Welcome to the first episode of Ted Lasso that made me cry—“Biscuits.” An episode that’s not only about a kind gesture, but it’s the episode that really starts to show us just how broken everyone on this team is, including those on the outside. It’s an episode that emphasizes the detail that sometimes, we need to keep trying to help those who are adamant on pushing us away.
“Biscuits” is where the true investment in this show starts because it shows us its true colors beautifully. As a character, Ted’s transparency continues to shine through because everything he does is rooted from a place of authenticity. He doesn’t make biscuits for the boss as a gesture to be crude or too forward, but rather because it’s something he genuinely believes she needs. Sugar makes people happy, and Ted wants Rebecca to have that happiness, no strings attached.
It’s the episode that highlights the detail that this show is about teamwork, and it’s about learning to be a part of something even when you’re far from home.
Biscuits and Barbeque Sauce and Home
The attention to detail through directorial decisions on this show continues to astound me because the tears came instantly when we realized that the biscuits are what make Rebecca feel at home. After Ted discusses his favorite barbeque sauce and its transportive means of reminding him of home, he asks Rebecca if she has anything of the sort, and while she says nothing, as the audience we’re able to see that the biscuits are doing that. (The shot of her fading out of view as the biscuit box fades in? Oof, cue the tears.)
In the Pilot, we get a glimpse of the press’ ambush on Ted, and in this episode, we see a similar shot through Rebecca showing to us that ultimately, damaged people, hurt other people. That’s this series is a nutshell; it’s a reminder of the fact that people aren’t inherently unkind or evil, but rather people are broken. And sometimes, broken people don’t know what to do other than to break others.
I’ve re-watched Ted Lasso’s first season too many times at this point, but this is actually the first time I noticed that Rebecca is the first person to receive a toy soldier. (I thought it was Sam, but it turns out he’s the second.) There is nothing about this scene that isn’t perfect, and there are really so few words to describe just how boldly encompassing that gesture is. No one has really looked out for Rebecca this way, and the soldier guarding the door is the kind of hope that she’s needing all along. Someone by her side. Someone to watch her back and protect her.
She is adamant not to appreciate any of this, but deep down, it’s everything she didn’t know she needed and more, including when Ted once again checks in to see how she is doing after the press ambush. In that moment, you can see it clear as day that no one has checked in on Rebecca Welton in a long, long time, and she doesn’t know how to react to it.
We learn more of this later, but Ted isn’t the only one who misses a kid. Rebecca might not be a mother, but Rebecca misses Nora. In every way, Rebecca misses everything she used to be, and the people who used to bring her joy. As a gesture, biscuits and a toy soldier might frustrate her at first, but in that final scene, Hannah Waddingham brilliantly reveals just how much Rebecca is trying to grapple with, and it starts with just how surprised she is by the amount of consideration she is receiving.
For a moment, it becomes heartbreakingly clear that she feels safe in that office again.
Is what she does following Keeley and Ted with the paparazzi shots a relatively gross thing to do? Absolutely, but on this show, she grows from all that, and the progression is astounding.
A Celebration for Sam Obisanya
Other than Ted, Sam is the next character who’s easiest to love right off the bat. He might not know how to be a goldfish just yet, but he is a form of human sunshine, and that’s enough for me to appreciate him. But Sam feels homesick, and Sam is one of the first people we see who’s bullied by Jamie.
But when Ted and Coach Beard learn this, they do everything in their power to make his birthday away from home one that’s full of memories from Nigeria. They do everything in their power to make sure he not only feels appreciated, but to show what a team actually is—a group of people who show up for each other. And though he doesn’t take the toy soldier because of Imperialism, it’s the gesture that counts.
His dad might not be in London with him to comfort him or tug on his ear for good luck, but in that moment, Sam sees that he has a coach like Ted who cares enough about him to notice when his mood changes. And it’s the little things that equate to the big things, in this case, it’s Ted being a fatherly figure not just to Sam, but to Jamie as well, which we understand more of later, but it’s still a crucial moment of revelation.
Jamie’s mind or heart don’t change after Ted tells him he’s a great player, but one in eleven; however, there’s a moment where Phil Dunster shows us that these aren’t the types of conversation Jamie is used to. He is used to cruelty, and he is used to people hounding him. He isn’t used to someone’s warmth or gentle spirit giving him credit where credit is due, but also the proper criticism that is necessary when he messes up.
It gets to him for a moment, but ultimately, it’s still a little too early for us to see growth and change in Jamie for it to feel realistic. It’s faint, but it’s there nevertheless, and we can understand that it’s coming.
Ted Lasso’s “Biscuits” does an exquisite job of projecting the kind of warmth that sitting at home (or in your favorite space, wherever that may be) brings forth. In its attentiveness to show character struggles along with the longing they are all engulfed with, it shows its audience that a small ounce of kindness could help people find the very warmth they’ve lost.
“Biscuits” is a metaphor for home, and this show feels just like it too.
Ted Talks and Further Thoughts
- The final shot where we (as the audience) learn that Ted is the one who makes the biscuits is everything.
- Nate breaking the window as a response to Roy’s anger will never not be hilarious.
- WHERE DO WE GET BISCUITS?! WHY DO THEY NOT SELL LASSO BISCUITS EVERYWHERE NOW?
- “Boys give him a chance!” Mae yelling at the bar attendees who keep calling Ted a wanker is fascinating and she deserves all the tips.
- The fixed shower is hilarious. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
- The whole panda and lion scene is also fascinating because we get a real glimpse of the fact that though she claims she has no time, Rebecca is interested in being part of a team. She wants to be part of the conversations. She wants to feel joy amidst all this darkness, she just keeps fighting it.
- We get another glimpse of Ted’s anxiety in this episode through the tremors in his hands, and it’s so heartbreaking.
- “He’s so relentless and nice.” Yes, he is. (Insert sad, puppy eyes emoji here.)
- “I’m not sure you realize how psychologically healthy that is.” Ted’s comment to Jamie is ridiculous, but also works because well—it’s Jamie.
- Soccer girl (whose name we learn later as Shannon) is so damn cool, I want to be friends with her.
What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso’s “Biscuits?”