Ted Lasso Season 2 Finale Explained: Football Is Life!

"Ted Lasso" season 2 has come to an end, paving the way for its third and what might be its final season. The reaction to this second season has been considerably mixed, especially when compared to season 1. But why? Was season 2 really a downgrade in quality from season 1? I don't think so. If anything, I appreciated how the show allowed its characters to grow in different ways – even if some of that growth wasn't for the best. And despite all that, "Ted Lasso" remains as warm and funny as ever. 

But the season 2 finale also makes it clear that big changes are in store for "Ted Lasso" season 3, and some people don't always take kindly to change. In other words, I wouldn't be surprised if this finale – and season 3 – rubs some people the wrong way. 

Roy and Keeley

At the start of the episode, Roy is ready to confront -– and possibly murder –- Jamie for confessing to Keeley that he still has feelings for her. But before Roy can take a swing, Jamie apologizes, and his apology is believable enough that Roy decides not to retaliate (although it's clear that restraining himself is difficult). Meanwhile, Keeley gets word that she's being given the opportunity to start her own PR firm. It's bittersweet because while it means that she's moving up in the world, she'll also have to leave Richmond behind. 

Roy is supportive, but it's also clear he's worried about Keeley moving away from him. This is only compounded when Keeley turns down an opportunity to go on a lengthy holiday with Roy. Roy wonders if this means she's breaking up with him, but Keeley assures him she's not. Roy seems to accept this, but it's clear that season 3 will inject more drama into their relationship. Hopefully things will work out okay in the end, because they make a very nice couple. 

Rebecca and Sam

Speaking of nice relationships, I was charmed by the surprise affair between Sam and Rebecca. Is it ethically questionable, since Rebecca is Sam's boss? Yes, it sure is. But it's also sweet in its own clumsy way. However, the future of the relationship, if there is one, is up in the air. Sam is still being courted by Ghanaian billionaire Edwin Akufo to leave Richmond and join a new team. Akufo is so certain that Sam is going to say yes to his offer that he even has a new jersey made for the footballer.

But in the end, Sam decides to stay -– a decision that infuriates Akufo. Sam tells Rebecca he's staying, too, and adds that he's not staying for her –- he's staying because he thinks it's the right decision for him. Eventually, we jump forward a few weeks and see that Sam is buying an establishment that he hopes to turn into a Nigerian restaurant. As for Rebecca, in addition to the news about Sam, she gets yet another surprise when she learns that Rupert, her ex-husband, has bought rival football team West Ham United. 

Ted and Nate

The finale, titled "Inverting the Pyramid of Success," picks up with word spreading about Ted's panic attack. Everyone around Ted is very understanding, but still, there's an awkwardness in the air now. Things are made all the more awkward because it's clear someone within the club leaked the info to Trent Crimm. And that leaker is Nate, who has had the most dramatic shift this season — going from a nervous, likable guy to something of a bitter, rude jerk. 

Everyone is aware that Nate is the leaker, including Ted. Coach Beard wants Ted to confront Nate, but Ted would rather have Nate come to him on his own (even though, as Beard observes, that's unlikely). As the episode progresses, Richmond has to face off against the Brentford football club. There's a lot riding on the match, as Richmond is trying to be reinstated into the Premier League. Things look bleak at first, with Richmond down by two. It's at this point that Ted finally decides to confront Nate and find out why Nate seems so angry toward him. Nate bitterly confesses that Ted made him feel like the most important person in the world –- and then turned his back on him. Ted tries to apologize, and it sure seems like he's sincere in that apology. But Nate angrily rejects any chance at making amends with Ted.

Viewers seem very conflicted over Nate's storyline this season, and this season finale isn't going to change that. Personally, I don't have a problem with it, because it's okay to let characters make bad decisions sometimes. Plus, Nate's personal life with his stern father helps explain why "Nate the Great" is behaving the way he is. I also think redemption is a big part of "Ted Lasso," so I wouldn't be surprised if Nate sees the error of his ways next season. But that doesn't happen here.

In the end, Richmond ties the game, ensuring they'll be promoted back into the Premier League. The final goal comes down to a penalty shot. It looks like Jamie is going to take the shot first, but he hands the duties over to Dani Rojas, who hasn't kicked a penalty since he accidentally killed Earl, the team's mascot. Dani is nervous, but he finally goes through with the kick and scores, much to the cheers of everyone watching. 

But none of this still soothes the still-fuming Nate, and he ultimately quits. After the game, Ted learns that Trent Crimm is no longer a journalist -– because Trent realized that reporting the news of Ted's panic attack was wrong, and it seems he resigned out of disappointment with himself. Ted, being Ted, doesn't hold it against Trent, and the two part on good terms. 

As for Nate, the final moments of the episode jump forward a few months in time to reveal a big twist: Nate is now working as the coach of Rupert's West Ham United, ensuring that Nate and Ted will go head-to-head at some point when West Ham United plays Richmond. Will this inevitable clash set things right in the "Ted Lasso" universe? It might – if you believe.