We’ve reached penultimate episode territory for Ted Lasso. It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end. “Mom City” ushers a few moms to the table: Ted’s and Jamie’s. The outing seemingly brings Jamie’s arc to a close beautifully. Say what you will about Season 3’s inconsistencies, but it’s had some great moments for Jamie and Roy. Their friendship is gorgeously and methodically cultivated as they’ve gone from enemies to best pals.
“Mom City” wraps up a few more narrative loose ends while setting the stage for the series finale. Ted will undoubtedly tell Rebecca he’s returning to Kansas to be with Henry. The writers have been hinting at that all season. Whether we get a rom-com airport moment featuring Tedbecca at the last minute remains to be seen. Nate is officially returning to Richmond, presumably to coach alongside Roy and Beard. This episode is one of the strongest this season, creating a delightful amalgam of levity and heart-wrenching drama.
In honor of the show’s third and final (sobs) season, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite quotes from “Mom City.” Peruse at your peril.
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DOTTIE: “So, you seein’ anyone?”
BEARD: “Had my heart ripped out of my chest, stomped into a pulp, and dragged through the town square for everyone to ridicule.”
DOTTIE: “Oh, sweetie. That’s okay. You’ll meet somebody.”
BEARD: “No, I’m in love.”
If you think about it, there’s a fine line between love and heartbreak. Both might include unrelenting pain and an abnormal, soul-consuming obsession. In Beard’s (Brendan Hunt) case, he’s over the moon and head over heels while feeling like he’s being stabbed repeatedly in the chest. It’s his kink. Sweet Dottie (Becky Ann Baker), the Midwestern mom she is, doesn’t know any better. Our Beard’s a weirdo, and that’s why we love him.
JAMIE: “Thought I was finally rid of him, but … I always did what I did because f*ck him, you know? And now that I don’t give a sh*t about him, it’s like … You know when some guys can’t make their willies go hard?”
JAMIE’S MUM: “Oh, you mean impotent?”
JAMIE: “It’s like that, but it’s like I got it in my soul.”
Oh, Jamie (Phil Dunster). Little did I know at the start of Season 1 that you’d become my favorite character. He has the best arc on Ted Lasso, and that’s a straight-up fact. Dunster’s adept at saying dialogue that looks utterly ludicrous on paper. However, within the context of a scene, he breathes new meaning into it by making it grounded, genuine and gut-wrenching. Jamie’s way of describing things still cracks me up (Who would think to compare their depression to having impotence of the soul?), but this scene tore my heart in two. I love how Jamie’s mum (Leanne Best) goes along with his creative descriptions.
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JAMIE’S MUM: “You don’t have anything to prove to that toerag. You’re not lost, my sexy little baby. You’re just not sure which direction you’re going in … yet.”
Oof. This moment hit me where it hurts. As someone with an estranged, abusive parent, I understand Jamie’s (ostensibly) unacknowledged desire to prove his dad wrong. Jamie’s mum’s speech tugged at my heartstrings and profoundly resonated with me. I’ve also been feeling somewhat lost lately. Now, I plan to keep her words stored in a filing cabinet in my brain for frequent revisiting: I’m not lost; I’m just unsure of my direction. But, like Jamie, I’ll figure it out.
TED: “You know, Jamie, if hating your Pops ain’t motivating you like it used to, it might be time to try something different. Just forgive him.”
JAMIE: “Oh, f*ck no. I ain’t giving him that.”
TED: “No, you ain’t giving him anything. When you choose to do that, you’re giving that to yourself.”
Where would we be without sound advice from our titular coach? Ted’s (Jason Sudeikis) words remind us of the real reason for exercising forgiveness. It’s not about exonerating someone else from their remorse but freeing ourselves from holding onto hate. It’ll only eat us from the inside out. If you frame it as a gift you give to yourself, it’s easier to do. You don’t have to engage in a relationship with that person, but forgiving them allows you to move on.
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BEARD: “I stole from my friend. Who forgave me. And gave me a job. And a life. So to honor that, I forgive you. I offer you a job. And the life part’s up to you.”
Brendan Hunt delivers a beautifully vulnerable performance in “Mom City” as we get some much-needed Beard backstory. This context into his relationship with Ted is invaluable. It allows us to view Beard through a new lens. He forgives Nate (Nick Mohammed) here because it’s what Ted did for him. Beautiful. That’s the crux of this series — second chances. Redemption. Extending a helping hand to those who need it.
You might take issue with how Nate’s redemption arc played out on a narrative scale, but the result would always be the same. Nate was never a villain. Ted even mentions this earlier in the episode: Hurt people hurt people. I’m glad Beard and Nate could mend fences and forge ahead.
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What are your favorite quotes from “Mom City”? Sound off in the comments below!
Ted Lasso drops new episodes every Wednesday on Apple TV+.
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