SPOILER ALERT: Key plot points from the second season finale of “Ted Lasso” will be revealed by reading further.
The season finale of the second season of “Ted Lasso” dropped on Friday, featuring a storyline that positions Nate (Nick Mohammed) as new manager for Rupert’s (Anthony Head) West Ham team.
Nate has been making some questionable decisions in recent episodes, such as kissing Keeley (Juno Temple) and blabbing to reporter Trent Crimm (James Lance) that coach Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) fled an earlier match because he was suffering a panic attack.
In the finale, the escalating tension between Nate and Ted finally came to a head during a crucial match, with Ted finally asking Nate what he’d done to him.
Nate proceeded to unload on Ted. “I’ll tell you what you did,” he said, becoming teary-eyed. “You made me feel like I was the most important person in the whole world, and then you abandoned me. Like you switch on a light, just like that. And I worked my ass off trying to get your attention back, to prove myself to you, to make you like me again. But the more I did the less you cared; it’s like I was f**king invisible… Everybody loves you, the great Ted Lasso. Well, I think you’re a f**king joke. Without me, we wouldn’t have won a single match and they would have shipped your a** back to Kansas where you f**king belong, with your son. Because you sure as hell don’t belong here. But I do. I belong here. This didn’t just fall into my lap. I earned this.”
Ted said he was sorry, admitting he should have given more recognition to Nate, who angrily responded, “No, you’re not, you’re full of s**t. F**k you, Ted.”
Mohammed spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the finale, offering insight into Nate’s state of mind and admitting he’s steeling himself for a strong response from the show’s fans.
“But yeah, I’m anticipating a little bit of a… backlash is too strong a word. The fan base is strong and they love the show, and I think, particularly episode 11, with all the surprises that that brings, they were deeply shocked, but they were very kind in the little bit I saw on social media. Yeah, they were saying that they hate Nate. [Laughs] But it’s right, they should, because he’s made a series of wrong decisions. They should be following that journey in the way that they are. Who knows how they’re going to react to what episode 12 brings — it’s one hell of a finale. But I’m excited. That’s probably the word.”
Asked if he could defend Nate’s actions, Mohammed admitted it wasn’t easy. “I don’t think I can condone any of his actions — the bad ones,” he said. “He crosses the line with Keeley, he crossed the line with Will, the kitman, he crossed the line with Colin, who was rude to him, and he crossed a huge line with Ted. And, ultimately, he’s betrayed the club and gone elsewhere. So I don’t condone those actions at all. In terms of empathizing with him, Nate is such a troubled soul, and he’s the same guy from season 1; he’s insecure, he lacks confidence, he needs praise and he’s now not getting any at all, and he has a toxic relationship with his parents. That’s very clear. Ted was almost a replacement father figure in season 1 and now he feels even abandoned by Ted. So he’s questioning if anything that Ted did for him had any real meaning. He’s at such a loss and he’s lashing out at all the people who’ve stood by him. He’s just making mistake after mistake.”
Ultimately, Mohammed added, “I can’t defend his actions, but he does lay it out to Ted in that scene between the two of them, he explains how he felt abandoned. And it’s true. There hasn’t been a scene between Ted and Nate this whole season, and that’s deliberate. It’s to make the audience feel, hopefully, that Nate has been lost. He hasn’t been able to have it out. He’s just been this bubbling pressure cooker of a whole manner of emotions and he’s really got no release valve.”
Admitting he doesn’t know what the future has in store for Nate, Mohammed is hopeful that he gets his life back on track.
“There’s always a season 3,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s a redemption arc, because I genuinely don’t know. But maybe there’s always hope. If I believe in anything, I believe in hope. So maybe believe in hope? But then I don’t know, because maybe this will be the one character that doesn’t get a redemption story. Maybe they’ll keep it real and maybe someone doesn’t get to redeem themselves. So I don’t know…”