DISCLAIMER: This recap of Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 9, “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Diamond Dogs! This outing is a tear-jerker of the highest order. “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” a play on the French play/musical La Cage aux Folles (which translates to “the crazy cage,” so that makes this “the crazy locker room”), examines Colin’s and Isaac’s friendship after last week’s revelation. Billy Harris and Kola Bokinni deliver divine performances. Both approach the episodic narrative with sensitivity and tenderness. We walk away from it with a deeper understanding of Colin and Isaac — beautifully layered work all around. I’m so glad Colin is out to his team on his terms. And there’s no judgment or hate in sight.
That said, I wish we saw Colin actually coming out instead of cutting to a straight man. As much as this episode elevates Colin, it also detracts from his moment at that moment. We spend a lot of time with Isaac as he processes his feelings, which is important. I only wanted Colin to get the spotlight he deserved while coming out. However, I’m grateful the team is so supportive.
“La Locker Room Aux Folles” feels like vintage Lasso, more so than any episode this season. It harbors that spark that made us fall head over heels for this series. I cried multiple times out of sheer joy. Its infectious positivity and “comfort food” warmth are undeniably on display. Best of all, it doesn’t feel insincere or over the top. This episode feels like the show has found its groove again.
Ready to delve into “La Locker Room Aux Folles”? Let’s get to it.
We open with the Greyhounds practicing while Roy (Brett Goldstein), Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) and Ted (Jason Sudeikis) observe them. Roy admits that he initially thought changing their strategy mid-season was bonkers, but it has been a boon for them. They’re on a winning streak. After practice, Colin (Harris) tries to talk to Isaac (Bokinni) after the latter discovered he’s gay in last week’s episode, but our fave gruff captain ignores him. Uh-oh.
Meanwhile, Keeley (Juno Temple) admits to Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) that she sent Jack an avalanche of texts since they’ve taken a break. It’s a “wall of blue,” folks. Real talk, taking a “break,” usually morphs from temporary to permanent. Ted enters Rebecca’s office with biscuits for the boss and Keeley (our PR boss), along with 40 pounds for the latter. How sweet. He asks Rebecca if he can skip an upcoming press conference because he’s participating in parent-teacher conferences for Henry.
Rebecca asks Roy to take up the press conference mantle with Keeley present. Initially, he balks at the idea of talking to the press; however, Rebecca’s in charge, so he will do it whether he likes it or not. At West Ham, Jade (Edyta Budnik) brings Nate (Nick Mohammed) a surprise lunch from Taste of Athens. She meets Rupert (Anthony Head), who’s a rich creep, as usual. Jade doesn’t appear to approve of him. This is intriguing and gives us more insight into Jade. I believe she’s initially cold with everyone she meets so that she can assess them. Once she realized Nate was a sweetie (even though he’s made some shitty mistakes), her walls came down.
Unfortunately, Roy skipped the press conference, leaving Beard to take charge. Higgins (Jeremy Swift) shows Rebecca the absolute mess that’s transpiring as Beard gets into a heated debate with the media regarding the best guitarists of all time. Beard’s as passionate as we’ve ever seen him. Rebecca briefly grabs the reins to defuse the situation. Notice how she’s donning a tank top in the same style (different color) as the one she wears in the pilot. Hmm… (This might also mean nothing, but I have noticed she’s wearing fewer layers.)
Next, Rebecca calls Roy to her office to chew him out for disobeying her. Colin seeks advice from Trent (James Lance) regarding how to approach Isaac. Trent urges him to give Isaac space and time. While the situation stinks, Isaac needs to absorb what happened between them. Rebecca gives Roy a stern talking-to and calls him out on his shit. She urges him to stop the self-sabotage and allow himself to enjoy life — to embrace new challenges. He deserves to thrive. Roy’s face drops, and you can tell she has hit a nerve.
Meanwhile, Rupert invites Nate to a guys’ night sans Jade that evening after the match. During the Richmond match, Keeley receives a text from Jack about her being in Argentina for the next few months. So, it’s official. They’re broken up. The Greyhounds are losing, with Isaac and Colin’s feud affecting their performance on the pitch. One heckling fan presses Isaac’s buttons, calling the team the f-word. Isaac storms the stands and jumps onto the fan. They duke it out. Roy and the others eventually pull Isaac away and kick out the fan, but now Isaac can’t participate in the match’s second half.
Everyone crowds into the locker room, with Ted and the coaches taking center stage. Isaac tries to calm himself down. Isaac reveals the “fan” called them the f-word, and he got angry. What if one of them is gay? It’s abundantly clear he reacted that way to protect Colin. He’s not a homophobe — he’s merely upset because his best friend didn’t feel comfortable enough telling him. Isaac removes his captain badge and storms out. Roy follows him. Colin seizes the moment to disclose his sexuality to his team. I’m glad he can come out to them on his own terms.
Roy sits with Isaac while the latter seethes with anger. Roy knows that Isaac’s not incensed about what the fan said; it’s something else. He encourages Isaac to take care of whatever’s upsetting him so it doesn’t leak into every aspect of his life. Will (Charlie Hiscock), who’s eavesdropping while doing kitman stuff, agrees wholeheartedly. Ted delivers an amusing anecdote after Colin’s coming out to illustrate how they all care enough to support him. Well, it’s about American football, so it doesn’t quite resonate (also, nobody knows who the Denver Broncos are), but the sentiment is there.
Everyone banding together to uplift Colin tugs at the heartstrings. Jamie’s (Phil Dunster), “You got us, mate. We got you,” triggered the waterworks for me. This is Ted Lasso. After the team returns to the pitch, they make a tremendous comeback and win the match under Sam’s (Toheeb Jimoh) leadership as acting captain, with Colin being a massive contributing factor. That’s my boy! That evening, Nate arrives at Bones & Honey to hang with Rupert. He sees Rupert chatting with two statuesque models. Naturally, Rupert wants Nate to have fun with one of them while he takes the other. Gross. Nate excuses himself, crafting a lie to get him out of guys’ night.
Now, it’s time to meet the press. Roy goes in Ted’s stead, much to Rebecca’s surprise. He handles it quite well. Roy doesn’t condone Isaac’s behavior. He offers a compelling story about a careless joke he made to a former teammate who was going through a rough time personally. Roy didn’t realize the impact of his remark. He reminds the media that everyone is fighting internal battles, so we should treat each other kindly. The Ted Effect is in full swing here. Goldstein delivers a gorgeously nuanced performance in this episode.
Later, we see Jade reading in her flat when Nate knocks on her door. Side note: how can she afford a flat that nice in London on a hostess’s wages? Does she have a nest egg? Nate doesn’t say anything — he merely embraces her.
Another doorway scene is incoming. Isaac winds up on Colin’s doorstep after the match. He apologizes for his behavior and expresses his pain that his best friend couldn’t trust him with something this important. Although, keeping secrets isn’t Isaac’s forte. Colin claims the whole team knows now and is content with that. “And no one’s gonna say shit,” Isaac vows. Aww. More waterworks. Colin invites Isaac inside for some video game fun. Isaac asks Colin questions about being gay. Oh, and Colin thinks Bumbercatch (Moe Hashim) is the fittest guy on the team. They’re all fit. The outing ends with the empowering “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.
As much as I adored this episode, I’m struggling to piece together how this story ends in the next three episodes. Nate’s storyline certainly has some movement, as he’s ostensibly turning away from Rupert after the “guys’ night” stunt. Is it just me, or does his hair look slightly less gray? Roy’s growth is substantial in “La Locker Room Aux Folles.” Roy’s transformation is a thrill to witness. Of course, he still retains that Roy Kent curmudgeonly edge and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Keeley’s relationship with Jack is kaput. Colin’s and Isaac’s growth took center stage this outing. I’d like to believe Isaac’s never been able to say “I love you” to anyone, and not simply because his best friend likes boys. (That moment was somewhat tarnished for me there.)
So, with only three episodes left to conclude this narrative, where does that leave Tedbecca? Admittedly, we’ve seen little movement in that regard. I wouldn’t be surprised if the show doesn’t take it there; instead, they keep Ted and Rebecca as platonic soulmates. That does exist, you know. As much as I love a good rom-com moment, I’d settle for platonic soulmates (sorry, Tedbecca fans). However, I would raise my hands to the heavens if the show gave us Tedbecca.
Do you think Ted and Rebecca will find each other in the end? Will Keeley remain single, or will she rekindle things with Roy? Does anything melt the heart more than Sam telling his team he loves them (That’s a resounding “nope.”)? Only time (and more episodes) will tell.
Ted Lasso drops new episodes every Wednesday on Apple TV+.