[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 2, “Lavender.”]
Well, they say “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” — and Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) has fallen. Hard.
First, he’s stunned to hear “the lust stops here,” as he’s kicked off fictional reality TV program Lust Conquers All, and he later discovers he’s not welcome back at Man City, as he chose to leave at the start of their season. He’s dumped by his publicist. Doors are slamming for him left and right. For the first time since we’ve seen him, it appears the football superstar’s glow (and ego) is truly dimming. What’s Jamie Tartt to do–doooo-do-doooo-do-doooo?
Go back to Richmond, of course! But not everyone’s open to the idea of a Jamie return…including Ted (Jason Sudekis) . Meanwhile, Roy (Brett Goldstein) gives some real consideration to the pundit gig after an eye-opening incident with Keeley (Juno Temple).
Dejected, Jamie tracks down Keeley (Juno Temple) on her lunch break and chats with her, and later talks to Ted about returning to the team. Rightly, Ted mentions that Jamie’s “burned a lot of bridges” with the Greyhounds. He says he doesn’t think coming back is a good idea, and thus, it appears his dream is dead. And with that dying dream, a few more layers of Jamie come unpeeled; turns out he left Richmond not to further his career, but to stick it to his abusive dad. Given the weight of this scene — and the revelations within, along with the fact that Richmond now has a full-time sports therapist — it’s possible some of these issues will resurface throughout the season.
Since Ted and Jamie were spotted talking at Mae’s Pub, the internet decides Jamie’s soon to play for Richmond once more. That deeply upsets Sam (Toheeb Jimoh), who storms off in the middle of practice. Ted follows him, and the truth comes out: Sam’s not really angry about Jamie, but because he thinks Ted made the decision to bring him back without consulting the team. That’s not the case, and Ted tells him that; he’s relieved, and apologetic. And he has no problem with running a few laps as punishment for his outburst.
Meanwhile, Roy and Keeley have a tiff when he finds her “having a wank” to footage of his weepy retirement press conference. He’s offended that she finds him being weak sexy. She retorts that it’s not weakness, it’s his vulnerability and passion that gets her going — and she hasn’t seen him like that since he left football. After a bit of bickering, he opts to take the pundit gig, and in the end, he’s glad he did. While the anchors are stunned by his takes, fans enjoy his candor…and his foul mouth.
The “Diamond Dogs” vote on whether to bring back Jamie, with the vote 2 (Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) and Nate (Nick Mohammed) to 1 (Higgins (Jeremy Swift), with Ted still undecided. (A fantastic bit of ironic humor here, as Nate expresses his distaste for Jamie belittling everyone all the time…and then pauses to belittle the man who now has his old job. Then he returns to the conversation and asks, “What was I talking about?”)
On his way out of the building that night, Ted runs into Dr. Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), who’s proving difficult for him to read; she doesn’t eat sugar, so biscuits are out of the question, and Ted’s mistrust of therapy in general makes it hard for him to like her much. At his prompting, she tells him what she thinks of the team; that there’s an atmosphere of kindness at Richmond, but they’re not, as Ted puts it, in an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” situation (after all, they’ve had eight-straight ties). “Heavy is the head that wears the visor,” she tells Ted. “You must have a lot on your mind. I hope we get a chance to talk about it someday.”
As the episode ends, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), in her office, welcomes Dr. Fieldstone to the team. But there’s a major development on the field — Jamie Tartt is, indeed, back, as he strolls out onto the pitch for his old team. How? Why? We’ll have to wait ‘til next week to find out.
Ted Lasso Season 2, Fridays, Apple TV+