Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 5, “Signs,” continues the series trend of struggling to set up the show’s characters for their respective happy endings. This episode single-handedly highlights the issues that this final season has been having. While there are traces of character development and storylines that could be interesting, everything is still mostly coming up short.
This season continues to feature strange choices regarding Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham). It just seems so out of left field. Before now, when has she ever been a superstitious person putting any kind of credence in random human events? Relatedly, the desire to have children comes completely out of nowhere. This has never been expressed or established previously.
Infertility is devastating for so many people who experience it. Rebecca’s story could have been incredibly poignant if it had been set up properly. Instead, this entire storyline is simply puzzling. Of course, even with a less-than-stellar plot line, Waddingham is nothing less than stunning. Waddingham’s ability to portray visceral emotion without speaking a word is further proof that she is one of the greatest artists of her time.
The other character that Ted Lasso continues to struggle with this season is Keeley (Juno Temple). The fact that Keeley continues to be sidelined from the rest of the Greyhound family is troubling. Sure, her romance with Jack (Jodi Balfour) has a lot of potential. Again, it seems that there hasn’t been enough time to establish this as a realistic endgame for Keeley. Frankly, it’s been more than a little unclear where this character is headed. It’s too bad there hasn’t been more time focusing on her and how she can develop as an individual. The focus on the person she’s meant to end up with is a distraction from what a brilliant character Keeley is.
Perhaps, unfortunately, the character who does get a definitive endgame is Zava (Maximilian Osinski). He came in like a wrecking ball and apparently has served his purpose. His story feels cut off prematurely. The Greyhounds always needed to recognize that their strength would never come from a single star player, no matter how magnetic he might be. This could have been an overarching theme for the season. Instead, he’s played his final games, and the Greyhounds have to rally.
Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 5, “Signs,” does give Ted (Jason Sudeikis) an opportunity to give one of his classic motivational speeches. The series has this down to a science at this point. If there was ever a moment the Greyhounds needed this inspiration, this episode is it. While Ted has largely been in the background of this season, perhaps rightly, he’s allowed to be himself just for a moment. It’s beautiful to watch. While he still may refuse to learn anything about the actual sport that he’s paid to coach, he always knows exactly what his team needs to hear.
Ted Lasso continues to be captivating, even if it struggles to set these beloved characters up for a satisfying conclusion. The highs of this series remain astronomical. However, there continue to be glaring disappointments for more than a few of these beloved characters. While there is certainly still hope, there is a pervading sense that time is running out. In the mean time, it’s still nice to enjoy this ride.
Ted Lasso streams Wednesdays on Apple TV+.