Ted Lasso 3×03 “4-5-1” Review

Zava introducing himself to AFC Richmond in Ted Lasso 3x03 "4-5-1"
©Apple TV+

Ted Lasso 3×03 “4-5-1” Spoilers Ahead

Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 3, “4-5-1,” is about maths, which quite frankly has never been my strongest suit. It’s a conundrum of sorts in how it essentially takes one win after another, yet we’re not only still in the dark forest, but we might be in the scariest domain, but as Keeley Jones tells Rebecca Welton, there are better things ahead than anything we leave behind. And if nothing else, the episode almost feels like it’s demanding we look toward all the good that can happen.

AFC Richmond is on a winning streak, third in line, yet, like Jamie Tartt’s reactions, it almost feels jarring. It might even sound a bit hypocritical. Ironic. But part of this story’s appeal is that it’s an underdog story, and it’s what we’ve known for the longest time. Bill Wrubel, the episode’s writer, also did “Rainbow” and “Two Aces,” yet the tonal shift here feels a bit more frightening than it did back then. What do these wins mean? How will Rebecca take Tish’s words and spin them around to take agency of her life? We have many more questions than answers, leaving us to rack our brains trying to figure them out (except it might not be the time to do so yet, and that’s the point).

4-5-1 Play, The (Right) Hypocrite, Jamie Tartt

Jamie Tartt sitting by himself at Ola's in Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 3
Screenshot via ©Apple TV+

Yes, Jamie Tartt is being a hypocrite in this episode, but he’s not wrong. We keep seeing that we’re supposed to treat Zava like some sort of a God, but are we? It doesn’t appear that he’s a bad person by any means, and it doesn’t seem like he’d do anything to betray the team intentionally, but the approach still seems too simple. There’s a bigger story here that demands we peel back on layers to ensure that AFC Richmond wins as a team and not in the hands of a single player who’s seemingly the greatest gift to humanity.

Zava’s changing dynamics and setting things afloat in a way that’s both confusing and understandable because, on a show like Ted Lasso, we know that there’s always more than meets the eye. And if this decision leads to Jamie and Roy training together to become closer as friends, then it’s easy to be all in. The two have always been intricate foils of one another since the start of the series, and how this dynamic will develop and lead to growth for both characters will undoubtedly be one of the best elements of this season.

Colin and Michael 

Colin and his boyfriend Michael in Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 3 "4-5-1"
Screenshot via Apple TV+

Ted Lasso 3×03 “4-5-1” confirms what many of us gathered after Colin’s Grindr comment in Season 2, but then it essentially solidifies that we’re the only people aware of this truth. Perhaps the series will work through the differences between locker-room talk and reality, but it’s one that I hope is handled with care because there aren’t many shows that do it right. Yet, as a series that’s always understood the significance of dismantling toxic masculinity, it’s easy to trust that they will handle Colin’s arc honorably.

Yet in all the adorable stolen moments the two share, I can’t help but be a little concerned when the episode ends and begins with Colin, differentiating in the detail that now someone’s seen them. Trent Crimm walks by, watching Colin and Michael make out, and while it’s clear that we could trust the former journalist to a degree (his favorite Julie Andrews role is Queen Clarisse Renaldi, that’s huge), the shot is a bit ominous. It’s hard to imagine that Trent Crimm would intentionally out anyone, but could it happen accidentally, forcing Colin to confront his sexuality at a time when maybe he’s not ready? It’s hard to tell, and despite it all, I’m hopeful that the series will give him the agency to deal with the matters in his time. After all, he is a strong and capable man; he’s got this.

The Green Matchbook

Sam hands Rebecca Welton a green matchbook in Ted Lasso 3x03 "4-5-1"
Screenshot via Apple TV+

Rebecca Welton being a skeptic when it comes to psychics makes perfect sense. But what doesn’t make sense is what Tish’s predictions mean, which takes us back to “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea,” and the detail that she admits she fell for Rupert’s persuasion. As human beings, when we are desperate for a reprieve from the heartaches within, it’s easy to give in to what we believe are the correct answers we’re searching for. It’s easy to want everything almost handed to us. We don’t know how Rebecca will react to the matchbook given to her by Sam, but we also know that there are undeniable reasons why the two aren’t right for each other as a romantic pair. (Glaring age difference and power imbalance at the top of the list.)

But then there’s the matter of how deeply it wounds her when Tish says, “you’re going to be a mother,” because we know how fiercely the absence of a family plagues Rebecca. We understand how intensely Rupert’s words about not wanting a child with her burn, and we can understand why this statement would feel like a dagger to her chest coming from a psychic. It’s cruel, and how Hannah Waddingham plays that scene is harrowing because the guttural pain penetrates straight from her voice. Still, where we’ll go from here, only time will tell, but as mentioned before, no one can tell any of these characters how to leave their dark forests; it’s something that they need to figure out on their own while confronting all the demons they have head-on. Agency continues to be an underscoring theme for all characters, reiterating how important it is that every character’s move stays careful and calculated.


Sam Obisanya in Ted Lasso 3x03 "4-5-1"
Screenshot via ©Apple TV+

The one part of Ted Lasso 3×03 “4-5-1” that doesn’t hurt or sting or feel grim is Sam’s role at this restaurant. After he decides to open a spot in “Inverting the Pyramid of Success,” we see how right it feels to watch him spread his sunshine off the field and into people’s lives by introducing them to Nigerian food. Food is comfort and joy and a need; thus, to have Sam spread all of this and to do so with someone by his side who could maybe be right for him is hopeful to see. Is his co-worker more than a friend? Only time will tell.

What’s also hopeful is to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that despite the revelations in this restaurant, the decisions these characters make today will undoubtedly benefit their future. And it’s nice to see this detail come to life somewhere outside of the pitch, in a brand new place, because it metaphorically cements the start of new beginnings beautifully.

Dr. Jacob and Ted Lasso

Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso in Season 3 Episode 3 "4-5-1"
Apple TV+

Ted Lasso 3×03 “4-5-1” also reveals Michelle’s mysterious beau, and it’s the former couple’s psychologist. Ted learns the news after he calls the landline, and it’s questionable in almost every way. But we won’t know how questionable until Ted confronts Michelle about it because he deserves to know if the person who was meant to help them was harming them all along.

It’s heartbreaking to think that so many of the characters this week parallel one another in their suffering, yet they don’t even realize it. There’s much at play in how we have the same painting in different forms that could —a culmination of beautiful broken pieces, much like the art of Kintsugi. But all in due time.

This one’s a challenging episode to cover because unless we make a chart to speculate where every little detail will lead, we won’t have any of the answers we’re looking for. But Ted Lasso is the kind of show that always gives us solutions, proving that the seeds it plants will grow into fields that’ll feel rewarding. All of this will make sense shortly, and when that happens, it’ll allow us to look back, scouring the puzzle pieces for the right fit.

Ted Talks and Further Thoughts

  • Colin’s grown in so many areas, except when it comes to driving, apparently.
  • If my maths! 
  • “Colin’s a chameleon, he can change based on where he is” hurts me a little—let Colin be happy and himself wherever he goes!
  • “I used to fancy Julie Andrews. I still do.” Who doesn’t?
  • Roy: “F YEAH, PRINCESS DIARIES!” (I need everyone to convince me that I didn’t imagine this line. It feels too great to be true.)
  • Jamie not being phased by Zava is truly something. Jamie’s earrings are also something. A+ if you ask me.
  • Zava giving Will credit for being a kit man is my favorite thing that Zava does this week.
  • Will is 25. He should know what a CD is!
  • The most enjoyable part about Zava’s arc is what everyone does in the background
  • “The dark soul of one man disconnected you from your own. And then another beautiful and worthy man half your age, arrived exactly at the right time, and the wrong time.” <- I’m glad we clarify that this is something Rebecca’s mom said because so much of this comes down to what Ted does for Rebecca—not even in a romantic sense, but as her soulmate in every regard of being the light she needed.
  • “Shite! Shite! In nining armor.” (I have so many questions. So many questions.)
  • And she’s drenched but safe! WHERE? WHEN?
  • Roy at Keeley: “I’ll do one for you if you need me to.” WHEN WILL THEY BE BACK TOGETHER SO MY HEART CAN HEAL? WHEN?
  • “Well, nice to put a face to the hair.” Roy does remember Shandy.
  • Beard’s face when Jamie gets his hypocrisy / irony right is glorious.
  • Ted almost having a panic attack gave me so much anxiety. LET HIM BE HAPPY.
  • Pundits still think West Ham is doing better still. Pundits are wrong.
  • Dani, stop acting like Zava you are an angel unicorn just the way you are.
  • Will any of us understand Jane and Beard and their relationship?
  • Pre-Madonna — it means before Madonna. Are you guys okay???
  • Is Shandy a great fit for KJPR? Why am I suspicious? (Because we need to protect Keeley Jones at all costs.)
  • As someone who loves avocados, I’ve never been more embarrassed than when Zava told Sam about avocados.

Now streaming on Apple TV Plus: What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso 3×03 “4-5-1” Let us know in the comments below.


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