Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City” Review

Keeley Jones, Rebecca Welton, and Higgins at the AFC Richmond vs. Man City game in Ted Lasso 3x11.
©Apple TV+

Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City” Spoilers Ahead

Note from Marvelous Geeks’ Team: With the ongoing WGA strike, it’s imperative that we state we stand in solidarity with all writers asking for better wages and the respect they deserve in this industry. No story comes to fruition without the idea born and nurtured inside a writer’s head. Writers are the beating hearts of everything we love — we stand with and for them. 

Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 11, “Mom City,” is yet another wild ride that doesn’t clarify whether this is indeed the end of the show. It feels like a setup more than anything else, but the conclusion still feels incredibly far away, forcing us to grasp at straws and parallels to harness something indicative. (Writer’s Note: I would have happily done this if screeners didn’t arrive at the very last minute during hectic weeks every single time, but hey, that’s what scene breakdowns will be for, right?)

In more ways than one, “Mom City” is “Man City’s” distant cousin that comes to town after years away, blurting all the family secrets before asking you if you’re ready to learn everything all at once. It provides plenty of great individual character moments, but the bombshell of a climax after two seasons with comforting penultimates has me dangling from a cliff, begging for someone to tell me what’s going on before I burst into tears. It’s an episode that addresses the idea of second chances through some incredibly memorable moments, looking toward some of the breakthrough moments in the dark forest.

Mom City Meets Dottie Lasso

Ted walking cheerfully in Ted Lasso 3x11 "Mom City."
©Apple TV+

Ted Lasso’s mom, Dottie Lasso (Becky Ann Baker), is a delight in every way, and the conversation her visit brings to the forefront ensures that Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City” has some great beats, but at what cost, and more importantly, when will the why of it all be answered? There’s nothing more exceptional than to witness someone standing up for therapy and to the heartaches they lived through because of their traumatic past, but some of these conversations that Ted’s having still feel like they’re blasting through like a shooting star from a distance. It’s heavy rain and lightning on a day when the forecast promises sunshine.

We know that Henry misses Ted. Ted surely knows this too. But why is this the thing we must learn more about when instead, we could have Ted confront what he’s doing with his life and where he wants to go from here? Jason Sudeikis brings a solid performance to our screens with this conversation, illuminating how deeply he understands the character’s emotions down to his bones, but there’s so much more to see still. The continuous edge he’s on this week shows us how tangled his jagged pieces and softness are with each other. Ted’s conflicted, and we’ve been on this journey with him since day one, but now more than ever, we need to dig deeper. The bombshell at the end consequently makes everything more difficult to process because instead of sitting here trying to decipher the profundity in every little exchange, I’m terrified and thinking of every worst-case scenario for next week’s finale.

Jamie Tartt’s Character Development Remains Unmatched

Roy and Jamie at a press conference in Ted Lasso 3x11 "Mom City."
©Apple TV+

While so much remains a conundrum until we have the complete picture, Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City” continues to shine a light on Jamie Tartt’s character development, exhibiting that everything we’re getting for him is as close to perfect as possible. So many of us (mainly Shelby Elpers from Fangirlish) have been begging to meet Jamie’s mom since he mentions her in “Two Aces.” And since we’ve got two instances of his dad and the horrific showcase of his awful influence on Jamie, meeting his mom and seeing that she’s a carbon copy of him with a big heart is everything. Leanne Best is just as perfectly cast as Becky Ann Baker, proving that the show’s casting department is an ace in and of itself.

Still, Jamie’s descent toward rock bottom at the start of the episode and his full-blown breakdown gives Phil Dunster some astounding material to work with to show us the deep, transcendent humanity in the character. There’s only so far you can push someone before they snap. And Jamie’s heartbreak, along with the hesitations he experiences while playing Man City again, as well as seeing his father, is a consistency that’s been simmering since Season 1. His battle has always been a one-on-one fight against the person his father influenced him to be and the person he wants to become. His combat is against the darkness seething inside that he has to be the best; otherwise, he will never hear the end of it.

Jamie Tartt and his mom Georgie in Ted Lasso 3x11 "Mom City."
©Apple TV+

However, the Jamie Tartt, who stands before us today, is a man who shows that instead of lowering himself to his father’s level, he’s rising to the love he receives every day from his team. The sheer vulnerability on full display in Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City” is why the show remains so special. The honest depictions of characters at wits’ end, followed by their open confessions, make watching the series a continuous uphill battle. This notion remains especially true for Jamie because he finally understands that everything he does is for himself—never his father, including forgiveness. It’s hard to say whether we’ll see James Tartt again outside of the single shot with only one episode remaining, but the show is full of surprises this season.

Jamie’s bond with his mom Georgie is so deeply wholesome that it wouldn’t have worked out on any other show. Their dynamic is rich with a genuine adoration grounded in a unique understanding of their quirks blending to create something even meatier. One look at her, and you can seamlessly tell how she raised a man like Jamie, and it’s genuinely as endearing as it is hilarious.

Coach Beard Forgives Nathan Shelley

Beard tearfully tells Nate about his past in Ted Lasso 3x11 "Mom City."
©Apple TV+

Another glowing moment in Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City” comes from Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed’s scene in the episode’s final few moments. For the longest time, Beard’s been a mystery, and by extension, so has his friendship with Ted. We knew there’d be a reason for his steadfast loyalty, but to hear it through a tearful confession is a thing of beauty that evocatively touches on the thematic importance of transparency. As it turns out, when Beard had nobody, he had Ted Lasso still.

Beard notes that he and Ted met playing college football but later went their separate ways. Ted ended up dating Michelle, and Beard went to prison. When nobody wanted him, his family included, Ted took him in and let him crash on his couch. Beard later repaid him by stealing his car, yet Ted forgave him anyway, giving him a job and a life after. And to honor that, Beard forgives Nate because of all people, he understands the importance of second chances and what people do with the opportunities they’re given. A moment like this allows the series to excel at the message of kindness it continues to bestow upon us.

Nate at the door talking with Beard in Ted Lasso
©Apple TV+

Second chances matter—this show’s ability to evoke so much with these character arcs matters. And a moment like this profoundly notes why forgiveness is internal as much as it’s external. Beard is doing this for himself, but at the same time, he’s doing it for Ted and Nate. This decision allows him to take some of the boiling rage inside of him and substitute it for a bit of cool water to ease the burns. The decision Beard makes is tremendous for his character, subtly allowing him a bit of growth while we see his edges crack a bit.

Nate’s arc is one of my favorite details in all of Ted Lasso, but I cannot stress how sad it is that so much is happening off-screen. If we watched the team metaphorically throw daggers at him while walking off onto the pitch in “Big Week,” then we could also see them decide that they’d like him back as a coach. Knowing that Will must’ve shown the card isn’t enough to assume they’d all be fully on board when even Sam was initially upset about Jamie’s return in Season 2. These are the critical moments that would bring the episodes full circle, and it’s heartbreaking that instead of showing us this, we got random scenes of Nate working at Taste of Athens. One moment would be enough for us to understand where he’s at, but the team’s decision is too important to happen outside of the audience’s purview.

Ted and Rebecca’s Third Truth Bomb

TedBecca sitting together, watching You've Got Mail in Ted Lasso 3x11 "Mom City."
©Apple TV+

Never has an episode of Ted Lasso made me as frustrated, but this final cliffhanger broke me. It’s making writing this review a little tricky because all I could think about is Ted’s upcoming news. Is he going back to Kansas? I understand that Henry is enough reason for him to do so, but his life would be so lonely with only his son and all his loved ones here in London. It’s hard to think of Ted Lasso away from AFC Richmond, even when all signs have been pointing in that direction for a while now. It’s hard to believe this could be the truth bomb he’ll drop on Rebecca because right now, there’s nothing else that can possibly happen. Distance isn’t as big of a deal in the 21st century as it once was before, but it still feels too sad to think about. 

Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City” leaves us on the edge of our seats, waiting for the finale with bated breaths. It’s an episode full of gorgeous scenes amidst some confusing ones, and it’s the kind of penultimate that feels hopeless and hopeful all at once. If this truly is the end of the show, I’m still not ready to process how much we have left to unveil, but simultaneously, I want to see how the show wraps up the most pivotal arcs because leaving this dark forest with a lesson or two is the best option.

Ted Talks and Further Thoughts

  • What on earth did Bex and Rupert’s assistant want!?!?!? I hope we see that scene.
  • Roy Kent crying at the movie is an accurate depiction of me crying about everything.
  • The song at the end of this episode made me bawl! I’m not ready to talk about it yet.
  • Are Roy and Keeley not back together? Why won’t they let me be happy!??! 
  • Jamie having the poster of Roy on his wall still deserves a scene breakdown. It’s coming. Someday.
  • How did Jade become such a great character in a single season?
  • A SIXTY-PAGE LETTER. Is someone going to release this because I need to read it?
  • The soft headbutt and hug? I can’t.
  • Jamie is the greatest meme in this week’s episode. Suitcases are really sad, bud. I get it.
  • 75 kebabs?!
  • I also want to meet Keeley’s mom. Can we put that out in the universe? Actually, I want to meet all the moms.

Now streaming on Apple TV Plus: What are your thoughts on Ted Lasso 3×11 “Mom City?” Let us know in the comments below.


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