Ted Lasso recap: ‘Mom City’ drops a truth bomb as we near the end


On some level I think everyone has a bit of trauma from childhood. If you’re lucky, it’s minor, and has very little impact on your life – but not everyone is that lucky. Last episode of Ted Lasso is the study of how we deal with childhood trauma, how we get through it, and how we reconcile it with those who see it, but lack the capacity to help.

There are two driving forces in “Mom City”, wrapped up in Richmond’s approach to taking on Manchester City in the biggest game in team history. Ted is caught between a feeling of obligation and disgust when we meet Dottie Lasso, Ted’s mother — who surprises her son with a sudden trip. The second is Jamie, who has become a lost, soulless mess as he faces reality to return to Manchester and see his father.

The adult parent/child relationship takes an itinerant and circuitous route before it is expected to reach a balance point. Each person put their parents first because they see them as role models of stability, and each person disappointed when we go from seeing our parents as superheroes, to humans with the same flaws and struggles that we all have. The trick is adjusting well enough to recognize flaws early and avoid them formatively as a teenager, but trauma often gets in the way.

Trauma manifests itself in a mirror image when it comes to Ted. Dottie hides all emotion under layers of relentlessly positive jokes, which we know is Ted’s worst personality trait. It was the armor he used to stop people from approaching, because his greatest fear in life was to be emotionally crushed again, just like the time his father killed himself.

It’s exciting to watch, because everyone in Ted’s orbit loves Dottie. They kept telling him what a great mother he was, how he raised a wonderful man, and Ted kept rebuking these compliments because he saw it all and resented the part of his mother he had inherited, perpetuating the same cycle.

This superficial and somewhat sad connection is juxtaposed with Jamie — who takes Roy and Keeley to see his mother after they follow him for a walk through the streets of Manchester. Jamie’s relationship with his mother is childish, as is the case with the abuse. He lies on the sofa, his head in his mother’s lap, and expresses that he feels soulless with no motivation to anger his father.

“You’re not lost,” her mother said, “you just aren’t sure which way you’re going.”

A visit to see her mother was not the panacea Jamie had hoped for. He didn’t stay, and throughout the match he kept looking in the stands in hopes of finding his father. One last remaining trauma, the motivation needed to prove him wrong once again – but daddy wasn’t there.

With Tartt out injured, Ted makes the bold decision to field players in hopes that Jamie recovers and returns to the field. It’s unclear how many of these injuries were physical, and how many were psychological. Ted comes to terms with his trauma and in the midst of the biggest play of his second career, he gets down on one knee to play psychologist moonlighting, telling Jamie that “hurting people hurts people”, knowing from experience that we can choose to continue to perpetuate the cycle and pass on our flaws to the next generation — or trying to fix it and be better, for everyone around us, and more importantly, ourselves.

Ted offers Jamie sage advice he can’t take on his own: Forgive his father. Don’t do it for him, do it for you, because it is releasing the burden that breaks the cycle and allows the weak and damaged ego to grow again. Everything clicked, Jamie returned to the pitch in his trademark swagger, and scored the game-winning goal before his body gave out.

Walking off the pitch to a standing ovation from the fans who once hated him, Jamie was free from his demons. His father’s drinking companions clinked flasks, insinuating that “his father would be proud.”

Viewers’ first thought of course is that Jamie’s father has died, but no time is wasted when we get the answers. His father watched the game in rehab, and he was very proud of his son. Jamie doesn’t know it, and he’d rather not know – because he’s doing this for himself, and not his disabled father.

It’s time for Ted to exorcise his own demons. Back at her apartment, Dottie has made some home-cooked meals for Ted. For the first time we see, Ted opens up. She thanks her mother for cooking, but says “fuck” not wanting to talk. She thanks him for flying to London, but says “fuck you” for not giving him the attention.

“Thank you for all the little silly things you did in my life, the notes in my lunch box and staring at the fruit in the supermarket for making me laugh and fucking you for not working on yourself, or seeking help after we lost our dad. , and for not discussing it with me either. To ignore everything and act like everything is fine.”

Ted gets a real, genuine, sincere apology from his mom. He realized that his attempts to protect his son were causing tremendous damage. Ted reveals that he has kept his distance from his son Henry because he is afraid of being hurt – and this is the most tragic thing Ted has ever said.

For the first time in Ted’s life, he gets real, true advice from his mother on how to parent and grow up. It started the healing process for him. Ted is ready to grow.

Now only one episode left Ted Lasso. The end is in sight and it feels like we’ve got the resolution we need.

Other notes from “Mom City”

  • Coach Beard revealing his relationship history with Ted to Nate is the most moving moment of his character and tells us a lot about his forgiving nature.
  • Roy and Keeley see a poster of themselves on the wall in Jamie’s childhood bedroom it’s magical
  • Ted did reveal to Rebecca that he was planning on leaving Richmond in the finale, right?
  • There are many allusions The Wizard of Oz throughout the episode, as Ted realizes that there is no place like home and that he must return to the US


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