A mid-season huddle: Is Richmond finally going to turn around?

Natalia Nazeem Ahmed
6 min readApr 25


A picture of Ted Lasso’s iconic ‘Believe’ poster, via Apple press kit

With only 6 episodes left until the end of the show (sob), it looks like threads are slowly being tied up — but it also seems like everyone is slowly drifting apart, ready to let go and move on.

So far, this season has been far more isolationist compared to the first 2, with cracks appearing in the foundations that have been plastered over during the first two seasons.

A quick recap: Ted Lasso revolves around an English professional football team, coached by a Midwestern American that knows absolutely nothing about football, and shenanigans ensue.

In all seriousness, the show is about perseverance and optimism to defend yourself against the world, without hurting anyone else in the process. Ted’s form of optimism is toxic (as I’ll discuss later) but what I (and a lot of other people) love about the show is how the team grows together, going from a mere football team to a family.

To me, the past two seasons were incredible (especially season 1, but that was also the writing team doing something unprecedented). Season 3 is far more lonely, and I miss the easygoing confidence that the team carried when it didn’t matter if they won or lost because Rebecca wasn’t invested in the team’s future, but in their present.

Keeley and Jack

I think we’ve seen far too little of Keeley this season, and she feels unrooted from the rest of the team. Working with KJPR and breaking up with Roy (which I did NOT see coming) meant that she no longer had any ties with the team, and KJPR took up too much of her time, which meant that her sole connection to Richmond — Rebecca — starts to fade.

Her pairing with Jack seems interesting; on the one hand, Jack appears to be far better for Keeley in terms of emotional maturity and accepting where the relationship lies; but on the other hand, is sleeping with your biggest investor the best decision to make, on the heels off of a fresh breakup?

Keeley has always been impulsive in her romantic life, and it’s worked out well for her so far — here’s hoping it keeps up.

But, I’m hoping to see a Keeley that’s back with the Richmond team, that’s able to work on herself and know who she is. She’s spent the past three years fixing Jamie and then Roy. Jack doesn’t seem to have a problem to fix, so here’s hoping that at least Keeley gets a happy ending with someone stable.


Rebecca’s storyline this season made me feel…uncomfortable. By the end of “Signs”, we see Rebecca longing to be a mother — this is after Richmond is struggling to keep up, Zava has left, and Keeley is unavailable.

The trope of “a woman feels empty therefore she fills the void with a child” is tiring, and I absolutely hate it. I hate when women are reduced down to one characteristic, of wanting children — look at how they treated Black Widow, for a glaring example. Though she is too old for children, the entire episode revolving around this frustrated me to no end. “Sunflowers” does redeem this, and I am very glad Rebecca finally has her fairytale moment in Amsterdam. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this happy before, and it was such a cute moment, and I am so glad for her. I’m really hoping the Dutch man returns and reminds her that there is a whole world beyond Rupert.

Ted Lasso

Ah, Ted. I both want to be more like and pity, Ted Lasso. The first time he ever tells his wife that he is upset by her decision to date their former marriage counsellor (which is so wildly unethical I hope it’s illegal), she’s happy that he finally expressed his sadness. But that was a fleeting moment that we don’t see again. His anger, his hurt, and his confusion still float around, waiting to be addressed in full — all we’ve seen are a few moments, cracks appearing in Ted’s foundation, and it will be his ugliest break yet.

“Sunflowers” felt like a spiritual awakening for Ted — with football, at least. His new strategy feels well-suited for the team, and a few wins will definitely help bolster his self-esteem, enough (I hope) to finally confront “Dr”. Jacob and his bullshit and speak his mind.

Higgins and Will

Honestly, this is genuinely one of the highlights of season 3 — especially in “Sunflowers”. Baby-faced 25-year-old Will (who I deeply feel for, suffering from the same affliction myself) is just a nice guy. It’s great — he’s uncomplicated (in a good way), easy-going, and just a really pleasant presence. His and Higgins’ bond over jazz is adorable, and I love that Will is up for anything. Higgins, too, has somehow stayed the same and accepted his past flaws — mostly of helping Rupert be a sleazebag. It’s nice to see two unproblematic kings enjoying their time together.

Nate and Rupert

Rupert’s a cheating, lying ass. Let’s move on.

Nate, on the other hand, is feeling…remorse? In Signs, we see Nate regret how he treated Ted, but never actually apologises to him for it (yet). Whether it’s him settling into success and realising his past mistakes, or having a nice time with an unlikely friend at the restaurant, I think we’ve seen the beginnings of Nate’s redemption, despite being held back by Rupert.

In all honesty, I have a feeling that Nate will return to Richmond once West Ham loses and Rupert drops him like a hot potato — that, or Nate moves on to another football team, but works more like Ted. I think that would be a far more likely solution, a marker of Ted’s influence spreading throughout the Premier League.

Colin and Trent

Another pair of sidelined characters who get their moment in the spotlight. I like Colin and Trent’s dynamic, of two people trying to figure out how to be themselves openly, without worrying about repercussions — without even thinking about it. With UK football fans being notoriously homophobic, it’s no surprise why Colin cannot risk kissing his fella while his teammates kiss their girls after a good game. Trent’s inclusion into the dynamic, too, serves an exciting purpose. His calming influence on Colin, and a supportive outsider willing to listen, fill Dr. Sharon’s shoes — to a certain extent.

Roy and Jamie

If Roy’s cost for this duo was giving up Keeley, then it was a worthy trade. Roy and Jamie are my favourite pairing, and I love how Jamie is finally thriving. I don’t just mean as a football player but as a person. He’s far more in touch with his emotions, he’s more accepting, more mature, and willing to embrace the silly side of life. “Sunflowers” was adorable to watch largely because of Roy and Jamie’s adventures. Both of them get what they sorely need — Roy is able to shine as a coach, and Jamie blooms under Roy’s paternal care. Despite Jamie still recovering from dealing with a major ass for a father (his complete lack of memory for his first Amsterdam trip with his dad broke my heart), he’s doing ridiculously well.

He even sounds different. Less smarmy, less pretentious. He sounds happier, and more okay with who he is (all parts of who he is), and that is a very unexpected, but very welcome, development.

So what next?

The first six episodes were definitely tumultuous. “Sunflowers” seems to be the turning point for this season; the first 5 episodes saw the team sink lower than before, with Rebecca and Ted’s relationship faltering, each haunted by their own pasts, but this episode hit a hard reset and is turning things around. I’m thrilled for the next 6 episodes — I didn’t think it would happen, but a small part of me does feel like they might just win the whole damn thing.



Natalia Nazeem Ahmed

A young English graduate who’s trying to share her thoughts with the world. Still a work in progress. For short fiction, visit https://medium.com/@natalianahmed