Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 7, “The Strings That Bind Us,” continues to make a valiant effort to set everyone up for happy endings. Some of it works incredibly well, some of it not as much. While there are certainly improvements being made to the season so far, not every storyline is working. Now that the series is in the second half of Season 3, it’s time to start stepping up and making decisions.
As a whole, this episode is actually a perfect illustration of why the one-hour episodes are not working for this series. The crisis of identity that the show seems to be having in its alleged final season is much clearer in 50+ minutes. When the time is not being used effectively to move characters and storylines forward in meaningful ways, everything just feels sluggish. While this show has always combined comedy and drama, everything just feels muddled when each episode is given free reign over the runtime.
Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 7, “The Strings That Bind Us,” features Ted (Jason Sudeikis) finally actually taking football kind of seriously. It’s taken three seasons, but here we are. Even though he may be calling upon a strategy that has already been well-established, he’s at least showing the passion he’s been lacking for football as an actual sport. This has been such a frustrating part of this character, watching him consistently refuse to learn anything about the sport itself. Hopefully, this means that the character can harness this passion meaningfully going forward. Winning the whole f**king thing requires more than inspirational speeches.
This episode still features strange choices for Nate (Nick Mohammed) as a character. While it certainly makes sense to design a path for him to atone for his actions and reunite with the Greyhounds before the final curtain, everything so far to get him there feels rushed. This budding romance between Nate and a woman who has never shown him anything but disdain feels rushed and ultimately like a distraction.
Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 7, “The Strings That Bind Us,” finally remembers that Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and Keely (Juno Temple) are actually friends. With Keely being mostly sidelined this season and separated from everyone else, this is the bare minimum that the show can give fans. Additionally, if Jack (Jodi Balfour) is meant to represent a new start for Keely, this episode is a strange way of setting this up. Putting these two together and immediately showing them in conflict doesn’t make for very cohesive character development.
This episode is yet another reminder that Trent Crimm (James Lance) continues to be an underrated MVP of this series. His unbridled enthusiasm may be just what Ted and the crew need at this moment. Far from being a passive bystander, he is an essential part of ensuring that the Lasso Way has a path forward. The success of Ted’s plan may very well rest on the kind of buy-in that Trent demonstrates. Hopefully, the Greyhounds themselves will also be on board.
As Ted Lasso marches on to its conclusion, there are still many questions to be answered. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t feel like there is a clear path to the finish line for many of these characters. Moments are getting swallowed that would otherwise be incredibly captivating. Hopefully, the Greyhounds can continue to come together as a team as they so desperately need to.
Ted Lasso streams Wednesdays on Apple TV+.