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  1. I’m still processing. After a season of meandering, sometimes maudlin episodes, the tonal shift and pacing in this one was almost jarring. Fast paced, and light, it just felt more season 1 to me but chaotic? So many wonderful small and large callbacks! I enjoyed it, with reservations. I never expected Ted to end up anywhere but Kansas. Henry is his home. I suspect that Michelle was set up with Dr. Jacob because then she can be seen as less culpable and having been taken advantage of? He's clearly gone now. I kind of assumed she and Ted were co-parenting and seeing where things land. Ted accepting that he doesn’t need to be a perfect parent and that he needs to risk loving his son was his journey. He’s been so out the door emotionally with the team this year, I was like is this the character or Sudeikis being bored? Had Ted even spoken privately with any player all season before last week, with Jamie on the sideline? I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rebecca’s Amsterdam interlude from a reality standpoint, but I did love seeing how it brought out the real Rebecca that Sassy alluded to in season 1. So for that reason, I was cool with Dutch Pilot Guy and daughter showing up. Their chemistry was real. Rebecca deserved her fairytale. And, oi, romcommunism. Selling the 49% to the fans, Mae and PB&J's pride -- again, good on you, Rebecca! I loved seeing Jamie be the superstar Ted told him he could be if he played for all the right reasons. “Sky’s the limit.” Isaac tearing the net. Nate’s decoy play. Colin and Michael. And sappy predictable, yes, but the Believe sign puzzle, The Beautiful and the Damned, and the Kintsugi. Loved. Roy with Sharon, and she a full-time employee, it appears, YES. I’ve expected all season that Rupert would pull a Karate Kid and demand to “swipe the leg.” I thought that would play into Nate leaving. Certainly didn’t expect it to happen on the pitch but. Rupert being “wankered,” by the fans and Sassy! was a fitting exit. Lol at the cape of darkness. Lots of cringe, as well, but I've been listening to Ed Sheeran's fantastic contribution to the soundtrack, A Beautiful Game, and I'm going with positiviteh today.
  2. It is interesting that there really has been a serious lack of world building in this area, from head office on down. They mentioned this episode, so maybe they will tie up some stories with awards, new contracts, endorsements, opportunities, etc. Being the best version of yourself, on and off the pitch, does come with some perks. And I'd think Jamie would be more in line for Player/Playmaker of the Season than the Boot?
  3. Regarding Nate... When people were speculating that Zava would come back and play for another team, real football purists went crazy because contracts aren't permissive to that kind of return. Given that we're led to believe that he left the position, it seems an unlikely move to then get on with another club during the season, bringing all that insider info. But I know, it's just a show and they can do whatever they want, yada yada, and they were always going to welcome him back to the fold anyway, etc. Nate tells Jade something to the effect that he has to go back to Richmond to make things right. I'm thinking that maybe he signs on for this last game, or just offers his expertise and helps them win with his strategies (which may be super relevant, especially if Jamie can't play with his injury), makes amends, and moves on to head coach another team. I'd like that for him, with a side helping of violin. (Roy will def be the manager at Richmond.) (Edited to add that, yes, coaches and managers can hop teams, even during the season. So, color me educated.)
  4. Thank you for this! Gosh, there were widely varying opinions among our watch party group. And even some of the most opposed viewpoints were equally valid interpretations. It’s probably the most we’ve discussed any episode this season. I’m going to bring your brief and elegant explanation back to them to help with the Nate. I’d have to say that my favorite part was honestly the game. It was great to finally capture their White Whale in Manchester! I laughed at the Mask of Zorreaux/VanDamme, and how he was suddenly unstoppable. Loved seeing Jamie progress throughout the game and was glad to finally see a quiet moment between him and Ted. (Though my heart broke a bit when he texted his father. I get it, but the physically abusive aspect of their relationship that we’ve been led to understand, just made that a tougher sell imho. Hopefully, his support system will help him maintain boundaries.) Edited to add: I feel like I've been waiting for that showdown with Ted and Dottie for ever. Framing it in the complement sandwich of Jamie's f*** you/thank you was jarring but effective.
  5. Loved Uncle's Day. Absolute perfection. Cha-ching. Chef's kiss. The sports mystique montage speech was a bit hokey-tropey, but Hannah Waddingham can sell me anything. And, of course, this show wants us to remember that even Rupert has feeling(s). Director Matt Lipsey has talked about what a privilege it was to get to film at Wembley, not just once, but twice, and the cinematography for that brief scene was so beautiful. 24, as well. I'm still so confused about the time wasted with KJPR. With Rebecca so easily refinancing Keeley...what was the point of ANY of that? For Keeley to learn how NOT to run a business? For her to be mopey for like, what, an afternoon? Why not have Rebecca finance from the first and keep Keeley closer? That would've been a natural source of tension already. Or, heck, let Keeley raise the money on her own. I'm so sad to feel this way, but the Roy/Keeley reunion just fell flat to me, partly because of their lack of interaction for episodes and my general dissatisfaction with the PR firm plot. Rather nervous for the last two eps. I've heard that they were both written by I love these characters and will miss them all if this is indeed the end.
  6. I think Roy has been dealing with some of his issues, albeit on a less visible (to us) and conscious plane (to him). Maybe this week, after that misstep with Keeley, we’ll finally see him make some proper progress. We learned early in the season why he left Chelsea. It was clearly a parallel to his break-up with Keeley. He’s still struggling to believe in his worth after his retirement from playing football, and he preemptively jumps before facing what he feels is the inevitable decline. I think Roy's time training Jamie will be really important to Roy's growth in coming to terms with who he is now that he's a coach. He needs to accept himself and believe he has value before he can get back with Keeley, who he feels he doesn't deserve. Roy isn't a motivational speaker like Ted or a student of the game like Beard or a tactical wizard like Nate. But he has the player experience and insight that allows him to understand what individuals may need to up their game. Jamie is Roy of 10 or 12 years ago. It's one of the reasons he can get under Roy's skin so easily and flame his insecurities. Roy's part in Jamie's success is hopefully going to build a foundation for Roy to realize that he has a lot to give as a coach, that he's as important to a team as he ever was. If he can let go of his younger self as his "only" valuable self, pass that torch to Jamie, he'll be able to accept Keeley's love. I think Jamie’s arc has been so successful because it must have been beat plotted, early on in their planning the three season package. It’s not a complicated arc, but it’s pretty tied to important touchstones in establishing the success of the Lasso Way and Total Football. He’s existentially and metaphorically all that, and his growth has progressed across the 3 seasons, taking up roughly the same amount of screen time, and evolving believably. That said, Phil Dunster has done a phenomenal job in maturing and developing the character so that he's different, but the same. It's been one of the true joys to watch of season 3.
  7. The team is finally winning...four straight...and we see none of it. Beard's and Henry's talk about "Hey, Jude" was the highlight. Even with that complete foot-in-mouth moment, I still see Roy as Keeley's endgame, (if anyone is.) Gruff older guy, bright younger woman -- Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, Colonel Brandon and Marianne, Knightly and Emma, etc. Having said that, ever since their break-up, I've loved Keeley and Jamie's chemistry. They're just very...soft?...together. Anyway. WANT MORE FOOTBALL
  8. The way I see it, Ted is NOT a great football coach. But he IS a great life coach. The show repeatedly presents us with his lack of basic football understanding. It's the reason Rebecca hired him in the first place. When he comes up with the concept of Ted's Triangles, it is a breakthrough for him. Even though it's a riff on a set strategy, he did figure it out on his own, and I think it gives him confidence and a reinvigorated approach to his position. (I think before the season ends, we'll see him actually make sense of an offsides call!) It's been said before that, at Richmond, Ted is what they call in the NFL, a CEO coach -- he oversees assistant coaches who are specialists in aspects of the game, while he creates the team and locker room culture. Jamie "fixing" the strategy is about "fixing" himself, as much as the team. And that would not have happened if he hadn't bought into The Lasso Way. Which leads, in turn, to Total Football. Again, none of this happens without Ted. Can't wait for Trent's book!
  9. I'd considered the possibility, as well, but in season 1 with Roy, we were clued in that Ted had a strategy to make him step up. The writers shouldn't have to spoon-feed us every motivation, but given that the coaches several times joked about Jamie being a Precious Moments figurine and a fragile little b.... when working the team around Zava, I'm more inclined to think they just underestimated him? Idk, it's a classic coach's dilemma: whether to wait until a player matures/accepts the mantle of leadership/responsibility or whether to push them into that position for the betterment of the team. (Striker may be a flashier position, but as the playmaker, he's basically initiating/directing the action. He's here, he's there!) As far as Nate goes. It's as if the writers are trying to front-load sympathy against whatever (Rupert-induced) drama is going to happen between now and the end of the season. So far, Nate is "the hottest coach in the Premier League." He can be his kinder self because he's getting the affirmation he craves. But if things start to pick up for Richmond, which we have every right to expect, Ted is going to start receiving some of that limelight. And Rupert is going to up the pressure. Maybe we're supposed to believe that his success as a coach and his budding relationship with Jade is helping his self esteem (no more spitting?), and he'll be able to handle things (Drama! Evil Rupert sabotage!) better? There's not a lot of time left, though, and is that enough groundwork? I'm completely content if his arc ends with some small personal amends and him heading to therapy. He doesn't need to love bomb them. (I'm not down with it ending with him coming back to Richmond tbh.)
  10. I knew that Jamie is listed as a center attacking midfielder on FIFA 23 now, so was expecting something like this to happen at some point in the season. Such a great payoff for the "little Precious Moments figurine," who they assumed would not play back. His face when he looked back from the mag board, saw the team listening to him, and realized that he was right where he needed to be, was perfect. Such a well-paced, believably earned maturity arc. He'll thrive as the anti-Zava! Ola Obisanya was every bit as lovely as we knew he would be. He and Sam made me smile and tear with each interaction. I'm all for Sam and Simi. And the team working to clean/repair the restaurant was chef's kiss. I could've done without the Nate. But I know we need to be about his redemption arc. It's just hard for me to be excited or find his interactions with Jade (or anybody, really) that interesting, given how much work I feel he needs to be doing to get himself mentally squared. I mean, maybe he's doing ok now because his team is doing well. What happens when things start not going his way? Or he perceives they're not going his way? We've seen how he handles that before, and they've shown nothing which would make me think he's better prepared now. Loved seeing Keeley and Rebecca together again. I'm just disappointed in everything that's been written around Keeley. I loved her and Roy last season, and still expect them to be reunited, because there's going to be one other couple besides Beard and Jane to ride off into the sunset together, right? And I think they're implying that Roy's anger issues and general out of sorts-ness is lacking Keeley's optimistic understanding of his insecurities. But given that we've barely even seen them together and her track record, sort of bouncing from one relationship to the other, I'd almost prefer to see Keeley on her own for a bit, romantically anyway. (Wouldn't take too many scenes of her and Roy together to get me back on the train, though.) And, yeah, cringe and ick was all I could think during the red yarn exercise.
  11. I usually love the more football heavy episodes, but this is definitely one of the finest of the series. It was weird and funny and heartbreaking, and I can't wait to see it again. Ted getting creative with a sport he does understand and applying that to Richmond! The sunflowers! Van Gogh! KC barbecue sauce! I don't know if this means Ted is going home to Kansas, or that he can have Kansas with him wherever he settles, but he's invigorated as a coach, and it will show in the team's record. Colin so eloquently expressed the ache of wanting his two lives to be one. Trent was the good guy we've come to know and will continue to support him on his journey. Loved that they had fun in the bar after their convo. Will and Higgins in the red light district was a delight! Will is just such a good guy, and Higgins is the ultimate dad! In contrast to others..... The show is at its best when it expertly layers the quirky and charming with the more psychologically complicated. I loved everything about Roy and Jamie's tour, especially the bike lesson. But hearing why Jamie was so familiar with the city was a gut punch. These two really do need each other. Pillow fight! Finally!
  12. Kabota

    S03.E05: Signs

    With the team instructed to feed Zava, and he not open to sharing opportunities, the players were, as Roy said, just standing around watching him play. Totally, un-Tedlike mentality, but he's distracted, and everyone seems to have lost the ability to make logical decisions. They were winning at first, but as everyone began to get more complacent, even Zava couldn't carry the team. At first it came across as a little ridiculous, especially given the montage of Zava's scoring, to hear Jamie say he wants to be better than him. Like with just some extra practice, the average player can become the next Patrick Mahomes. But the more I thought about it, they have from the beginning tagged Jamie as a special talent. Trained up by Man City, he's referred to by Ted as probably the best athlete he's ever coached and "the supposed franchise player." We hear the announcers say he didn't miss a penalty kick last season. He's come across as one of those players who maybe was underachieving because he didn't want/have to work hard and was distracted by the trappings of sport/fame. We've seen the Lasso Way would be to have everyone working together, sharing the load, and taking responsibility for their position. If Jamie can elevate his game but create opportunities for others on the pitch, it would be the opposite of the gameplan with Zava. Ultimately, tight teamwork, plus an elite talent or two, should make Richmond competitive again.
  13. This is brilliant! (Austen mad libs have to exist. Must find.) There are scenes and scenery, characters, and moments that I like but, overall, the feel of the show is very chaotic and off to me. The atmosphere of promise that the first season held seems completely gone? And I'm referring to both the show and it's fictional world. Several of these characters are suffering from disillusion, and the shiny world of Sanditon is not all Tom purports it to be, but it can make for sluggish entertainment, at times. I agree that it had to be difficult to start from scratch, but not scratch, for the writers. There's something beautiful in the familiarity of Austen storylines and beloved time-tested tropes executed judiciously, but I'm afraid the happy endings (which at this point seem relatively obvious) could only be made meaningful by better, more creative/unique storytelling in between. But very little this season seems particularly intriguing or outside the box, except for the sugar boycott, perhaps. In not so brief: Edward is just too mustache-twirly of a baddy. So tired of Tom continually putting the venture at risk because of his incompetence. The only interesting new male character to my mind is the artist. The actor has enough charm and the character enough mystery to keep me guessing. The rest of the men haven't been given great material to work with, to be honest, and aren't elevating it much. I still care very much about Esther and Charlotte and Georgianna. And the reverend's sister has carved out a nice little niche of humor and humanity for herself. I hope the next couple of episodes brings some intriguing, thoughtfully-devised twists to get us hyped for the third season.
  14. I think I wasn't quite as bothered by Freydis as a "chosen one," as I otherwise might have been, because I'd recently watched "1883" too...Wow, the Mary Sue was painfully strong in that one. As far as Kattegat goes, so hopefully some of the characters' wild, historic adventures in other parts of the world will be a greater part of the plot. The England of Canute, Godwin, Forkbeard, and Emma is the stage for seasoned politicians and manipulators. The Kattegat crew is going to have to pick up their game to compete with that.
  15. I think I’ll be able to watch this casually and enjoy it well enough for the scenery and costumes. Will sorely miss Young Stringer and Babington, though. I was trying to remember if both season 2 and 3 were filmed together? I believe they were? If so, I guess there’s not really any hope for even one scene of an Esther and Lord reunion? There was an almost whiplash swing in tone between maudlin and...silly. Given some of the interviews I’ve read or seen, I think the powers that be are trying to make up for the lack of a happy ending for Charlotte in the first season by throwing in every entertaining scenario (read: tropes galore) possible. It was almost comical with all the callbacks and references but, then again, some were cliche and so unsubtle as to be eye-rolling. I try to give characters 3 episodes to prove themselves, but upon first impression, Lydia-lite was predictably annoying. I hope they'll be able to play out a decent Eleanor/Marianne dynamic. The men were a lackluster bunch at first glance, though I could see Fraser winning me over. I also thought Charlotte’s employer’s niece could prove interesting. And the artist, since it seems he will factor into Georgiana’s and Jolly Parker’s arcs, which I’m always here for. I suspect the biggest reveal will regard Georgiana’s holdings/fortune in the islands and Sidney’s dealings there prior to his demise. And I agree with the theory up-thread that she may have more to fear from Tom than any marriage hunter. Esther's storyline, sans Babbers and especially with creeper Edward prowling, makes me sad. At least, it appears we won't be in suspense long about anything. It moves along at a pretty fast clip (mixed blessing), so answers can never be more than an episode or two away.
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