Ted Lasso 3×09 “La Locker Room Aux Folles” Spoiler Ahead
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Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 9, “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” written by Chuck Hayward, is a thematically substantial episode that references one of the most critical moments in the show’s history: be curious, not judgmental. It’s riveting, considering the season is somewhat of a hit or miss when looking at social media reactions, often calling back to this exact scene, noting that Ted Lasso hasn’t achieved something similar to it this year. But here we are, three episodes away from this arc’s conclusion, and the show wants to remind us that the message wholeheartedly still stands.
In more ways than one, the episode centers around fanbases and authority, doubling down on what it means not to have the whole picture. Yet, to counter this, for the sake of writing—the big picture is necessary when concerns are rising, and people are likely nervous about how the story could conclude for all their favorite characters. Like sports fans wondering if their team will get relegated again. Still, if nothing else, Ted Lasso 3×09 “La Locker Room Aux Folles” proves that, as the trailer promised, though we might not get what we want, we’re going to get what we need.
La Locker Room Aux Folles
The most vital part of Ted Lasso 3×09 “La Locker Room Aux Folles” is undoubtedly Colin’s arc. While he loses some of his agency because he’s forced to come out during a time he didn’t initially plan for, he at least has the choice to do so without anyone doing it for him. Further, and thankfully, Isaac isn’t mad at him because he’s homophobic, but he’s upset because Colin kept it from him. And while no one owes anyone anything, especially when it comes to their sexuality, as a friend, it’s easy to understand why Isaac feels the way he does, as well as how the entire scenario is handled between the two of them alone.
At the end of the day, while Isaac maybe could’ve reacted better, it’s not our business to determine how hurt he is and why Colin’s decision impacts him so heavily. It’s up to us to take note of how much he adores his friend that he’s willing to fight anyone who potentially threatens him or anyone else in the LGBTQIA+ community with the use of the offensive f-word. It’s up to us to be curious, not judgmental, though as viewers, we know why Isaac behaves the way he does, and by the end, so does Colin. And that’s tied to why he decides to come out when all of AFC Richmond starts to assume that Isaac is presumably gay.
And as imagined, their reactions are as wholesome as we’d expect, full of love and understanding, followed by a pep talk from Ted about why they should care. While his metaphor was—something—this is what an allyship looks like. It’s caring. It’s fighting alongside the people who need it, loving them with everything in us, and accompanying them in places where they’d like us to be. It’s about caring for their agency and whatever they need from us, listening carefully to understand wholeheartedly. And just like the brilliant note in “The Hope That Kills You,” Ted Lasso 3×09 “La Locker Room Aux Folles” reminds viewers that no one in AFC Richmond will ever be alone in their fight.
This is also the moment where we get Sam’s “I love you guys” from the trailer, which, imaginably, I thought would happen in the finale, but this is the perfect place to see it because he’s so beautifully sincere that it makes my heart squeeze. It’s the ideal time for a sentiment like this because it tells the entire team they can choose to be whoever they want, and the love bursting within them will always go strong. It actualizes all the love and care that Ted talks about, bringing it to the surface in a thoroughly evocative form. It’s moments like this that will live on long after the show’s over because they’re bound to stand the test of time.
If there’s one thing that Ted Lasso is best at, it’s addressing the critical narrative arcs most of its viewers can relate to off-screen. There’s something in this show for all of us. It’s why so many people who aren’t sports fans tune in, week after week, because these locker rooms, pubs, offices, and even the pitch are places where we feel a little less alone with our burdens.
Roy Kent’s Press Conference
I’m usually very patient with Roy Kent as a character because it’s so easy to understand him and where he’s coming from, but oof, the man had me at wits’ end this week. There’s a first time for everything, right? But character development. Let’s go. This is how it happens. When he bails on the first press conference after telling Rebecca and Keeley he will attend, I almost lost it. So, I’m glad Rebecca uses every moment to tell him to his face how wrong he is in his approach.
Momentary frustrations aside, it’s easy to understand his anxieties because self-hatred can drown someone in ways where noticing the shore is impossible. It’s brutal and heartbreaking how much power the specific emotion has on human beings. We know Roy suffers through this, and we’ve seen it for some time now, but there’s a point where you have to try kicking your feet before fully succumbing to the waves because you’re all out of breath. Roy Kent doesn’t kick his feet or try. Instead, he opens his mouth and lets more water in to suffocate him. The drowning metaphor works because waves are so complex and taxing, as his doubts are.
If he consistently believes he’s infecting people, with no actions to counter those thoughts, Roy does what he fears by backing out of promises and leaving people to fight the waves alone. This is exactly what happens when he lets Beard run the conference, and it’s why leaving Keeley instead of addressing his issues led to the loneliness he’s still fighting. Yet, in the end, Roy seems to finally understand where he’s wrong, showing us in the most suitable way that he’s learning from the people around him. And while Brett Goldstein’s been subtly showing us this progress, it’s hard not to wish we got more development from “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” to now. If this truly is the last season, the layers only work once we get the picture, and as of right now, we only have a fraction of it to analyze comprehensively. To ultimately see all of his development come to fruition, we also need Phoebe back in the equation at some point for us to understand that he’s making concrete changes.
Two Big Dogs
Ted Lasso 3×09 “La Locker Room Aux Folles” also effectively parallels “Rainbow,” where Ted initially brings back Roy to get Isaac out of his own head. The two of them sharing a moment of vulnerability where Roy doesn’t pry but merely tells him that he understands, shows us that he’s looking inward while simultaneously being a better coach and friend.
Conversations like this add layers to the show’s charm, bringing vital conversations among men that we seldom see in fiction to our screens. Does it sometimes feel scripted to the point where it could come off as forced out of context? Yes, but that isn’t the show’s fault, rather a fault of our world that conversations like this aren’t happening on full display. The show does what it does best by continuing to remind its audience that vulnerability isn’t a weakness but a strength. At the same time, an episode like this cements that passing judgment instead of choosing to understand the situation isn’t the healthy way to go about anything, either.
What Happens in West Ham
It’s unfathomable that Rupert is still gunning to outdo himself as a villain when he’s essentially competing against himself. I caught myself screaming at the TV—Buddy, no one is worse than you; stop trying to top what you did last time. You’re still the winner here. Still, in an episode like this, curiosity comes centerfold as we have to question Nate’s arc and the fact that there are three episodes remaining.
Is he getting a full-on redemption? If so, when is the conversation with Ted and AFC Richmond happening? Will it be enough? Further, while Jade is clearly the better person here as she stands up to Rupert in a way, can she be trusted fully when we barely know her? A large problem with Nate’s arc (and most arcs, really) is the fact that time jumps are happening off-screen, allowing significant developments to take place outside of our viewing. And thereby, it’s easy to question how much of it is supposed to matter.
The same can be said about Keeley because, like much of the relationship with Jack taking place off-screen, the breakup via text feels messy and disjointed. What is Keeley supposed to take away from this relationship, and at the same time, what are we supposed to make a note of as the audience? There’s a heartbreaking parallel here with this being the second time Keeley’s heart is broken by someone walking out on her, and what I hope it shows us in the next three episodes is some insight into her past. I want to see her heart entirely. I want her to talk to someone—bare every part of her soul and show us everything that she’s afraid of. (Where is Dr. Sharon? We could all use therapy at this point.)
Ted Lasso is at its best when it follows up with the seeds it plants, and this episode does so—although a little late, it knows what it wants to say. It takes a while to get to the heart of it all, as it does to put Colin Hughes in the game more, but better late than never. Contrary to Nate’s former opinion that no one will remember him, the opposite is thankfully happening here. Colin Hughes is the kind of character and player whose mark is exponentially vital. And Ted Lasso 3×09 “La Locker Room Aux Folles” is one that’ll hold its ground too.
Ted Talks and Further Thoughts
- Rebecca calling out Roy is so profoundly satisfying. HANNAH WADDINGHAM, YOU STAR.
- Colin having the safe space to go talk to Trent. MY HEART! That whole conversation was perfect in every way. Trent Crimm continues to own every scene.
- I cannot believe this show stressed me out to the point where I was worried Isaac wouldn’t accept Colin as he is. Please, Ted Lasso—don’t do that to me again. I am begging.
- I miss Phoebe.
- I also miss the days when Zoreaux was called Zoreaux and not Van Damme.
- Anthony Head is too good at playing evil Rupert.
- Also, that little hug with Nate and Jade? I feel things? But how do I trust that they’ll last?!
- Ted bringing Keeley money in a biscuit box. Angel of a man.
- There are SO MANY scene breakdowns I want to do for this episode, but if there are any you’d like to read, let us know in the comments below.
Now streaming on Apple TV Plus: What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso 3×09 “La Locker Room Aux Folles?” Let us know in the comments below.