Ted Lasso‘s latest outing, “Sunflowers,” is its strongest showing this season, at least thus far. This series shines when it focuses on character-driven stories. The episode reminds us that sometimes personal growth happens when you thrust yourself into new settings.
This occurs for all of our characters, from Rebecca’s intimate night with the Dutchman and Ted’s triangle revelation (leading him to “create” a football strategy that already exists) to Roy and Jamie strengthening their friendship and Colin feeling comfortable in his own skin around Trent. Everyone evolves beautifully here. While some might argue “Sunflowers” doesn’t propel the overarching plot, I believe we need episodes devoted to character growth. How can you root for characters you don’t know?
It’s a loving tribute to figuring sh*t out and how we’re all trying to do just that.
In honor of the show returning for a third and final (sobs) season, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite quotes from “Sunflowers.” Peruse at your peril.
ROY: Who cares? It’s a f*cking friendly. A friendly is a pretend match. This is a pretend conversation. You’re a pretend person with a pretend job. And I’m having a really hard time pretending to give a sh*t.
Nobody delivers a scathing takedown like Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein). Not only is he here, there and every-f*ckin-where, but Roy also doesn’t have time for your tripe. The frequent use of “pretend” in this quote is divine, culminating in an epic mic drop only Roy can conceive. Side note: I love that Roy says this bit about the friendly match being “pretend” and then tells Jamie (Phil Dunster) that Amsterdam — particularly windmills — is fake. It almost feels like a subtle nod to the “Roy Kent is CGI” conversation. Hilarious.
DANI: I would like to see a tulip.
BUMBERCATCH: You mean tulip fields?
DANI: No, no, on. Just one tulip. An entire field will be incredibly overwhelming.
Oh, Dani (Cristo Fernández). What a pure soul. I almost always include a Dani quote in these pieces because he’s so damn quotable (and adorable). My favorite part about this exchange with Bumbercatch (Moe Hashim) is that he genuinely wants to see one tulip. He can only absorb the beauty of one tulip because an entire field would be sensory overload. Who can savor all that beauty as one tiny, insignificant mortal? Well, I believe Dani Rojas can. Like ghosts, he needs to believe in himself.
COLIN: She made me realize I have an ache. An ache for both of my lives to be my only life. I don’t want to be a spokesperson. I don’t want a bunch of apologies. All I want is for when we win a match, to be able to kiss my fella the same way the guys get to kiss their girls. And I know we can’t fix every ache inside of us. But I shouldn’t have to pretend it’s not there either.
Colin (Billy Harris) and Trent Crimm’s (James Lance) scenes are an utter delight. Hands down, they’re a highlight of the episode. Colin finally has a safe space, a mentor and a friend who understands both of his lives. This monologue is delivered so beautifully by Billy Harris, the MVP of this season. His desire to simply be himself and live openly without signing up to become a spokesperson for the gay community is one of many reasons why we should continue fighting like hell for LGBTQIA+ equality.
Everyone deserves to kiss their partner after winning a match. I hope Colin can have his coming out on his terms so one day, both of his lives can be his only life.
ISAAC: Enough! We are riven by this crossroads! Is this it? Should we huddle around the laptop for a movie night? How else do we proceed? How doth we channel this lack of compromise? This dissension? This rage?
Isaac’s (Kola Bokinni) rage-fueled monologue here feels very Shakespearean, which makes it even funnier. As a word nerd, I questioned whether certain parts (minus the laptop bit) were plucked from a Shakespeare play I’m unfamiliar with while appreciating Bokinni’s delivery. His seething anger and theatrical approach are the perfect acting choices. Who knew choosing an activity in a new city held life-or-death stakes?
WILL: I’m telling you, Amsterdam, amazing. Like, yes, we lost the game, but my boss played in a jazz band and then — Beard pulls up in a van dressed like Piggy Stardust — Mum? Sorry, uh, what was I saying? And then I met the most lovely couple, and they invited me for a threesome.
Sweet Will (Charlie Hiscock) has the time of his life in Amsterdam with his new jazz bestie Higgins (Jeremy Swift). He calls to tell his mother all about it, but before he gets to the good part, Beard (Brendan Hunt) steals his thunder while dressed as Piggy Stardust and speaking fluent Dutch. However, that doesn’t deter him from one-upping Beard after the coach boards the bus. Will had a threesome. And he told his mum! How lovely that he can tell her everything. The execution of this scene is golden.
What are your favorite quotes from “Sunflowers”? Sound off in the comments below!
Ted Lasso drops new episodes every Wednesday on Apple TV+.
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