Since Ted Lasso began airing, there have been episodes rated the most passionate, the most pure.

Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 5 blew them all away.

Those last five minutes were incredible!

This episode paid tribute to many romantic comedies: Notting Hill, Jerry Maguire, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, and Back to the Future.

Nate: What's Isaac need?
Ted: Well, I have no idea. No, usually in this situation, I'd have the player talk to the team captain before I intervened.
Nate: Isaac's our captain.
Ted: Exactly, I can't very well ask Isaac to pull himself aside. That would be dangerously close to messing with the ... What's it called?
Nate: The Dark Arts?
Ted: No.
Beard: The space-time continuum.
Ted: That's it, yeah.

Back to the Future isn't usually classified as a romantic comedy. Regardless, it seems to have influenced this episode. The way Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 5 flawlessly sets off an array of Chekhov's guns to bring Marty McFly Roy Kent home was reminiscent of Back to the Future's plotting.

The first time "She's A Rainbow" was heard as Higgins' ringtone was back on Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 3.

Ted mentioned he left tickets for Roy, under the names of various country singers, at will-call on Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 1.

Roy injured his knee on Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 10, and it was bothering him on Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 4.

Even the rickshaw could count as a Chekhov's gun since Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 4 established there were rickshaws in the Richmond area.

None of these things necessarily needed to be planted in advance but doing so made for a far more satisfying viewing experience. Once those Chekhov's guns were wedded to the pitch-perfect performances, visuals, editing, and soundtrack, the result was Ted Lasso's most impressive set piece to date.

It is also the most illuminating example of how Ted Lasso's storytelling has become bolder and more experimental.

Since the beginning, reference humor has been a part of Ted Lasso's DNA, but it was mostly confined to dialogue. Ted Lasso Season 2 has expanded to using visuals to express the reference. The old couple doing a talking head in the style of When Harry Met Sally is one example.

The parodies, or homages, are more confident and go deeper. It makes the comedy richer. The end product is less Ted Lasso wholesale lifting from pop culture inspirations and instead uses those inspirations to craft something uniquely its own.

Fairy tales do not start nor do they end at the dark forest. That's only something that shows up smack dab in the middle of the story, but it will all work out. It may not work out how you think it will or how you hope it does. But believe me, it will all work out, exactly as it's supposed to. Our job is to have zero expectations and just let go.


Much of the success of the "She's A Rainbow" montage comes from Brett Goldstein's performance. His line deliveries, his facial expressions, and his physical acting were perfect. He has been the stand-out all season, but this cements him as the MVP of Ted Lasso Season 2.

Honorable mention goes out to Brendan Hunt for his gasp when Roy accepted the coaching position.

It's good to have Roy Kent back on the team. His verbal sparrings with Ted have been sorely missed. His return might spark some drama -- with Nate, of all people.

Ted: Hey, look, Roy, if you enjoy doing the whole pundit thing then by all means you should do it for the rest of your life.
Roy: Why won't you let me be happy?

Nate scored a big win this week too. With Keeley and Rebecca's help, he figured out how to make people take him seriously. He got the window table he wanted. However, it wasn't a complete triumph.

Jade, the hostess, didn't face any consequences for her behavior or realize she was in the wrong. Jade is one of the most odious characters to appear on Ted Lasso. She's up there with Rupert and Jamie's dad. Props to Edyta Budnik for her performance because she does odious well. 

All the effort Nate put into getting the window table didn't earn him any respect from his father. Nate was not exaggerating when he said his father hates everything. Then there's Nate spitting on his reflection to boost his confidence. It worked, but it reveals the depth of his self-loathing.

All this goes a long in explaining why Nate bullies Will. It doesn't excuse it, but it does explain it. Nate's bullying hasn't been focused on these past few episodes, but his jealousy over Roy's return could spark a resurgence.

It's insidiously brilliant to set Nate and Roy on a collision course. Pitting two people who like each other against one another makes the drama more complicated and engaging because it's as much about the internal conflicts of heart as it is an external problem.

Will Ted pick up on Nate's feelings about Roy joining the coaching staff? Ted appears to have dropped the ball with Nate lately. He hasn't picked up on the bullying, and he was dismissive of Nate's offer to speak to Isaac.

If there is a flaw with Ted's belief in rom-communism, it's his belief that the happy ending is the end of the story. With Nate receiving his happy ending of becoming a coach, he seems to think all of Nate's problems are solved when it's not the case. 

Even so, Ted makes a persuasive argument in favor of rom-communism. It's his finest speech since his Earl speech on Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 1.

It was a smart choice to include back and forth exchanges between him and players. The scene is funnier than it would be as a straight monologue and draws your attention away from the fact you're receiving an info dump.

Sam: I enjoy Renee Zellweger in all the Bridget Jones movies. Her accent is pitch-perfect, and her gift for physical comedy is grossly underrated.
Ted: Word.

It's good to see Ted maintaining his high spirits from Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 4. As interesting as it is to see Ted's ideals tested, we need to be reminded of his talents for problem-solving and inspiring people.  

Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 5 captured the spirit of romantic comedies. Watching it, you feel the way you do when you watch a romantic comedy -- ridiculously happy.

Over to you, TV Fanatics!

How many rom-com references did you catch?

Did anyone else get The Mighty Ducks 2 vibes when Isaac played football with the amateur players?

Hit the comments below.



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