suddenly acting out in school, exacerbates his anxiety tenfold.
Episode 5 also finds AFC Richmond in a serious slump. A month has passed since they faced off against Nate and West Ham United, and the Greyhounds have slipped from third to ninth place. Not good! Their gameplay is so poor that Higgins, a character once defined by his missing backbone, confronts Rebecca and tells her that her club is headed in the wrong direction — and it’s not because of the quality of their players. Their stats have gotten so bad, he says, that she may want to consider replacing Ted as club manager.
At this point, we should you remind you that Ted was more than willing to step aside if Rebecca wanted to make a change in Season 1. If she decides to make a change now, we suspect he’ll leave with his head held high and book the first available flight back to Kansas.
Now, as far as “winning the whole f–king thing” goes, who’s to say what that actually means for Ted at this point in his journey? Is the ultimate goal to see Richmond go out on top, or put his family back together? Both outcomes are still achievable, but only one, we’d wager, requires Ted’s presence.
For now, at least, Rebecca is too wrapped up in her own stuff to give Higgins’ proposal a moment’s thought. It comes after a serendipitous run-in with ex-boyfriend John Wingsnight. He introduces her to his new fiancée, Jessica Darling, who in turn refers to John as her “shite in nining armor.” Freaky, right? Suddenly, Rebecca finds herself at her crossroads: She still doesn’t believe in clairvoyance, but perhaps Mum’s psychic saw something in her that she didn’t see in herself — in this case, her immense desire to start a family. She proceeds to schedule an appointment with her OB-GYN to see if she can get pregnant, knowing full well that it’s unlikely at her age. And judging by her reaction to Dr. Wagner’s call, her test results confirm what she suspected.
Upon receiving the news, Rebecca attempts to get in touch with Keeley. Unfortunately, her BFF is preoccupied. After firing Shandy (good riddance!), Keeley and venture capitalist Jack get cozy and eventually lock lips. It’s a hookup that several TVLine readers predicted following Jodi Balfour’s introduction in Episode 4 — well done!
Meanwhile, across town, Nate sits down to dinner with
Anastasia Jade. Call us crazy, but we like this pairing a lot. If anyone’s going to call the “Wonder Kid” out on his ish, it’s the burnt-out service worker who doesn’t seem the least bit fazed by his meteoric rise from kit man to head coach. Will Jade be the one to bring Nate back down to Earth?
Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s talk Zava. After the players watch a goodbye video he posted to social media, Ted suggests that they never needed him in the first place. “All we need to win are the fellas in this room,” he says. “And all you fellas need to do is believe it,” regardless of whether the “Believe” sign above his office door remains intact. Belief, he says, comes from your heart, your head and your gut — that is, so long as you’re able to rise above all the envy, fear and shame. “I don’t want to mess around with that s–t anymore,” Ted says, dropping a rare cuss word. “You know what I want to mess around with? The belief that I matter, regardless of what I do or don’t achieve. Or the belief that we all deserve to be loved, whether we’ve been hurt or we’ve hurt somebody else. Or what about the belief of hope? That’s what I want to mess with. Believing that things can get better — that I can get better. That we will get better.” It’s an earnest speech that speaks to just about everyone in and out of the locker room — including closeted left winger Colin, who we cut to as soon as Ted mentions shame, and Roy, who receives a close up when Ted alludes to hurting someone you love. But perhaps most interesting is who we see when Ted mentions the belief of hope. We cut to a shot of Rebecca holding the green matchbook that Sam gave her in Episode 3. Could he be her “shite in nining armor,” after all?
Now it’s your turn! What did you think of Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 5: “Signs”? Sound off in Comments.
I’m very curious about the strange interaction between Ted and Rebecca as they passed each other in the hallway. Was that some kind of foreshadowing?
Also, I think it’s interesting how quickly Higgins mentioned swapping managers. They just got promoted and not even a quarter of the way through the season.
I hope this season has a happy ending. They are going sideways with a few stories that I’m not sure how they will resolve.
I feel like the writers were backed into a corner with Sudelkis saying this was a 3-season show. It is causing things to get rushed now so the series can end without too many questions remaining.
I’ve been shipping Ted and Rebecca since Ted’s divorce! Everything looks like a sign to me.
i think the strange interaction just had to do with the fact that both of them are looking for hope.. and she mentioned buillying without knowing anything going on with his son and he mentioned being psychic without knowing whats going on in her life. So they both took it as a sign of hope
It was odd because Ted usually calls Rebecca ‘Boss’ and she usually calls him ‘Ted.’ In this exchange he called her ‘Rebecca’ and she called him ‘Coach.’
If you actually follow English Football, that thought is common. Any manager can get easily fired for similar reasons.
The reaction in this episode of the fans of the Richmond team pretty well mirrors my feelings about this show this entire season. The writers have seemingly given up on trying to convince us that Ted Lasso is a worthy coach despite all his personal and professional failings. If I were Higgins, I would want him gone too, despite what a great guy he is. It’s hard to root for him. And what was the point of Zava? He was introduced as an undependable person that could disappear at any time…and then we’re supposed to be surprised and saddened when he disappears? Maybe it would have succeeded if the writers attempted to flesh him out and make him a real person in any way. I could go on and on, but five episodes in, I’m still waiting for this season to start.
The point of Zava was to make Jamie and Roy work together to make Jamie the best he can be. Then Jamie is going to end up winning for the team and everyone on the team is going to love Jamie which he has never really had like that before from teammates
Trent holding a rainbow mug was as subtle as a sledgehammer.
I might be in the minority of still rooting for Rebecca to end up with Ted, not Sam, but I took the “you will have a family” comment to mean she could become a step-mother to Ted’s son. Not sure how they would work out the bi-continent thing, since it does seem like they’re building towards him moving back to Kansas.
Also have to mention – the conversation in Ted’s office when Beard offered to burn the kid’s house down and Roy elaborately explained how to best deal with a bully, was gold. I was crying laughing so hard.
Me too! Best (yet twisted uncles ever!)
I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. Jamie will be the “(blank) in nine-ing armor” and save richmond. He’s number 9. He’ll become Zava.
This show likes to use similar opening and closing shots. So, I think the the last shot will be Ted at the aiport in Kansas.
I’m sorry, but Jade sucks as a potential paramour to Nate. She has always been mean and dismissive of him for no reason. Even in this episode when he came with a reservation (and the mgr Derek already saying in a prior episode that everything he wanted was on him –minus alcohol) she still wanted to put him in the back. She acts like she barely remembers him and then acted like Nate and Anastasia werent together, when it was incredibly obvious they were there together. Now, all 3 of them suck and are all making choices and decisions for the wrong reasons, but Jade has been doing it the whole time, even back when Nate was semi-likable, so god no she is not a good match, she sucks!!!!
His determination to respect himself and be respected, plus seeing her “pet” humiliated by another woman, I see her sitting. Sometimes just seeing another woman looking at a guy is enough for someone to reconsider. She showed jealousy before they got to her.
And looks like they hit it off.
I was surprised at the abruptness of Zava’s departure. When they were doing press, it seemed like he would be on throughout the season, and he leaves epsiode 5? He obviously wasn’t going to stay on the team forever, but I figured he’d at least have a proper farewell scene and not an instagram video.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Rupert gets Zava to un-retire and join West Ham, where he’ll butt heads with Nate and cost the latter his job.
The only way I could see Zava joining another team during the season is if Richmond never formalized his contract. If there was a formal contract, it’s likely that under league rules, Zava couldn’t just retire-unretire and play for another team unless Richmond officially released Zava from his contract.
…which could be a way of driving a reconciliation between Ted & Nate and have him replace Ted at Richmond, with Ted returning to Kansas…
Yes. This is what our household thinks. Read the Atlantic piece on Ted which says Jason always said this show was about good vs. evil. We’ll then if Nate represents the villain with Rupert and leaves west ham for Richmond when Ted leaves bam-theme demonstrated.
OoOo… I like this plot line!
I loved Zava and felt he was a funny addition to the team, but each time I heard him talking about his children’s names and his love for his wife I thought “He already has it all. Why is he wasting his time playing football?” I wish the could’ve stayed a whole season, like Dany Rojas did, but I’m glad he’s in such a good place at life.
I predict Ted will go back to the States.
I think Rebecca is already pregnant with Sam’s child.
Ted goes back to Kansas and Nathan comes back to take over as head coach.
Roy and Keely end up together.
Maybe the others come true but Sam and Rebecca already being pregnant isn’t possible. At this point not only would she be almost 5 or 6 months pregnant and visibly showing but that would’ve *definitely* shown up on a blood test at a fertility doctor.
Are we sure of that timeline? They could have slept together again….
Or Sassy dies and Rebecca becomes Nora’s Mom.
That’s the third part of the psychic’s vision. Rebecca is upside down but she’s okay. Maybe an accident with Sassy in the car, who dies but Rebecca survives? Who knows. The show has five short episodes left to bring a lot together.
I’ve seen this predicted so many times and I don’t see the show going that route at all, especially after we already went through a funeral last year with Rebecca’s father. It would be a retread and with only 7 episodes left in this series (trilogy or whatever they are doing after season 3 is over) it seems like such a distraction to force into such a short time. It would just reek of GOT season 8 to me and I think they have shown themselves to be better than that
Rebecca just got the news over the phone that she can’t get pregnant (or it sure seemed that was the news she got based on her reaction). Assuming that’s the case I doubt the tests she had done missed that she actually is already pregnant. She could become a step mother perhaps if Ted is her endgame (which I hope he is).
If anything the Ted Lasso writers have always been good at subverting expectations. We’re all out here speculating like crazy and while I think we’ll probably hit a few things on the head, I bet we’ll miss even more. I also highly doubt we’ve seen the last of Zava, but if we have then he did his part we just haven’t seen the bigger picture yet. It’ll all be revealed, I’m just impatient!
I’m in the minority regarding Rebecca and the “family” element. I think she’s eventually going to come to realize that family doesn’t always mean a partner and children. It could mean a family of a different kind….a kind she already has.