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‘Ted Lasso’ stays positive to the (likely) end

From left: Nick Mohammed, Anthony Head, and Jason Sudeikis in "Ted Lasso."Colin Hutton/Apple TV+ via AP

I’ve heard some complaints about the current — and, most likely, the last — season of “Ted Lasso.” I do agree that, as the end closes in, some of the plotlines may be rushed, most notably everything having to do with Keeley and her company and Keeley and Roy. Critical scenes in those arcs seemed to be missing. Otherwise, I’m enjoying it, even when, as usual, it gets a little corny with one of its central themes, male intimacy.

The most common grievance has to do with Nick Mohammed’s Nate, and the way the writers are giving him a redemption arc. To many, he is the show’s big bad, a guy who left when his ego and his insecurities got the better of him. And he didn’t leave gracefully, with any appreciation of what Ted and the others had done for him. He stormed out and took a job with the team’s nemesis, a move that threw his old team off their game.


But this is “Ted Lasso,” a show that treats everyone, except maybe the vilest of villains (Rupert), with some degree of compassion. That’s what makes it “Ted Lasso” — the positivity, the sense that there’s something good in everyone. We’ve known all along that Nate has unresolved daddy issues that explain a lot of his bad behavior toward Ted, his father figure. We know that his flip to the dark side made him unhappier than ever. Was there any question he would come around and heal? Not for me, and, it has seemed, not for Ted.

I found the scenes of him at his parents’ house affecting, as we saw his cold, perfectionist father apologize and as we learned that he was an extraordinary violin player (it was really Mohammed playing, by the way). And I liked the way the writers indirectly gave us Nate’s apology to his former kit man, Will, by having him sneak in to set up the locker room. It told us that Nate had found clarity. He now seems to understand how he, the once-bullied kit man, had become a bully himself, and he is choosing to break the cycle.


I’m expecting more from Nate’s apology tour in the remaining two episodes. I’ll even say that I won’t be surprised if Nate winds up back at Richmond by the end of the season, and — if the show spins off without Ted in the mix — in future seasons, too.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.