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Ted Lasso: The Best Episodes, Ranked

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Ted Lasso S2 E13

“Football is life!”, shouts the enthusiastic Dani Rojas. As so, football is fun, loving, heartbreaking, exciting, sad, and hopeful, and the same goes for Ted Lasso. The show might be one of the most optimistic and lovely shows in the whole streaming world. Let’s sit in Richmond’s stadium, enjoy life with Ted (Jason Sudeikis), Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), Roy (Brett Goldstein), Keeley (Juno Temple), and the rest of the team, and see which of Ted Lasso’s episodes are the best:

Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) decides to go against Richmond’s sponsor: Dubai Air, by duct taping the name on his shirt after discovering the company that owns the aircraft has been linked to oil spills in his hometown of Nigeria. The whole team, including the egocentric Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), follows suit, showing how unified they are. It’s strange that the team didn’t have any consequences for this action, be it money or legal problems, but the message was strong. As this episode is one more centered on his character, Toheeb Jimoh (Sam) told Complex: “The fact that people just want footballers to play football, or want basketballers to just play basketball, it’s just so much more than that. I encourage athletes and entertainers to stay politically active and to speak out because you have a platform, and you have to use it.”

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The team prepares for one of his most important games of the season, and after a tough loss, many truths are said out loud. Jamie punches his dad in front of everyone when his father mocks the team, and is hugged by Roy (in a move we never thought possible in the show’s first episode), Sam and Rebecca see they’ve been talking to each other in a hookup app, and Ted opens himself to the team psychologist, Sharon (Sarah Niles), about the trauma of his father death. Many stories that have been boiling all year get resolved in this episode, where the lost game isn’t the most important thing. We feel for each of the characters because they’re well thought out and coherent, and their behavior, even if surprising, makes absolute sense.

“Rainbow” uses many homages to rom-coms to explain Roy’s love for the game. After helping Isaac (Kolo Bokinni) become a better captain, Roy realizes being a TV sports commentator is not enough as football is his greatest love. Upon discovering such a feeling, he goes for it (literally, running to the stadium) in a scene that would make Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, and the rest of the rom-com queens proud. Brett Goldstein follows through in one of his best episodes as the tough guy with a sensible heart and nails every emotion that goes through his head and heart to make this episode one to be remembered.

Related: What We Hope to See in Ted Lasso’s Season 3

Ted’s wife and kid come to visit him in London, and we see the end of their marriage, even if they still love each other. This episode was the one that cemented Ted Lasso as one of the best Apple TV series as it showed the cracks in Ted’s optimism and how his life philosophy requires work. It also explained why he moved to another country without his family and that maybe his way of living doesn’t always work when you have someone to share your life with.

Rebecca’s dad dies, and the whole team goes to the funeral to support her. When she doesn’t know how to give a eulogy for her father, she starts singing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up“. Nobody knows what to do until Ted sings with her, and the whole church follows. It’s a great way to show Rebecca they’re all with her, to help her and support her in this awful moment, creating a cathartic moment for all. This is a Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis episode; as both are excellent in a scene before, that intercuts and mixes both having speeches where they each open their hearts and explain some of their most hurtful truths about their fathers. It’s a great script trick that both actors transform into a beautiful, chilling moment.

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