[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 5, “Rainbow.”]
“Rainbow” is perhaps best summed up by a line Ted (Jason Sudeikis) utters early on in the episode: With a dejected team and a few tempers flaring after the latest loss, he tells his players, “I believe in rom-communism.” What is rom-communism? It’s the belief that if the people in rom-coms can go through lighthearted struggles and still end up happy, so can they.
And there are lighthearted struggles to be found in the episode: Nate (Nick Mohammed) is hoping to impress his father with a window seat at a fancy restaurant to celebrate his parents’ anniversary, but a snobby waitress shoves his party to the back of the dining room. And then there’s Isaac, the team’s captain. He’s taking losses harder and harder, but Ted doesn’t want him to see Dr. Fieldstone (Sarah Niles). Ted, being Ted, has another way of solving his player’s troubles…and it involves adding a new member to the coaching staff.
Upset with how he’s been treated, Nate asks Keeley (Juno Temple) to make him famous. She refuses, telling him he doesn’t want to mess around with fame—but she and Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) end up giving him assertiveness lessons. And Rebecca makes a good point. While Nate thinks she commands every room she walks into, she reminds him that to the board, she’s a “schoolgirl with pigtails,” and she has to fight to be taken seriously. In a humorous scene, she shows him how she “makes herself big”; she stares in a mirror and imitates a lion roaring, then goes out to the board, full of confidence and ready to take charge. Later, at the restaurant, Nate does the same…and he manages to get his family the window table. Go, Nate!
Meanwhile, Ted realizes he needs to add a “big dog” to the team to get through to Isaac. He goes to talk to Roy (Brett Goldstein) and gets an emphatic “f**k no!” to that idea. But Roy does agree to help Isaac; he, Ted and Isaac head back to the pitch Roy used to play on when he was young, when no one cared about league status or rules or standings. Isaac plays with a group of scrappy nonprofessional athletes, and loosening up around the game has a great effect on his well-being. That doesn’t convince Roy to come back to Richmond, though—nor does Ted saying he’s “just a boy, standing in front of—” well, you get the idea. And so does Ted. “As you wish,” he says, acknowledging Roy’s determination to not coach.
But, somewhat predictably, Roy does have a big rom-com moment. As Richmond gets ready for its next game, he has an angry outburst on air and realizes he doesn’t want to be judging players from the outside. He wants to be in the locker rooms, helping them and encouraging them. With a theatrical trek across the city set to “She’s a Rainbow” by the Rolling Stones, he heads to the stadium and walks out on the pitch, then tells Ted, “You had me at coach.”
Ted Lasso, Fridays, Apple TV+