Ted Lasso 3×10 “International Break” Spoilers Ahead
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Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 10, “International Break,” brings necessary conversations to the forefront while still leaping from one time jump to another. Written by Jane Becker and directed by Matt Lipsey, the episode again separates characters from an overarching story to dive deeper into more intimate moments. Much of it works in more ways than one, but where the words fail, the performances thankfully do all the talking.
Still, the largest issue in the episode and, perhaps, throughout the entire season is the detail that much of the vital developments continue to take place off-screen. It’s challenging not to wonder why we wasted time with characters like Zava when we could’ve spent more time with Sam or any of the other players. More than anything, it’s frustrating that to see the big picture, we need to step back and look at everything once it’s complete. Because, like Keeley Jones receiving news late, even the critics aren’t given enough time to prepare for advance coverage, which sadly contributes to the inability to see much of what’s happening until a rewatch or two later down the line.
Ted Lasso 3×10 “International Break” effectively reminds viewers of the unceasing love within AFC Richmond. While Dani Rojas does a hilarious 180 against Zoreaux (Van Damme), Jamie Tartt goes out of his way to honor Sam Obisanya. We’ve spent quite a while in the locker rooms during Season 3, most recently in the previous episode, “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” and for this reason, this split works to cater to football.
However, what fundamentally feels off about the international break is the absence of our titular character throughout most of the episode. Ted is one of the few characters whose point of view matters tremendously, and he’s the reason we’ve been asking why from the season’s start. Why are we still here? Why are we doing this? And, more importantly, what comes next? If the titular character needs to figure out where his heart lies, two more episodes aren’t nearly enough time to show us. In an episode like this, I would’ve liked to see him outside the pitch to get an idea of where his head is.
KJPR’s Rise from the Ashes
Further, like the titular character, much of what’s been happening with Keeley Jones remains a puzzle in Ted Lasso Season 3. Nevertheless, “International Break” gives Juno Temple some astounding material to work with, proving more than ever that in the hands of other actors, these characters might not evoke as much as they do. And for Keeley, this is primarily due to how little we know her. We continue to get fragments only, making us continuously question why we went from point A to Z this quickly. Why did we bring Jack into the picture only to vilify her? If Rebecca could’ve invested as easily, why didn’t this happen earlier?
The sunshine loses a bit of her light in this episode, and Juno Temple plays it to perfection. Every time she cries, I cry, and watching her with Mae and, later, Rebecca is a gift I’m holding onto. What works best with a character like Keeley is understanding how people like her generally are—Keeley is all heart and maybe even a little too trusting because she’s still learning to navigate the waters. When it comes to people like Keeley Jones and even Ted, they’re going to keep fighting the fire until it burns too hard. And it’s not because they don’t know any better but because they genuinely believe they could find a way to dull the flames. They feel they can truly help people.
Yet sometimes, that belief comes with consequences because before shining a light on others, you must ensure you aren’t hurting yourself. And none of that happens here because Keeley isn’t given a chance for more introspective moments outside of her relationships. Where more characters get these quiet reflections, Keeley Jones deserves her own spin-off to show us every piece of her heart. She deserves light, love, and the ceaseless reminder that she’s indeed Keeley f—king Jones.
Juno Temple is a star, and everything she brings to our screens deserves multiple scene breakdowns. It shatters me to think that Keeley believes she brings anything but light to whatever room she enters. It’s heartbreaking beyond words to think that she believes she’s failing and that her life is at the bottom of the barrel. It’s beyond frustrating that something like this happens to a light like her, but goodness, am I thrilled that there’s a solution right around the corner. (Roy Kent better grovel a little more and remind her every single day for the rest of their lives that she’s the best thing in the world.)
Roy Kent’s Happy Uncle Day! Less Stuck?
Ted Lasso 3×10 “International Break” does the one thing we’ve all been asking for, and it brings back Phoebe! And also, the fact that there’s an official day called “Happy Uncle Day” for Roy specifically pleases me to end. Yet, what doesn’t is the detail that the character journey he’s been on falls underneath the cracks a bit, once again relying on Brett Goldstein to do the heavy lifting to show us what’s brewing within. Roy Kent’s demons aren’t shocking; in fact, they’re entirely understandable. If we look at episodes like “Man City,” “Midnight Train to Royston,” “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea,” and even “Sunflowers,” he shows us an abundance. We know where much of his self-hatred comes from.
And while a sudden epiphany works perfectly in an episode like “Headspace,” it fumbles a bit during the scene with Miss Bowen this week. Rebecca has been calling Roy out all season, and the realization here feels untethered from the rest of the story. While it makes sense, given that the conversation in that same episode leads to his concerns about bringing down Keeley in Season 2, the scene between reading his letter and returning to her house is something viewers should’ve seen on-screen. Again, maybe there’s some sort of a montage at the end of it all that shows us everything that’s been happening as time passes, but having both their breakup and reunion happen off-screen hurts my desperate little heart that clings to meaty reunion scenes.
This isn’t to say that both Roy’s letter and Goldstein’s delivery don’t pack multiple punches, but when we’ve barely seen them interact for ten whole episodes, it makes it hard not to feel the absence of the ease their relationship brings to the table. As sincere as it is because the character is one we could trust, having so much happen off-screen doesn’t work in favor of showcasing the growth that’s taking place. Still, in an episode like this, it’s lovely to meet his sister and see his dynamics outside the pitch. The banter between his sister and Phoebe does what’s necessary to remind us that Roy Kent has immense heart, and yet, he’s a little broken, needing someone to chip away at all his walls. He needs reason and motivation to walk around in a red, orange, and yellow tie-dye shirt. He needs someone to remind him that his mess is worth cleaning up after sometimes because it’s exactly what he’ll do for those he loves once he realizes it’s important to them. (And hopefully, what we could potentially see with him and Keeley in the next two episodes.)
And having Jamie present during this beautifully showcases how far the two have come from Season 1. They might begrudgingly deny that they’re best friends, but they are, in more ways than one. The trust they’re slowly fortifying and the lengths they’re willing to go for one another is stunning to witness, and it’ll imaginably materialize even more in next week’s “Mom City,” if the blurb tells us anything.
Rebecca Welton and the Little Girl Inside
Rebecca Welton’s arc remains the most vigorous focal point in Ted Lasso Season 3. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching the mirror scene that allows her to effectively tackle a room full of men. It gorgeously parallels her advice to Nate in “Rainbow” and allows us the chance to remember she, too, was once little. It helps us to realize that even the people who seemingly have it all together need a reminder every so often. Perhaps the most brilliant thing about Rebecca Welton is how Hannah Waddingham continues to breathe life into the character. There’s not a single moment throughout the episode where she isn’t showing us the whirlwind of emotions she’s living through. She can be silly, brave, awkward, and even a little nervous.
But so much of her journey throughout the season pivots around breaking the shackles Rupert’s placed on her. While she’s free from him after the divorce, she isn’t free from the damage he caused until the very few moments of this episode when she realizes that she doesn’t care to beat him but cares to win for the people around her. She wants to win for herself. And that understanding bodes well for the development the finale will leave us with because Rebecca’s arc remains consistently robust. So much of what we see in her speech directly results from what she’s picked up on from Ted, Keeley, and her own desires to care for a team that matters beyond her wildest comprehension.
“Why take something that means so much from them? Football isn’t just a game. It’s one of those amazing things in life that can make you feel sh-t one moment, and then like it’s Christmas morning. It has the ability to make heroes and villains out of ordinary men. People love this game. My father loved this game. You all used to love this game. I’m sure of it.”
The moment ultimately stands as a brilliant reminder of what this show is about and why it matters to so many people. Ted Lasso 3×10 “International Break” reminds us that the human complexities, second chances, and the relationships we strengthen along the way can help clean the messes we find ourselves in. A character like Rupert Mannion isn’t redeemable at this point, but Rebecca Welton having the second chance she deserves to live the best life she can is utterly satisfying to witness. To watch her sit in a room full of men and essentially remind them of what matters makes for the kind of scene that’ll undoubtedly inspire many people.
The Wonder Kid and His Happiness
Ted Lasso 3×10 “International Break” finally dives into Nathan Shelley’s complicated relationship with his father, Lloyd, resulting in the kind of scene viewers have been waiting for since Season 2. Nick Mohammed and Peter Landi are indomitable at this moment as father and son share a beat of vulnerability that dives deep into their regrets and heartaches. The only issue here again lies in the detail that Nate quits West Ham off-screen, but goodness, the violin strings coupled with Landi’s tearful expression as he watches his son wrecked me.
For someone like Nate, who’s as profoundly conflicted because of his demons, a moment like this is everything for Nate to know that both he and his father have made mistakes, but happiness matters more than anything. Lloyd telling Nate he didn’t understand what to do with a genius, calling him brilliant essentially, and working through his own darkness by apologizing allows Nate to know it’s not too late. It also helps him understand that he doesn’t need to continue scrutinizing himself, but instead, he can build a life that he’s proud of. A life where he isn’t angry consistently but rather satisfied and trying—a life where he believes in himself and the people around him.
Nathan never went down a horrendous rampage the way Rupert did, and while I wish we got to see the decision-making and his confrontation, perhaps, it’s yet to come. It’s hard to imagine how much can occur in two episodes, but stranger things have happened. Still, this moment with Nate is another decisive moment that answers the season’s big “why.” Why did Nate behave the way he did? Why was he so angry all the time? Why was his father the way that he did? The episode shows it all to us perfectly.
Ted Talks and Further Thoughts
- Apparently, everyone and their mother had theorized that the doctor in “Man City” was Roy’s sister and no one shared these theories with me!??! Rude.
- Anyway, Dr. O’Sullivan and Jamie Tartt in a “Brother’s Best Friend” romance when!?!
- How much time has passed since a 10-game winning streak? Why does Ted Lasso keep making me do math!? I was an English major.
- What I would do to trade places with Trent as he sits with Ted and Rebecca
- Ted not picking up on Rupert being The Devil in Rebecca’s phone made me cackle.
- Juno Temple is astounding in this episode!!!
- CAN WE PLEASE STOP HURTING SAM!?!
- I have many questions about Beard’s seventeen axes. So many questions.
- Jamie’s gift to Roy!? That deserves a scene breakdown. Phoebe making them all pay off? Also deserves a scene breakdown.
- Still thinking about “Your sister is fit.” / “I will cut your eyes out.”
- Why can’t Higgins ever have peace with his coffee!? Tea?!
- KEELEY AND MAE SPIN OFF WHEN!?
- What’s with the green matchbook and the toy soldier together?
- Jamie wearing Sam’s number !!!!!!! After everything they’ve been through. C H A R A C T E R DEVELOPMENT.
- I loathe the concept of humanizing Rupert, but Anthony Head is utterly brilliant in this meeting.
- Listen, what happened in that room? Did he throw food at them? Why is everything happening behind the scenes?!
- “I really miss hearing you play” killed me.
- “I didn’t know how to parent a genius.”
- Roy signing his name with Roy Kent XOXO murdered me.
- I love that she’s wearing lavender in this scene with Roy.
- Nate apologizes to Will with a card and lavender. Yes. Good.
- Ted and Rebecca !!!!!?
Now streaming on Apple TV Plus: What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso 3×10 “International Break?” Let us know in the comments below.
Love your analysis/recaps.
Also love how “soft” Rebecca was styled after she found her closure. The dress is similar to the time with the Dutch man. I’ve noticed she wears her hair down more this season. Always an indication of change. She’s more like the person Sassy described at the beginning.
Some serious Jerry Maguire vibes with the Keeley-Barbara story.
Also, saying “axes” “different country” to Ted?!