Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 11, “Mom City,” is a penultimate episode for the ages and one of the best episodes of the series. This episode feels like an emotional climax to the series before the alleged final curtain falls. This episode sets up what are meant to be happy endings for this entire team. This is where they’re all meant to be, at least for the moment.
The endgame is well in motion for all of the Greyhounds. Ted (Jason Sudeikis) continues on his path to return to his son. There’s a bittersweet sense that permeates every scene Ted is in. The push-pull dynamic of him weighing his next move feels authentic. He’s created a whole new life for himself in England and it’s clear that the decision to leave his team isn’t an easy one.
This being said it’s important to remember that as a father, Ted has fully left his son on the other side of the world. It’s as if the show finally remembers this idea and makes Ted feel a little bit bad about it. It’s important that the show finally shows Ted take at least some accountability as a father. While this realization may come too little too late, this is another piece in closing this chapter for Ted.
Happily, this episode delves deeper into this character’s psyche by introducing his delightfully unhinged mother, Dottie (Becky Ann Baker). Mothers of TV characters can always shed interesting light on protagonists. This is certainly true here. Seeing Dottie’s energy makes Ted make so much more sense. Clearly, he is an extension of his mother, with the difference being Ted continues to work through his grief and trauma.
Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 11, “Mom City,” could have fallen into the typical trap of demonizing fictional mothers. Instead, this is an authentic portrait of how parents can cause immense damage to their children even with the best of intentions. It’s alarming yet authentic how quickly Dottie puts herself in the role of the victim, accusing Ted of telling people that she is responsible for all of his problems. This is an all-too-common response from parents, specifically when their children work to heal their childhood wounds. For a series that makes a point of spotlighting mental health, it’s important to show how reactions can still be negative when people express their truth.
Beard’s (Brendan Hunt) backstory adds a deeply emotional layer to this character who embodies chaos. It’s a shame that this hasn’t come earlier, but it’s illuminating to see how he became the man he is now. It’s also a further endorsement of Ted and his seemingly endless capacity to support second chances. This story adds an endearing layer of depth to this relationship. These best friends are clearly soulmates.
Finally, Jamie’s (Phil Dunster) character development has reached a pinnacle. Who could have imagined that Jamie Tartt had the ability to be so emotionally vulnerable? Clearly, Roy’s (Brett Goldstein) influence has extended to improving Jamie’s mental as well as his physical form. His honesty with himself and those around him is setting him up on the path he was always meant to walk. This journey has been the most endearing of the series.
Ted Lasso is coming to an endpoint, whether or not this is the official end of this series. This episode firmly establishes where each of these characters is going to go next, as well as possible opportunities for the series to expand beyond Ted. This is the tone that the season should have set all along. These characters have earned this.
Ted Lasso streams Wednesdays on Apple TV+.