Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 3, “Do the Right-est Thing,” stays true to its title by having its characters follow the road far less traveled no matter the consequences. That road is the one that prioritizes the greater good in the face of sometimes even greater adversaries. That message is one of the many at the center of Ted Lasso’s ethos. This series could have easily aligned with some people’s perceptions by pointing these characters in the right direction and not exploring the nuance of their decisions, but that’s not what Ted Lasso does.
“Do the Right-est Thing” lets the characters take stands, make mistakes, and learn from both. Doing so brings even more attention to the characters that are resisting positive change, like Nate. It also proves how much others, like Rebecca, are willing to solidify their position on a different path than before. These characters’ journeys aren’t linear, and that’s part of what makes “Do the Rigest-est Thing” so compelling.
Characters like Rebecca, Sam, and Jamie choose to do the right thing this week, but that doesn’t mean the same will be said next week. They will face setbacks, as we all do throughout our lives. It’s the hope that they will eventually overcome those setbacks while learning to be better despite them that makes tuning in to Ted Lasso all the more rewarding. We can then see ourselves reflected on screen even when the storylines don’t precisely align with our daily lives. Once again, Ted Lasso taps into a shared experience that connects us, and that feeling never gets old.
Keeley Makes a Case for BANTR
Dating apps are tried and true, but they could always use a more positive upgrade. Who is better to represent that than Keeley Jones?
One of Keeley’s most influential scenes last season is when she sits Phoebe in front of Roy to help him remember that he isn’t only what he sees of himself or what he can do on the pitch. Keeley sees Roy beyond the legendary Roy Kent long before Roy ever comes around to the idea. BANTR is meant to be “less superficial” with its lack of photos. Keeley says herself that “It’s all about encouraging people to connect using their words and personalities.” That’s the basis of Keeley’s two most important relationships with Roy and Rebecca.
This app is so obviously going to lead someone to love or heartbreak. Ted foreshadows as much when he says, “But, boy, what if I did get on there and I met my soulmate, and it changed the whole course of my life?” While I don’t think this line foreshadows that future for Ted specifically, romance is definitely in the cards for someone at Richmond. To know that Keeley plays a part in someone giving themselves a chance, being confident in themselves beyond their physical appearance, is a promising thread to follow.
While, of course, there is a financial gain in doing so, Keeley seems genuinely interested in representing BANTR. She lights up when the boys promise to sign up. That same smile appears when Nora supports her venture. All of that bubbles over by the episode’s end when Keeley notices Rebecca on the app. The world can always use a little more love, and if Keeley’s campaign for BANTR lets someone give themselves a chance to fall again, then who’s to say that’s not the right thing?
Jamie Faces Led Tasso and Dr. Sharon
It wouldn’t be one of my Ted Lasso reviews if I didn’t find a way to write about Jamie Tartt. Jamie doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for a lot of his behavior on the show. He does for going up against Led Tasso, though. I can’t say that I would have done the same. Led Tasso has a short fuse that could blow at any second. It’s hilarious to watch Jason Sudeikis shift into a version of Ted that tries so hard to mimic the overtly toxic coaching styles so often inflicted on athletes. Watching the Richmond players scramble to touch each other’s “feet fingers” is too funny for words.
It is reassuring to see the team (minus Sam) come around to Jamie after that. There will undoubtedly be growing pains moving forward as Jamie continues to adjust to his new role on the team. Alternatively, Sam is more inclined to welcome Jamie back after Jamie joins Sam, blocking out Dubai Air on their kits. That is something that takes Jamie zero effort to do, but it’s a gesture of good faith that he is trying to be and do better.
The only downside of this moment is that it can also be interpreted as a version of Jamie “buying” Sam’s love since Jamie mentioned wanting to do so earlier in the episode. However, I believe it’s the opposite because it comes after Jamie speaks with Dr. Sharon. When Keeley takes Jamie to Dr. Sharon, he appears to be open to the idea of speaking with her. Unfortunately, though, Ted Lasso doesn’t show us a second of their session. There may be more meetings between the two in the upcoming episodes, but it would have been nice to see Jamie’s first session to see how he evolves as they progress.
It also would have made that moment with the duct tape all the stronger on Jamie’s behalf, which could be the very reason why the series leaves it out. That moment isn’t about Jamie. It’s about Sam. I only wish that as the season progresses, Ted Lasso allows us to see even a glimpse of the players’ sessions. This season is making such a strong case in favor of valuing mental health and destigmatizing therapy. Letting us in the room where it happens to see how impactful therapy can be will strengthen that argument.
Rebecca Is a Boss Ass Bitch
Sassy’s daughter and Rebecca’s goddaughter Nora is even better than any of us could imagine. She fits into this show as if she’s always been there. For example, Nora keeps up with Ted as few can do. Her relationship with Rebecca is undeniably the most fascinating to watch. It’s one that I hope Ted Lasso lets appear well beyond this episode because Nora is an absolute firecracker. Last season Ted said that little girls are mysterious, silly, and powerful. All of that rings true for Nora.
Rebecca’s gradual realization that she can’t make up for lost time and can only be present in her time with Nora now is beautifully executed. Hannah Waddingham plays Rebecca differently when she’s around Nora at the start of the episode. It’s like Rebecca tiptoes around Nora in the fear she’ll do too much or not enough and lose her all over again. Thankfully, Roy Kent swoops in once again to remind Rebecca that kids want to feel like they’re a part of their lives.
The crushing reality of that in Rebecca and Nora’s case is unavoidable. Of course, Nora wants to feel like a part of Rebecca’s life. Sassy spoke last season about how Rebecca was Nora’s favorite person, and then Rebecca vanished one day. In the same way that Rebecca seemingly tiptoes around Nora at the start, there’s a good chance that Nora feels the same way about Rebecca. She makes a joke about Rebecca leaving to get the check and not returning. They’re both able to laugh it off, but there is good enough reason for Nora to fear such a thing.
All of that fear slips away when Rebecca invites Nora to shadow her at work. Nora says that she only became interested in running a football club when Rebecca started doing it. That sentiment brings back what Ted told Rebecca during Season 1 Episode 9, “All Apologies.” Ted told Rebecca that little girls out there will look up to Rebecca as a sports executive and see their dreams are possible because she’s succeeding. It’s more likely than not that Rebecca never thought Nora would be one of those girls.
However, that inspiration isn’t one-sided because Rebecca feels emboldened to be her boss-ass bitch self with Nora by her side. Just like Phoebe’s words about Roy get him to cut himself some slack, Nora’s words push Rebecca to do what she knows to be the right thing, even if she loses. Ted is right; little girls are mysterious, silly, and powerful; it’s nice that Ted Lasso recognizes their influence on the people around them.
Sam Takes a Stand
Toheeb Jimoh‘s Sam Obisanya is the star of “Do the Right-est Thing.” We already know that Nora is justified in her crush on Sam. Nevertheless, this episode probably made that crush grow tenfold. Sam is the heart of this episode, solidifying his role as the most influential player on Richmond. Last season Sam told Keeley that he wanted to represent “issue-oriented products.” That comes full-circle when the devastating truth about how Cerithium Oil is destroying Nigeria’s environment via Dubai Air, one of Richmond’s biggest sponsors.
Sam’s decision to put duct tape over Dubai Air on his kit ripples throughout the locker room, onto the pitch, into the stands, and well beyond. It catches people’s attention and makes them listen. It makes us remember that players are more than people playing games for merely our entertainment and enjoyment. They’re human beings. We are in a moment of recognizing the humanity of athletes by prioritizing their activism, mental health, and wellbeings. Think of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Bukayo Saka. Think of Naomi Osaka. Think of Simone Biles.
The fact that all of those athletes are Black athletes matters. Jason Sudeikis points this out in his performance during Ted’s speech in the press room after the match. When Ted says, “Cause, well, honestly, when bad things happen to people like me, ya’ll have a tendency to write about it without being asked,” he gestures to his face. Sam is a fictional footballer, but the stand he takes matters. There are correlations to the world around us right now that are too similar to overlook.
More often than not, people are inclined to immortalize white male athletes for doing the bare minimum while villainizing female athletes and athletes of color who do far more. For example, supposed fans of the sport villainized Jadon, Marcus, and Bukayo for missing penalty kicks they were brave enough to take in the name of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, Marcus’ work to provide food for children amid a pandemic gets overshadowed in all of that noise. Likewise, people overlook Naomi and Simone’s push for proper care and discussions surrounding the mental health of athletes when people on the internet deem them “selfish” and “lazy.” That mindset is entirely reductive when it doesn’t need to be.
Ted is right to tell Sam that “Doing the right thing is never the wrong thing.” If a fictional character on a fictional football team can make someone rethink how they treat or view athletes, then there is nothing wrong with that.
Other Winning Moments:
- Ted finds Nora while she’s listening to Alanis Morissett’s “Hand In My Pocket.”
- Nora and Ted believe in reincarnation.
- I would’ve loved to see what Sassy spoke about at her conference, but I can see how that wouldn’t fit with everything else.
- It’s great that the press room is starting to catch on to and play along with all of Ted’s pop culture references.
- “Oh, Lloyd, I’ve never been embarassed about having streaks in my drawers. It’s all a part of growing up.” – Ted Lasso
- Jan Maas joining in with the team’s anger at Jamie by adding, “I don’t know you, but I don’t like you,” was really funny.
- Phil Dunster is very good at physical comedy. That whole bit of Jamie twisting his hips and refusing to stand still in order to stay warm is GOLD.
- “Zoe’s from the modern line. Her parents were canceled.” – Phoebe about her doll
- Shannon is back! And she brought Ted coffee!
- Beard’s genuine fear of Led Tasso is such a hilarious touch, expertly played by Brendan Hunt.
- The Diamond Dogs howl to adjourn their meetings.
- Beard and Ted explaining Chuck E. Cheese to Dr. Sharon is comedy gold.
- Jamie’s ICON hat is back!
- Can we talk about the giant decal of Roy in Keeley’s office?
- Roy calling Jamie a Muppet feels like a back-handed compliment but only because Brett Goldstein is the one delivering the line.
- Rebecca fixing Nora’s coat at the Coventry match is a sweet touch.
- Can Sassy stay forever and ever? She’s simply the best.
- Nora and Sassy’s photos with the team are EVERYTHING.
What did you think of Ted Lasso 2×03, “Do the Right-est Thing?” Let us know in the comments below!
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I, too, wondered if Roy’s comment about Jamie being a “Muppet” was a compliment especially given what he said during the SAG Awards skit – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PlEhr246k8s