(WIVB) – Apple TV announced this week that hit show Ted Lasso will be returning for Season 3 this spring. Will it be the final season? Will Roy and Keeley end up together? Will we learn Coach Beard’s first name?
In a universe where the pandemic didn’t exist and Santa Claus himself flew over the Higgins household, anything is possible. News 4 Buffalo is taking a look at some of the biggest questions on the table before the season premiere.
Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen Seasons 1 and 2 yet, some details are discussed below.
1. Will Roy and Keeley get married?
The show’s predominant love interest was in full bloom in Season 2, with the steely Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) clearly falling hard for influencer-turned-marketing wiz Keeley Jones (Juno Temple). Keeley has proven to be good for Roy at nearly every turn, whether it was helping him find peace with retirement, pushing him to give Sky Sports a chance, or even showing him the value of space in a relationship. They have good chemistry, she’s great with his niece, and she doesn’t take any of his crap.
But Roy is also learning what it’s like to date a strong woman who can thrive without him. He seemed disappointed yet proud when a magazine only used solo photos of Keeley from their photoshoot. And at the end of Season 2, Roy was served a dose of reality when Keeley turned down his vacation offer because she needed to get started at her new business. Roy doesn’t seem used to dating women who aren’t flattered to be in his presence, but we’re hoping the Diamond Dogs steer him in the right direction and give their team name a double entendre.
Our prediction: This had better happen. In fact, we’re hoping the reason it took Season 3 so long to come out is because Keeley’s wedding just wasn’t fabulous enough and had to be re-shot. We aren’t going to lie, though: Something’s a little off between Roy and Phoebe’s teacher.
2. What happens with Ted’s ex-wife and son?
The show’s plot hinges on Ted Lasso’s (Jason Sudeikis) divorce from his wife, Michelle (Andrea Anders), as he moves to England so she can have more space. This estranges him from his son, Henry (Gus Turner), which resurfaces Ted’s mental health issues that began after his own father took his life when Ted was 16. Throughout the first two seasons, Ted struggles being apart from his son, and had a panic attack when he had to sign the divorce papers. He later had a fling with AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton’s (Hannah Waddingham) best friend, Flo “Sassy Smurf” Collins (Ellie Taylor).
Our prediction: We’re going out on a ledge and saying Ted’s ex-wife Michelle is probably going to die this season – this is a Bill Lawrence show after all, and he killed off Ben Sullivan (Brendan Fraser) in “Scrubs” to make for some of the best television a sitcom has ever seen. We think he won’t hesitate to do it again. Ted will either move back to the U.S. and live with his son, or his son will move to England. Either way, we don’t think Ted ends up with Sassy. We think he’ll be perfectly content living with his son.
3. Does AFC Richmond win the whole thing?
AFC Richmond – a team that Rebecca tried to tank in an effort to get back at her ex-husband and former team owner Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head) – has been chronically bad, and even got relegated to the Championship at the end of Season 1. But now, they’ve been promoted back to the Premier League, and Ted is hellbent on winning the entire league.
Our prediction: Yes. While we could see the writers doing the “Bad News Bears” thing and having the team lose with dignity, we think Ted was so confident in the fact that Richmond would win, he delivered his only f-bomb in the entire show.
For a series that is written so purposefully and with such intent, the staff behind the show wants Ted to win it all. Additionally, we think for a show that is, for the most part, meant to make people smile, it only makes sense for the team to have a happy ending. How Richmond builds up its team to get there, we honestly have no idea, but they’ll definitely have to cross paths with West Ham United FC, now run by Rupert and coached by former Richmond assistant Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed).
4. How will the mental health conversation continue?
With Ted dealing with anxiety and depression following the death of his father, the middle-aged midwestern Lasso was reluctant to start therapy. But toward the end of Season 2, he made a point to tell the team psychologist, Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), that he needs help. In addition to Ted, we’ve seen Roy deal with insecurities in his relationship, and Jamie, among other characters, deal with a rift in his relationship with a parent. Dr. Sharon’s presence will only become more crucial to the show in Season 3.
Our prediction: We think Ted will start seeing Dr. Sharon more regularly to deal with his mental health issues and panic attacks. Dr. Sharon may experience her own mental health troubles, too, as she was depicted dealing with alcohol-related struggles in Season 2. Additionally, we could see left wing Colin Hughes consult Dr. Fieldstone about his sexuality. For a show that has tackled numerous social issues — including mental health, but also things like divorce, toxic masculinity, pollution in Nigeria and women in positions of power — it would make sense for the show to go one step further regarding ideas of masculinity in sports, by addressing prejudices surrounding LGBTQ+ athletes. Colin’s mention of the dating app Grindr caused speculation from the show’s fans that he might be gay or bisexual.
5. Who replaces Keeley in her old job?
Keeley Jones left her public relations/marketing job with AFC Richmond at the end of Season 2 to pursue starting her own business. In addition to the disappointment this caused Roy relating to his vacation plans, it also leaves a vacancy in the team’s offices.
Our prediction: We think Trent Crimm, The Independent (James Lance) fills Keeley’s old position. Leaving one communications job for another, we believe he would be best suited to take over the team’s PR. He already has killer rapport with Ted and knows the game of soccer — er, football — as well as, if not better than anyone in the building.
Crimm’s daughter is mentioned in the show, however no one ever states whether he’s married or in a relationship. If not, we could see Dr. Sharon teaching him how to ride a bike and the pair developing a romance throughout the season after becoming colleagues. Ted Lasso fans all know Dr. Sharon has an affinity for biking, and the last we saw of Trent Crimm, The Independent, he was locked out of his car. We don’t think that was a coincidence.
6. What happens between Rebecca and Sam?
Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) was one of the stars of Season 2, earning on-field accolades and developing rapidly as a character. His connection with Rebecca began anonymously through Bantr before turning into somewhat of a casual relationship that they both seemed to enjoy, though Rebecca broke things off at her father’s funeral. Sam later turned down Edwin Akufo’s (Sam Richardson) offer to headline his club team in Morocco, but told Rebecca and Ted he chose to stay because it was best of him – a veiled shot at Rebecca emphasizing that he made the choice for his professional career and not because of his feelings for her.
Our prediction: We haven’t seen the last of Sam. The writers clearly have big plans for him. And Rebecca isn’t going anywhere — she owns the team. Is there enough air time to develop relationships for each of them in Season 3? Will they be able to bury their feelings and co-exist at work? Or will the writers continue to flip the older-man-dates-younger-woman trope and extend their romance? Rebecca has demonstrated the ability to act decisively stick to her guns even when it gets hard, but we’d be shocked if they don’t rekindle their flame at least once in Season 3.
7. What about Beard and Jane?
OK, this one’s easy. Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) and Jane Payne (Phoebe Walsh) need to break up for good. Their relationship is fully toxic.
The only reason worth extending them in Season 3 is to highlight the toxicity and hope people in the audience learn some lessons they can use to get out of their own toxic relationships.
8. Will we at least learn Coach Beard’s first name?
So far, Coach Beard is only referred to as “Coach” or “Beard.” No first name. (Unless “Coach” is his first name. But we doubt it.) Will finally learn his name in Season 3?
Our prediction: Drawing another Scrubs connection, this feels a bit like how we never know Janitor’s name until the very end. Here, we technically don’t even truly know that “Beard” is his last name – it just seems to be what people call him. Hunt once told Vanity Fair, “Jason Sudeikis said an SNL go-to for naming people was: regular first name, noun last name. My noun was Beard.” Hmmm. Parade even asked Hunt straight out about his character’s name. “No one knows,” he said. “Not even the writers. But we love speculating as much as everyone else does.”
We’re going to go off the board and predict we learn “Beard” isn’t even his name, it’s just what people started calling him because he wears a beard.
9. How much of a villain will Nate become?
Nate Shelley became an antagonist during Season 2 after being ungrateful for his rapid ascent from boot room boy to assistant coach, leaking news of Ted’s panic attack to the press and ripping up Ted’s “Believe” sign – not to mention making a move on Keeley. Now, as head coach at Rupert’s West Ham, Nate appears set for full villain status.
Our prediction: Nate beamed just because Ted remembered his name early in Season 1. He’s come a long way in a short time. Nate has done little to earn his arrogance, and seemingly grew more hateable in every episode in Season 2. There’s no doubt AFC Richmond will need to beat West Ham in a key match, and an early-season drubbing from the Premier League mainstays is surely in the cards. The only thing preventing us from full-on hatred of Nate is that we simply don’t care about him enough make our blood boil. To borrow from Bill Lawrence: We don’t dislike you; we nothing you. One plea to the writers: Please don’t make us see Nate spit at himself in the mirror again, OK?
10. How will the theme of our relationship with our parents progress?
Nearly every major character in the show has their relationship with their parents or parent-figures on display at one point or another. Whether it’s Ted’s relationship with his father and son, Rebecca and her mom, Sam and his dad, Jamie and his dad, Roy and his niece, Rebecca with Sassy’s daughter or Nate with his dad, it’s clear the writers are interested in examining this motif.
Our prediction: On one hand, if we knew this answer, we wouldn’t need to watch the show. On the other, it seems clear there will development regarding Ted’s personal life. Will he leave Richmond to be closer his son and spare him from the abandonment issues he deals with? The guilt of being a continent away was initially blunted because it was framed as giving Michelle space, but now that their divorce is final, Ted may want a closer relationship with his son. On the other, other hand, Ted has many large adult sons at Richmond, and he’s also somewhat of a father figure to Roy. He seems to draw meaning from providing a fatherly presence to a team, whether it’s college football players in America or professional footballers in England.
Will Rebecca’s mom stick around for Season 3? If Keeley gets married, will we hear more from her mom who moved back up north? Will becoming a father change Rupert? And with Keeley changing jobs, who provides the motherly touch so often needed to soften the edges of the players?
How did we get this far without mentioning Jamie Tartt and Dani Rojas (Phil Dunster and Cristo Fernandez)? Surely, something interesting is written for them season. We want to hear more about Sam’s restaurant, and we’re interested to see how captain Isaac McAdoo’s (Kola Bokinni) personal life is developed to match his on-field prominence. Will the World Cup happen in the Ted Lasso Universe? Could Richmond face relegation? Is this really the final season? And if so, what lesson will we ultimately be asked to “believe” in?
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.