The biggest question about the Season 3 finale of Apple TV+’s hit Ted Lasso is whether or not it would serve as the comedy’s series finale. Top to bottom, the episode titled “So Long, Farewell” feels like a series finale in how everything gets tied up but the show could certainly carry on as is—with or without Ted (Jason Sudeikis) who pulled the trigger on his move back to Kansas to be with his family.
From the moment the episode begins, Ted can’t help but smile while thinking he will be back home with his son Henry (Gus Turner). The pair exchange cute texts using funny gifs as they do.
Back in Rebecca’s (Hannah Waddingham) office, she is catching up with Keeley (Juno Temple) and Leslie (Jeremy Swift) about Rupert’s (Anthony Head) latest divorce when the topic of Ted’s replacement comes up. By the looks of the trio, they’d rather be talking about anything else so Rebecca changes the subject by inquiring how much she could get for the club if she were to sell it. Aghast, Leslie — who had been advocating the sale of 49% of Richmond so Rebecca can retain control while raising much needed funds — says $2 billion for the whole thing, leaving everyone in shock.
Ted’s departure news has taken over London. AFC Richmond breaks into song (and dance) at the end of his final practice with the team as the players honor their leader with their rendition of “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music, natch, a tie-in with the episode’s title.
Nate (Nick Mohammed) is feeling like he’s back home at team headquarters though a lot has changed since his Darth Nate days. In a funny moment, he catches Roy (Brett Goldstein) and his former nemesis Jamie (Phil Dunster) making plans to hang out, which leaves him stunned.
In a more touching scene, Roy tells Jamie over beers how proud he is of him for all his hard work this season, a feeling reciprocated by the latter. The syrupy moment gets interrupted when Roy admits he and Keeley have started talking again. The ol’ Roy and Jamie are soon back at it, competing over a gal before heading to Keeley’s house where they try to make her choose between them. She does so by throwing them both out to sort themselves out.
Harriet Walter is back as Rebecca’s unbothered mum Deborah who is supportive of her daughter’s idea to sell the club. She has more important things to worry about alas, like making it to her tattoo appointment the following day.
Soon after, Rebecca joins Ted in the empty stands of the AFC Richmond stadium ready to discuss his decision to leave London. She opens by telling him she is going to sell the club before countering that there’s a second option where they both stay. Ted’s boss makes a hefty financial offer that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. With tears in her eyes, she knows none of that matters. He’s already made his decision.
In another touching scene, Ted and Nate reunite in the locker room, and the duo patches things up. Nate embraces Ted and asks for his forgiveness for all the Darth Nate stuff which the latter accepts. The redemption we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.
Now for some futbol! Fans all over the world are cheering for AFC Richmond—minus Rupert, of course. Even Zava (Maximilian Osinski) sent a care package including t-shirts and a giant avocado—Dani (Cristo Fernández) claimed two tees for himself.
After an emotional montage from the last three years, the team is ready to fight, or so we thought. That video might’ve been a smidge too much for the lads who openly weep on the field in front of their opponents, West Ham. Their tears dry up quickly however and it’s business time, as the Flight of the Conchords would say, but everything is very touch and go in the first half, which ends with Richmond trailing 0-2.
During half-time, Ted makes his final speech as manager to motivate the team to give it all they got. Things get hyped up back on the field, and everyone finally believes AFC Richmond has a chance at winning it all. Captain McAdoo (Kola Bokinni) is selected for a penalty kick, and at first it appears that he missed but a closer look by the referee discovers a hole in the net cut by the ball, allowing the equalizer for Richmond.
Even though you know Ted needs that win for his story to conclude in Season 3, it’s really anyone’s game. After Richmond gets a last-minute free kick, Ted summons up Nate’s first big play from Season 1, in which Jamie has to act as a decoy to open up Sam. The team executes it perfectly to score the winning goal, and the crowd goes wild. Everyone on the pitch has someone to snog, including Colin (Billy Harris) who kissed his boyfriend in front of the world. Love is love.
Having completed his mission, Ted reappears at the airport ready to click his heels to return to Kansas. But first, he peruses the periodicals and picks up a copy of The Everyday Independent featuring the following headline, “Richmond For All! Welton sells 49% of the Club to Fans.” As Ted then reaches for a comic book, next to it sits a magazine with Zava on the cover which reads, “Zava Returns. Striker Heads to LAFC.” Could there be a Zava spinoff set in LA? Or is it merely a nod to Zava’s inspiration Zlatan Ibrahimovic who went to LA Galaxy after his Euro career?
In a very Rebecca way, she buys a first-class ticket just to properly say goodbye to Ted. She tells him she plans to stay with her family at Richnond and is happy he will be going back to his. They hug, they cry—wait, are we all saying goodbye to Ted?! Rebecca is all of us.
Beard (Brendan Hunt) is seated onboard the plane next to Ted, at least for a bit. He tells Ted he doesn’t want to go back to the U.S. and would like to stay with his lady love, Jane (Phoebe Walsh). Ted wishes him well, leaving Beard to make an extremely dramatic exit.
Rebecca is sad while leaving the airport but finds a moment of happiness when she spots a young girl running outside of the terminal. When the girl trips and falls, Rebecca rushes to help. Just then, a worried dad makes his own dash for the wee lass. The dad is revealed to be a pilot who just so happens to be the stranger whose houseboat Rebecca spent time in while visiting Amsterdam. Boom! Rebecca gets her happy ending.
Other notable tidbits in the final moments include Roy Kent being named as AFC Richmond’s new manager; he couldn’t help himself at the moment and revealed a cheeky smile. Keeley is there cheering him on and is in a great place herself as her agency is thriving. The Richmond die-hard fans from Mae’s pub proudly show off certificates for their ownership shares in the club.
Keeley surprises Rebecca with a proposition for a new venture—AFC Richmond Women’s Team. The pair look at each other with happy tears in their eyes and scream. Now this sounds like a potential spinoff we can get behind.
Nate and his girlfriend Jade (Edyta Budnik) share a romantic kiss while surrounded by his family at the restaurant where they fell in love—right there, seated in front of the big window as his dad looks on proudly at last.
Sans Ted, there’s a BBQ going on as life moves forward. Rebecca is there with her new man; Keeley is with her fan club members Roy and Jamie (who also has reconciled with his father), Richard Montlaur admires his beautiful blonde date. Elsewhere, Trent Crimm (James Lance) is out promoting his new book, “The Richmond Way.”
The Cat Stevens song Father and Son plays as Roy and Nate return the “Believe” sign all taped up back to where it belongs. Beard is spotted marrying a very pregnant Jane in front of Stonehenge surrounded by family and friends. Dani is happiest in the crowd of well-wishers flanked by two beautiful women.
Before the song ends, Ted arrives home and into the awaiting arms of his son, with Dr. Jacob nowhere to be seen and possibly out of the picture. In the final beats of the episode, Ted is coaching Henry on the soccer field while Michelle (Andrea Anders) looks on. By the look of his face, there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.
When Sudeikis spoke to Deadline in March ahead of the Season 3 premiere, he gave viewers a challenge of sorts. He said, “This is the end of this story that we wanted to tell, that we were hoping to tell, that we loved to tell. The fact that folks will want more and are curious beyond more than what they don’t even know yet—that being Season 3—it’s flattering. Maybe by May 31, once all 12 episodes of the season [have been released], they’re like, ‘Man, you know what, we get it, we’re fine. We don’t need anymore, we got it.’”
And he was right. The story can certainly continue but if not, it was wrapped up perfectly in a bow. It’s a fitting farewell for the underdog, the everyman who never knows how far life can take them but follows their heart anyways. Thanks to Ted, many folks found inspiration to keep going amid a raging pandemic. It’s not easy to say goodbye to that man, but it sure is great to see him win.
“Just listen to your gut, and on the way down to your gut, check in with your heart. Between those two things, they’ll let you know what’s what,” Ted Lasso.