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The Ending Of Ted Lasso Season 2 Explained

A yellow poster hangs above the threshold to Coach Ted Lasso's office. In bright blue, all-caps letters, the sign reads one word: BELIEVE. The word becomes a mantra to the football team (or, soccer team, depending on where you live) that Coach Lasso leads, and it shines as emblematic iconography of the AppleTV+ show the character stars in, "Ted Lasso."

Ted's philosophy is this: In the face of impossible odds, believe in a victory. When disappointed, believe things will get better. When enjoying success, believe you wouldn't be celebrating it without the help of your team. Whether relating to an actual sporting event or speaking to the dynamic relationships between characters off the pitch, the word "believe" is at the heart of the charm "Ted Lasso" radiates and what makes it such an endearing show.

The series' second season, which dropped in mid-2021, achieved critical acclaim with its four Emmys, including awards for MJ Delaney's directing, Jason Sudeikis' and Brett Goldstein's acting, along with the show winning outstanding comedy series. As audiences wait patiently for the third — and perhaps final — season, the ending of the show's sophomore year leaves a lot to unpack. In the season's last moments, Ted enters his office to find the BELIEVE poster ripped in half and tossed unceremoniously onto his desk — perhaps a sign of things to come. Let's discover the layers behind the ending of Season 2 of "Ted Lasso" and look ahead to what might wait for us in Season 3.

Staying faithful to a committed relationship

Toward the end of the season, Keeley (Juno Temple) remains loyal to Roy (Brett Goldstein) among advances from multiple other men. First, Jamie (Phil Dunster), Keeley's ex-boyfriend, tells her he still has feelings for her. Later, when Keeley takes Nate (Nick Mohammed) shopping, Nate kisses her. Roy encounters his own set of temptation when he spends an entire afternoon solo with his niece's teacher (Ruth Bradley), helping prepare her classroom for an open-house, something Roy himself is even bewildered he did.

These events, along with Keeley and Roy's honesty with each other in sharing what happened in each instance, underscores tensions that both characters face and their willingness to try to make things work. They're both prominent public figures. She's a famous model and now runs her own business. He's a former football all-star and now stays close to the game by coaching. As the public at large or those within their own circles vie for their attention, Keeley and Roy will have to continue to choose one another with each passing day.

Season 2 ends with the slightest tinge of concern in Roy's eyes about if their relationship is slowing Keeley down. It's not a matter of loyalty, but a question of compatibility. Her career is taking off in ways that don't leave time for much leisure. Even if they both want to be together, has she graduated from the football world in which they both fit?

The art of saying goodbye to an old friend

What's the best way to bid farewell to a close friend or family member when they amicably move on to a new stage of their life? Should you send them off with a big hullabaloo, or simply let the transition be what it is? A new character for Season 2, Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), is the team's psychologist, and how she and Ted Lasso differ in their approach to her departure at the end of the season is a fascinating contrast of two very different types of people.

Ted plans an elaborate tribute to Dr. Fieldstone, choreographing a dance routine set to the N*SYNC song "Bye Bye Bye." However, Sharon ends up leaving one day earlier than expected. Rather than make a big deal of things, Sharon quietly exits the Richmond facilities for the last time, leaving Ted a letter of gratitude. That's not going to cut it for Ted, though. Insisting on saying goodbye to Sharon in person, he races to find her before she leaves the city. Both a little frustrated with the other's actions, Ted ends up being touched by Sharon's letter once he finally reads it and Sharon ends up enjoying Ted's company once she finally lets him treat her to one last outing. Their sentimental last moments prompt reflection in the viewer on how they've said goodbye to their friends at different stages of life.

The real you vs. social media you

"Ted Lasso" manages to effortlessly weave a number of thought-provoking social commentaries into its larger narrative without ever feeling too preachy or as if the story has taken a left turn to address a societal issue. One such topic among the several that the brilliant show expertly navigates is one's public image, with the complicated highs and lows of the online age threaded into the background of the series.

For one, Bantr, the dating app that initially brings together team owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) and star player Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh), is based on the idea of meeting a potential partner without ever having seen what they look like, or even knowing their name. This approach shifts priorities onto the inherent chemistry between two people rather than their physical attraction to each other.

Somewhat similarly, Keeley grapples with parallel themes when a magazine features an interview with her as their cover story and she becomes nervous about putting herself out there. She's been a model for years. She's been in the public eye forever, but she's never fully presented who she really is, and doing that for the first time is scary because it inevitably leads to what other people will think. These moments naturally prompt viewers to consider their own social media use, if others' opinions influence what they project online, and how a public image of themselves compares to who they really are.

Should you stay or leave your current job when you achieve success?

Everyone has different career goals, so finding your groove at your job could be a finish line for one person but a starting point for someone else. As you achieve what you set out to do in your current workplace, you might translate your success in one of two ways — you either explore your options for advancing your career somewhere else, or you double down on doing your same job even more successfully. Neither decision is right or wrong, and at the end of Season 2 of "Ted Lasso," two characters face this conundrum and make opposite decisions.

Billionaire Edwin Akufo (Sam Richardson) attempts to lure breakout star player Sam Obisanya away from Richmond to play for a new, up-and-coming team in Africa. Sam ultimately denies the offer, feeling that his time with his current team is not over. Infuriated by Sam's choice, Akufo threatens, "I will dedicate my life to destroying you," which may or may not lead to some drama if Akufo returns in the future.

In contrast to Sam, Keeley departs her job with AFC Richmond after successfully working with the team's publicity and sponsorships. At her new job, Keeley will be the head of her own public relations firm. For Keeley, her success in Richmond felt like a launchpad rather than an indication to keep at the same thing. She and Sam exemplify two sides of the same coin.

Bitterness vs. kindness

One of Ted's gifts is his knack for disarming even the toughest of football players and providing a safe space where the whole team knows they can rely on each other for anything. The more assistant coaches Nate and Roy spend time with Ted, the more each of their characters slowly develops in opposite ways.

Nate was proud in earlier episodes when Ted promoted him from waterboy to assistant coach. With this transition came perhaps an unconscious shift of Ted treating Nate a bit more professionally. Nate, feeling that Ted no longer pays attention to him, becomes bitter. His unmet expectation leads to angst, and his hair not-so-subtly turns a bit grayer with each passing episode to represent the shift in his character.

Then there's Roy. Notoriously known for his gruff, grouchy demeanor, Roy also slowly turns a new leaf the longer he's around Ted, though in reverse of Nate's apparent descent to the dark side. Roy forgives Jamie for expressing his love to Keeley and later even asks Ted for personal advice, something he would have never done before.

In the previous season, Nate was optimistic while Roy was eternally pissed off. The tables turn as the season ends with Roy learning to show more emotion and Nate letting his bitterness get the best of him, showing how someone can change for both the good and the bad.

Redemption for a mistake

No character exemplifies the idea of second chances more than Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez). The season began with Rojas accidentally killing the team's mascot dog, Earl, with a penalty kick gone awry. This knocks Dani off his mojo, making him completely reconsider his life motto, "Football is life." He gets a second chance in the last match of the season, when he scores the penalty goal that ties the match and leads to Richmond advancing to the Premier League.

Bookending the season with Dani's moment of shame and his return to form highlights an embedded theme of redemption throughout the second season. Among this batch of episodes, Jamie Tartt returns to Richmond as a humbled team player rather than a self-centered jerk, Ted becomes open to the idea of going to therapy after curtly dismissing it, and, lastly, Dani honors the memory of the late pup Earl. Perhaps the most important component of Dani's triumph the second time around — and at the core of every time the characters engage with second chances — is Dani's conscious decision to face the site of a past failure and believe the outcome can be better thanks to what he's learned since he was last there.

The cost of doing the right thing

Journalistic integrity butts heads with moral integrity as reporter Trent Crimm (James Lance) makes a decision to protect his friend that ends up costing him his job. Earlier in the season, Ted ran away from the pitch in the middle of a match due to an anxiety attack, but he told the press he had stomach issues. Nate, fueled by bitterness toward Ted, later reveals to Crimm the true reason for Ted's incident, under the guise he will remain an anonymous source when Crimm publishes the information. Crimm makes a tough call — he writes the report, keeping Nate anonymous to the public but telling Ted that Nate was his source. When Crimm's management at The Independent learns he leaked his source to Ted, they fire Crimm.

Morality is a common theme in "Ted Lasso," with many characters being faced with two distinct paths. Trent breaks the mold of his colleagues in the communications world by breaking a major rule of their craft, knowing the risk of his decision and doing good on it anyway simply because it is right. In the end, Ted takes the opportunity to use his platform to be open about his struggles and emphasize the importance of mental health.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Celebrating your heritage in a new home

Richmond is a long way from Sam Obisanya's home in Nigeria. As Edwin Okufo tries to persuade Sam to play football for Edwin's new team in Africa, he creates a fake Nigerian restaurant in Richmond and populates it with cooks, servers, and fake patrons, just to give Sam a little taste of home in the hopes it might help him make the leap. While Nathan Fielder would certainly be proud of this approach, Sam ultimately decides to stay in the U.K. After this experience, though, he feels compelled to honor his home in some way. Sam purchases a vacant building and plans to open a real, permanent Nigerian restaurant there. In deciding to stay with Richmond, Sam also vaguely defines his relationship intentions with Rebecca, the two having been in a state of limbo. He tells her that while he'd like to say he's staying for her, that's simply not the case.

While most of the cast of "Ted Lasso" is native to the U.K., Sam shares something in common with the title character in that Richmond is not his true home. Both Sam and Ted are in a place that operates by different rules than they grew up with, but that doesn't mean they can't celebrate where they came from.

Teasing endless possibilities in Season 3

One of the last tidbits of information the audience learns at the end of Season 2 is that Rupert, Rebecca's ex-husband and former owner of Richmond, purchases West Ham United. In the last shot of the final episode of the season, Rupert stands next to a defiant-looking Nate, who assumedly quit Richmond to join Rupert as a coach. Nate, his hair now completely silver after slowly transforming from black all season, stares directly into the camera with a sense of expectancy, as if he wants nothing more than to prove to his former team that he's better off without them.

This positions Season 3 to be off to the races from the very beginning. Aside from the obvious tension Nate's switch will bring, both Nate and Rupert having prominent jobs with a rival team could mean more fleshed-out characters or storylines connected to a team other than Richmond, which would be new territory for the series. Sam's new restaurant and Keeley's new job also provide space to keep things fresh.

If we can expect anything from "Ted Lasso," it's to not hold back on running headfirst into deeply emotional topics. With that in mind, it would be very unlike Ted to leave the BELIEVE poster torn apart, or even to make a new one. Perhaps a repaired poster hung back up on the wall could be a metaphor for an overarching theme in Season 3 of healing and forgiveness.

When will Season 3 air?

Apple renewed "Ted Lasso" for a third season in October 2020 before the second season even began production. While Apple has not yet announced a release date for Season 3 at the time of this writing, fans can expect it to debut sometime in 2023. Puck reported that rewrites plagued Season 3 from its intended production timeline, delaying its completion until the end of 2022 — and then comes post-production.

Initially, the upcoming third season was thought to be the show's final round. Brett Goldstein, who in addition to playing Roy Kent is also a writer and executive producer on the show, told The Sunday Times in June 2022 that the crew approached writing Season 3's last episode as if it was the series finale.

However, following the second season's Emmy victory in September 2022, Variety asked Jason Sudeikis of the show's fate beyond Season 3, citing that several cast members have openly referred to it as the show's final season. "I think you've been misled," Sudeikis replied. "I don't know. It's up to more factors than myself." Somewhat confusingly, Sudeikis continued, "I couldn't say yes or no. I do know this part of the show is what it's supposed to be." Sudeikis' comments track with the more vague, out-of-the-loop nature of some of the cast's more recent comments about the show's future.