Even though it wasn’t described as a “series finale,” “Ted Lasso” undoubtedly came to an end with an episode that was overflowing with emotion and passion, rounding off the least palatable of its three seasons. The appropriately titled “So Long, Farewell” episode gave viewers who thought the show had lost its creative focus throughout the protracted buildup to the titular character’s decision, which seemed to be an unavoidable one, one last cause to be hopeful.
Although the opening sleepover joke provided a brief (though hilariously false) surprise, the conclusion of the episode and, in fact, the entire season, felt rather well foreshadowed throughout the course of the previous several very lengthy episodes. Even though AFC Richmond owner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) begged him to stay, Ted (Jason Sudeikis), who was missing his kid, decided to move back to the US. Rebecca told him, “If you go, I go.”
Before Ted could fly back across the pond, however, there were many farewells to be said, including a song from ‘The Sound of Music’ that was especially fitting, as well as the small matter of making amends with West Ham United and its sneering owner Rupert (Anthony Head), whose public mid-game meltdown was perhaps the finale’s most awkward moment.
To its credit, the two-time Emmy winner left some unanswered questions regarding the triangle including Keeley (Juno Temple), Jamie (Phil Dunster), and Roy (Brett Goldstein), even though Roy was chosen as the ostensibly logical candidate to fill Ted’s shoes. For anyone who wanted to scratch a more specific love ache, Rebecca reconnected with her Amsterdam dalliance.
A breakup of sorts also occurred when Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), who was loyal to Ted, decided to stay behind. Ted had persuaded author Trent Krimm (James Lance) to rename his book about the team from its original title, “The Lasso Way,” pointing out subtly that it was never really about him.
In a way, that’s true because the fish-out-of-water plotline of the show, which centers on a character created for NBC Sports commercials, ended up being just the starting point for a much richer, funnier, and softer property. There are plenty of new directions to explore with or without Ted in the future.
Ted may be going on, but he leaves his humor and wisdom in his wake. Whatever Richmond’s track record, the series was a success for Apple TV+ since it not only attracted media attention and prestigious prizes but also led to a recent White House visit to talk about mental health issues.
The series concluded with the Cat Stevens song “Father and Son,” symbolizing the bond that hung over “Ted Lasso” – the series and the character – from the beginning, and included multiple references to the very first episode.
All in all, it was a really moving conclusion to a less-than-stellar season. And even if it was a little predictable, it still worked since it was difficult to see “Ted Lasso” accomplishing its objectives in any other way.