TV

‘Ted Lasso’ Power Rankings: Two Warriors Enter The Thunderdome

The Ted Lasso Power Rankings are a weekly analysis of who and/or what had the strongest performance in each episode. Most of the list will feature individual characters, although the committee does reserve the right to honor anything from animals to inanimate objects to laws of nature to general concepts. There are very few rules here.

Season 2, Episode 7 — “Headspace”

HONORABLE MENTION: Rebecca (reply already, lady, geez); Higgins (I realized recently that I think of Higgins as like a British version of Jerry from Parks and Recreation, which has helped me understand him more); my sweet prince Dani Rojas (almost made the top ten just for the “wounded butterfly” line); the Jerky Boys (should I bring all of my shoes and glasses… so I have them?); Mae (I like that everyone in the city seems to know and respect her); Colin (he’s a strong and capable man, not a piece of shit); spaghetti and clams (I’m hungry)

10. Nate (Last week: 2)

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I’m going to need someone — anyone, really — to book Nate an appointment with Dr. Sharon as soon as possible. I say this for three primary reasons:

  • The issues he has with his father withholding praise and just generally being stoic and cold are now presenting themselves in increasingly ugly ways that usually involve berating or being cruel to people he perceived as beneath him in whatever sort of social hierarchy he has created in his mind, which is bad
  • Dr. Sharon seems like someone who is good at her job
  • If Nate yells at Will the Kit Man again I will turn into John Wick and end up on a neverending international vengeance tour that grows more perilous by the day as the consequences of my actions lead to continuously escalating adventures, sometimes involving Halle Berry

Knock it off, Nate. And stop name-searching yourself on Twitter. None of this is healthy.

9. Trent Crimm, The Independent (Last week: Unranked)

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While a part of me does question the journalistic ethics of popping up next to someone in a bar while they’re having a drink and asking them for an official statement on a contentious matter, I do like that Trent appears to have sniffed this situation out. The man is relentless. He should be investigating war crimes or something. If there’s ever a Ted Lasso spinoff, we could do a lot worse than one about Trent Crimm.

Also, just to get this out there: I’m working on a theory about Trent and his glasses. There’s a Clark Kent / Superman quality to the way he whips them off or flings them on depending on the question he’s asking. I haven’t nailed it all down yet, but I am tinkering.

8. Jamie (Last week: 3)

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It bums me out a little that Jamie has kind of been relegated lately to “member of the team who is there mainly to say seemingly unrelated things that cause a more significant character to have a personal revelation about events that have been brewing for most of the episode,” but it’s really hard for me to stay focused on any of that when the show has him say words like “Ratatouille” in that accent he has. Rat-a-too-eh. Incredible. I have a running list in my head of words I want him to say next. “Spaghetti” — spah-geh-eh — is pretty high up there.

7. Sam (Last week: 8)

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Did anyone else think maybe Rebecca was finally going to respond to Sam’s message with an apology followed by this exact quote that he barely beat her to saying, thus revealing her identity by accident and leading to a string of awkward hijinks, or am I the only one spending hours of my day thinking about an as-yet-unrevealed relationship between two characters on a television show about a fictional soccer team?

Be honest.

6. Ted (Last week: 7)

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Well, that went… well? I mean, eventually. It did not start well. Ted really ran through about eight different emotions there, possibly more. There was nervous energy and avoidance and anger and combativeness and, I think, at the end, acceptance. Again, we’ve discussed this: Ted is not doing great. He’s drinking alone kind of a lot, and he hasn’t noticed that one of his assistant coaches is turning into a tyrant right under his nose, and now he’s lashing out at the person he himself went to for help. It’s not great.

But yes, the good news here is that he appears to be making progress. It’s not a lot yet, not even anything more than agreeing to sit still and not insult an entire profession, but even that counts as something based on where he started. Baby steps. Neil Armstrong’s journey to the moon started with him walking out his own front door. Ted will get there. We all will. It’s just a matter of putting in the work.

5. Keeley (Last week: Unranked)

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The Keeley-Roy relationship is a fun one and I’m happy for them that they’re starting to navigate around and through their various potential sticking points, but I do worry. I worry the show will run into the same problem the characters did: that having them together too often and in too many ways will result in each of their own cool little corners and ridges getting sanded down. Not a today problem, but definitely something out there on the horizon.

More importantly, good for Keeley for correctly identifying the issues at play in Ratatouille regarding snobbery and how creativity can come from any source, no matter how small and voiceless it might be. And good for her for figuring out a way to tell her friend to screw a rat that somehow came off positive and charming. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Try it this week. Actually, no. Do not try it. I don’t want any of you getting produce flung at your body/face for shouting “GO BONE A RAT” at someone. I can’t have that on my conscience.

4. Will the Kit Man (Last week: Unranked)

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This section was going to be a whole big thing about how Will is a sweet boy and how he only deserves the best in life and how I would watch a full-on standalone episode that follows him around after work as he blasts an infectious positivity into tense situations like a human Paddington Bear, but then something happened.

Then I watched the credits.

Then I saw this.

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There’s a chance this has been mentioned before and I either missed or forgot it, but… is Will the Kit Man’s full name “Will Kitman”? Because that’s amazing. It’s nominative determinism at its finest, like a judge whose last name is Judge or a professional basketball player whose last name is Dunk. The first one of those is a real thing that has happened. The second one is something that has not happened yet but will make me so happy if/when it does that I might burst into a cloud of molecules on the spot.

Will Kitman.

WILL KITMAN.

Between this and the thing where Coach Beard has a beard, I’m starting to wonder if the end game this show is working toward is Ted leaving it all behind to join the rodeo.

3. Dr. Sharon (Last week: 10)

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It was clear from the instant the show introduced Dr. Sharon that this exact situation was coming, like Rocky and Apollo in the first Rocky movie or Paddington and Phoenix Buchanan in the second Paddington movie. Two equal and opposing forces crashing into each other at full speed. Ted, with his aggressive friendliness deflecting any and all attempts to pierce his exterior. Dr. Sharon, with her quiet calm and steady patience ready and willing to wait him out. I like that we’re here now. I like that Dr. Sharon stood up to him when he was lashing out like a scared little boy. I like that I got to reference Paddington twice in this week’s Power Rankings. Things are all going according to plan.

I am serious about Nate needing to make an appointment, though. And if his reign of terror continues much longer, I might have to start questioning Dr. Sharon’s competence at her job just like I did with Ted earlier. She should be noticing this at some point. She might need to start popping up in hallways to torment him, too. I suspect we’re heading there.

2. Roy (Last week: 4)

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Three notes here:

  • I don’t know if I like anything anywhere more than I like the fact that Roy yells “WHISTLE” instead of blowing a whistle, and I hope it continues happening for as long as this show keeps making episodes
  • If, after the credits aired, there had been a little box that popped up and said “For an additional $4.99, click here to watch a deleted scene where Keeley’s neighbors catch Roy cutting up all their roses and he is forced to attempt to explain why,” I regret to inform you I would have smashed that button very hard
  • I hope Roy is reading The Da Vinci Code for a book club with the Yoga Mums and I hope we see their next meeting in the cold open of the next episode

He’s a good man.

1. Coach Beard (Last week: 1)

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I suspect those of you who follow me on social media will be seeing this screencap a lot over the next… oh, let’s say decade. Look at him. Look at his hat. Think about how he just kind of disappeared into thin air right after this happened. Once the “is Roy Kent CGI?” conspiracy theory dies down, I vote one of you start a “Coach Beard does not actually exist and is just collective hallucination of the coaching staff” one. I’m serious about this.

For me. Please.

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