(This story contains spoilers for “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” the ninth episode of Ted Lasso season three.)
After several episodes of almost an hour, Ted Lasso comes in at a relatively measly 44 minutes for “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” which, despite the title and opening and closing tunes on the soundtrack, is absolutely not a farce about an elaborate attempt by someone in Richmond to hide their true colors.
However, it brings some resolution to Colin’s (Billy Harris) coming out story and takes a big step in positioning Roy (Brett Goldstein) to become Richmond’s next manager as Ted (Jason Sudeikis) at the end of the season returns to Kansas (and, of course, the even bigger one if Apple TV+ continues its biggest show, even if the title character is gone).
Written by Chuck Hayward – who, Harris noted THR, has played a key role in shaping Colin’s story this season – and directed by Erica Dunton, “La Locker Room Aux Folles” picks up Colin’s thread from the previous episode, in which team captain Isaac (Kola Bokinni) discovered that Colin is gay by he reached for his phone to make sure Colin was deleting pictures from his phone as ordered. Since then, Isaac has barely spoken to Colin, refusing to even touch hands in a pre-match huddle.
Things get even worse on the pitch, when a poor play from Colin leads to both a Brighton & Hove Albion goal and Isaac explodes against his team-mate. As they walk off at half time, a heckler – the same a-hole who berated Richmond players in previous episodes – uses a homophobic slur and Isaac charges into the stands to confront him, earning a red card.
In the locker room, Isaac goes off again and shouts “What if one of us is gay?! We shouldn’t be dealing with this shit! before getting out. The team then starts speculating that Isaac is talking about himself, until Colin intervenes comes to reveal what the captain was actually talking about…
But instead of hanging on to Colin, the scene cuts to Roy talking about the incident – in a measured, compassionate way: “I don’t know what happened there, but I do know that whatever it was, it wasn’t is what you’re really upset about, aren’t you? And if Isaac doesn’t deal with it, “you’re going to ruin everything you really care about.”
Back in the locker room, Colin has told the team he’s gay, and are “We cool?” is received with well-meaning but oversold “Of course!” and “We don’t care!” sentiments – and an extremely haunted analogy from Ted about how he abandoned his friend, who was a Denver Broncos fan (a grave sin in the Kansas City area) during Denver’s Super Bowl runs in the late ’90s. To the show’s credit, Colin yells at him, “Did you just compare being gay to being a Denver Broncos fan?” — and Ted finally gets to the point: “We don’t not concern. We care very much. We care about who you are and what you must have been through. And from now on you don’t have to do it alone anymore.”
The episode ends with Isaac going to Colin’s house and explaining that it was his sense of broken trust that hurt him. “I was 99 percent sure you’d support me,” says Colin, “but the 1 percent chance you wouldn’t scare the hell out of me.” They end the episode playing FIFA and chat. Colin tells Isaac he loves him, then “You can’t tell, can you?” “No,” Isaac replies. “But you know I do, yes?”
Isaac’s arrival at Colin’s is clearly a product of his conversation with Roy, who is spurred into action earlier in the episode itself thanks to Rebecca. He blows off a midweek press conference that Ted cannot attend, despite Rebecca specifically asking him to do it. (It does lead to the episode’s best piece of pure comedy, with Beard (Brendan Hunt) getting into a war of words with the assembled reporters over the merits of a pair of classic rock guitarists.)
Rebecca rightfully tears him another one, wondering if he’ll just go through life and stop things when they get tough – and talk about Keeley (Juno Temple) as much, though she doesn’t say her name, as about anything related to her. the club has to do. ‘What do you want, Roy? What do you really want?” she asks him. “I just want to be left alone,” he says.
“Oh, bullshit“Roy,” she replies. “You want much more than that. You’re just so convinced that you don’t deserve anything good in your life that you’d rather eat a bowl of shit soup and then complain about the portions. Get out of your own way, man – this whole woe-me thing you’re on is just fucking tough.
Roy shrugging off his harsh persona has been a running theme throughout the series, but especially this season, even though he’s failed all of his tentative attempts to rejoin Keeley’s world. Making Ted-style puns a few episodes ago might have felt a little too strange, but Goldstein has played the other aspects of Roy’s transformation so well that it doesn’t feel like Rebecca going to him is a lightbulb hanging above the going is his head, but just the final push for Roy to come to terms with the idea that just being an ex-footballer won’t get him where he really wants to go.
(Incidentally, Roy’s opening also contributes to the episode’s second-best comedic moment: Coach Beard passes out after Roy tells the team “well done” at the end of a training session.)
Roy’s evolution seems to be an important part (the important part?) of ted lasso’s endgame for this season, regardless of whether the show closes for good after three more episodes. Richmond have at least 48 points on the season, based on evidence seen on the show, meaning they are likely to be somewhere in the middle of the Premier League table and in no danger of relegation. Ted seems increasingly inclined to return home, knowing that he left the club in a good place. Nate (Nick Mohammed), girlfriend and good decisions about not doing a “guys night” with Rupert (Anthony Head), has probably burned too many bridges in Richmond to land the main job should Ted indeed leave.
That leaves Roy, who already has the respect of the players and has shown that he can be open to less rigid ideas of how to play the game. If Ted Lasso turns into Richmond till I die or whatever, Roy Kent could very well be the manager trying to be a better man leading the way.