This past Wednesday, the newest episode of Ted Lasso “Big Week” was released on Apple TV+ and it focused almost solely on the game between West Ham United and AFC Richmond. – It also featured a couple of interesting moments I wanted to unpack. As always, there will be spoilers in this article.
The main plot of the episode is straightforward; West Ham United, coached by disgraced Richmond coach Nate Shelley, faces off against rival Richmond, of course, coached by Ted Lasso. Rebecca is tense throughout the entire episode, as she wants West Ham (owned by her ex-husband, Rupert) to lose. Ted doesn’t seem as worried about the game as Coach Beard and Roy do, especially considering how Nate left Richmond. Meanwhile, over at West Ham, Nate is still concerned about beating Richmond, being up early, planning out strategies and staying late at his office.
We start to see a little bit of the old Nate again in this episode. When he is planning out his strategies on the model field he has built, he accidentally knocks Ted’s figurine off the field and laughs but eventually places him back where he belongs. He also asks Rupert what to say to Ted if he runs into him, acknowledging that they had not left on the best of terms. Not exactly someone who portrays himself as completely closed off acts. Later on, when Ted and Nate run into each other in the elevator, Nate sounds like he’s about to apologize to Ted, but when the elevator doors open, Rupert is there, and Nate quickly exits.
After a rough first half, Coach Beard and Roy show Richmond some footage found by Trent Crimm of Nate ripping up the “Believe” sign from the end of season two when AFC Richmond was promoted back to the English Premier League. The team becomes quite angry and walks back onto the pitch staring angrily at Nate. They play aggressively throughout the rest of the game, collecting a few red cards, and end up losing 4-1 – quite out of character for the players on the team. At the end of the game, Ted goes over to shake Nate’s hand, but instead of shaking hands, Nate walks onto the pitch to celebrate and is called out about that in the press conference following the game. Nate later goes to shake Ted’s hand after the game, sees him talking with Trent (keep an eye on that later, that conversation might come up again in later episodes), and is then distracted by an invitation sent by Rupert to celebrate postgame. It’s too late after that, as Ted has already left.
After the game, Nate heads to Bones and Honey (remember that? From “Beard After Hours” in season two?) to celebrate the win with Rupert. Before the game when Nate was still thinking about how he left things with Ted, Rupert had Nate call him Mr. Mannion. After West Ham’s victory, he goes back to having Nate call him Rupert. Did Rupert think less of his head coach after he acknowledged what happened with Ted? Was he happier after Nate beat AFC Richmond? I thought that was interesting.
One last thing I wanted to mention about this episode that immediately caught me off guard when I first saw it. When the team discovers the “Believe” sign has been torn in half, Trent Crimm finds footage from the locker room and shows it to the coaching staff when Nate tore up the sign. How does that footage exist? I think it’s quite odd that a locker room has a surveillance camera in there.
Before I end this article, I thought it was nice of Apple TV+ to put in a tribute for the late sports journalist Grant Wahl after he passed away on December 10, 2022, during the FIFA men’s World Cup. Class act there from the writers of Ted Lasso and the people at Apple TV+.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about the episode. Be on the lookout for the new episode next week, “Signs.”