Ted Lasso: Why Ted Didn’t Stay at Richmond? Will He Return?

Apple TV+’s ‘Ted Lasso‘ season 3 arrives at its inevitable conclusion with a season finale with the decisiveness and definitiveness of a series finale. The twelfth and final episode of season 3 brings to a close a three-season-long arc for Ted as he finally achieves what he desires the most. The bittersweet episode sees Ted returning to the United States to be with his son, Herny, leaving viewers curious about the coach’s decision not to stay at AFC Richmond. Hence, viewers must be wondering why Ted chose not to remain at Richmond and whether we will see him. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Why Did Ted Leave Richmond?

‘Ted Lasso’ stars with Ted, an American college football coach who arrives in London after he is appointed as the Manager of AFC Richmond, a Premier League club. Over three seasons, Ted imbibes his core philosophies, charmingly optimistic outlook, and endless self-belief within those at the club, helping them become a better version of themselves. However, as season 3 draws to a close, Ted decides it is time for him to move back to the United States. Ted originally came to London to give his wife, Michelle, some space after they contemplated divorce. However, by season 3, Ted deeply misses his son, Henry, and wishes for nothing more than to be with him.

In the season 3 finale, titled ‘So Long, Farewell,’ Ted spends his final days at Richmond, guiding the team to the second spot in the league, losing the title by a single point to rivals Manchester City. After the match, Ted returns to his homeland. In the penultimate episode, Ted’s mother, Dottie, visits Ted, and his time with Dottie cements Ted’s desire to be with Henry. While Rebecca tries convincing Ted that Richmond is also his home, Ted has already decided to leave. Ted likely did not want to uproot Henry from his life in the United States.

Moreover, Ted’s pep talk during half-time suggests his work as Richmond is done. Ted’s philosophy of believing is represented through the “BELIEVE” sign he added to the Richmond locker room only to tear it into pieces and encourage the players to find it inside them. In the finale, the players reveal they have been carrying a piece of that sign with them, signifying that they carry all of Ted’s beliefs and ideas within them that will guide them through life on and off the pitch. Thus, Ted fulfills his obligations and responsibility to his second family before returning to his actual family to ensure he is there to watch Henry grow up into a bright and capable young man as he did with his players.

Will Ted Return to Richmond?

The final scene of the third season finale depicts Ted coaching Henry’s middle school soccer team. The moment feels extremely intimate and emotional, especially as Ted looks directly into the camera, his eyes speaking to the viewers, saying the unsaid goodbye, almost as if we are no longer meant to follow his story. While the show’s makers haven’t confirmed if season 3 is the final season, the season finale feels more like a series finale. The ending strongly implies that Ted belongs back home with his son, diminishing the possibility of him returning to Richmond. While the show’s future remains clouded, Ted’s emotional and thematic arc has certainly concluded with his time at Richmond. Furthermore, Richmond seems to have moved into a new era, with Roy Kent replacing Ted as the new manager.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, actor Jason Sudeikis who plays the titular character, refused to give a definitive answer about the show’s future. “There was just this feeling, like a call to arms, to take whatever we made here, and however we made it there, to bring that to wherever any of us go next,” Sudeikis said about his final days on the show. The actor’s words strongly hint that he is ready to move on to other projects. Hence, even if the story of AFC Richmond continues in a potential fourth season or spin-off, Sudeikis’ Lasso likely won’t be a part of it. While the possibility of Sudeikis returning to guest star in future seasons or spin-offs cannot be ruled out, doing so would undo the emotional weight of Ted’s season 3 ending. And with that, we can do nothing more than watch the aforementioned final scene and sing “So Long, Farewell” to our favorite coach.

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