This recap of Apple TV+s Ted Lasso season 2, episode 11, “Midnight Train to Royston,” contains significant spoilers.
Somehow, Ted Lasso has managed to surpass itself in season 2. There was a couple of shaky episodes, but it recovered. This is a powerful penultimate chapter and one that shows an ugly side of a particular character.
Ted Lasso season 2, episode 11 recap
Episode 11 opens with Sam getting a hattrick and winning the match ball. The team is one win away from promotion back into the Premier League. Rebecca sends Sam her congratulations by text, but he’s a little down about the situation. They are still complicated. Meanwhile, Keeley learns that she will be featured in Vanity Fair as a “woman on the rise,” and Ted is collecting cash for Sharon (the therapist) because she is leaving the club.
During football training, a super-rich business owner from Nigeria arrives in a helicopter. He meets Rebecca and compliments her steering of the club. The twist is, the owner wants to buy Sam for a potential team in Africa near his home. This has created an emotional dilemma for Rebecca — will she choose love or business?
Sam enters the boardroom, and he heads out to eat with the business owner. The man wants to break up his father’s empire as he does not believe in billionaires. He’s had the whole day planned out for Sam — even creating a new cultural Nigerian museum and restaurant just for the day. Sam tells the Nigerian business owner that he does not intend to leave Richmond, but the man tells him he wants to make one of the biggest clubs in the world, with the greatest African players — he gives Sam 72 hours to make a decision.
One of the biggest stories of episode 11 is Nate; he asks Beard and Roy if they ever want the credit for the way the club plays football with their tactics. He’s a man feeling under-appreciated — his “daddy issues” showing for the whole world to see. He fails to see how the structure of a sports club is about being a team and working together for a common goal.
Later on, Nate asks Keeley to find him a fancy suit. He’s obsessed with suits recently — he wears them at the football matches while the entire coaching squad wears tracksuits. It’s alarming. As Keeley helps him try on a suit, he asks her if she ever wants to be “the boss.” Keeley gives friendly advice and compassionately relates with Nate, but as she talks, Nate kisses her but quickly apologizes. Keeley is understanding and tells him not to worry about it. Nate walks into the changing room, looks in the mirror, and spits at himself. This is a man that suffers from such low self-worth, love, and acceptance that he hates himself and others, and it’s manifested into this horrifying evil. Success has triggered the monster inside him.
As for Roy, he’s having clarity of his own. He heads to Phoebe’s school and helps a teacher out with the artwork for a charity event. But what’s interesting is how he enjoys the teacher’s company, and when she asks if he’s married, he says “no,” but he doesn’t clarify that he’s in a relationship.
Feeling the emotional pressure, Rebecca tells Ted that she’s had a fling with Sam, and there are feelings — she thinks she needs to end it for good. Rebecca does not know if she wants Sam to stay for footballing reasons or feelings. Ted wisely tells her not to listen to anyone but her gut.
Ted then learns that Sharon has left without saying goodbye due to an emergency. He finds Sharon at her apartment, and he’s angry at her for not saying goodbye — he felt abandoned, and he doesn’t want to read the letter that she wrote for him. He’s surprised that she helped him have a breakthrough and then left, knowing that he suffers from abandonment issues. Sharon admits to Ted that he helped her be a better therapist.
Ted calms down and decides to read the letter she gave him. It makes him emotional, and he tells her it is a brilliant letter. They decide to go out for a drink together. They enjoy each other’s company, but then Ted cheekily leaves without saying goodbye and leaves a note saying “goodbye.” What a beautiful end to a beautiful friendship.
The final moments of episode 11 bring heartbreak in three different ways.
Firstly, Roy goes to the Vanity Fair shoot to support Keeley. She’s shaky about the interview, but Roy gives her loving reassurance and calls her amazing. Initially, during the photoshoot, the couple looks at each other intimately, but Keeley decides this is the moment to reveal to Roy that Nate tried to kiss her. Roy is not bothered and thanks her for telling him. But then, Roy tells her about Phoebe’s teacher asking if he was married and that he said “no” but did not clarify further. However, Keeley drops the biggest bombshell — she tells him that at the funeral, Jamie said to her that he still loves her. There were so many unspoken words in this swift conversation — it felt over between them. It felt inevitable.
Secondly, when Sam gets home, Rebecca is waiting for him. She explains she cannot give him an answer regarding their romance, but she also cannot stop him from leaving. She also makes him aware that she doesn’t want him to leave. It’s going to have be Sam’s decision.
Finally, episode 11 ends in shocking terms; when Ted gets home, he receives a message about tomorrow’s print edition for the paper from Trent Crimm, The Independent. The headline reads, “Coach Lasso suffered panic attack during FA Cup match.” Trent wanted to give Ted the head up as a sign of respect and reveals that his source was… Nate. The b*****d is a true villain now. Ted is the one who gave Nate a chance when he was a ball boy. Now Nate is exposing Ted’s mental health issues for his gain. Sickening.
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