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Ted Lasso 1×08 “The Diamond Dogs” Review

Source: Apple TV via SlashFilm

“The Diamond Dogs” is everything that a solid A+ episode should be, and it’s the best kind of surprise this show has to offer. Its thematic focus on curiosity and conversation brings such exquisite weight to this show—it’s the reason why it’s so special.

The scene between Ted and Rupert will go down in history as one of the best things the series has ever done, and it’ll perpetually stand as a masterclass example for performances, writing, and directing. In every way, the scene is unmatched, and it sets the stage brilliantly for where the finale is going. It’s why this show continues to be so special because we aren’t spoon fed any of these superb lessons, but we’re taught them through moments that hit like darts to the bullseye.

On Ted Lasso, friendships are at the forefront of the series—the relationships these characters have built with each other and how different they each are, serve as the best kept promises. They’re solid. And in “The Diamond Dogs” we see just what friendship truly means for each of them, and the lengths they are willing to go through to have each other’s back.

The Diamond Dogs Formation

I feel like Beyonce should write a song about The Diamond Dogs because they’re the only men I’d ever go to asking for advice. Men, quite frankly, just aren’t good at this whole spiel, but that’s not the case with this group that formed for the very reason to give each other advice. A group of men who could not be more different from one another and yet, they want nothing but the best for each other, and surprisingly, they actually get it.

When Roy dodges Keeley’s invitation to hang out with no explanation other than he’s busy, after a surprise visit with Jamie, she sleeps with him. And naturally, as a man Roy decides he’s going to be a “baby child” about it. (His words, not mine.) Thus, when he finds out about the night before, he’s not happy about it and reluctantly turns to The Diamond Dogs for advice.

The early days of courtship are a delight and they all “ship” it. They all saw it coming. Ted even refers to them as “cookies and cream.” But Roy just can’t seem to get over it, and what do they tell them to do? To grow up and get over it. Y’all. Do men give each other advice like this because really, the world would be a simpler place if they did.

Roy grows up and gets over, decides he no longer wants to be a “baby child” and admits to Keeley that he’s sorry. (Sometimes I genuinely can’t believe the sentences I write for this show.) The men continuing to apologize, thanking people, and owning up to their mistakes? What a world. Truly.

The Grump and The Sunshine and The First Date

Juno Temple and Brett Goldstein in “Ted Lasso,” "The Diamond Dogs" now streaming on Apple TV+.​
Source: Apple TV

And so begins the bliss (with a lot of grumbling and grunting, but still). Roy and Keeley are so perfect for each other, it’s astonishing. Because ultimately, in an episode that focuses thematically on curiosity, this is an area where they work best because Keeley is curious.

She has always been the person who’s wanted to know Roy Kent the man and not Roy Kent the soccer player. She has no interest in stealing his watch or his wallet or using her time with him as clout. She’s just always been intrigued by the man behind the grunts, the stoicism, and the darkness, and that comes into play here beautifully because she asks him about why he was too busy to text back.

Juno Temple in “Ted Lasso,” "The Diamond Dogs" now streaming on Apple TV+.​
Source: Apple TV

She’s curious enough to want to know if there are other women so she isn’t blindsided, and most importantly, she’s just curious to know more about him. And Roy Kent was busy at yoga night with 60-year-old women who don’t know his name.

There’s also something incredibly fascinating about this detail because while I adore Roy’s softer side, it’s intriguing to know that there’s also a part of him who craves real companionship that has nothing to do with who he is as a soccer player. And that’s the same thing with Keeley, he wants to take this relationship slow because getting to know her isn’t the same as anyone he’s slept with in the past. It’s real, it’s enticing, and it’s already healing because it’s easier to be his most transparent self with her.

“The Diamond Dogs” as an episode makes it clear that in these circles, transparency is welcomed because it isn’t going to change how a person feels about someone else. It’s only going to help improve the relationships. It’s going to strengthen them. It’s the key, ridged intricately with curiosity, that’s the secret to opening doors to growth.

In all the ways that matter, transparency equates to strength, and where characters are honest with one another, so often, the aftermath is the best result. Keeley admitting that she slept with Jamie the night before and Roy admitting that it upset him is the healthy, honest way of dealing with situations that’ll result in building strong relationships.

Better Late Than Never

And that’s also the case with Higgins. Rupert might be too far gone, and Rupert might never change his ways, but Higgins is trying. While he wasn’t honest to Rebecca in the past about Rupert’s affairs and thus, part of the problem then, today he’s trying. Today, Higgins is showing that in the friendships he’s found with this team, he actually understands that his lack of transparency in the past was wrong.

And Rebecca, well—that’s a whole other thing that’ll come forward tomorrow because with Keeley, it’s always about right now. She is sunshine personified, but the reason Keeley is a good person is because her honesty isn’t sugar coated. When she showers Rebecca with compliments, she means every single world, but when she sees that her friend has made an enormous mistake, she doesn’t stand beside it.

She speaks up. She waltzes in and boldly tells her to do the right thing because she cares enough to see Rebecca’s growth, and she cares enough to mend wounds properly. This could have very well been part of the past, but sometimes if a scab is left untreated, something else could open the wound even if it appeared to be fine. And that’s what mending this issue means. If Rebecca doesn’t start owning up to everything she has done, she won’t truly go forwards in her growth. The darkness will continue pulling her back.

Ted Lasso has always been transparent with Rebecca—he’s thanked her when need be, he’s gone above and beyond, and he’s been by her side since the moment they met. And what she wanted to do to Ted was ultimately cruel, her entire game hasn’t been something to be proud of, and Keeley Jones wants to be completely proud of her friends. But that can only happen when there is true accountability. Just as Rebecca knows deep down.

Ted Talks and Further Thoughts

  • “We’ll die for you, Coach” SAM! What sunshine. I cannot with him.
  • Okay but really, Roy’s grunts are a whole mood.
  • Nate vomiting right as Higgins suggested they call themselves “The Proud Boys” was genius.
  • Keeley Jones as “press” was perfect. That scene and the chemistry between them could burn a hole through the roof as does him angrily walking while holding her hand saying: “I’m cooking for you.” Where do I find a Roy Kent who isn’t fictional?
  • HI BOSS has and will always live rent free in my mind to the end of time.
  • Dani saying Nate looks like “a beautiful angel man” what a sweet.

What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso’s “The Diamond Dogs?” For more on this episode to mark its completion, be sure to check out Scene Breakdown: A Lesson on Curiosity where I analyze the epic darts scene.

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