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Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 6 Review: As The Group Spreads Out, Their Worries Fade

  • The cast is fantastic
  • Colin has a touching speech
  • Jamie and Roy have a funny interlude with bikes
  • Not every storyline in the episode is equally effective

"Ted Lasso" Season 3, Episode 6, "Sunflowers," starts with everyone in a familiar place. Richmond has just lost a match to Ajax, a Dutch team that they've traveled to the Netherlands to take on. It's a friendly match and therefore doesn't count for the season, but still, a loss is a loss and everyone is taking it hard. That is, until they get on the bus and Ted (Jason Sudeikis) lifts their curfew. What follows is a series of plotlines as everyone (with the exception of Keeley [Juno Temple], who jets off with Jodi Balfour's Jack early on) attempts to enjoy their night in Amsterdam.

First, there's Ted. Ted can't ditch his feeling of malaise so Beard (Brendan Hunt, who also wrote the episode) offers him something to "get [him] out of [his] head" but it's in tea, so it's a no-go. Finally, though, after sitting around feeling sorry for himself, Ted drinks the tea and goes out. The first stop is the Van Gogh Museum where the episode gets its name. Then he heads off to the "American" restaurant that supposedly offers a taste of home. 

There, he comes up with Total Football which Beard later informs him has already been invented. But that's no reason not to try it, and Ted leaves Amsterdam with a plan that just might save the team's season. It's the first time we've seen him try something new since the team started to go downhill and it may bring them out of their funk. It's also the first sign of hope for Ted as he's been worrying about other things — like his son — all season, so it has great significance. I wasn't all that enchanted by the sports commentary in the restaurant; it was a little too didactic. However, the discovery of Total Football has gotten me excited about future episodes.

Rebecca and Jamie and Roy

Meanwhile, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) decides to take a walk after the match but ends up in the bike lane, where she's hit by two bicycles and falls into the drink. Luckily, a handsome man (Matteo van der Grijn) with a houseboat calls to her, and the sparks fly from there. As her clothes dry, the pair spends a blissful night having dinner. 

In the morning she asks him, "Did we...?" and he assures her they did not. However, once she's left he says, "Yes, we did." This could be taken as a classic bait and switch, not letting the girl know what really happened. But given the kind of show "Ted Lasso" is, I choose to believe he was answering another question the second time: "Did we fall in love?" I hope I'm not wrong because the night Rebecca has is charming and innocent in a way we don't often see. It would be a shame to ruin it.

At the same time, Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Jamie (Phil Dunster) are on their own tour of Amsterdam. See, Roy has been training Jamie to be better than Zava (Maximilian Osinski), even though Zava is now gone, so that really isn't a goal anymore. But apparently, they're still training. The surprising thing is that Jamie is fine with it because he loves Amsterdam. When Roy claims windmills are fake, though, Jamie gets a pair of bikes for them so they can go see the real thing — except Roy doesn't know how to ride. 

After Jamie stops laughing, Roy explains: his granddad died before he got the chance to teach him. Also, he realizes now "that never learning was actually a great disrespect to his memory." The coach becomes the student and, in a very funny sequence, Roy figures out how to ride with Jamie's help. These two are getting closer despite their best efforts to hate each other, and while the pair are opposites in a lot of ways, they've figured out how to work together. It's pretty cute.

Colin and Trent, Higgins and Will, and the team

Meanwhile, Colin (Billy Harris) bows out of hanging with the team to secretly go to a gay bar but he's unnerved when he finds Trent (James Lance) there — until Trent tells him he's known about his preferences for some time and he's also gay. The pair have a heartfelt conversation that ends with Colin confessing that he doesn't want to live two separate lives. Instead, he wants to be able to "kiss [his] fella" like the other guys kiss their girls. It's a quiet scene that nonetheless makes an outsized point and it's beautifully acted by Lance.

Additionally, Higgins (Jeremy Swift) recruits Will (Charlie Hiscock) to go with him to see where Chet Baker died and then takes Will to see some jazz. This is one of the least effective storylines. It seems like it's there because they needed something for Higgins and Will to do. If you like jazz it may win you over, but it doesn't advance the story in any way.

The same goes for the storyline involving the larger team. In it, the team spends an inordinate amount of time trying to decide between seeing a sex show and going to a party that's two hours away — or Dani's (Cristo Fernandez) preference: seeing a single tulip. After a lot of fighting, Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) comes up with the perfect thing: a stress-reducing pillow fight. I'm glad the team got rid of some stress but, in the end, this storyline was much ado about nothing.

Moving forward

By the time everyone gets on the bus, they're all more relaxed for various reasons and it's nice to see the group in higher spirits. But the truth is the mileage of various storylines varies based on your affection for the different characters and their activities. Personally, I loved the Roy and Jamie and the Colin and Trent stories, but I could have done with less of the others. That's the danger and the joy of outings like these: they separate the characters more than any other episodes and that can lead to some of the best and the worst stories.

I don't think this was as successful as last year's episode "Beard After Hours" (the title is self-explanatory) but I do think some of the storylines will truly change the arc of the characters. Ted's storyline in particular has the potential to change the arc of the whole show. Let's hope so!

"Ted Lasso" Season 3 is currently airing on Apple TV+ with new episodes every Wednesday.