‘Ted Lasso’ Co-Creator Brendan Hunt Responded To Criticism Of Nate’s Surprise Heel Turn

Anyone caught up on Ted Lasso (spoilers incoming, obviously) knows that Season 3 has set the scene for the true emergence of Dark Nate. Or, well, maybe Grey Nate.

The once-lovable kit manager turned assistant coach ended the Apple TV+ show’s second season at the helm of West Ham, a rival Premiere League club that Lasso’s AFC Richmond will now see plenty of in the show’s new season. It was a shrewd move for the frustrated Nate, setting off on his own and looking for revenge after feeling under-appreciated in Richmond. And while some fans were shocked by the seemingly abrupt heel turn, it wasn’t as big a surprise to those who read the tea leaves in his two-season arc.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, co-creator and Coach Beard himself Brendan Hunt touched on fan reaction to the heel turn Nate went through in lashing out at Ted and taking a new job. Because while some were a bit blindsided by the finale, those writing the show thought they had enough “bread crumbs” there for fans to see what might be coming.

In terms of would people pick up on it, the Nate bread crumbs, we knew they were there, but we can’t control whether or not people see them. As people were going along and were like, “What’s happening to Nate?!” Well, it’s been happening to him since season one. People having reactions to it, that’s great, because it means people give a shit. For people to be mad or think we’re doing something that’s not earned, well, I don’t agree, but off you go. But I think we were dropping hints — we were worried we were dropping hints that were too revealing, but for a lot of people it was the other way.

It’s a small glimpse into the creative process that comes with writing shows in the first place, as it’s really tough to know just how perceptive fans will be. Any show that gains even a small following will spark fan theories and speculation about where a show’s plot is headed, and if you give too many hints that end up as red herrings, then you could upset people just as much as you may delight them when a plot line ends in a way that satisfies all the story notes that came before it.

When it comes to Nate, however, all the signs that he could be breaking bad become very clear in hindsight whether you saw them in the moment or not. Which is what makes Season 3’s looming Nate storyline so intriguing. We now know that Nate (and actor Nick Mohammed) can play the part of the bad guy. We just don’t know how far things will go in what might be the show’s final season.

[via THR]