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Ted Lasso Season 2 Finale Review — “Inverting the Pyramid of Success”

The Season 2 finale of Ted Lasso is now streaming on Apple TV+.

Ted Lasso has been a balm since it came into our lives in August 2020. Right when we needed them most, Coach Lasso and AFC Richmond dad-joked and growled their ways into our hearts and earned the adoration of the world over. Season 2 brought new hurdles into the fold, with the team fighting to get promoted back into the premier league, but it turns out football didn’t play as big of a role in this second chapter. The lack of football stakes combined with more challenging character arcs resulted in some controversy among fans this year, leaving some wondering if the Apple TV+ darling had lost the plot. But those who have waited to binge the season all at once can rest assured that most certainly isn’t the case.

In our Ted Lasso Season 2 premiere review, writer Matt Cabral mentioned that it “displays a promising evolution of the series’ reliable formula.” He couldn’t be more right about the premiere (as well as the rest of the season that was to follow and the subsequent finale that would cap everything off). Ted’s (Jason Sudeikis) ongoing struggle with his mental health in the wake of his divorce matched with other difficult themes of the season made the series feel heavier in its second showing, but not in a way that diverted from its warmth. We experienced loss, betrayal, and a whole host of complicated emotions but never once did the series sacrifice its kindness or joy. Much like its title character, Ted Lasso isn’t here to talk down to its viewers. It’s just here to take them on a little ride. If it wins them over in the process well, heck. I think the Coach would call that a pretty good day.

Ted Lasso: Season 2 Photos

There’s no real answers or endings when it comes to grief, loss, and depression. Still though, a finale has to end its set of chapters. “Inverting the Pyramid of Success” had a tall order to fill there, but the writers room knew what they were doing from day one. Nate’s (Nick Mohammed) journey was at the center of fan frustrations this year, but we see it all come to a head in this last episode of Season 2. It’s not going to satisfy the viewers who have found themselves annoyed at the loss of the kind kitman of yesteryear, but it’s not meant to. The purpose of Nate’s storyline is to make you a little uncomfortable. Its job is to highlight how easy kindness can be lost in favor of power just as much as it’s meant to showcase the pain of that loss. Nate tests us in the same way he tests Ted and Coach (Brendan Hunt), and the finale expertly pushes that arc to its breaking point without diverting from the rest of the plots unfolding around it.

The incomparable Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) has played a major role in so many key arcs throughout the series, but the finale finally gives her permission to take what’s hers. The challenges that this brings to Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and Roy (extremely not CGI creation, Brett Goldstein) are not insignificant, but it also results in some of the best performances of the season. Temple, Waddingham, and Goldstein showcase exactly why they were all nominated for their respective Emmys throughout their stories in the finale. But watching Keeley come into her own with the love and respect of all those around her has been one of Season 2’s truest joys. It’s wonderful to see the culmination of that in “Inverting the Pyramid of Success.”

If there’s a failing to the finale, it’s highlighted in a weird visual structure at the very end. There are several moments that almost play like post credit scenes, but they’re not. In fact, had they simply popped them in the middle of the credits, the formatting may have been a little less jarring. As for the lack of football related mistakes, it makes sense why some folks — particularly football fans — may be annoyed there. The thing is, Ted Lasso isn’t really here to talk about football. When we finally return to the football portion of the storyline in the finale, it doesn’t matter that the math didn’t add up or that there was simply no time for AFC Richmond to end up back in the semifinals. We care because the characters that they care about caring.

Humor is such a powerful tool, and Ted Lasso wields it like a broadsword. Conversations surrounding mental health are not easy to have. They feel especially taboo in the sports world. The series finding a way to tackle the subject without chastising its viewers is no simple task. But that’s the Lasso way, isn’t it?

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