Ted Lasso 3×09, “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” is great in its isolation but, when set against the season so far, raises plenty of questions about how this story will conclude with only three episodes left. This episode makes excellent strides in Colin’s arc and finally hints at progress for Roy with a subtle turning point. However, the season’s inconsistencies within the characters’ stories are starting to raise alarms about how successful their ultimate trajectories will be.
As recently as earlier this month for Forbes, Brendan Hunt reiterated, “We always saw it as a three-part story – and so, we went into this season feeling like we had to finish the story we set out to tell. I think we did. Whether or not that bow is beautiful or jagged remains to be seen. No matter how tight that bow is, it doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t come back and open it up later on.” That knowledge reframes the necessity to see more from most of these characters than “La Locker Room Aux Folles” delivers because this three-part story ends soon.
Nate Makes a Great Change
For instance, understandably, Nate needs to have small breakthroughs on his own time to come to his own conclusions about everything, including Rupert. “La Locker Room Aux Folles” slows that moment down so that it’s impossible to miss a single bit of Nick Mohammed‘s expression as reality sets in for Nate. Hopefully, with this turning point and three episodes left, the remaining episodes showcase a notable shift in whom Nate interacts with on Ted Lasso.
Nate’s disconnect from the rest of the characters this season doesn’t bode well for the success of his redemption. After all, the only time he briefly speaks to anyone is Ted in Ted Lasso 3×04, “Big Week.” Albeit, Ted Lasso 3×08, “We’ll Never Have Paris,” reinforces that much of Nate’s internal conflict hinges on his relationship with Ted, so it’s all but confirmed that those two characters will meet again. Alternatively, it’s unclear how or if Nate will interact with anyone else from AFC Richmond before the final whistle blows.
Nevertheless, the path is available for Nate because Season 3 consistently delivers sympathetic storytelling for Nate that favors such a step forward. For example, “La Locker Room Aux Folles” posits that believing you are worthy of more — of love — can change everything. That concept tracks within Nate’s arc, but its execution falls short because Ted Lasso reveals so few details about Jade beyond her feelings for Nate. As a result, Jade reads as a dependent, supporting character only serving Nate’s development to an evolved Nate the Great.
It’s not that Ted Lasso cannot have supporting characters; it’s only that Jade reads as entirely two-dimensional when the show proves itself capable of expanding the roles of its supporting characters in delightfully quirky ways, like learning about Mae’s niece in this episode. Even the random, wacky tidbits Ted Lasso reveals about Jane over the seasons make her a more fully-realized character. It’s a shame that the only new details the show shares about Jade come from Rupert fishing for information rather than in organic conversation with her boyfriend.
What’s Next for Keeley Jones?
Perhaps Jade’s status within Ted Lasso‘s ecosystem doesn’t land as well because of how inconsistent this season is with Keeley Jones, a female character within its leading ensemble.
A significant portion of “La Locker Room Aux Folles” reasonably focuses on Keeley’s reaction to her break-up with Jack. However, Keeley’s presence in the club underscores how infrequent her role has been there throughout the season. Instead of her time at the club being split with her business or becoming a point of conflict in how it pulls focus from KJPR, both are underdeveloped.
Keeley’s professional goals fade into the background of her romantic relationships. It’s a shame to see, especially because Season 2 delves into the different facets of Keeley’s life with a finer balance. Namely, Ted Lasso 2×07, “Headspace,” gives Keeley the space to find the balance, and Ted Lasso 2×12, “Inverting the Pyramid of Success,” showcases her as Vanity Fair‘s “Woman on Top.”
Ted Lasso loses sight of that accolade instead of leaning into it. Now that Keeley is moving into the acceptance phase of the end of her relationship with Jack, perhaps the next three episodes will show a more concerted effort to detail Keeley’s role at the club and the ins and outs at KJPR. Maybe now everything fall into a balanced place for Keeley. But what if it happens too late?
Coach Kent for the Win
“La Locker Room Aux Folles” tests that theory and proves it wrong with Roy Kent’s story. Though the character hasn’t explicitly moved forward since voicing how he leaves situations instead of enjoying them in Ted Lasso 3×02, “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea,” this episode proves there is still time for that progress. There is still hope.
For most of the season, Roy’s development shifts the backburner with subtle acknowledgments of Roy working “to be less stuck in” his “fucking ways.” This episode approaches that journey head-on with Rebecca Welton at the helm, resulting in a Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham scene that rivals their excellent “You deserve someone who makes you feel like you’ve been struck by fucking lightning” one from Ted Lasso 2×01, “Goodbye Earl.”
It is fantastic to see Rebecca Welton actively involved in the happenings of the club again, which hasn’t been the case since Zava came and left in Ted Lasso 3×03, “4-5-1,” but it’s energizing to see Rebecca tell Roy the things he needs to hear but no one else will say. That one person taking the time to be brutally honest resonates with Roy. Ted Lasso showcases its ripple effects in how Roy volunteers to advise Isaac and puts himself forward for the press conference by the end of “La Locker Room Aux Folles.”
The episode finds the perfect backdrop to externalize Roy’s internal conflict with the press conference where Roy says, “And none of us know what is going on in each other’s lives,” after sharing a jarring story about a brutal fight from when he was younger. Roy actively breaking his patterns to deal with the things that make him angry so he doesn’t lose any more of what or whom he cares about is exciting to see, even if it unfolds at a faster rate relatively late in the season. Not to mention, the framing of that press conference (and Beard’s hilarious attempt earlier) poises Roy Kent as AFC Richmond’s next manager.
Colin Hughes Is the MVP
Hopefully, Colin Hughes will remain a star player on the team when that time comes because Billy Harris emerges from “La Locker Room Aux Folles” as the most valued player with an unforgettable performance.
Even though Colin assists the goals that help AFC Richmond win the match against Brighton, it’s equally as meaningful to see how Trent assists Colin throughout the episode — how he offers advice, gives him space, and hangs back to check in with Colin.
Overall, the episode’s direction and editing elevate the great script. The camera lingering on Colin for a beat when the sound fades out as that awful fan uses a slur tells its own story. Likewise, Ted Lasso can leave the gap when the story cuts to Isaac and Roy before returning to the locker room. The show foreshadows what will fill that time with the slow zoom on Colin, taking a nervous breath, when Sam says, “All Isaac needs now is our support.” It’s a clever use of time and structure that upholds the characters and the story.
As Ted Lasso has already revealed to the viewers (and Trent) that Colin is gay, “La Locker Room Aux Folles” treats him coming out to the team as an intimate, off-screen moment that isn’t necessary to see to feel the gravity of it. So it’s perfect that the camera returns to Colin before peeling back to take in the rest of the room and the players’ reactions. Their overwhelming love and support of Colin aren’t unexpected but very moving.
While Ted’s comments may come across as ham-fisted to some, others will need to hear, “But the point is, Colin, we don’t not care. We care very much. We care about who you are and what you must’ve been going through. But, hey, from now on, you don’t have to go through it all by yourself.” To come full circle with that speech with Colin and Isaac’s final scene in “La Locker Room Aux Folles” is an example of wonderful writing. So, if someone else can find comfort and representation in this episode, Colin’s story, and AFC Richmond’s love and support, that’s a win in Ted Lasso‘s (green match) book.
Other Winning Moments:
- Dani choosing the dirty socks
- Rebecca telling Ted “family first”
- Ted’s country song
- Higgins hyping Rebecca up when she goes to confront Roy
- Jamie being flattered that the team think he’s one of the other gay people in the room
- Sam being captain and joking with Jamie about how he’s not captain
What did you think of Ted Lasso 3×09, “La Locker Room Aux Folles?” Let us know in the comments below!
New episodes of Ted Lasso stream on Wednesdays on Apple TV+.