Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 2, “4-5-1,” adds an additional level of chaos and focuses on a player who has been in the background for too long. Zava (Maximilian Osinski) is a brand unto himself, and the Greyhounds need to be ready to handle this super-powered diva. This could be exactly the shake-up that Richmond needs.
Zava comes in like a wrecking ball, and it’s frankly beautiful to watch. This character could have been so insufferable. Thankfully, Zava has the talent to back up his massive ego. The fact that he takes the time to connect meaningfully with everyone he meets and recognizes the fact that Leslie (Jeremy Swift) is the glue that holds everything together speaks well of his character. Sure, he evidently sees himself as the leader of this team rather than a simple member. However, he obviously knows his own strengths and what he needs to be great. He can’t be faulted for that.
Ted (Jason Sudeikis) unfortunately continues to be the weakest link this season. It feels as though his character is set up for a foregone conclusion, that he will eventually rejoin his son in the United States. In the meantime, this episode continues the trend of the season by just sort of having him wait around. While there is still plenty of comedy in watching Zava upstage him, Ted just seems so lost.
Rebecca’s (Hannah Waddingham) story could truthfully go either way at this point. It’s a little odd that she’s suddenly putting so much stock into the words of a psychic after receiving Sam’s (Toheeb Jimoh) matchbook. This episode, in particular, feels so out of character for Rebecca. She has always approached every part of her life with logic, reason, and obvious heart. To see her spiral essentially out of control after one potential coincidence feels disappointing to say the least.
Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 2, “4-5-1,” adds an intriguing and frankly disappointing layer to the Greyhounds as a group. It’s alarming and devastating that Colin feels he cannot be open about his sexuality with his teammates. On the surface, all of the players and coaches are progressive. However, Colin has evidently seen behaviour or heard comments that would lead him to believe that being an out-gay footballer would not be to his benefit. Hopefully, this story will be handled with sensitivity. There is so much at stake for Colin. This could be a powerful commentary on homophobia in football and sports more broadly.
This episode also puts Trent Crimm (James Lance) at a crossroads. The fact that a reporter is the one to discover Colin with his boyfriend underlines how serious the stakes are. This isn’t the first time Trent has been faced with a moral dilemma, of course. While he’s made the right choice in the past, there is no guarantee his moral compass will hold quite so true. This could definitely be an underlying thread for the rest of the show’s final season.
Ted Lasso would benefit from more episodes like this that spotlight characters outside of the core group. The Greyhounds each have their own stories that deserve to be told. Sometimes, focusing on Ted and all of his chaos does the show a disservice. Hopefully, this episode serves as a launching point to showcase more stories that will make viewers love the Greyhounds even more.
Ted Lasso streams Wednesdays on Apple TV+.