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Ted Lasso season 3 episode 5 recap - a sign from above

As Richmond falter following their defeat at West Ham and things go from bad to worse the Ted Lasso cast look for a sign that things can improve.

Our Verdict

Ted finally works out where he belongs, but other characters remain a little lost for now.

After the disastrous match at the London Stadium last week, Ted Lasso season 3 episode 5, Signs, sees our heroes question themselves and their beliefs but don’t worry, it all comes good in the end, for the most part.

We begin at Richmond as the Greyhounds suffer another disastrous loss, this time against Newcastle. We’re quickly told they’ve lost the last three games and slid down the league to a rather disappointing ninth place. Making matters worse is the fact Ted (Jason Sudeikis), Roy (Brett Goldstein), and Beard (Brendan Hunt) can’t seem to work out why.

Ted Lasso season 3 episode 5 – Ted versus the world

Zava (Maximilian Osinski) is still scoring goals, but the rest of the team just isn’t on his level, and other clubs are taking advantage of that weakness. Even Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) is starting to lose her confidence in her backroom staff, openly lambasting Ted and asking him if they will ever win another game.

As sad as it is to see Ted in this position, I did enjoy this new dynamic. Rebecca has always supported Ted, but now the club’s in the Premier League, and she cares about winning, their relationship has evolved. Rebecca now needs Ted to be good at his job, which is sort of the opposite of why she hired him, and there’s conflict there, which is always good in a TV series.

I was surprised how quickly it came to a head, to be honest, with Higgins (Jeremy Swift) even suggesting that if things don’t improve soon that they’ll have to get rid of Ted. I admire the show for having the brass bollocks to suggest as nice as Ted is, he’s just not cut out for the Premier League. That’s basically what Nate (Nick Mohammed) said at the end of season 2, and so far, Nate’s been proven right.

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That said, Ted’s worries, as always, go beyond the pitch. Back in Kansas, Henry’s been accused of bullying another kid, and Ted has to have a hard conversation with his son. Beard does his best to console Ted, explaining that Henry’s a good kid because Ted raised him right, but it’s clear that the good coach is having a crisis of confidence.

There are just so many signs that he’s not cut out for the job, and that central theme — that Ted ultimately doesn’t belong at Richmond —  finally comes to a head when the Greyhounds play Manchester City. In what seems like a death blow for Ted’s career, Zava announces his retirement from the game right before the match (he wants to dedicate time to his family and avocado farm), and the Richmond faithful are destroyed on the field.

Ted, Coach Beard, and Roy Kent in Ted Lasso season 3

In the changing room, Ted seems to be staring down the barrel of another anxiety attack when Henry calls him. Talking with his son, who apologises for his behaviour, Ted clearly has an epiphany, though, and as the familiar swelling sound begins again, Ted manages to control his breathing and come through the other side.

Heading out into the changing room, Ted tells the team to shake it off because they’ll get another crack at City later in the season. As the team yell that they can’t win without Zava, Ted tells them they don’t need their ace player because he didn’t want to be there, but everyone else in that changing room does.

Just when it seems like Ted’s rallied the troops, though, the “believe” sign falls from the wall, and the team nearly fall apart, but Ted’s very honest with the boys. That sign was always just a sign, and as he rips it up, he warns them that it always will be unless they take what it represents and internalise that message. There are always reasons you can’t do something. You’ll always get in your own way unless you truly believe in yourself.

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I’ll be honest I loved this entire scene. So far, Ted Lasso season 3’s been all about belonging, and Ted has finally decided he does belong. The scene of him talking to Henry and dealing with his anxiety seem to suggest that Ted has finally realsied he can co-parent from a distance, and he’s ready to recommit to Richmond and, as he promised Rebecca, “win the whole fucking thing”.

Is it cheesy? Yes! It’s arguably a slightly unrealistic depiction of anxiety, but Ted’s earned this moment, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m guessing he’ll finally turn it around, but to be honest, even if he doesn’t, it’s nice to see Ted get his groove back.

Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) in Ted Lasso season 3

Ted Lasso season 3 episode 5 – Rebecca’s signs

Ted’s not the only one dealing with a sign (Although one that’s a little less literal). After the aforementioned bollocking of Ted, Rebecca heads off for a coffee, where she’s handed a green matchbook just like the psychic predicted. As she tries to get rid of it, fate throws another lump of shit at Rebecca when she runs into her old boyfriend, John, from season 2 and his new fiancee.

The meeting’s about as awkward as you’d expect, but Rebecca becomes fixated on something John’s fiancee says. Specifically, she mentions a “Shight in Knining armour”, again just like the psychic mentioned. Talking to Higgins about the experience, he confesses he believes in the power of the third eye and all that nonsense, even admitting a psychic told him he’d have five sons.

Buoyed by their chat, Rebecca heads off to her doctor to ask about the final part of the psychic’s prophecy, having a child. The doc’s actually quite optimistic about the idea at first, telling her older women have conceived but that he’ll have to run some tests. In a heartbreaking final turn, however, right after Richmond loses to Manchester City, the doctor confirms Rebecca’s worst fear, she can’t have children.

It’s honestly, the most heartbreaking part of the episode on Waddingham does a sensational job with the material. You can see on her face for most of the episode that she doesn’t want to get her hopes up, but the thoughtlessly optimistic words of the doctor seem to convince her that the psychic was right, only for it all to be torn away from her over the phone.

Ted Lasso season 3 episode 5 – Nate finally gets a break

Over at West Ham, meanwhile, Nate (after some prodding from Rupert’s assistant) finally arranges a date with Anastasia, the model he met at the end of the last episode. The pair go on a date to the Greek restaurant that Nate loves so much, but Anastasia doesn’t like it, describing the food as good but the decor as grubby.

Even when Nate explains why the restaurant’s important to him, because it’s where his family have always celebrated their triumphs, Anastasia is unmoved, eventually leaving to hang out with her friends. Nate isn’t humiliated, though. Grace, the waiter who Nate’s had such difficulty with in the past, hears what Nate said about the restaurant and agrees to grab a drink with him.

This was only a small part of the episode, but it was a touching one. We can see the Nate we used to love is still in there. Interestingly it’s that Nate, the more confident but not arrogant Nate, that Grace finally starts to warm after recognising his genuine passion (for Greek food in this case) as something to be admired.

Juno Temple as Keeley in Ted Lasso season 3

Ted Lasso season 3 episode 5 – Keeley and Jack

Finally, we move onto the other big storyline this week, and if I’m being honest, the one I enjoyed least. After the disastrous Bantr debacle last week, Jack (Jodi Balfour) tells Keeley (Juno Temple) she should look into firing Shandy (Ambreen Razia), and, well, after Shandy loses another client, Keeley goes through with it.

This goes about as well as you expect, and Shandy leads a revolt against Keeley and Jack which ends up going nowhere. Well, that’s not entirely true. In a final petulant act, Shandy leaves a lamb in the board room, which shits all over the table. As a result, Keeley and Jack have to miss the Richmond and City match while they clear up the mess.

This ultimately leads to them getting drunk in the office and finally sharing a kiss, leading to something else that we don’t see. On its own, this would be an interesting development for the Keeley character, but I have a few concerns that this, like the Shandy stuff, is just filler until we get to the end of the season, where Keeley inevitably ends up reuniting with Roy.

We even get a moment in this episode that teases that’s the ultimate fate of Roy and Keeley. I really hope it’s not the case, and I have faith in the Lasso writers to get this right, but Keeley’s story so far has felt like a slight sideshow to what’s happening at Richmond, and I don’t like that, for one of the show’s best characters.

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Ted Lasso season 3 episode 5 – highlights

  • Baz declaring that he always knew that “positive thinking was bullshit.”
  • John admitting to fighting Anthony Hopkins at Hamilton (We’ve all been there).
  • “Ussies” making a grand return!
  • Coach Beard used to be a male stripper at a club called ‘Man City’. We knew it.
  • Ted and Beard calling out the Sun (not the paper) for daring to rise at different times across the globe.
  • Roy’s frankly terrifying story of beating your enemies with a red rope at 4 am until he begs you to stop and then he starts again.
  • Not exactly a funny moment, but I loved seeing a moment of genuine friendship between Beard and Ted when they were talking about Henry benign a bully.

If you love the Greyhounds, check out our story revealing the surprising origins of Ted Lasso. We’ve also got a guide breaking down who’s in the Ted Lasso cast, and if that’s not enough, we’ve got a list of the best movies ever made.