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Ted Lasso Recap, Season 2, Episode 2: The Prodigal Beefcake

Jason Sudeikis and Juno Temple as Ted and Keeley in <em>Ted Lasso</em>.
Apple TV+
Jason Sudeikis and Juno Temple as Ted and Keeley in Ted Lasso.

This is a recap of the second episode of season 2 of Ted Lasso. You absolutely should not read it if you don't want to be spoiled. You've been warned!

Game Highlights

Jamie Tartt has hit bottom, but is it too late for him to return to AFC Richmond? Maybe not, but the team is not warm to the idea. Elsewhere, Roy Kent finally finds something to do when coaching season is over.


If last week was a Tartt-let, this week is a Tartt-splosion, as we finally get to spend some time with Jamie Tartt, the undeniable hottie and unrelenting goober who left AFC Richmond for Manchester City, then beat his old teammates in the last game of season 1 — by finally following the wisdom of Ted Lasso.

When we last saw him in last week's premiere, Jamie was thriving on the reality show Lust Conquers All, but this week, he's getting voted off. Later asked on This Morning whether he intends to keep his promise to wait for contestant Amy, he says, "No, I was just playing the game, do you know what I mean? Find the fittest girl there, have sex with her in a toilet, ask her to marry you. Strategy." Despite the fact that Jamie has astutely described the "strat-eh-geh" of many a dating show, this answer makes him a pariah.

As it turns out, Jamie bailed on Man City to do the show, so that bridge is burned. That move, together with behaving like a pig on television, has made him radioactive. Apparently, part of his Lust strategy was also "jacuzzi sex" with Denise when he was supposed to be involved with poor Amy. And honestly, if he did have sex with Amy in a toilet, it seems like Denise got the better part of that deal. As good as Jamie is, given all this, his agent can't get him another contract. To his horror, Jamie is being passed off to a new agent who will focus on his television opportunities, like a reality show in Ibiza (she asks, "How do you feel about taking ecstasy every night for three straight weeks?").

Jamie Tartt is back after a season of being hot instead of playing football.
/ Apple TV+
Apple TV+
Jamie Tartt is back after a season of being hot instead of playing football.

Disheartened, Jamie tracks down Keeley and admits that he wants to come back to Richmond. She directs him to Ted, and when he admits that he only did the reality show to annoy his father, Ted is sympathetic but turns him down. Unfortunately, it's too late: The team saw a picture on social media of Ted and Jamie together and assumed a return was in the offing, and they're angry. "No teammate has ever made me feel as bad about myself as Jamie did," Sam tells Ted. Ted reassures Sam that it's not happening, Sam is relieved, and the subject seems closed.

But wait! The reassured Sam tells Ted how much it means to his father that he's "in safe hands" with Ted, and that reminds Ted of Jamie's lousy father. And so, after a reminder from Dr. Sharon that Richmond might be happy and harmonious but it's also winless, Ted delivers Jamie and his little headband to practice after all. It's clear that Jamie Tartt has a lot of work to do with the team to regain their trust. A lot.

Roy finishes up his season coaching his young team and its star Kokoruda, and it's not clear what he's going to do with himself now other than cooking for Keeley from the book of Nigella. Speaking of cooking (of a sort), he comes home from the team's final game and is intrigued to find Keeley partaking of some erotica, until he discovers that said erotica is a video replay of him weeping at his retirement press conference. He's horrified, but she explains that she misses seeing him passionate about something, and adds that even Jamie is at least trying to get back to something he cares about. Roy, though hesitant, agrees to try an appearance as a sports commentator. It's no surprise to Keeley that his commentary is so blunt (and profane) that he's a hit out of the gate.

Elsewhere, Higgins has hired Dr. Sharon for the full season, and her detached professionalism continues to unnerve Ted, particularly when she doesn't want him bursting into her office with Ted-like energy asking about her favorite book, and his effort to woo her with biscuits as he did with Rebecca is not a success. Rebecca shares Ted's skepticism about therapy, taking the position that therapy is for people who don't have good friends to listen to them. But if that's the case, and if they agree that they're friends, why don't Rebecca and Ted want to open up to each other? Curious.

In the end, Dr. Sharon allows Ted to call her "Doc" and admits that her favorite book is The Prince of Tides, so maybe there's hope for this very odd couple.

Other stories to keep an eye on:

  • Nate's still coming down hard on young Will, this time for using lavender fabric softener on the team's laundry, which Nate claims will throw off the players. Coach Beard says it smells like a "Parisian bedroom"; Ted goes with "my Nana's house."
  • Keeley is helping Rebecca with her online dating profile, which they agree can say Rebecca is rich, but not filthy rich.
  • Higgins gave Dr. Sharon his office, and he definitely doesn't want to take Caroline's in ad sales, because she's near "Laughing Liam." (If there is not a GIF of Rebecca and Higgins imitating Laughing Liam within 15 minutes of this episode becoming available, I'll be bitterly disappointed.) Ted finally assigns Higgins to share Nate's office. Nate, still not exactly an example of a graceful ascent to power, is not thrilled.
  • This Week In Ted

    Peak Ted

    "The vibrations really help out my butt."

    Analytical Ted

    "You two are like Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, you know? Or Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow. Or Frank and ... actually, you know what? I'm starting to realize that Ol' Blue Eyes might have skewed mercurial."

    Random Ted

    "Most of my conspiracies revolve around the Freemasons on account of a couple different Disney cartoons I watched a bunch as a kid."

    Referential Ted

    The Fountainhead, Ricky Bell, Led Zeppelin, Cheers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Good Place, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bono, The Joshua Tree, Nando's Peri-Peri, Jimmy Buffett, Bernie Mac, Van Gogh, Li'l Bow Wow

    Line Reading Of The Week

    "Perchance to dream here."

    Fashion Bonus

    Keeley's ensemble of the black-and-white dress and the blue fur coat would look like a mod Muppet on a lot of people, but on her, it seems perfectly fresh and delightfully different.

    Assist of the Week

    Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard (doing just beautiful, deeply hilarious work this season, much of which is silent). When Nate complains about the supposedly calming lavender by saying, "You don't want calm athletes, you want killer athletes," Coach Beard comes back with, "Even after they shower?"

    Stealth MVP

    Jamie's agent is played by Raffaello Degruttola, who brings down the house (or at least brought down my house) with this line to a dejected Jamie: "You know you're like a son to me. Now you're like a dead son. Which means I love you even more."

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Corrected: July 30, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
    An earlier version of this recap referred to Ted's agent, when it should have said Jamie's agent. Ted does not have an agent who wanted him to do ecstasy.
    Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.