Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers” Review

Isaac and Sam deciding what to do in Amsterdam during Ted Lasso 3x06 "Sunflowers"
©Apple TV

Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers” Spoilers Ahead

With a collective trip to Amsterdam, Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 6, “Sunflowers,” threads us through the season’s midpoint, with far too many questions still and beautiful moments sprinkled throughout. In more ways than one, it follows the narrative trajectory that “Beard After Hours,” does, only this time, more than one character is experiencing something life-altering in the span of one night.

In this regard, there are inarguably shining moments throughout Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers,” and it’s those very moments that kick us toward what might be the season’s most emotional loadstones. If this is the end, we’re approaching it swiftly, piling onto the unanswered questions with more. Thematically, it does a compelling job of revealing that though characters might make wrong choices out of the dozens presented to them, they could still come out eventually understanding the very gratitude Van Gogh’s sunflower painting is meant to evoke.

Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers”: A Faux High vs. Triangles

Ted walking on a bus for Amsterdam in Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 6, "Sunflowers"
©Apple TV

I’m all for a person, place, or thing inspiring what’s chained inside of a person to break free. Some of the best ideas are born during the most unexpected times, which is essentially why Ted’s non-high Van Gogh-inspired triangle conundrum makes sense. So much so that you have to also wonder about the triangles when it comes to how heavily romance-coded the episode is. Still, Ted Lasso is a good coach, and it’s been a little hard to believe he didn’t have a firmer grip on football mechanisms until now. And even if the approach is a bit more obscure, it touches on the idea of freedom necessary for all the characters to leave the dark forest they’re stuck in. Thereby, as introspective as Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers” is, the external forces driving these characters are ultimately (and unsurprisingly) themselves.

We get full proof of the fact that many of them are meandering in between their happy endings by not comprehending the depth of the wins they deserve. And with Ted, it continues to also push on the why of it all. Why is he still here with Richmond? Is this really what he wants to do, and thus, should he continue fighting? Ted needs to understand this within himself, and after a doozy like this, it’s clear that we’re going to need both Henry and maybe his mom to nudge him toward the answer he’s looking for. And, by extension, the answers we’re all looking for.

Rebecca’s Romance Trope-Filled Encounter

Rebecca hooks up with a nameless Dutchman in Ted Lasso 3x06 "Sunflowers"
©Apple TV+

One thing about me is when I’m not writing or editing on TV, I’m devouring romance novels. And thus, I could sniff out the events of this arc from miles away. Yet, this isn’t a romance novel, this is Ted Lasso and I’m deeply sad to report that I found all of this to be disturbing. If this were a romance novel, then what we have here is a second chance waiting to happen—one magical day changes everything; the couple goes their separate way and comes back together sometime later. It’s one of if not the best tropes, but the events of this episode didn’t evoke any of that. Because we don’t even know this man’s name or whether we can trust him, everything we get makes me feel like I was watching a weird horror movie.

For starters, one thing needs to be made clear here. Rebecca Welton’s arc this season is one of the strongest depictions of continuity and astounding storytelling. As an absolute powerhouse of a woman and a force to be reckoned with, the show debunks the nonsensical beliefs that women are somehow weakened by love. She doesn’t have “baby fever” either, but before Rupert robbed her of all this, Rebecca Welton was always a woman who wanted love and a family. Hannah Waddingham makes this brilliantly clear throughout the season; one needs to merely pay attention to the sensational acting consistently at the forefront. The character journey she’s been on since day one point to her second chance at happiness in every area. A second chance to be a club leader, a friend, a lover, and maybe (hopefully) even a mother.

Wanting love and a family and not being alone anymore, as she so vulnerably tells Ted in “For the Children” isn’t a weakness. It doesn’t diminish her strength or make her any less of an influential figure. It makes her human. Because, fun fact, women can be both. Women can and should be whatever they damn well please, and feminism isn’t determining what kind of a woman fits the mold better than others. It’s the acceptance of all women and everything that they stand for, dualities included. Thereby, while I want all of this for Rebecca, the fact that it’s occurring with people we as the audience don’t know very well is what makes it jarring (in the same way that it happened with Keeley and Jack last week).

If this weren’t the seemingly final season, I’d be less critical of the idea of one-off hookups, but if we’re to believe this is where the story concludes, then I want to spend screen time with characters I already know and love. Still, at this point, everything that Tish tells Rebecca in “4-5-1” is now a reality, and the only thing that remains is motherhood. However that happens, we aren’t sure, but falling in the body of water almost feels like a sense of liberation from the hurdles and demons of her past. It’s as though maybe if she is open to the idea of this random stranger, then she can open herself up to a real, true love with someone who’s her genuine soul mate in every area.

Roy and Jamie’s Big Adventure For Granddad 

Roy and Jamie arguing in Amsterdam in Ted Lasso 3x06 "Sunflowers"
©Apple TV

The one true gift in Season 3, as well as in Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers,” is the big adventure slash bond between Roy and Jamie. It’s a stunning encapsulation of one of the most riveting (and begrudging) brotherhoods in TV history, and it’s something that people will talk about for a long, long time. And during one night out on the town, we get more about the two men (Jamie specifically) than before, leaving us with some of the most exciting character bits to hold onto.

I so appreciate the show bringing Roy’s granddad back into the picture like this because it continues to not only remind viewers that grief always lingers but it showcases just how much the older gentleman truly meant to him. It also makes for a captivating parallel that we hear more about Jamie’s mom in the same episode—two characters we first learn about in “Two Aces.” It makes for an outstanding bonding experience when we have Jamie encourage Roy to learn how to ride a bike for his granddad while then accompanying him to see the windmills.

The scene makes for exceptionally well-rounded and simultaneously hilarious moments that exhibit why the two of them being friends is something that benefits them both in the long run. Roy might be training Jamie as a means to help out the team, but really, this is a friendship that touches on give and take in equal measures. Where they were once extreme antagonists, today, they acknowledge that the person standing beside them carries demons bigger than they should handle on their own. Further, their willingness to show up for each other allows them to divulge some of the darkness in a safe space. In the same way that Roy steps forward to hug Jamie in “Man City,” everything that Jamie does here returns much of that hug metaphorically by showing Roy that Jamie will stand here and fight with him until he succeeds at pedaling. (A subtly fine metaphor to emphasize the thematic importance of trying.) It also says a lot that Jamie’s willing to open up about his parents again, which begs the question of whether this will finally be the season where we can meet Mrs. Tartt. (There has to be some sort of a gala where all the moms will come together, right? It’s no longer a want at this point but rather a need to bring the story to fruition with all the small mentions.)

Cheers to Strong and Capable Men 

Colin comes out to Trent Crimm in Amsterdam during Ted Lasso's 2x06 "Sunflowers"
©Apple TV+

In every way where it matters, Colin and Trent’s arc in Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers” will go down in the show’s history as one of its most gorgeously rewarding scenes. Close to perfect. (Writer’s Note: I was so profoundly concerned with how this moment would be handled because other shows have jaded me, but I’m so thankful for Ted Lasso’s approach.) Billy Harris brings to life one of the show’s most tender and poignantly vulnerable scenes as he opens up about what it’s like to be a gay man and a professional footballer with stigmas still attached. Though the episode doesn’t dive too deep into how unnecessarily complicated the situation is in the real world, it gives enough for Harris to breathe extraordinary life into the character’s arc. 

It’s also a moment that significantly represents hope because even if Colin and Trent don’t face the same challenges, knowing that Trent’s in a place where he can fully be himself is something Colin could carry with him. The decision to harness back to Colin’s conversations with Sharon and everything she taught him about addressing his aches to combine both his lives is the kind of excellent callback that makes for a brilliant scene. It’s unfortunate and so deeply heartbreaking to think that the things heterosexual people never have to think twice about, people in the LGBTQ community have to be tirelessly concerned for. And when Colin tells Trent that all he wants is to be able to “kiss his fella like all the guys kiss their girls” at the end of a winning match, I nearly lost it.

Harris and James Lance both do an exceptionally brilliant job of heightening the scene’s poignancy with their earnest approach, making the moment that much more special. The aches Colin mentions in wanting to combine his two lives into one life, perhaps believing that the team won’t mind but being unsure of it all wrecked me. You could feel the profound weight of the pain sitting square in his chest, pounding incessantly, and there’s much to be said about the authenticity of it all, as well as the innate transparency. It’s an honest moment that reflects both the external world and the character’s internal conflict, blending them to create a scene that will undoubtedly resonate with audience members everywhere.

After a glorious night of partying for both men that ends with infectious joy, it’ll be intriguing to see where the show takes Colin’s journey throughout the remaining six episodes. Hopefully, it involves a scene that has him proudly kissing his fella because now that they’ve put that in our heads, I want (no, need) to see it come to life.

Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers” is the kind of wild ride that’s mostly fun and significant in storytelling, even when there are questionable moments that perhaps should’ve been cut. While much of the arcs will make sense as we move forward, everything we get with the team planning their night out only to end up pillow fighting makes for the kind of organic shift the show excels at. Higgins teasing about going to the Red Light District but ending up in an iconic jazz bar is the best kind of play on words. Still, overall, midway through the season, there are plenty of questions to be answered. 

Ted Talks and Further Thoughts

  • Nothing is messing with my head more this season, quite like the time jumps. Stop jumping, please! & speaking of time jumps, how long has it been since Keeley and Jack’s hookup? Are they an official thing now? How does Roy automatically assume it’s a woman when Rebecca merely says “somewhere”? Has he seen them together? Why is it that everything we get with Keeley is about other people and not her? Seeing an Aurora is a big deal! 
  • Did Colin and Michael break up????? Is that what’s happening here? Could there be someone else on the team who’s also gay or bisexual, making it feel that much more earned to see them together because they’d also be someone we know!?!? Yes? Please?
  • Since when does Sassy get vibes about how Rebecca is doing, and why was this the first time we’re hearing about it?
  • You can so tell that this episode was a blast to film, and it shows.
  • Also, Trent Crimm noted fashion icon. Those leopard print shoes?! YES. Icons only. 
  • Maybe one day, when time is on my side, I’ll write a scene breakdown about the ending scene with Beard and Rebecca singing while Ted watches from the middle. Because gah!

Now streaming on Apple TV Plus: What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso 3×06 “Sunflowers?” Let us know in the comments below.


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