Until the start of season two, we might as well deem Thursday scene breakdowns as Ted Lasso scene breakdown days because I have no plans to stop this quest quite yet. As I have said for “Make Rebecca Great Again” and “The Hope That Kills You,” this show is full of moments that can and should be broken down further. As a reminder, if you have yet to watch the series–these posts will contain spoilers.
We knew that once Rebecca was caught in her lies, she would make matters right, but what I did not picture is just how profoundly evocative the scene would be and how quickly it would happen. It is easy to appreciate the writing department for not dragging this storyline further and focusing on character growth instead, so a hearty kudos for that. Because as we have said on here numerous times before with other shows, sacrificing character development for the sake of a plot never works well in the long run and character driven arcs always work best.
Ted Lasso is the show that appreciates its characters and it does right by them. Thus, that’s why the characters on Ted Lasso work so well together because the balance between those who have their guards up and those with ample vulnerability to give serve as foils of each other, slowly but surely ensuring they become the best versions of themselves.
And in this scene especially, there is a great amount to appreciate because what it is fixated on is how intricately the balance is met. Rebecca’s apology isn’t sugarcoated—it’s raw, it’s ugly, and it’s everything that a true apology requires: “I wanted you to fail. I sabotaged you every chance I got.”
“I didn’t care who I hurt.” It’s brutal, but it’s the truth. Rebecca in the first few episodes and the Rebecca that stands before the audience today is a completely different woman. She is a woman who’s grown—a woman who’s learned and a woman who’s trying. And if the bold words weren’t enough to tell us just how sincere she is, Hannah Waddingham’s vulnerability, the tears she’s openly letting fall, and her physicality tell us all that we need to know. Every word out of Rebecca’s mouth is sincere and this apology is not only one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do, but it’s something that matters deeply to her. Keeley had just found out about the photos, it was Rebecca’s choice to come clean about everything else–every little detail. It is a scene that could have easily been overdone, but Waddingham’s ability to pour so much sincerity into this character (even amidst the bad) continues to be something that floors me.
And this scene serves as the acute reminder that no one is too far gone. It’s never too late and an apology is always worth it.
It’s also fairly easy to appreciate the fact that Rebecca acknowledges that the people she has hurt most amidst her darkness have been good people. You feel every ounce of her apology and you believe every word. And especially after the events of “Make Rebecca Great Again,” after seeing Sassy and Keeley’s devotion to her, helping Ted through his panic attack, Rebecca has indeed been released from some of the waves that were drowning her.
Finally, Ted forgives, which might just be the hardest thing anyone can do, but he’s seen Rebecca’s growth—he’s seen her compassion. He’s felt her generosity and the sheer lack of judgement when she helped him through his panic attack. You and me, we’re okay.
The thing with someone like Ted and the reason his character works so well is because people like him exist. There are truly good people in the world without ulterior motives who want to help others be better versions of themselves. They are the people with darkness and struggles of their own who find joy in projecting their sadness into something greater–something bigger.
Plus, keeping optimism front and center amidst one’s own struggles isn’t an effortless task. We don’t give people like Ted enough credit because we straddle on to the belief that optimism and positivity come easy when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It takes courage and tremendous heart to forgive someone and especially, to do it with as much sincerity as Ted does.
Ted Lasso is an empath, but he understands this feeling fully, he knows divorce is hard, he knows that pain can be treacherous and that sadness lurks like a perpetual shadow, but he chooses to take the little love in his heart and give it to others. He chooses to keep uplifting his team. He chooses to believe that people are inherently good inside. And it’s that very choice that’s inspired someone like Rebecca to understand that even though Rupert broke and betrayed her, there are people who’d stand by even the dark sides of her.
As much as last week’s breakdown thematically showcased the power of belief in another person, this scene is all about choice. Rebecca chooses to apologize for all that she’s done and Ted chooses to forgive. And the choices they both make lead them towards the types of character growth that are bound to be exemplary. It sets the stage for healthier, more beautiful dynamics, and it reiterates just how much weight a single person’s choice carries.
Rebecca isn’t going to suddenly turn into an optimist like Ted but Rebecca’s decision to apologize is leading her towards happiness and the acceptance of her strengths as a woman. And Ted’s decision to forgive, along with the decision to slowly open up about his own struggles is leading him towards accepting helping hands as much as he’s used to offering them.
And let’s not even get into Rebecca going in for a hug when she was offered a handshake because that’s how much the moment and Ted’s decision to forgive has moved her. (And by let’s not get into it, I mean don’t make me start because I’ll just start crying over its purity instead.) So few people have been truly good to Rebecca and watching her understand all this is a beautiful thing to see unfold.