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 5 — “Rainbow”
HONORABLE MENTION: Isaac (good lad); Jamie Tartt (nothing to do this week but I assume he’s still on the right path); Nate’s cranky dad (he’s not a dog, Nate); Jade Anniversary (good fake name); Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds (need a Mythic Quest / Ted Lasso crossover ASAP); Wario (I need to hear Roy pronounce the names of all the characters in the Nintendo universe, starting with Yoshi); The Rolling Stones (I assume they all bought new boats with the checks they got for the use of a huge chunk of “She’s Like a Rainbow”); Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey, Drew Barrymore, various Kates, etc. (do anything in your life as well as they’ve done rom-coms and you’ll be just fine)
10. Higgins (Last week: Unranked)
I had been getting a great deal of pleasure from plopping Higgins in the Honorable Mentions section every week, regardless of what he did, in part because it felt right given his role on the show and in part because I am a child who cannot do a simple weekly rankings post without creating bits to entertain myself. But I had no choice here. I had to slide him into the listings proper. Between the line in the screenshot above and the thing where the entire climax of the episode — I cried, again — was a reference to the ringtone he uses for his wife, which is itself a reference to their first big date… yes, Higgins has entered the top ten.
9. The surprisingly helpful kebab shop owner (Last week: Unranked)
Pretty nice of him to give a seemingly unrelated speech about doing what you love just as Ted was trying to convince Roy to come back and help coach the team. Almost like it was written into the script that way for a reason. Hmm. But as a guy who has a law degree and now spends most weekdays writing nonsense rankings and taking screenshots of friendly fictional kebab chefs, I suppose I really can’t run around poking holes in any of this. It checks out. And now I want to eat a kebab. Vicious cycle, really.
8. Ted Lasso (Last week: 9)
Another week, another player helped through Ted’s brand of folksy therapy, this time Isaac, who learned to be less cranky and have more fun with a nudge from Roy Kent, who also succumbed to Ted’s little Benevolent Jedi routine. And he got to sneak out that “wigwam inside a teepee = two tents / two tense” line, which has to be pretty thrilling for him. I bet he’d been sitting on it all week just waiting for his chance to slide it into the conversation. Good for him.
That said, it does remain my position — and I haven’t watched the screeners ahead of this episode because I am not a cheater — that there is still a big sit-down with Dr. Sharon coming, one that is going to wreck Ted and me equally. I am looking forward to it and dreading it all at once. And there’s also the phone thing, which we’ll get to in the section on Rebecca. We really need to talk about that.
7. This kid (Last week: Unranked)
Love this guy. Look at his little face. Adorable.
6. Keeley (Last week: 5)
Three things here, regarding Keeley:
- I love the relationship she and Rebecca have, kind of equals as friends, kind of employer-employee, kind of mentor-life coach, kind of, in a way, mother-daughter, even though Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple are only 14 years apart in age
- The “let’s invade France” line was terrific and perfectly delivered
- It still cracks me up that everyone on this show has an open door policy and spends entire workdays role-playing as restaurant hostesses to help other team employees
I want her and Roy to have a baby, mostly so I see can what kind of person they’d create. Make a spin-off about this hypothetical child and set it 30 years in the future. I am serious.
5. My sweet prince Dani Rojas (Last week: 8)
I need to see Dani Rojas absolutely flying on cold brew and sugar. I had not even considered this as a thing I might want until this week. I had kind of assumed he already was flying on caffeine and sugar all the time, like a kid who got into the Mountain Dew at a sleepover. But now that I know this is him in his natural state… I must see it. Give him a Red Bull. Give him a Four Loko. This is science now. I’m doing science. I will document my findings and everything. Someone get me a lab coat and a clipboard and enough sugar-y energy drinks to launch a horse into orbit. Dani Rojas and I have work to do. I bet he’d be able to bench press the team bus.
4. Rebecca (Last week: 2)
Plenty of ways we could go with the Rebecca chat this week, whether it’s her strategy of making herself big before scary social situations or her turning to her own employees for advice on her love life. But I think we need to focus on the Bantr of it all. How she’s been chatting with some charming mystery man. How she’s giggling and blushing like a teen at their little conversations. How the episode cut from the image in the screencap above, where she sent the mystery man another personal note, straight to this…
This is happening. I think this is happening. I do not know if I want it to happen. But something is coming here. Ted and Rebecca are both recently divorced middle-aged people who spend a lot of time together and enjoy each other’s company. In a way, it was bound to happen at some point. I kind of can’t wait to see their faces when they realize that what I think is happening here is, in fact, happening. It would be a whole thing.
3. Nate (Last week: Unranked)
It was nice to see Nate get a win this week, with the whole table business. He’s had a weird run so far this season, stuck in limbo between having authority as a coach now (and tormenting the new kit man with this new power) and still being the low man on a new totem pole (lowest ranking coach). He’s a sweet man, sometimes too sweet, so I got a legitimate belly laugh out of the thing where he spit at the mirror after saying the line in this screencap. I hope this becomes a thing. I hope, for the rest of the season, just at random, the action cuts briefly to Nate sitting in a restaurant by himself at the best table at the house, just confidently cutting and eating a steak and making eye contact with the server and other staff.
What I’m saying is that it would be funny if this show slowly, over the course of many seasons, turns Nate into James Bond.
2. Roy Kent (Last week: 3)
This episode, as you probably realized early into the proceedings, was chockablock with references to various romantic comedies. There was plenty of When Harry Met Sally in there, some Bridget Jones, some Notting Hill and Pretty Woman, and a slew of others. Then there was this one right at the end, the “you had me at coach” twist on the famous Jerry Maguire line. I wasn’t joking earlier: I did straight-up start crying when Roy walked onto the field to raucous cheers from the crowd. This is because I’m a crier, just generally, but also because the episode followed the classic rom-com structure that has conditioned humans to start crying at pivotal moments. It’s almost diabolical, really.
Two thoughts, in closing:
- I will, once again, for what feels like the fifth week in a row, restate my pitch that Roy Kent should host a daytime talk show where he gives blunt but helpful life tips, like he did to the guy who helped him get to the stadium by dropping the “You’ve got to date your wife” line he stole (with credit) from Nikki Sixx
- I will miss him as a pundit very much, both because he was hilarious in that role and because he did this little eyebrow-raise before he’d start talking and I found it to be maybe the funniest thing on the show
But him becoming a coach feels right, even if Nate seems a little uncomfortable about it all. We’ll have to monitor this situation over the next few episodes. And while we’re doing that, in the interim between this episode and the next, I would recommend doing a little “right-click / save as” move on the following screencap…
… just because I feel like we could all get some use out of it going forward. Roy Kent is a good man, much to his chagrin.
1. Coach Beard (Last week: 1)
Sometimes when I’m watching an episode take a long ride with a particular character — Nate at the restaurant, Roy at the restaurant, really any time anyone is at a restaurant — my mind will drift off and start wondering what Coach Beard is up to in that exact moment. It could be anything. Nothing would surprise me. He could be skydiving or exchanging gold bars for marble sculptures or cooking a perfect soufflé. He fascinates me.
But, and this is important, and I’ve said it before, I absolutely do not want to ever actually find out. To paraphrase another good show about personal growth amidst odd circumstances, let’s just let this mystery be.