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Scene Breakdown: Shared Drinks and Heartache on Ted Lasso’s “Tan Lines”

Brendan Hunt and Jason Sudeikis as Coach Beard and Ted Lasso in Ted Lasso's "Tan Lines"
Source: Apple TV

Another Thursday, another Ted Lasso scene breakdown because I can’t and won’t stop writing about this show. I’d apologize, but I’m not even a little sorry. 

There’s so much about this moment that’s so raw and heartbreaking that I don’t feel it’s my place to even comment on the plethora of emotions brought to life through Ted’s belief that he’s “giving up.” Because ultimately, this moment is a testament to who Ted Lasso actually is—he’s a man who tries, and he’s a man who’d do anything to make others happy. He’s the person who’ll show up for all those he loves, which is why Coach Beard showing up with a drink in hand for him was so beautiful to see. 

This is also one of those scenes that uses music so acutely it contributes with seamless depth to the moment. Mumford and Sons’ “Forever” worked wondrously in this because it’s not a song about two people—it’s about an idea. It’s about belief. It’s about the idea that everything will be okay, and this scene promises that much. Coach Beard doesn’t talk in this scene, and he doesn’t have to. The detail that he is beside Ted with drinks on hand shows us all that matters.

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In the same way that Ted would never give up on people, he is surrounded by friends who care about him too. He is a man surrounded by friends who are ready to show up for him even when they don’t have words. Again, they don’t need to talk, but Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt’s performances at this moment still tell us so much. Beard has Ted’s back, and he always will. He’s ready to show up for him—Hunt’s expressiveness also reveals just how heartbreaking this moment is for Beard as a friend. No one wants to see their friend suffer, and no one wants to not have the right words, but he tries, drinks in hand, and with a reassuring nod to show that he has his back.

And Ted doesn’t have to say anything either, but he responds to the gesture with a pure, slow smile then a quiet nod that’s bold in its subtly to reveal the tremendous gratitude within him. There is a reason Jason Sudeikis is rightfully sweeping award season because every performance on this show is unparalleled in exhibiting a full range of emotions. In this episode and this scene especially, he shows so much with so few words, and every ounce of it is evocative. You feel Ted’s heartache, and you feel his gratitude, but in the midst of that, you understand with full conviction that more than anything, Ted is trying to keep it together. (And we see the continuation of that in “Make Rebecca Great Again.”)

It’s a moment of healing, a moment of gratitude, and a moment that showcases the importance of human connections effortlessly.

And it’s about the song, too. “Think of London and the girl you’re returning. And the days you defend will turn to gold.” This is it. This is the lyric that hits so hard and so evocatively because “the days” equate to the team, the hard work, the trials, and the losses—every moment that Ted spends trying will be met with an exemplary end because the heart behind his actions is unmatched.

This show is so special and so pure because of details like this that feel like the kind of warm blanket that’s needed on a rainy night. Ted’s perseverance is already doing so much for the team, and by the end of the season, despite the sadness and the loss—their unity speaks on the days Ted has defended. Their unity speaks on the love he’s poured into each of their lives (including Jamie’s). 

Ted shows up for everyone—he’d never give up even when he lets go, and though this is a moment with loss, it’s also a moment of friendship and the sheer power of shared vulnerability. The fact that two men share a moment of darkness, even in silence, is so profoundly cathartic and healing. It can be gratifying, and it could mean so much more than words can say.

What are your thoughts on this Ted Lasso scene? Tell us in the comments below.

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