Resilience and mental health in Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso‘s (almost) toxic positivity cost him his marriage in Season 1 and still, the coach managed to help the Richmond FC team become a team, Rebecca to find herself like the super manager she is, and Nate to feel prestigious. So we arrived at a 2nd season so sugary that it was disconcerting, but never bad! Just a few episodes away from its conclusion, we’re beginning to see the tip of the iceberg and who Ted Lasso really is. Apparently, not even Coach Beard, his friend, and partner for so many years have yet to realize the truth. And I can already see it, we’re going to cry a lot.

Never give up, the theme of the episode

Ted Lasso has several qualities and one of them is the refined soundtrack. No song is out of place: Rebecca’s karaoke (Let it Go, from Frozen), the Rolling Stones as the authors of Higgins’ love song, and so it goes.

When Rebecca’s mother wakes her up to the sound of Rick Astley‘s hit Never Gonna Give You Up, she explains that she wants a song that will make her happy, even on the saddest day of all: her husband’s funeral. It’s once again the series being brilliant in its analysis of human relationships.

In season two, the focus is on fatherhood and depression.

As for family relationships, plenty of toxic dads roam the screen (only Sam’s dad and Ted himself are saved, apparently), but Ted hides the game. Remember that in the first season, Rebecca wanted to discover his weakness? Because the two are friends now and she doesn’t even suspect that she understands him more than she realizes and that positivity is a herculean facade for him. Ted and Rebecca are kindred spirits, going through the same issues, but don’t see themselves as romantically linked. (I hope I can say, “yet”).

In the 8th episode of the 2nd season, we are shocked to learn that Ted is actually “up” because he hides that his father’s suicide is his trigger for panic attacks. Now, in Episode 10, he shares the details of that tragedy. It gets worse.

It was Ted who – upon arriving home early – heard the shot that took his father’s life. Upon finding the body, he had to call the police and notify his mother about the suicide. He was only 16 years old.

To this day, he doesn’t understand the reasons that led his father to “give up” and he blames himself for not being more loving with him while he was alive because he didn’t even suspect there were problems. Thus, each compliment he makes to people takes on a different connotation: he is desperate Ted wants to prevent people from giving up on living.

In this powerful monologue, there’s more. At the same time, we have Rebecca reliving something that was also traumatic and that led her to make the wrong choices in love. At the age of 16, when he got home early, he caught his father having sex with another woman. Her contempt and resentment of having seen her mother linked to a person who betrayed her increases when she discovers that she knew everything, but, even so, she forgave her father. “Like the song says,” her mother jokes, “I’ll never give up on you.”

Well written, well-constructed, and heartbreaking.

So we and Dr. Sharon, know what makes Ted a great motivational coach, why he cares about making connections with people, and how much he is suffering (alone) without sharing his pain with anyone. Rebecca is one of the rare people who understands exactly what Ted is feeling, but he doesn’t open up to her.

I’m still rooting for Ted and Rebecca, but the show that avoids the obvious doesn’t seem to want that shortcut. And that’s okay, the couple Rebecca and Sam still have a lot to live and tell us.

So when we hear the lyrics to Never Gonna Give You Up at the funeral, despite being purely a classic love song, everything takes on another weight. And it couldn’t have been anyone other than Ted Lasso to pull the chorus.

Nate’s fate contrasts with that of his friends

Rebecca has been faced with the decision to forgive, whether it be her father, her mother, or her ex-husband, Rupert. By the way, Rupert is a rattlesnake. In addition to tormenting his ex-wife even at her father’s funeral, he observed Nate’s behavior change, whispering something in his ear that we will certainly find out later. Coming from Rupert, zero chance it was anything altruistic.

In the role reversals, we saw that Nate and Jaime have cold and abusive fathers (Jaime’s is the worst of all) and their attitudes reflect what they believe to be parental expectations. Jaime has collapsed in everything: in his career, and in his personal life, but now he is on the path of redemption. Too bad that includes (trying to) derail Keeley and Roy’s romance.

Nate, on the other hand, is slipping into unimaginable character flaws and with success and ascension, losing docility and empathy. There is no doubt that will be the big question of the season finale.

We know from the synopsis of the 11th episode that Sam will be invited to go to another team (will it be Rupert’s?). It would be the perfect alternative for him and Rebecca to embrace their romance, but a low blow for the Richmond FC team. Nate, via Rupert, will certainly be involved in this turn. After all, Rupert has given up his shares in his heart’s team and he’s anything but nice.

Unfortunately, we are only two episodes away from the end of the season. Clearly, we will have the third, but we will have to wait for it. It’s going to be hard to live a few months without Ted Lasso!


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