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‘Ted Lasso’ Power Rankings: Strong Men Also Cry

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 8 — “Man City”

HONORABLE MENTION: Keeley (full-on giggled at that opening scene with her chatting up a silent Beard and Roy); Phoebe’s teacher (imagine having a parent-teacher conference and world-famous footballer and cusser Roy Kent walks in); Higgins (like a little broom closet Yoda); Jamie’s crappy dad’s friend Bug (man changed his name to Bug because he eats bugs, I have no choice but to respect it); my sweet uncircumcised prince Dani Rojas (I now want a full 90-minute standalone episode about his wedding, whenever that is); Stephen Sondheim (a talented man); Mae (an enigma with a butt tattoo); Dr. Sharon’s friend/therapist Bridget (I have never met a Bridget who was not a fun person); Jan Maas (BE QUIET WHILE ISAAC IS WORKING, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD); getting hit by a car (not ideal); referee Mike Dean (never mess with Mike Dean)

10. Colin (Last week: Unranked)

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I think what I need here is for Colin and Will the New Kit Man — whose full name, according to last week’s credits, appears to be Will Kitman, a fact I will never let go of even for a second — to become friends and get an apartment together and maybe go on a road trip through the Alps. Just two sweet ignored and/or bullied boys zooming around the mountains, having sweet little conversations, listening to… oh, I don’t know. Let’s say the soundtrack to The Lion King. Belting it out together in mismatched harmonies until they run out of gas in Switzerland because they each thought the other filled up the tank.

Look at this beautiful soul.

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I love him very much and want him to thrive in every way but I also must admit that him dying by choking on the bar while doing the bench press in a crowded but distracted room would be kind of perfect. Someone must protect him.

9. Nate (Last week: 10)

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Nate is still dancing on that line between naive little woodland creature (Keeley ropes him into stuff so easily, almost by accident) and burgeoning mini-tyrant. Look at the sentence in the screencap. It’s a perfect insult. Just rolls right off the tongue. I suspect, especially after hearing his confession, that he actually thought of it weeks earlier and had been saving it for the right moment. I hope he has a whole file in the Notes app on his phone that’s full of the most awful put-downs you’ll ever see.

I want to see Nate and Roy get into an argument now. I feel like Roy would resort to a headbutt at some point. This would be excellent television.

8. Sambecca (Last week: Unranked)

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Good news and bad news here…

GOOD: This was all kind of adorable, especially the way Sam — who I did not realize was only 21! — dove right into things, completely unbothered by the age difference that makes Rebecca old enough to be his mother, all of which was predicted by these very Power Rankings as recently as last week. He’s a sweetheart, that one, and apparently a smooth one, too, based on that whole “I’m at your door but you can use my address next time” move. Good for him. Good for them.

BAD: We are one tabloid expose away from this all blowing up in a bad way for Rebecca, for a slew of reasons she articulated right away, the biggest of which is the thing where she’s his boss and the power dynamic at play is not great. The paparazzi will run wild. At the very least, these two need to start closing the front door before they smooch on each other. Although it would have been wildly funny if the show had cut from that straight to a shot of Trent Crimm hiding like 25 feet up in a tree with his little notepad. Something to consider.

7. Ted (Last week: 6)

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Lot going on here. Perhaps too much to address right now. Ted’s admission about his father was a heavy shoe that dropped, and one that goes a long way toward explaining a lot of things, starting with the thing where he deflects with positivity as a way to ward off bad vibes. That’s a classic symptom of trauma, spinning plates and juggling and riding a unicycle all at once to prevent the people around you from feeling sad. So much of this show makes so much more sense now.

We will undoubtedly circle back to this again at some point in the future, probably whenever he actually sits down to discuss it all with Dr. Sharon. In the meantime, please note for the record that I found it hilarious that he tried to do the “it’s the same court/field” speech from Hoosiers about Wembley and was corrected right away. That one was a little joke for Brian.

6. Phoebe (Last week: Unranked)

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She’s a good egg. She just swears a little. That’s fine. There is nothing funnier than little kids saying swear words with their little voices. I say this as someone who does not have any children. I suspect my take would be different if it were my child getting sent home from school for inventive profanity. Maybe. Either way, give me at least one Roy/Phoebe scene every week. I know they are just playing directly to my emotions in a manipulative bid to be adorable but I also do not care.

Gimme.

5. Dr. Sharon (Last week: 3)

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While there is plenty to get to regarding Dr. Sharon and her bicycle accident and the thing where she has a corporate apartment littered with empty booze bottles, I would like to focus on two things here:

  • I like that, per the above screencap, we are now screaming toward an implied or — please, lord, let it be true — literal “We’re not so different” moment between Sharon and Ted, and I could not possibly be happier about it
  • It was just last week that I suggested that Dr. Sharon would be a blast at a pub for karaoke, and now we hear her belting out songs from West Side Story while concussed, which is not exactly the same as doing karaoke after a few drinks, but is also not exactly not the same, either

The important thing here is that I was correct. Thank you.

4. Isaac (Last week: Unranked)

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Effective immediately and going forward indefinitely, I want nothing in this world more than a haircut from Isaac. I say this because it looks fun and like a borderline religious experience, but also because I just really like getting my hair cut and think I would enjoy it. I do not care how much it costs. You only live once. Give me a five up top and a two on the sides and blend that sucker in nicely. Take your time. I’m not in a rush.

3. Jamie (Last week: 8)

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A handful of wonderful developments for Jamie Tartt this week:

  • He got a little chunk of plot all his own to examine his own parental issues in a way that, like Ted, kind of goes a long way toward explaining why he is how he is
  • He got the satisfaction of punching his dad — who looks kind of like Mel Gibson, in a move I choose to believe was intended — square in the kisser after a lifetime of probably wanting to do it
  • He said the phrase “textual chemistry” in that accent of his, which was admittedly a bigger thing for me than for him, but still

Good for Jamie.

2. Roy (Last week: 2)

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Did you cry a little? Be honest. Did you cry a little when Roy marched across the room and grabbed Jamie and pulled him in tight in the warmest and most powerful embrace that has ever been depicted in a show about an American football coach who begins coaching a soccer team in England and wins over the players and the community with his infectiously upbeat personality?

I did. A little. Again, I know there’s an element to this “Roy is a kind and lovely man under his rugged exterior” stuff that is being played out for this exact reason. I know they’re trying to make me feel things. I imagine one day they’ll push it a little too far and I’ll roll my eyes about it all. But we’re not there yet. Roy is a good man. I love him.

And somehow, the hug wasn’t even my favorite thing he did with his body this week. That honor goes to this eyebrow raise he tossed at Phoebe’s teacher.

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I might put this on a t-shirt. Or a billboard. Or I might hang it from a giant sheet that I’ve tied to the bottom of a blimp that I’ve rented or stolen and started flying around the country. Blimp heist. No jury in the land will convict me.

1. Coach Beard (Last week: 1)

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Three notes about my beloved Coach Beard:

  • His relationship with Jane fascinates me, almost as much as it fascinates me that he coached an entire game while dosed on mushrooms and no one even realized it
  • I like that he’s the one who escorted Jamie’s dad out of the locker room, mostly because I’ve always felt like Beard can handle himself physically — in my head he spent three years of his 20s cage fighting in Southeast Asia — and it was nice to have that validated
  • I could not possibly be more excited about next week’s episode after seeing the teaser and reading this description: “After the semifinal, Beard sets out on an all-night odyssey through London in an effort to collect his thoughts”

The greatest.

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