SPOILER ALERT: The following presents major plot points from the Season 3 finale of Apple’s Ted Lasso.
The biggest questions about the Season 3 finale of the Apple TV+ hit Ted Lasso is whether or not it will serve as a comedy series finale. Top to bottom, the episode titled “So Long, Farewell” feels like a series finale with how things settled but the show will definitely go on no matter what—with or without Ted (Jason Sudeikis) who pulled the trigger on his move back to Kansas to be with his family.
At the beginning of the episode, Ted can’t help but smile as he thinks about going home with his son Henry (Gus Turner). The pair exchange cute texts with funny gifs as they do.
Back in Rebecca’s (Hannah Waddingham) office, she talks to Keeley (Juno Temple) and Leslie (Jeremy Swift) about Rupert’s (Anthony Head) latest divorce when the topic of replacing Ted comes up. From the looks of the three, they’d rather talk about anything so Rebecca changes the subject by asking how much she’ll get for the club if she sells it. Aghast, Leslie — who had been advocating the sale of 49% of Richmond so that Rebecca could retain control while raising the necessary funds — said $2 billion for the total, surprising everyone.
The news of Ted’s departure gripped London. AFC Richmond sang (and danced) at the end of his final training session with the team as the players honored their leader with their rendition of “So Long, Farewell” from The sound of musicnatch, a tie-in to the episode’s title.
Nate (Nick Mohammed) feels like he’s back home at team headquarters even though a lot has changed since his Darth Nate days. In a funny moment, he catches Roy (Brett Goldstein) and his old nemesis Jamie (Phil Dunster) planning to hang out, which he stops.
In a more touching scene, Roy tells Jamie how proud he is of him for all his hard work this season, a sentiment the latter reciprocates. The happy moment was interrupted when Roy admitted that he and Keeley had started talking. Ol’ Roy and Jamie are back at it, competing with a gal before heading to Keeley’s house where they try to choose her between them. He does this by throwing them both to sort themselves out.
Harriet Walter returns as Rebecca’s ruthless mother Deborah who supports her daughter’s idea to sell the club. She had more important things to worry about, like going to her tattoo appointment the next day.
Rebecca soon joins Ted in the empty stands of the AFC Richmond stadium ready to discuss his decision to leave London. He opens by telling her that he will sell the club before denying that there is a second option where they stay. Ted’s boss made a hefty financial offer that would make him one of the highest paid coaches in the league. With tears in his eyes, he didn’t know it mattered. He has made up his mind.
In another heartwarming scene, Ted and Nate reunite in the locker room, and the two patch things up. Nate hugs Ted and apologizes for everything Darth Nate accepted. The redemption we’ve all been waiting for is here.
Now for some futbol! Fans around the world are cheering for AFC Richmond—minus Rupert, of course. Even Zava (Maximilian Osinski) sends a care package with t-shirts and a giant avocado—Dani (Cristo Fernández) claims two tees for herself.
After an emotional montage from the last three years, the team is ready to fight, or so we thought. That video may have been a small thing for the children openly crying on the field in front of their opponents, West Ham. Their tears dried quickly however and it was time for business, as Flight of the Conchords would say, but it was all very touch and go for the first half, ending with Richmond trailing 0-2.
At half-time, Ted made his final speech as manager to encourage the team to give it their all. Things are getting hyped back on the field, and everyone finally believes that AFC Richmond have a chance to win it all. Captain McAdoo (Kola Bokinni) was selected for a penalty kick, and at first it appeared that he had missed but a closer look by the referee discovered a hole in the net that had been cut by the ball, allowing the equalizer for Richmond.
Even though you know Ted needs that win to finish his story in Season 3, it really is anyone’s game. After Richmond gets a last-minute free kick, Ted calls Nate’s first big game from Season 1, where Jamie has to act as a decoy to open up Sam. The team executes it perfectly to score the winning goal, and the crowd goes wild. Everyone on the pitch has someone to snog, including Colin (Billy Harris) who kisses his girlfriend in front of the world. Love is love.
With his mission complete, Ted reappears at the airport ready to click his heels back to Kansas. But first, he read the periodicals and picked up a copy of The Everyday Independent which featured the following headline, “Richmond For All! Welton Sells 49% of Club to Fans.” As Ted reaches for a comic book, next to it is a magazine with Zava on the cover that reads, “Zava Returns. Striker goes to LAFC.” Could there be a Zava spinoff set in LA? Or is this just a nod to Zava inspiration Zlatan Ibrahimovic going to LA Galaxy after his Euro career?
In a very Rebecca way, she bought a first-class ticket just to say goodbye to Ted properly. He tells her that he plans to stay with his family in Richnond and that he will happily return to her. They hug, cry—wait, are we all saying goodbye to Ted?! Rebecca and I are all.
Beard (Brendan Hunt) sits on the plane next to Ted, at least for a while. He tells Ted that he doesn’t want to go back to the US and wants to stay with his lady love, Jane (Phoebe Walsh). Ted congratulates him, leaving Beard to make a very dramatic exit.
Rebecca is sad as she leaves the airport but finds a moment of happiness when she sees a girl running outside the terminal. When the young woman tripped and stumbled, Rebecca rushed to help. Just then, a concerned father makes his own dash for the little girl. It turns out that the father is a pilot who happens to be the stranger whose houseboat Rebecca spends time on while visiting Amsterdam. Boom! Rebecca got her happy ending.
Other notable news of late has included Roy Kent being named as the new manager of AFC Richmond; he couldn’t help himself at that moment and revealed a goofy smile. Keeley is there cheering him on and he’s in a good place because his agency is thriving. Richmond die-hard fans from Mae’s pub proudly display certificates for their ownership shares in the club.
Keeley surprises Rebecca with a proposal for a new venture—AFC Richmond Women’s Team. The couple looked at each other with happy tears in their eyes and shouted. Now this sounds like a potential spinoff we can get behind.
Nate and his girlfriend Jade (Edyta Budnik) share a romantic kiss while surrounded by his family at the restaurant where they fell in love—there, sitting in front of a large window as his father is finally proud.
Sans Ted, there’s a BBQ going on as life moves on. Rebecca was there with her new man; Keeley is joined by her fan club members Roy and Jamie (who has also reconciled with her father), Richard Montlaur admires his beautiful blonde date. Elsewhere, Trent Crimm (James Lance) is promoting his new book, “The Richmond Way.”
Cat Stevens’ song Father and son plays as Roy and Nate return the “Believe” sign all taped back to where it belongs. Beard was seen marrying a very pregnant Jane in front of Stonehenge surrounded by family and friends. Dani was the happiest of the crowd of well-meaning people flanked by two beautiful women.
Before the song ends, Ted returns home and is in the waiting arms of his son, along with Dr. Jacob who is nowhere to be found and possibly out of the picture. In the final beats of the episode, Ted is coaching Henry on the soccer field while Michelle (Andrea Anders) looks on. From the look on his face, he would like nothing else.
When Sudeikis spoke to Deadline in March ahead of the Season 3 premiere, he gave viewers a challenge of sorts. He said, “This is the end of this story that we want to tell, that we hope to tell, that we love to tell. The fact that people are going to want more and be curious more than they’ve ever known—that being Season 3—it’s flattering. Maybe on May 31, once all 12 episodes of the season [have been released], they were like, ‘Man, you know what, we get it, we’re fine. We don’t need it, we’ve got it.’”
And he was right. The story will definitely continue but otherwise it’s completely wrapped up in a bow. It’s a fitting farewell for the underdog, everyone who doesn’t know how far life can take them but still follows their heart. Thanks to Ted, many people have found inspiration to carry on in the midst of a raging pandemic. It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to that guy, but it sure was fun to see him win.
“Just listen to your gut, and on the way down to your gut, check with your heart. Between those two things, they’ll let you know what’s what,” Ted Lasso.