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'Ted Lasso' Recap, Season 2, Episode 10: Love And Death

Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and her mother Deborah (Harriet Walter) do their best to comfort each other in a difficult moment.
Apple TV+
Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and her mother Deborah (Harriet Walter) do their best to comfort each other in a difficult moment.

Game Highlights

Rebecca copes with the death of her father and tries to figure out what to do about her new relationship with Sam. Ted walks himself through a panic attack with Dr. Sharon's help. And Jamie surprises Keeley with a confession.



Sam and Rebecca have been fooling around for a couple of weeks by the time this episode starts, although of course it's still a secret. Unfortunately for the concept of secrecy, a mostly naked Sam is in her kitchen when her mother — who also discovered Sexy Luca there before, you'll remember — walks in without knocking. (Rebecca needs to take away her mother's key.) Deborah has something to tell Rebecca: Her father has died.

Sassy and Nora come for the funeral, but unfortunately, so does Rupert, who brings his wife and baby. But in better news, the entirety of AFC Richmond comes, all in suits and proper shoes, just as team captain Isaac instructed. She is, of course, desperate to connect with Sam, but she can't do it in front of everyone.

Rebecca is waylaid before the funeral by an impromptu hang in a back room of the church that begins with Keeley, then includes Sassy (and some wine), and ultimately includes Nora and Deborah. Keeley and Sassy confront her about their shared suspicion that she's seeing someone, and she admits that it's Sam. The women are all delighted.

There's an interesting sequence in which Rebecca tells her mother about a time she walked in on her father cheating, which is intercut with Ted revealing to Sharon (more on them below) that he overheard his father's suicide and then found the body. These two traumatic events also apparently happened on the same day — a Friday the 13th in 1991. Rebecca says that this is why she hated her father, and still does. Deborah admits she knew about the cheating, and admired Rebecca for leaving a bad marriage, something she says she herself wasn't strong enough to do.

The funeral begins, and Rebecca is called upon to give a eulogy that she has no desire to give. Just as she begins, Ted finally slips in the back. With her support team in place, she tries to begin, but she struggles. So, not sure what else to do, she starts to sing "Never Gonna Give You Up." And when she falters in tears, it's Ted who picks it up. And then Keeley joins in, and then Sam, and then the whole church.

Outside after the service, as Rupert is leaving, he does two things. First, he tells Rebecca that he's decided to have his wife give up her shares of Richmond and give them to Rebecca ("like a funeral present," Rebecca says). Second, he leans over and says something into Nate's ear. What did he say? What's Rupert doing? We don't know yet.

Back at the reception at her mother's house, Rebecca tells Keeley and Sassy that she thinks she should break up with Sam. After sharing a clandestine hug with him later that she desperately needs, she says they should stop seeing each other for now, because he's too wonderful and she's afraid of being hurt.

In the little coda, Rebecca and her mom are snuggled in her old bedroom, and they put on a family home video that turns suddenly to the "Never Gonna Let You Go." Rebecca's mother had no idea Rick Astley was white.

Ted (Jason Sudeikis) and Beard (Brendan Hunt) both find themselves at the funeral.
/ Apple TV+
Apple TV+
Ted (Jason Sudeikis) and Beard (Brendan Hunt) both find themselves at the funeral.

Ted and Sharon

A couple of episodes back, the writers planted the seed that Ted doesn't think it should take a man longer to get dressed than it takes to listen to the song "Easy Lover." And so, as Ted gets ready for the funeral, that's the song he's listening to. It's a nice little callback. But as Ted looks at himself in the mirror, his hands start to shake, and he realizes a panic attack is coming on. So he calls Sharon (whose phone still identifies him as "Coach Lasso," if you're keeping track, but who picks up and calls him "Ted").

Sharon heads directly to Ted's house (she has him working on 4-7-8 breathing, which, by the way, I recommend) and by the time she gets there, he's started to calm down. He offers her tea, which she declines, saying tea "tastes like a wet paper bag." This, of course, causes Ted the tea-hater to trust her.

Ted reveals to Sharon that he didn't go to his father's funeral, because he hated his father for having "quit on his family." They go on to talk about the elder Lasso, both the good and the bad of his parenting. Ted suggests that his father was basically a good dad, and that if he'd known that about himself, things might have ended differently. Ted also acknowledges that this is the root of his own conviction that you have to always remember people might be in pain; it's part of why he's slow to anger.

Ted asks Sharon for a hug, which she happily offers. "Are you going to charge me for this session?" he asks into her shoulder. "Of course I am," she replies. This is when he finally leaves for the funeral, which is why he arrives late.

Roy and Keeley

When the news breaks about Rebecca's dad and folks are chatting in Ted's office, Keeley starts pondering what happens when you die. Roy shares his thoroughly unsentimental view; asked where he thinks Rebecca's father is now, he says, "In a drawer of a funeral home." Keeley is unnerved by the funeral, but Roy can't stop making jokes.

During the reception after the ceremony, Jamie comes up to Keeley, stammering and struggling. Finally, he comes out with it: He didn't just return to Richmond to make his dad angry. He also came back because he loves Keeley, and even though he knows she's with Roy and she's happy, he wants her to know. (This is actually a ... bad thing to do? If he really knows she's happy?) After he leaves, with Keeley a bit stunned, Roy approaches and apologizes to her for being so insensitive about her feelings about death. He tells her that he loves her.

Game Analysis

There's a lot that I love about this episode. The funeral singalong is sweet, if a little familiar from other church singalongs. But the point of this episode isn't the funeral proper; the point is how much all these people love and care about Rebecca. So the function of that singalong isn't to say anything about deaths or funerals or the absurdity with which we face our mortality and so on. It's to show you that Rebecca feels, at one of her worst moments, buoyed by the literal out-loud voices of the people who care about her, and it does that very effectively.

It's so much fun watching Rebecca and Sam together that you almost forget about the power imbalance between them, but you can't quite. The fact that they're not even talking about it, that it doesn't even seem to be any part of why she might call it off, is strange. It's the first thing she said to Sam when she realized they'd been texting each other: "I'm your boss." And she was right. It seems odd that out of her mother, Keeley, Sassy and Nora, nobody pauses and says, "Is that a good idea?" (And equally odd that the person most likely to say it is probably Nora.)

Still, it's nice to see all of Rebecca's pals in one place. One of the things I love about this episode is how much Keeley and Sassy adore each other; it's so common to see shows write jealousy among women who share friends, and these women are all just bonkers for each other.

But speaking of Keeley ... sigh. Jamie has been doing well! I've really liked the fact that he still valued her friendship even though they weren't together! I'm not into this pining on his part, honestly. Nothing we know about Keeley would suggest that at this point in her life, she would be torn between Jamie and Roy just because Roy was a little too jokey about death.

I do think they're still doing a great job with Ted and Sharon, though. That hug is very well-earned, exactly because for the last nine episodes, Sharon has been gradually trying to gain Ted's trust. Even for a seemingly emotionally open guy like Ted, it took a long time to be willing to talk about anything as personal as the death of his father. I also was glad that the first line he drew between his father and the person he is now was not about him being harmed or broken; it was about the fact that because he now knows his father was hurting. And now, he never forgets that people might be in pain and you might not know. That's how he's always treated, among others, Jamie and Roy and Rebecca.

We're heading into the home stretch of this season, with only two episodes left. They've now done three 45-ish-minute episodes in a row. It does give a little bit of an impression that there might be a little more story to get to than they're going to be able to wrap up. The way I count, at the very least, these things probably need attention in the last two episodes: Ted, Sharon (maybe Sharon's own life?), Rebecca and Sam, whatever Rupert is doing with Nate (and Nate in general), and now this thing with Jamie and Keeley and Roy? And maybe Beard and Jane? Or not? Oh, and there's also a football team with a season to finish.

It's not unusual for densely packed seasons full of stories to look a little like they're careening toward the finish line a little too fast and not entirely in control, and when that happens, they often bring it home just fine.

As always, the end of the season can be a nail-biter.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.