Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 9 recap: Coach Beard’s nighttime odyssey

Bronson Webb, Brendan Hunt, Adam Colborne and Kevin ‘KG’ Garry in “Ted Lasso” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.
Bronson Webb, Brendan Hunt, Adam Colborne and Kevin ‘KG’ Garry in “Ted Lasso” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+. /

Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 9, “Beard After Hours,” serves as a day in the spotlight for Coach Beard and the trio of AFC Richmond superfans Baz, Jeremy and Paul, who we often see yelling at the latest game on television at the pub (or The Great British Bake Off).

In this unique, cinematic episode, Beard embarks on a nighttime odyssey across London as he struggles to cope with the colossal failure of his team’s epic semifinals loss. Everywhere he turns are constant reminders of how AFC Richmond bit it hard on the pitch. Beard constantly hears commentators Thierry Henry and Gary Lineker criticizing his coaching methods, rebuking him for not knowing better than to start the team out on the offense.

The previous episode honed in on how most of our favorite characters are traveling through their “dark forest” right now, and Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 9 shows us Beard’s version. He feels like he needs to be punished for failing the team, seeking out dangerous situations at every turn.

Ultimately, Beard ends up in a nasty fight with Jamie Tartt’s father, James Tartt, who has a bone to pick with the coach after getting kicked out of the locker room while he was tormenting his son in the previous episode.

Ted Lasso Season 2
Brendan Hunt in “Ted Lasso” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+. /

Ted Lasso Season 2, Episode 9 recap: Beard tries to find his way back to Jane

Apart from the fight, Beard is also trying to find his way back to Jane, who finally tells him that she loves him. But then Beard loses his phone and wallet. By the time he gets his phone returned to him, he notices that he has missed tons of texts and calls from Jane, and before he can do anything about it, his phone dies.

They finally meet up again at a secret club behind a church, where they dance in a particularly lighthearted sequence that contrasts with the episode’s otherwise melancholy tone.

In a season that many have complained doesn’t have a strong central plot, I’m sure there will be people displeased with an episode that yet again stalls the momentum (similar to the Christmas special), but I think episodes like this one are part of the beauty of television as a medium.

These experimental, character-building episodes reminded me of when bottle episodes were more popular, and shows had extra padding built-in with 22-episode runs to spend time doing something unique and different.

Living in the binge era means most television has lots of its “filler,” so to speak, and while some might like that, it’s depressing to me. While I don’t think we need 20+ episodes to fill a season anymore, I do miss the days where people appreciated that television wasn’t necessarily something to speed watch or binge in one sitting, but instead something to be savored and enjoyed over a longer period of time. This episode reminds me of why that can be such a special attribute for any show.

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New episodes of Ted Lasso Season 2 stream Fridays on Apple TV+.