‘Ted Lasso’ Is Back with Third (& Likely Last) Season—But Does It Live Up to Expectations?

Apple TV+ gem and Jason Sudeikis vehicle, Ted Lasso, has finally returned with its third installment. And, sadly, there have been multiple indicators that Ted Lasso season 3 will wrap things up in a nice little bow—meaning we won’t be seeing a season four. But before we get ahead of ourselves (or panic too much about the end of Ted and co.), we obviously have to talk about the newest season.

Episode one just dropped on Apple TV+, where we see AFC Richmond finally joining the big leagues, aka the Premier League. Expectations for the team are low, but expectations for everyone’s favorite comedy are high. So, does the latest installment meet those sky-high expectations? Here, our honest review of Ted Lasso season three.

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Apple TV+

The first episode of season three kicks off with Ted (Sudeikis) sending his son Henry back to America after a six-week visit. Like much of last season, Ted is melancholy and in need of a pep talk from everyone’s favorite doctor, Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles). While AFC Richmond has now been promoted to the Premier League, the press and the public fully expect them to finish the upcoming season in last place, relegating them back to the minors. Thus begins our slow (and we mean slow) build to what eventually becomes a great episode, at the start of what is hopefully a great third season.

The initial half of the episode is a little worrisome as there is a true lack of conflict. Well, the show tries to say that the conflict is “everyone thinks we’ll be in last place this season, what do we do?!” but this lacks the oomph and the urgency of conflicts from previous seasons. (Remember Rebecca actively trying to make Ted fail or Ted battling inner demons to the point of a mental breakdown?) “They all think we’re gonna lose” doesn’t quite have the same pizzazz.

The lack of conflict in the first part of the premiere also means a lack of the joy we’ve come to expect from Lasso. The jokes fall flat (though they are still smartly written) and the plot drags (to the point where AFC Richmond is standing in an underground sewer for the purposes of a motivational lesson and…why??). But there are glimmers of hope in these initial minutes. Traitor Nate (Nick Mohammed) is now coaching for West Ham under Rebecca’s (Hannah Waddingham) ex and nemesis, Rupert (Anthony Head). Nate’s got a new hair color and a new attitude. And, man, is it fun to watch the former water boy try to play with the big boys.

And when Nate finally gets to show what he’s made of in his first press conference, the episode really takes a turn—in fact, it’s the moment that viewers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and know that this season is going to be alright, even potentially great. To be clear, the jokes become funnier and the joy of the show rears its head from this point forward.

In the presser, Nate sparks what is sure to be the full season conflict: Nate the Great vs. Ted, a conflict that’s been bubbling since halfway through season two. Nate bashes AFC Richmond and his former mentor, setting off a firestorm over at AFC, and leading to a perfectly “Ted” response in a press conference of his own.

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Apple TV+

This battle of the “titans” between Nate and Ted is sure to be exciting TV (and we’re already pumped for what it might portend just from the latter half of the premiere). But we’re also getting to see a battle between imposter Nate (who knows he’s in over his head) and head coach Nate (who belittles his players and cares only about social media). Seeing this inner conflict play out on screen is loads of fun, and it’s pulled off masterfully by Mohammed.

All of this is to say, loyal viewers should go into the season premiere with patience, as it does take quite a while to see where it’s all headed. But once the episode finds its footing, we realize the true potential for a truly incredible third and final season. And much like AFC Richmond, we can’t wait for the show to defy expectations once again.

Ted Lasso season three episodes drop every Wednesday on Apple TV+.

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VP, News and Entertainment; 'And Just Like That' Podcast Host; Up-And-Coming Bowler

Philip spearheads PureWow's news and entertainment team. He has 10+ years experience working in entertainment coverage and viral media, previously serving as a writer/editor...