(lots of spoilers for this week Ted lasso)
This week’s episode picks up where it left off last week: A disheartened AFC Richmond in shock at a sudden loss with Coach Beard walking away from Ted and stepping out into London night under a heavy blue moon. Beard takes a train home, lost in introspection and bitterness, so much so that for the first time, we’re not greeted by the now-familiar opening theme song with its bright blue stadium seats and cards displaying the title card. hosted by famous pundits Gary Lineker and Thierry Henry detailing the unfortunate match. The Richmond coaching staff is criticized and Beard begins to take it personally (mind-blowing them by shooting him, which gives us a glimpse of the dynamic he perceives when it comes to his relationship with Ted) and when he goes to Crown & Anchor, Mae also gives him grief. As Beard sits with his pint, Jane sends him several texts despite being “off” again. He resists the urge to meet her, acknowledging that he’s stuck in an unhealthy cycle with Jane. Instead, he drinks with our favorite pub freaks, Jeremy, Paul, and Baz, and when Mae shuts down for the night, the quartet comes to town.
Beard and The Boys pull off a few shenanigans to get into an exclusive nightclub called Bones & Honey. As Beard has beers at the bar, making eye contact with a beautiful redhead across the room, the boys are at a pool table and quietly laughing at a trio of upper crust snobs. Beard intervenes, introducing himself as Professor Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus (Elvis Costello’s real name minus Aloysius), successfully posing as a retired professor from Oxford. This gives the boys the confidence they need to take on the snobs in a £ 20 pool game (which they are barely able to find, bless them), while Beard goes to speak to the mysterious redhead. However, his frustration that lies just below the surface is triggered by an incident involving a nail, which catches the attention of a bouncer who kicks him out.
In a bit of kismet, the redhead stands around the corner a few steps away from him, like the femme fatale in a film noir. She invites him into her apartment to fix his pants, offering him in the meantime a pair of loaner from her handy (and more than a little odd) display of memorabilia from former lovers. She hands him a pair of sequined bell stockings from a former lover who is now dead, which is essentially the film noir version of hearing children whispering 19th century nursery rhymes in an old attic. But we know that’s not enough to scare Beard, even though this woman makes Jane look quite conventional. Her cell phone rings and she asks him to answer, which makes it a red flag number two or three depending on how you count. Sure enough, the person on the other end of the phone is her boyfriend, a man who looks like Roy Kent’s Wario, and is going up to the apartment right now. Enraged, he chases Beard to the roof. Trapped, Beard escapes the only way he can, jumping off the roof to a dumpster below. Negaverse Dave Bautista emerges on the street a minute later, but Beard manages to escape on a passing bus.
Beard is safe on the bus and relieved, until he realizes he left his wallet and phone at Femme Fatale. He got off the bus and made his way to a nearby hotel where he was then turned back by an unhelpful concierge. Hearing people in a nearby alleyway, Beard begins walking towards them, hoping he can borrow a phone. Sadly, it turns out to be James Tartt, who just hours ago was taken out of the Richmond locker room at Wembley by Beard himself. It’s clear a fight is about to happen and with a three-on-one, Beard makes the right choice and runs away. Alas, he comes to a dead end and as he fights he imagines Lineker and Henry offering commentary on his current situation. Beard receives a few licks, but James and his two friends beat him hard. Not knowing when to stop, Beard continues and in a breathtaking moment, James is about to bang his head with a pipe but is stopped by the last person we would expect: the angry Bluto of a Femme Fatale’s boyfriend. He chases the three men away and returns Beard’s wallet and phone with an apology.
Phone in hand, Beard finds he has missed an impressive number of missed calls and messages from Jane. While he tries to answer his messages (toxic litanies), his phone dies. Frustrated and in physical pain, Beard walks down the street until a limo pulls up beside him with none other than Jeremy, Paul, and Baz in the back, clearly having a better night than Beard. They ask the driver to drop Beard at the house, but as he struggles with the key, it crashes in the lock, just in time for a rainstorm to arrive. Tonight is clearly cursed, so it’s no surprise that when Beard does his sound in a church (one sporting the same neon purple cross on the outside like the one in Jane’s photo), he sits on a bench and start talking to God. He talks about Jane and his desire for her despite the fact that she does not do much to alleviate his problems. Beard is suffering from a larger crisis, one that he doesn’t seem quite ready to fully face. Once the rain stops it almost looks like a sign that God is listening, that’s when Beard starts listening and realizes he can hear something. As he walks past the nave, he discovers a secret nightclub in the inner corners of the church. He goes straight to the center of the dance floor and starts dancing until Jane appears. She hands him a hoop, which he handles with remarkable skill. He swirls around his waist as he moves with the music, even imagining Lineker and Henry cheering him on before he and Jane dance the rest of the night.
The next morning in Richmond, Beard makes a late appearance. Ted, Roy, and Nate can tell something is wrong, especially since you can’t hide your black eye from your fight with James, but Beard shrugged Beard’s way. Although the coaches have no desire to relive yesterday’s game, Ted softens the mortification of watching this kind of tragic game that happens “once in a blue moon” by speeding up the video and putting it on the song. Benny Hill theme. Beard, who is more than tired of the blue moon experience, lifts his still glittery legs up on the table and pulls the brim of his cap over his eyes to catch a few minutes of sleep.
Deviating purely from the definition, this would be considered a “filler episode,” but I don’t think that label is specific enough for an episode like this. Granted, technically it doesn’t advance the plot, but I maintain the position that it doesn’t need to. A character study can simply exist and further enrich a story arc, a task admittedly made easier by the fact that each of these characters is already interesting thanks to the groundwork that the writing team put in place. So it’s with this episode devoted almost entirely to Coach Beard, a man we’ve seen relatively little this season and who seems a lot less stable this time around (much like Ted, although we had the advantage of witness his struggle up close). It is clear that Beard would benefit from a few sessions with Dr. Fieldstone, although I suspect he also has a complicated view of therapy (although not as hostile as Ted’s) which can stand in the way. As many people know, Apple has requested two more episodes for this season, and Brendan Hunt recently confirmed that “Beard After Hours” is the second add-on (with the Christmas episode being the first). We are now three quarters of the season. If the episode ten photo is any indicator, next week is going to get us back in shape, but for now let’s marvel at how Hunt pulls off those bell bottoms.
Gary Lineker: “A real David vs Goliath match, but where Goliath just stomped David on the back of the head like in this Ed Norton movie.”
Thierry Henry: “Moonrise Kingdom? “
Gary Lineker: “I think that’s it, yeah.”
Mae: “Just like my legs after a date with a guy who kept correcting me, we’re closed.”
Jeremiah: “I heard they once pushed Cher away.”
Paul, belting, “Would you believe they did such a thing ?!”
Ted: “Beard is like the postman: he always delivers and looks great in shorts.
Kaleena Rivera is Pajiba’s TV writer. When she’s not laughing that Jane’s last name is Payne (Jane Payne, seriously?), She can be found on Twitter. here.
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Source of header image: Apple TV +