Recently I realized just how special Ted Lasso is as a television series. This realization came from the fact that the show can lampoon or credit any genre in cinematic history and make it funny. This is the case for episode five of season two, entitled “Rainbow.”
The plot of the episode is straightforward. Isaac, the newly appointed captain of Richmond FC, is having trouble being the strong leader the team needs. The team needs his leadership to secure wins and move up in the league tables. Noticing this lack of leadership Ted reaches out to Roy Kent. He emplores Roy to help Isaac find his voice so that the team can be successful again. Roy, as usual, is completely hesitant about the idea and tells Ted to fuck off.
Eventually, Roy comes around to the idea of helping Isaac find his voice, knowing that he himself needed that same advice earlier on in his own career. Nate, meanwhile, is struggling to get a table at a Greek restaurant for his parents’ anniversary. Nate struggles to be assertive. He wants to be taken seriously as a professional, so Keeley and Rebecca teach him exactly how to do that.
The primary reason to love this particular episode is that it’s framed around the usage of every romantic comedy from every romantic movie you’ve seen in your life. It all works. There isn’t a single joke in this episode that does not land if you have seen the referenced films. The theme of this episode is that everybody wants to be heard. Everybody wants to have a voice, and the best way to be heard is when you’re being taught how to speak. Four characters do teach each other their voices have power. The individuals the audience have always thought to be weaker find their own inner strength, giving them the courage to fight for what they want in their lives.
As much as it was fun to watch Nathan find his voice and Isaac rediscover the joy of playing football, the ultimate piece of satisfaction comes from knowing that Roy Kent found his purpose in coaching football. Roy has always been resistant to change. He has also been resistant toward being told what to do or what direction he should take. When those decisions need to be made, he knows that call has to be his. This circles back to Roy Kent making the decision to retire after his injury. He wasn’t forced into it. He realized after the injury that he had nothing left in him. Roy is now aware that he is still capable of so much more, and it’s going to be really great to see him guide these players to know themselves better and play the game at a higher level.
The strongest performances of this episode definitely comes from Brett Goldstein and Nick Mohammed. Both men can be hilarious, especially when given one-liners but seeing their personal growth occur a little bit at a time this season made for a deeper emotional impact. This show is working really hard to change directions, focusing more on the team being promoted. I can’t wait to see more episodes forward each of these characters’ separate journeys.