Ted Lasso Season 2 premiere recap: Goodbye, Earl

Cristo Fernández in “Ted Lasso” season two, premiering Friday, July 23 on Apple TV+.
Cristo Fernández in “Ted Lasso” season two, premiering Friday, July 23 on Apple TV+. /

Ted Lasso is finally back, and I could not be happier about it. Ted Lasso Season 2 begins with AFC Richmond knocked down into the lower division after their heartbreaking loss to Manchester City in the season finale.

Since then, AFC Richmond has become an undefeated team — only because they can’t stop getting ties. The latest game comes close, with Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández) stepping up to take a penalty kick that could win them the game. But then, in a tragic chain of events, AFC Richmond’s beloved mascot dog Earl breaks free of his leash to chase a pigeon and runs directly into the path of the ball. The poor dog dies instantly.

I didn’t think a show as lighthearted as Ted Lasso would start with a dead dog, but somehow they manage to pull it off in a way that’s both dark and hilarious.

Understandably, Dani is shell-shocked and traumatized by the incident. He comes down with a bad case of “the yips,” meaning he can’t perform like he usually does on the field. Instead of his usual cheery “football is life” mantra, he starts thinking football is death.

Higgins (Jeremy Swift) advises Ted (Jason Sudeikis) and Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) to recruit a sports psychologist to help Danny work through his trauma, especially after Ted’s pep talk fails to work.

MORE: Apple TV+’s ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2: TV Review

Enter newcomer Sarah Niles, who you might recognize from I May Destroy You. Niles plays straight-shooter, no-nonsense, intelligent, bilingual sports psychologist Sharon. After just one session with Sharon, Dani emerges a new man, back to his regular old self.

Sharon will be an interesting foil to Ted this season as he reveals to Coach Beard that he’s not a big fan of therapists, but he’s only basing this off of one experience he had with couple’s therapy. As Coach Beard points out (using Ted’s own words against him), “all people are different people!”

Plus, while Ted claims the green-eyed monster is not tickling him, you get the feeling he’s disappointed that Dani found help from an outside source. That feeling deepens at the end of the episode when other team members are lining up outside of Sharon’s door for her assistance rather than turning to their coach.

ted lasso season 2
Brett Goldstein in “Ted Lasso” season two, premiering Friday, July 23 on Apple TV+. /

Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Roy tries out a new job

Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) is still the absolute best, and his relationship with Keeley (Juno Temple) is going strong. The only disagreement they’ve had lately is regarding what Roy intends to do in his post-football career. Keeley encourages him to take a football pundit job offered by Sky News, but Roy couldn’t be more opposite to it.

Instead, he fills his days coaching his niece Phoebe’s under-nine football team and hanging out with yoga moms, drinking rosé and watching trashy reality television. One show they watch, Lust Conquers All, even stars good old Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), which actually seems very fitting for him.

Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Rebecca gets back into the dating world

Rebecca is officially back in the dating world, and her new boyfriend, John (not Stamos), played by another newcomer, Patrick Baladi (of Breeders fame), is sweet, if boring. He mostly tells stories about weirdly aggressive run-ins with celebrities like Martin Short. He fails to impress either Roy or Keeley when the foursome goes on a double date.

John is “fine” and, as Roy says, but he thinks Rebecca deserves better than fine. She deserves someone who makes her feel like she’s been struck by lightning! And this is why we love Roy.

Later that week, over coffee, Rebecca registers what Roy said and realizes that she needs to be brave and open to finding real intimacy again. She shouldn’t settle for “fine,” and I agree. So, she dumps John. I hope they cast someone sexy and charming to play opposite the brilliant Hannah Waddingham.

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Ted Lasso Season 2 airs new episodes Fridays exclusively on Apple TV+.