“Lavender” Spoilers Ahead
As flowers, lavenders are known to symbolize a plethora of things, including: purity, silence, devotion, caution, serenity, grace, and calmness. There’s beauty to them as well, but it’s so much more than that, which at first glance might be a strange title for the episode, until you realize just how brilliantly it works. On Ted Lasso, each of the characters are on a journey right now—no one (even those who appear to have it together) has figured it all out. And the episode starts to show us each of their journeys in a spectacle that works best for their characters.
While the first season was largely about belief, this season is thus far about rebirth (Hannah Waddingham’s words via Variety, not mine). It is true however, based on everything we’ve seen, each of the characters are given the chance to really find themselves and establish who they want to be. Dani Rojas got his moment of rebirth in “Goodbye, Earl” and today, the others are on a similar route too.
As an episode, “Lavender” takes us through a few uncertainties while cementing the idea that it’s important to try giving things a chance before we rule them out completely. And evidently, we’ve only just begun seeing what that means.
Lavender and the Unsettling Effect
Sure, as a scent, lavender isn’t everyone’s favorite, but it’s no excuse for Nate’s attitude right now and since there was no tangible resolution this week as this isn’t an overnight fix, I imagine we’ve only just begun seeing this side of him. After all, things will have to get worse before they get better, right?
I understand it, but I don’t like seeing it. The saddest part in all this is knowing that Nate was rewarded because of his persistence and heart. Thereby, seeing him essentially undermine every little thing Will does while treating him as though he’s next to nothing is plainly egotistical at this point. However, this is Ted Lasso, and we know that this show cares about tackling the reasons behind everything.
In an episode where fathers were briefly discussed, it compels me to question how Nate’s father was/is as a person. Is he kind to his son? Is he the type of loving father that he deserves or is he more like Jamie Tartt’s father? What’s going on behind closed doors in Nate’s life that is bringing to the surface this unkindness and to a degree even, a distaste of change? Change is hard, but if the journeys on this show have taught us one thing it’s that change isn’t always a bad thing.
Everything changed for the better when Nate was finally seen and understood enough to be promoted to an assistant coach. Is he afraid that the same potential can be seen in Will and thus, he could be replaced? Is he facing imposter syndrome and as a result, lashing out on the one person whose position he understands better than others? Doctor Fieldstone is here to stay, and I’d love to see her sit down with Nate in order to get to the root of the issue. I think we all miss Nate the Great, right? There’s a difference between being assertive and being rude, at the moment, he’s sadly the latter.
There’s also a very clear lack of self-awareness happening right now as he vocalizes his desire not to see Jamie back because he used to belittle people, and at the exact moment, he does the same to Will. C’mon, Nate—do better. Be better.
The Loser Jamie Tartt
Let’s get it right, he’s not a loser, he’s the loser. Boy oh boy, do we have a lot to cover with Jamie Tartt in “Lavender.” I don’t give this character enough credit for admitting to his truth as often. We brush off a lot of Jamie’s comments as his overbearing self-confidence, but when you think about it, so much of his candor is just masked sorrow. If I’d just recently found out that Jane Austen died as opposed to knowing it was almost 200 years ago, I don’t think I’d admit it aloud. But for Jamie, any chance he gets away from his father to just be himself is a riveting showcase of the amount of darkness he lives through. It’s the showcase of how much of himself he deliberately suppresses.
It broke my heart to see him go from one person to another asking for a chance because it was almost hard to believe it’s the same man from the first season. Sure, he’s still the prince of all pricks, but he’s most definitely trying, and credit goes where credit is due. As we learn, he joins the reality TV show “Lust Conquers All” in order to rebel against his father, but his behavior on the show doesn’t sit well with anyone else and thus, no one wants him back.
It’s time to try a different approach and so, he starts with Keeley. (Maybe don’t admit you deleted her number, bud. Also, it should’ve been the other way around.) But when that doesn’t work and after his agent has told him that no one actually wants him, he finds Ted.
The shot of a Toy Soldier landing on the table while Ted is eating at the Crown and Anchor was precisely how I imagined this would go. After a time where he believed that he was just “playing mind games” with him, it’s great to know that Jamie does in fact understand just how much Ted cares about him. Ted realized Jamie’s father was a piece of work in “The Hope That Kills You,” but the belief that it’s not a good idea to bring him back is actually understandable too.
Change, much like accountability, doesn’t happen overnight. The team is finally in a healthy place and bringing Jamie back could have ruined that, but the two of them drinking quietly together after the rejection was already a sign of growth. Jamie is trying. He is actually trying no matter how hard it is for him to show softness—he’s putting himself in positions that could make him vulnerable.
However, and to quote Higgins, “the goddamn internet” makes it seem as though Jamie is back and the team is the last to know about it forcing Sam to lash out. See, now Sam’s anger and frustration is completely understandable though he could’ve also handled it better. It makes sense that he’d be upset and it also makes sense that he’d dramatically storm off, which results in Ted naturally following him, admitting to the fact that he said no to Jamie, and then, leading to a conversation about how Sam’s father is happy to know that his son is in safe hands with Ted.
This is such a pivotal moment in the series because we’ve yet to hear what a teammate’s family thinks of Ted Lasso directly like this. And for Sam to say this out loud with the 100 watt smile of his on full display, it’s no wonder that it sparks the desire in Ted to give Jamie one more chance. As much as I wish we got the conversation of the team learning about Ted’s decision before it actually happened, Jamie walking onto the field with everyone (Rebecca, Higgins, Sharon, and Keeley included) looking at him to Queen’s “Tear It Down” was a fireball of a scene.
If this were any other show, this decision might have frustrated me, but it works to establish the idea that sometimes, people are going to do things even when they’re advised against it through a tie. But every bit of Ted’s decision makes sense because realizing that he and Sam both had great fathers, and remembering that Jamie’s behavior is ultimately a result of his upbringing is the very thing he can’t stand to watch. Ted Lasso gives people Toy Soldiers to remind them that they aren’t alone—he might be away from his kid, but he loves him deeply, and people deserve the chance to know that they are loved. People like Jamie Tartt especially who might not deserve it right now, but hopefully will learn to be the best version of himself soon. We know there is ample potential in him; we saw it in “Two Aces,” and I can’t wait to see what he does with his second chance.
No Sugar and Therapy Hesitations
Sharon Fieldstone isn’t into the biscuits because she doesn’t eat sugar. Gasp. (Also, yes, can confirm that this this godless place called Santa Monica is one of the few places that hates sugar and it makes no sense.) But it’s interesting to see that trying the Lasso approach with Dr. Fieldstone isn’t going to work, so Ted’s gotta try another way—or perhaps, her way. The way that leads him to therapy even though both he and Rebecca believe that they don’t need it because that’s what friends are for.
And yes, sure, friends can give us free advice, but therapy is vital, which is why I’m all here for each of them eventually giving it a chance. You can’t tell me that they’re so hesitant now only to stay this way. By the end, each of them will hopefully give it a chance, to try at least, because that’s the whole point of it this season. Sometimes, rebirth comes from shedding, in a literal sense, it comes from digging deep into the parts of us we might not have ever spoken about in order to thicken our skins with the catharsis we find in talking.
Both Rebecca and Ted have a lot to say. No two characters on the show appear to be more resilient as they are (each in their own way), and no two characters are more steadfast to their ways of being. And the two of them essentially vocalizing their hesitations together makes me that much more eager to see them talk to Dr. Fieldstone.
Because Dr. Fieldstone is right—heavy is the head that wears the visor (or the stunning updos). At the end of the day, no human is equipped to carry everything alone, and especially those everyone else turns to. And Ted Lasso is the type of show that has tirelessly made it clear that vulnerability isn’t a weakness, it’s part of life—we weren’t designed to be alone because at some point, we’re all going to need help. The seemingly strongest of us included.
“Lavender” might just be the best title for everything that happened with Roy and Keeley in this episode because is there any other pair that represents purity, serenity, devotion, and beautiful vulnerability? No, no there is not.
After finding Keeley in a compromising position alone in their bedroom (let me use the historical romance jargon, please and thanks), Roy learns that her kink these days is watching his emotional retirement speech. A speech which I’m hoping is soon put on YouTube because as the audience, we also deserve to watch the entirety of that gloriously tearful treat. Who do I need to talk to at Apple about releasing this?
As it turns out, Roy hasn’t been as vulnerable, and thus, after realizing that it could potentially make his girl happy, he decides to give the pundit gig a chance. And he curses through it, which no one is surprised about it. But this journey that he is on continues to be so exemplary because again, and not to sound like a broken record, but change isn’t an overnight fix. As much as this is a TV show, it mirrors the real world in its timing, which shows us that at the end of the day, adjusting to said changes aren’t easy.
Sure, coaching the girls soccer team was an honor, but the season is over now. And really, Roy Kent belongs in the world of professional football— whether he’s playing or not, he belongs near the game. If he wakes up one morning and decides he hates it all, that’s valid too, but for now, it’s everything. It’s everything because Keeley didn’t push Roy to do something that he didn’t want, she helped him help himself, and that’s the greatest thing anyone can do for another person, especially their person.
She didn’t want him to take the gig for selfish reasons, but because at the end of the day, Keeley Jones has always been the woman who’s understood the cathartic significance of vulnerability and just how healing it can be. She’s always seen the man beyond the uniform, which means she’s seen just how much he’s bottled his emotions up. And thus, wanting him to release it all wasn’t for her, as much as it was for the both of them. It was to see the best of him come to the surface, and the best of him is all of him.
He might not be able to feel as free as couples having sex in the woods do, but he can be free from the crosses he carries by giving into the things he wants even though they seem terrifying. When he lowers his voice while alone in the makeup room to admit that he’s worried people might think he’s sh-t, that’s where it becomes clear that a part him still cares about the fall he’s faced. For the longest time, Roy Kent was used to repressing his emotions, but now is the time to keep trying, it’s time to keep breaking some of his walls down. And such fears are completely human, but none of that matters when the girl who’s everything to him knows that all parts of him are legendary—the quiet, the loud, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Such displays of vulnerability serve as the acute reminder of why it’s best to try when it’s hardest to.
“Lavender” is a gorgeous episode that shows the importance of giving uncertainties a try, and it kicks so much into motion brilliantly. It’s an episode that reminds viewers no one’s too far gone and everyone should be given the chance to voice their thoughts out loud.
Ted Talks and Further Thoughts
- “One of the goals got disallowed because apparently nine-year-olds aren’t allowed to do headers yet. F—king brain development.” I mean, I guess brain development is somewhat important.
- The fact that Roy’s biggest threat is:“I’m gonna hire a bunch of children to scream ‘I told you so’ for centuries” says a lot about him as a character.
- “Old people are so wise. They’re like tall Yodas.” THE STAR WARS REFERENCES CONTINUE TO BE JAM. (Also, since season two is supposed to be The Empire Strikes Back, this is just brilliant and I have a lot about thoughts about where things could potentially go.)
- Ted tells Sam people curse because they don’t know what words to use, but this show also knows when to use curse words appropriately too, and I love the fact that it’s an homage to itself without really trying to be.
- I’m really happy to know that Roy Kent and I have the same favorite flower—white orchids.
- I have a lot of feelings about Jamie calling the Toy Soldier “Ted (Danson).”
- Ted can now call Sharon “Doc” and things are great.
- Keeley going through Twitter and looking at what’s being said about Roy is actual footage of me going through the #TedLasso hashtag on Twitter after every new episode. Just pure joy.
- Coach Beard sleeping at the office because Jane kicked him out? Oof, how’s this going to pan out? At least the lavender scent is much better than sweat and whatever else locker rooms must smell like.
- I’m also glad the Diamond Dogs are giving Higgins an office now that he’ll be sharing with Nate.
- Roy clearly misses the team though because why else wouldn’t he say hi to Ted?
- The fuller Roy Kent beard will be sorely missed.
What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso’s “Lavender?”