Rupert’s game strategy in Ted Lasso

“You already won. You took that turkey out of your life.”

If only Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) understood that. But she’s still not convinced and somehow keeps wasting her time looking back. You know what? I don’t blame her.

As part of the #tedbecca team rooting for her and Ted Lasso‘s romance, I am appalled by the degree of trolling by the writers of the Ted Lasso series. For three years they have been teasing us without the slightest forgiveness, showing the perfect couple who still haven’t given themselves the slightest chance. Only 4 episodes to go!

And the scenario is complicated: Ted is not even aware of the affair that Rebecca had with Sam, but she is more than following his open relationship with one of her best friends, Sassy, and him. The upside is that she KNOWS that what’s between them is nothing serious and that his considering turning casual sex into dating was just an attempt to move on with his life. In other words, it doesn’t get in the way of the two at all. On the contrary, it shows that he can be ready.

The big problem for Rebecca is still in the past. No matter how many lovers or nice guys she passes through her life, it’s still Rupert (Anthony Head) who destroys her self-esteem. This villain without any shame or depth is the Iago in her and Nate’s (Nick Mohammed) lives, and is also Ted’s (Jason Sudeikis) antagonist. More so, he’s the man we all hate. Rich, powerful, disgusting, and toxic. More so, Rupert is cruel. I’m glad Rebecca explained her modus operandi so that we have the answer to how she fell for him. And yes, she has everything to win

Rebecca’s trajectory represents many mature women. Her 12-year marriage to Rupert took away vital time to be happy: she gave up motherhood (his choice), moved away from friends (his choice), did not work (his choice) and even so, she was betrayed until she gave up and asked for divorce.

So it was as a revenge plan against Rupert that Rebecca, who stayed with the football team he loves so much, brought Ted Lasso into her life. She wanted to hit her ex with the only thing he really cares about a football loss. It almost worked, but paradoxically even relegating AFC Richmond, it was Rebecca’s personal victory that affected her ex-husband. She found herself to be a great businesswoman, reconnected with old friends, made new and important confidants (Keeley) and even dated and flirted. Although it seems like it’s football that gets him, it’s the fact that she’s strong that brings Rupert back into her life so many times.

Toxic men like him were in abundance in a society that prioritized men in relationships, anyone, and, in particular, emotional ones. Until recently, a woman without a husband was seen as a failure, complicated, and an outcast.

Rupert represents all these men perfectly.

In a complex universe like Ted Lasso‘s, it’s surprising how simple a man Rupert is. His game is to see people suffer, to always take advantage, and take pleasure in destroying. He doesn’t need to be a physical aggressor, he is cold, calculating, and patient. Acts smoothly and consistently. And it can still do a lot of harm to more people.

One of Rupert’s greatest powers is observation. He can easily identify people’s weaknesses. Obviously in the case of Rebecca, after a marriage of 12 years he has an even greater advantage over her, and so far, even facing it with great class, Rebecca does not have the ability to disguise her vulnerability.

To hurt Rebecca, he boycotted an auction she organized and even donated £1 million to make her look stingy. He started dating a significantly younger woman whose name was also Rebecca, whom he married and had a daughter in less than a year. To torment her further, he first bought the minority stake in Richmond to stay in her ex’s life. Who forgets that he chose her father’s funeral, to announce the purchase of West Ham United and close the season by signing Nathan?

There’s only one person who’s stood Rupert up front: Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis).

Coming from another country and with another purpose, Ted doesn’t depend on Rupert at all. He only accepted the challenge of working with football to distance himself from a failed marriage, to make room for a painful divorce. He wants the best for the team, and for people in general, but his priority is different.

Rebecca and Ted complete each other, they go through the same things at the same time, and the Peace they feel when they are together is the fuel for the #tedbecca campaign. But what makes Ted the man for the situation is the fact that he is a man in the first place. Rupert, toxic macho, knows how to manipulate the game with weaker players, but does not face Ted head-on. He has underestimated him at darts and been openly humiliated there, yet he still thinks he can destroy him. If only Ted cared about him.

Ted grew up surrounded by men like Rupert, it takes a lot more to get him out of the picture. And he warned that in the pub clash. Knowing that Nate was another cog in that strategy is why Ted is so empathetic to his former assistant, and while he disagrees with forgiveness, it’s something that only makes Ted genuinely awesome.

I’m rooting for a new Darts game before the series ends. On the football field, Rupert deals with third parties playing the match for him, cowardly as ever. It’s Nate’s brilliance at strategy, it’s the players scoring goals and the rules of football being used to his advantage. In life, Ted is much more precise than he is on the field.

Rebecca is still ego bruised, no one blames her. Even though he was the usual nasty and abusive guy, Rupert used against her the things he “discovered with another”, as he claimed in the case of paternity when he tore his ex-wife’s heart apart by stating that he was just waiting for the right person to have a child. Not even seeing that he hasn’t changed at all (cheating on the new Rebecca with the secretary), did Rebecca realize that she already won, as Ted commented. Her biggest win is being happy, and like #tedbecca, only a man will make her understand that. His name? Ted Lasso.


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