The Ted Lasso Power Rankings are a weekly analysis of who and/or what had the strongest performance in each episode. Most of the list will feature individual characters, although the committee does reserve the right to honor anything from animals to inanimate objects to laws of nature to general concepts. There are very few rules here.
Season 3, Episode 11 — “Mom City”
HONORABLE MENTION: Will Kitman (pretty upset we didn’t get to see the lead-up to him getting carried off the bus with an apparent BAC of 2.4); Higgins (a superstitious man, but a good one); Keeley (imagine how awkward it must be to get caught holding hands with one ex while sitting on the childhood bed of another ex, who was the one who caught you and also has pictures of both of you on his wall); Van Damme (had such a good game that he might have to wear the mask full-time now); Jade (good egg); suitcases (drawers without a home); Barbara the CFO (chatting up strangers while eating an apple is a pretty cool move); Trent Crimm’s hair (it is very nice); Dani Rojas (moms love Dani Rojas); Ms. Barnaby (stumbling around town in the morning with a feather boa on); Australians in the hostel (they won’t stop having sex); Simon (a sweetheart); Pep Guardiola (the Premier League fans I know are VERY excited about this cameo); Freddie Krueger (hurt people hurt people, sometimes with knives)
10. (tie) Dottie Lasso
You ever meet someone’s parents for like 30 seconds and then go “ohhhhhh, I get it now,” like their entire personality suddenly makes sense to you in a way that it hadn’t before? Well, that’s what happened with old Dottie Lasso, who showed up out of nowhere with no advance warning and proceeded to pretend like everything was extremely fine, all the time, with all of her feelings shoved down into a teeny tiny little box somewhere in her abdomen. She is maybe the most Midwestern character to ever appear on television, up to and including the name Dottie, which you don’t see much anymore, at least not in anyone under the age of, like, 40. I would like to meet a child named Dottie. Please work on that, everyone.
Anyway, it seemed like Dottie and Ted hashed out their various issues over some baked goods and cusses, which is nice. We should solve more problems like this. Show up at your enemy’s house with cupcakes and let a few filthy words fly and see if it helps. It might. And even if it doesn’t… I mean, at least there are cupcakes, you know?
10. (tie) Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron is probably best known for the movies she wrote – an iconic collection of rom-coms that includes Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and You’ve Got Mail, which the team was watching together on movie night. – but she was also a journalist and writer of terrific little essays, including one of my favorite things to revisit every year or two: this story about billionaire casino magnate Steve Wynn stumbling a little and putting his arm through a Picasso he had just sold for $39 million to the billionaire hedge fund guy who now owns the New York Mets.
I felt that I was in a room where something very private had happened that I had no right to be at. I felt absolutely terrible.
At the same time I was holding my digital camera in my hand – I’d just taken several pictures of the Picasso – and I wanted to take a picture of the Picasso with the hole in it so badly that my camera was literally quivering. But I didn’t see how I could take a picture – it seemed to me I’d witnessed a tragedy, and what’s more, that my flash would go off if I did and give me away.
It is extremely hard to come off as relatable while telling a story about hanging out with a billionaire who has a $40 million Picasso hanging around. Nora Ephron was cool.
9. Various women who have been wronged by Rupert in some way and now appear to be teaming up and maybe (hopefully) forming a vigilante squadron
Next week is the final episode of the season and maybe the series and there are potentially big and important things to discuss (we’ll get there in a second), but a big part of me hopes the whole episode is about Rebecca, Bex, and Ms, Kakes dressing in all-black and going full Ocean’s Eleven to steal a bunch of stuff from Rupert’s house. Or maybe just slash his tires. Or whip a dozen pies at him. I can’t be flexible here. I’m not unreasonable.
- Was a pretty decent waiter, actually
- Got fired, as per Jade’s request/demand
- Got a terrifying late-evening visit from Coach Beard, which would unsettle even the strongest of people, which Nate is not
- Kind of got hired back by Richmond, which is funny because the team just keeps adding coaches lately, which is also a fun reminder that the head coach of the team knows nothing about the sport he is being paid to coach
Real whirlwind for Nate here.
More food should be served on sticks or skewers. There’s very little stopping you from taking things into your own hands to start this trend. Jam a wooden skewer through a half dozen ravioli this weekend and take it to a park. Everyone will look at you like “Yo, do you really have travel ravioli?” and then you can take a huge bite of one and look them in the eye while you’re chewing them and say “I call it travioli.” You will change that person’s life forever. I can’t believe I’m giving this idea away for free. If any of you open a food truck called Travioli you have to give me 10 percent. And free ravioli for life. I’ll settle for the ravioli, honestly.
Anyway, yes. Kebabs are delicious. Might get a bunch for dinner tonight.
Let’s do some predictions for next week, based on everything we’ve seen so far this season, from most to least likely:
- Ted’s big announcement is that he’s gonna leave the team and head back to America to be closer to his kid, which his mom kind of reminded him would not be a bad thing
- Nate and Roy become co-head coaches, which I say a) because I would like it, and b) because of the thing Roy said about Nate being good at the stuff he isn’t
- Beard changes his name to Lance Montecarlo and opens a nightclub in Southeast Asia that caters to hula hoop aficionados
- They put a dog into the starting lineup and the whole thing morphs into an Air Bud movie
Lots to consider here.
5. Foul-mouthed children
I’m sorry but this is comedy to me.
The Roy-Keeley thing is very sweet and the Roy-Jamie stuff is also very nice. He’s growing a little. He’s hugging people and talking about his feelings. I don’t think we’ve seen him headbutt anyone in a while, which represents progress for Roy. I do not know if his “more than friends” speech to Keeley is going to work out for him, just based on Keeley’s face right before Jamie walked in on them locking eyes while sitting on his childhood bed. Or maybe it will. Maybe they’ll form a throuple with Jamie and make this really weird.
Hmm. I suspect I’ll be thinking about this last thing a lot now. Maybe you will, too. I’m sorry. Kind of.
You can tell Mae is a good bartender because she has useful poems about parents memorized. That’s a good one to have in your arsenal, especially if you have a sad regular on your hands. Maybe one with a mustache and a pinball hobby. How often do you think she’s recited that one from heart? I bet it comes in handy over 40 years of serving beers to rowdy soccer fans.
2. Jamie Tartt
Three notes on Jamie…
NUMBER ONE: Jamie has always been a sad little boy who projects his insecurity into the world in a laser beam of colors and bravado and a bad boy attitude. This has been obvious from pretty much the first moments we saw him, or at least once we realized this is the kind of show that gives you an unlikable and/or unreasonable person and then humanizes them a little to show you why and how they became that way, all before folding them back into the group as a helpful and healthy member of the team. Jamie’s journey just took a little longer and involved some crying about his dad. He’ll be okay. He’s a good boy at heart.
NUMBER TWO: It just dawned on me as I was typing the last paragraph that this “introduce an antagonist and then make them a sympathetic character later on” is almost exactly the same thing the Fast & Furious franchise does. If next week’s episode ends with everyone drinking Coronas at a barbecue, then we’ll know for sure. Maybe they exist in the same universe. Maybe the team will hire Ludacris as another assistant coach. It could happen. Shut up.
NUMBER THREE: I’m sorry I keep bringing this up but the thing with Roy and Keeley is just so weird. Like, imagine getting to date one of your big crushes and meet one of your childhood heroes and then a few years later they look like they might play kissyface on the bed where you spent hours daydreaming about them. Think about who this would be for you. Think about how powerfully strange that would be. I just got a mental image of Allen Iverson and Britney Spears having a heartfelt conversation and holding hands in my teenage bedroom. It’s a good thing I only have one more entry to write after this because this is turning my brain to mush.
Good for Jamie, though. He’s gonna be okay. Happy for my little walnut-mist-haired boy.
1. Coach Beard
Sometimes, throughout the course of this show, I’ve sat here and wondered why Coach Beard is so devoted to Ted. Why he’s always there and happy to be Ted’s second banana. Why he just up and flew across an ocean to help coach a sport he knew very little about. Why he was still so hurt and angry about Nate, even when everyone else let it go. Then I heard the speech about Beard going to prison and Ted taking him in and rebuilding him at his worst moment and it all clicked. I get it now. Beard and Ted are both very solid guys who kind of complete each other in a weird way. Dudes rock.
But yes, let’s all go ahead and add “Beard in Prison” to a list of spinoffs I would watch.