'Ted Lasso' Recap: You Had Me at 'Rom-Communism'

Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched Ted Lasso season 2, episode 5, “Rainbow.”

Love was in the air on Friday’s all-new Ted Lasso, as the titular coach tried to break his team out of a slump — with the help of a returning AFC Richmond legend!

The episode kicks off with a bummer of a team meeting. The squad has broken their tie streak, but they’re headed in the wrong direction, with recent losses attributed to poor play from captain Isaac McAdoo (Kola Bokinni).

But, of course, Ted (Jason Sudeikis) has some words of inspiration for his team. “I believe in communism…rom-communism, that is,” he tells his baffled squad. “It is a worldview that reminds us that in romantic comedies… if all those attractive people, with their amazing apartments and interesting jobs — usually in some creative field — can go through some lighthearted struggles and still end up happy then so can we!”

After the team takes turns naming their favorite rom-com stars (with special shouts-out to Renee Zellweger and “the three Kates”), Ted sums it up for his team. “Believing in rom-communism is believing that everything’s gonna work out in the end…Our job is to have zero expectations and just let go.”

That theme carries throughout the episode, as Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) continues to chat up her mystery man on the Bantr app, and Keeley (Juno Temple) helps Nate (Nick Mohammed) boost his confidence enough to impress his parents at dinner. (It should also be said that the best chemistry of the episode is, as usual, between Temple and Waddingham, when Keeley swoons at Rebecca’s strategy for “making herself big” before intimidating meetings: “F***k, you’re amazing,” she marvels. “Let’s invade France.”)

However, the biggest will-they, won’t-they of the episode comes as Ted enlists Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) to help Isaac out of his slump. The retired footballer reluctantly agrees, taking his successor to a neighborhood pitch he played on as a kid, to get down and dirty with the local legends.

“I brought you here to remind you that football is a f**king game, that you used to play as a f**king kid,” Roy tells Isaac. “Because it was fun — even when you were getting your f**king legs broken or your f**king feelings hurt. So f**k your feelings, f**k your overthinking, f**k all that bulls**t. Go back out there, and have some f**king fun!”

The expletive-packed rant serves its purpose in twofold: Isaac gets his mojo back, and Ted makes his final push for Roy to join the Richmond coaching staff, permanently — with the help of some of his favorite rom-com lines, of course.

“I came here tonight because when you realize you wanna spend the rest of your life coaching with somebody, you want the rest of your life to begin ASAP,” he recites. “You complete our team.”

“You’re an a**hole,” Roy counters.

But Ted is undeterred. “I’m also just a coach, standing in front of a boy, asking him…” 

“Listen, I’m not coming back to Richmond,” the former player insists, swearing he’s happy with his new broadcasting gig. “Not now, not ever. Now f**k off.”

Of course, Ted has one more up his sleeve. “As you wish!” he calls after Roy.

While he doesn’t immediately agree, Roy comes around eventually. In a montage befitting the last moments of a rom-com, he leaves his TV gig mid-broadcast, races across town just as Richmond’s match is beginning, and storms on the field in a dramatic return that earns cheers from the crowd.

“Hello, Coach,” Ted says, welcoming him to the sidelines. “Really glad you decided to–“

“Shut up. Just shut up,” Roy counters, with a rom-com reference of his own. “You had me at ‘Coach.'”

But not everyone looks thrilled as Roy takes his place alongside his fellow coaches — particularly Nate, whose newly-bolstered confidence seems to be flagging — will it be happily ever after?

Ted Lasso is streaming now on Apple TV+.

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