Welcome to our weekly column Can’t Miss Episode of the Week! Every Saturday we’ll be spotlighting a different episode of television from that week that we thought was exceptional and a must-see. Check back to see if your favorite show got the nod — or to learn about a new one!
“Goodbye Earl” is more than just a famous song by The Chicks, it’s also the title of the second season premiere of the feel-good Apple TV+ sitcom Ted Lasso, which dropped on Friday, July 23. Even if you haven’t already been watching, you’ve probably heard about the series’ whopping twenty Primetime Emmy nominations it just received for its first season, so now’s the perfect time to catch up. Jason Sudeikis stars as the relentlessly positive football coach who moves from Kansas to England to lead a premier soccer team. In this episode, Season 2 continues the show’s unbeatable combination of being sweet, funny, and inspirational, and exploring the sensitive sides of their completely endearing characters.
It’s hard to say which character we love the most, but in this episode, it’s Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein). Since retiring after injuring his knee in the Season 1 finale, Roy has settled into coaching…his niece Phoebe’s (Elodie Blomfield) soccer team. Roy doesn’t do anything halfway, so he treats this new job as seriously as he would if they were an adult professional team, and the kids love him for it. Roy’s devotion to Phoebe consistently warms our hearts.
Despite his penchant for speaking in mostly grunts and expletives, Roy never holds back from showing how much he cares, whether it’s coaching kids’ soccer, or, after a double date, he and Keeley (Juno Temple) have with Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and her new beau, lecturing Rebecca about how she deserves so much more than the mediocre man they just met.
We also finally get to see Roy hang out with his yoga-mom friends this episode as they settle in to watch a trashy reality-TV show, though the night is ruined for Roy when his rival Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) appears on the screen as a surprise contestant.
We would love to make this an essay just about how great Roy is, but there are other excellent storylines in this episode, including what’s going on with Ted Lasso (Sudeikis) himself. Ted is always so kind and supportive, and it would be easy to think he’s too perfect, but the show never lets us forget that he has demons too. When a sports psychologist (Sarah Niles) is brought on to help a player this episode – the delightfully enthusiastic Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez) has a case of the yips after the ball he kicks accidentally collides with and kills the team dog (go figure) — Ted expresses his “modest midwestern skepticism” of therapy.
At first, his apprehension seems to stem from his jealousy that someone else can connect with and help the players besides him, but it’s not just that. In a moment of vulnerability, Ted admits to the gruff Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) that he had a bad experience with couple’s therapy back when he and his now ex-wife were having issues. The show could very well have succeeded as entertaining, light-hearted fluff, but it’s the infusion of heart and depth that pushes it into the territory of exceptional.
Other observations that we thought made this episode stand out:
- Ted’s observation that girl talk sometimes means “girl, listen” is hilariously correct!
- Keeley and Rebecca’s unlikely friendship is still one of the best parts of the show as they get excited to share the most minute details of their lives with each other.
- Sharon Fieldstone (Niles), full of understated wit in contrast to Ted’s exuberance, is a welcome new character, and, we’re sure, a useful plot device for the show to dig into more of Ted’s past.
- Sam Obisanya’s (Toheeb Jimoh) confession that he prefers to take long baths, and the entire team agreeing, is the kind of anti-toxic masculinity we all crave.
Ted Lasso, Fridays, Apple TV+