“Goodbye, Earl” Spoilers Ahead
Ted Lasso is back, and hope is still alive. When we left off in “The Hope That Kills You,” the team’s loss against Manchester City brought forth a lot of questions, but their unity promised that everything would be okay even when things seemed bleak. And that’s the case with “Goodbye, Earl.” It starts with an accidental kill (Rest in Peace to the greyhound Earl), but it doesn’t end with the death of football, it ends with a reminder that vocalizing our pain matters.
It ends with the reminder that the good, bad, and ugly are all a part of life—football serving as the metaphorical representation of it, for all characters, but today, for Dani Rojas especially. “Goodbye, Earl” addresses the detail that hesitancy towards something new is normal, but we’ve all seen enough to understand what foreshadowing looks like, thus at some point, it’s evident that every character is likely going to see a therapist, which alone would’ve been a great addition to the second season. However, on this show we know that it’ll also boldly showcase the importance of speaking up and the bravery that vulnerability entails.
As a series, Ted Lasso never shied away from kindness, and it is refusing to do that in its sophomore season too. It’s carrying out the hope that’s been established all throughout the first season, and it’s using it to remind audiences of the fact that today, no one is sad and alone.
Goodbye Earl, Hello Therapy
“It’s funny thinking about the things in your life that can make you cry just knowing that they existed and can then become the same thing that can make you cry now knowing that they’re now gone. I think those things come into our lives to help us get from one place to a better one.”Ted, at the Press Conference
An injury wasn’t going to put Dani Rojas in a slump, he’d bounce back with the same fire as he did in “Two Aces,” but accidentally killing a dog was bound to have repercussions. The interesting thing is that in the beginning it almost seemed comical—the series wouldn’t go there, you can’t kill a dog with a ball, can you? They wouldn’t kill a dog, they wouldn’t, but oh shoot, wait, they do. And anyone with even the tiniest heart would feel terrible. Thus, someone whose heart pumps literal sunshine was going to be utterly wrecked by the events.
The death of Earl momentarily breaking Dani, and actually setting him on a path towards darkness was excellently done, as was Cristo Fernández’s performance, which could have easily been one dimensional in the aftermath, but instead was deeply heartbreaking while still managing to leave the audience laughing.
And that’s the thing with Ted Lasso; in its darkness it could make us laugh—never because it’s mocking pain or grief, but because its written with the understanding of how to lighten the mood. While there probably shouldn’t have been any form of comedic touch to Dani praying while fully clothed in the shower, if this was any other show, it’d feel like a cheap trick whereas on Ted Lasso because of Dani’s spirit and his exuberate spirit as a character, this works to really exhibit just how much guilt he actually feels.
Ted, who always has words doesn’t have words right now, which once again touches on the fact that this show isn’t trying to shove anything down our throats, instead it’s tugging on real, human emotions. Ted knows how to take a press conference and bring incredible heart to it because he always tries to ensure that everyone is comforted. And in “Goodbye, Earl,” digging into a part of his childhood was just right because he needed to draw focus on life as opposed to grief.
It also touches on the detail that we often don’t really know when a memory is going to hit or trigger us, which is ultimately the case when a sports psychologist is brought up while discussing Dani potentially having the yips. Ted’s apprehension is made very clear, but the delivery of it isn’t overtly dismissive, instead, because of Sudeikis’ performance we can understand that there’s something more happening here.
When providing comfort, Ted tries his best, and in attempting to help Dani, it becomes clear that even his talks that would’ve once worked don’t because the situation requires more. And the series showing that therapy is important is incredibly brave in 2021. It’s time we stop shying away from addressing mental health, and tackle it head on.
Girl Talk, Girl Listen
Will Keeley also go to therapy? I desperately want to hope that every single character will because it’ll show just how crucial it is that every person is different and even those who appear as though they might not need it, actually do. The thing with Keeley Jones is that she doesn’t have a problem addressing everything head on. She speaks her mind and she’s bold about it, but will we see that she’s got demons of her own? I sure hope so.
But even if we don’t, she’s still the best friend any girl could have and watching her cheer Rebecca on was everything. As was watching her encourage Roy to try something new with the pundit gig at Sky Sports and then apologizing later when she thought she might’ve been pushing too hard. See? This is why vocalizing concerns matters. Whether we think we are right or wrong, expressing emotions out loud works wonders.
On a show where men are allowed to be both confident and vulnerable, the women are given equal treatment; therefore, the introduction to Sarah Niles’, Doctor Sharon Fieldstone was aces in this regard.
It’s easy to tell right away that Sharon is both a force to be reckoned with and clearly a woman who cares about her clients. Confidently asking Ted whether or not he’s good at his job when she could sense his apprehension was both fascinating and brave. People shouldn’t shy away from admitting they’re good at their jobs. You work hard at it. You should own it.
And we are then shown that Sharon is right about her belief that she’s good at her job because approaching each of the players so far with the native language they’re most comfortable with showcased the detail of her compassion remarkably. So, if or when Ted does give therapy a second chance, it could be so undoubtedly moving.
Sharon is here to stay for a while because talking about the yips, our anxieties, and our demons are necessary. It’s what everyone could use and needs when it’s available to them in order to help them understand that anything can be both life and death.
Roy Kent the Hype Man
Roy Kent might not have been back at AFC Richmond since the last game, but he’s a busy man right now hyping up girls’ soccer team and deserving women like Rebecca Welton. As we learn in “Goodbye, Earl,” Rebecca is seeing someone named John (not Stamos sadly, but Wingsnight), and after a double date where both the opinions of her friends matter—Roy sets the record straight.
Friends, the next time you’re unsure about someone you’re dating, put on Roy Kent saying: “he’s fine, that’s it—nothing wrong with that, most people are fine. It’s not about him, it’s about why the f-k you think he deserves you. You deserve someone who makes you feel like you’ve been struck by f-king lighting. Don’t you dare settle for fine.” Just pretend he’s talking to you because he absolutely is and Brett Goldstein’s delivery of that line was an utter treasure that I imagine just made every single one of us fall even deeper in love with Roy Kent than we already were, right? (Why does cloning not exist and also, why is he fictional?)
Keeley Jones makes Roy Kent feel like he’s been hit by lightning, and vice versa, and when love is pure, it’s pretty damn infectious. She’s helped him find so much light in his darkness, and Roy wanting to see that same light in those he cares for is the ultimate showcase of just how healthy their relationship is. (And also just how great he is. The Great Roy Kent indeed.)
However, characters in the show are still somewhat in a slump and that includes Roy Kent—retirement clearly hasn’t been ideal for him, he’s still figuring everything out, but at the very least he’s listening, and he’s ensuring that everyone around him is uplifted. This is what will always be so fascinating about him as a character (and why he’s the ultimate romance hero, let’s be real) because he’s both so bold and tough, and yet so utterly soft it’s magnetic. Who else roars at a little girls’ after a match one minute and then sits down for reality tv and rosé with a group of yoga moms? Roy Kent, that’s who. And the continuation of dismantling toxic masculinity serves to be the most beautiful thing about his character, which I can’t wait to dig into more.
He also owes his Phoebe £1,236 for cursing so much and that’s just glorious.
Uncertainties and New Beginnings
As a character, Ted is open and understanding in a myriad of ways, but as we know, he’s got his own demons, too, and because speaking and listening is a large theme in “Goodbye, Earl,” opening up to Beard about his hesitations to giving therapy a chance was incredible. Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt in moments of vulnerability together never fails to astound me. There’s such a healing energy that exudes between the two men who are just trying their best.
“Put down your meal and tell your buddy how you feel a second” should be something all men feel comfortable with uttering aloud. (And yes, we see the Hamilton reference, duh.) I’m going to say this a lot because I’ll never get tired of it and neither should you, but Ted Lasso continuing to illuminate just how important it is for men to be expressive when the patriarchy has so often shamed vulnerability like this will never not be amazing.
Beard doesn’t always say a lot, but one look, a few words and he says everything that’s necessary. As we could’ve guessed, Ted’s experience with therapy in the past wasn’t a pleasant one because not only did it not prevent his divorce from Michelle, but he tells us that he was made to feel as though everything was fault.
And thereby, the advice Beard gives by bringing in previous words Ted had said to him about every person not being the same was just right. In a tragic turn of events, not all coaches are as incredible, optimistic, or as warm as Ted is—in the same way, not all therapists are like the one he’s previously had. All people are different people, and appreciating them as best as we can is what matters.
Rebecca takes Roy’s words to heart and John gets dumped (nicely). Jamie Tartt is on a reality show called Lust Conquers All. And Dani Rojas is doing back in the game. “Goodbye, Earl” is a solid premiere that sets the stakes and raises the emotions making it very clear that Ted Lasso season two is about to wreck us in the best way possible.
Ted Talks and Further Thoughts
- “Oh, right. The goddamn internet.” Mood, Higgins. Big mood.
- The press finishing Trent Crimm’s opening with “The Independent” was hilarious.
- “Jan Maas is not being rude, he’s just being Dutch.” So wait, are Dutch folks really this blunt?
- Nate’s attitude right now isn’t my jam, and if this continues, I’m really hoping for someone to call him out on the behavior towards Will. This is what this show is all about at the end of the day, right? Accountability and kindness, which Nate’s kind of, sort of forgetting. (Especially because he’s been on the receiving end of such mistreatment.)
- Rebecca and Keeley cheering in unison when Ted walked into the office was everything. Wipes tears, we’ve come so far.
- Barkingham Palace is at least being given a lot of support right now.
- “May the force be with you.” “And also with you.” Again, big mood. Big, big mood. Higgins had all my favorite lines this week after Roy.
- “You can’t call eight-year-olds little pricks even when they’re being little pricks.” Good to know.
- We all also wish we were Keeley three/four times a day, right?
- “It’s like saying Voldermort at Hogwarts.”
- I also needed a few drinks after that double date dinner.
- Gin Blossoms’ “Follow You Down” is Ted’s favorite song, but I’m happy to know we’re all in agreement “Hey Jealousy” is in fact, their best song.
What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso’s “Goodbye, Earl?”