Ted Lasso – Season 3 Episode 7 “The Strings That Bind Us” Recap & Review

Upward Bound

Episode 7 of Ted Lasso season 3 opens with a montage of all the shops in Richmond opening for the new day. Jamie runs on the streets, dragging along a bicycle tied to his waist, on top of which Roy is seated. Nathan visits A Taste of Athens and waves out to Jade from outside. While having coffee, Jack gifts Keeley a first edition of Sense and Sensibility, signed by the author!

Sam enters his restaurant and has a table booked on the coming Friday. He enters a curse and heads to the kitchen to see Simi raging about the Home Secretary Brinda Barot’s comments about refugees. After harping on about mismatched cutlery, he then reveals his father is coming on the weekend and he wants things to be perfect.

Ted tells the team they’re going to try a new strategy and Coach beard introduces them all to Total Football. Even after going through the history of the strategy and its various successes, the team don’t seem inclined to try it out. Ted is confident they can use it against Arsenal during their upcoming match.

At Keeley’s office, Barbara notices the book given by Jack and puts Keeley in the spot, as she is unsure whether to reveal the relationship or not.

Nathan gets a text from his mother reminding him about his sister’s birthday. He suggests celebrating at A Taste of Athens but his mother says she’s cooking.

At the pub, Beard tells Ted Jane’s been leaving signs about pegging around the house. Mae reveals she’s upset about the recent Richmond losses leaving her pub empty. The three Richmond fans confront Ted about the team’s performance and he invites them to come watch the practice (all anger forgotten now).

Nathan comes by A Taste of Athens again and looks into the window but can’t find Jade. He meets Derek and awkwardly oscillates between asking and not asking him to tell Jade he came by.

At practice, Ted says the team needs to work on four things — conditioning, versatility, awareness and one more thing he doesn’t know of yet. For the first, Roy has the team run the field from end to end. Oh and he’s allergic to metal so he just yells out the word ‘whistle’ instead of actually using one.

Jack visits Keeleya at work and the latter gets flustered about people seeing them kiss. Turns out, Jack doesn’t care if people know they’re dating. To prove it, she walks out into the office and announces the news to everybody.

The three Richmond fans watch from the stands as the players throw up on the field from too much running.

Rebecca and Keeley talk about Rebecca’s adventure in Amsterdam over drinks. Rebecca then points out to Keeley that Jack seems to be ‘love bombing’ her. After a subtle comparison to Rupert, she warns Keeley about too many shiny things. An apt comment as the waitress informs the women that Jack has paid their bill.

At Nathan’s sister’s birthday party, Nathan helps his niece made a handmade gift box for her mother. Later, when he’s alone with his sister and his mother, Nathan opens up about Jade. They tell him there is no way he can know about Jade’s feeling for sure, unless he asks her. His mother then shows him a map his father had given her to ask her out on a first date. The map shows the distances between them at various points in their lives accompanied by that very question.

Sam arrives at his restaurant to see the staff circled around a laptop watching the home secretary refuse entry to refugees again. He writes a polite tweet to Brinda Barot asking her to do better for the country.

Nathan ultimately does go up to Jade at the restaurant but panics and goes to the restaurant bathroom. He then leaves the place, saying he needs to do something first.

As there are more fans at the training field, Ted stresses the importance of versatility to the team. The team then swap places and try playing in each other’s position. Everyone gets a swap, even Will and Coach Beard, except for Jamie. Ted says he can do what he does best. It doesn’t all go well as when Isaac takes a corner kick, the ball flies way outside and hits a window, startling Leslie into spilling tea all over himself. Later, Sam notices Brinda Barot has replied with a nasty tweet against him.

Trent asks Ted if changing strategies this late in the game is a good idea and Ted, in his roundabout way, says it is.

At A Taste of Athens, Jade seems to look out for Nathan. Keeley enters work to find her office filled with flowers — daisies, that she had once mentioned were her favourite flowers.

The coaches then train the players in awareness, keeping track of where the other players are. They do this by tying a single red string around all of their privates, an idea courtesy of Roy. They trip and fall while practicing until the string gets yanked and pulled off Jamie, but thankfully he remains unscathed.

Sam sees another rude response from Brinda on Twitter and replies, calling her a bigot this time. Nathan meanwhile, works on a craft project similar to his niece’s, planning to use it to ask Jade out for dinner.

Keeley meets Jack at a café and tells her to stop showering her in gifts. Jack understands. When Keeley bites into the croissant Jack bought for her, she finds a ring inside it.

Nathan is about to give Jade the box he made when he trips and the box gets run over by a car. He asks her out on a date anyway and she says yes.

Sam reaches his restaurant to find the place completely trashed and the message “Shut up and dribble” sprayed on the wall.

Trent notes down Ted’s points of focus. He then asks Ted about what Number Four is but Ted, and the other coaches, have no idea — yet.

Sam enters the locker room fuming about everything and ranting about the way people adore him when he scores but trash him when he messes up. He is upset about having to play football while other important crises go on around him. His rant is interrupted by the appearance of his father, who has heard everything. Right in time, as Sam gets the hug he very much needed.

The pair talk later on with Mr. Obisanya telling encouraging Sam to reopen his restaurant and forgive the perpetrators. Ted enters and tells Sam it’s okay if he wants to sit this practice out but his father tells him to go.

The day of the match with Arsenal arrives. Keeley and Rebecca meet Leslie and Sam’s father, leading to some slightly awkward tension between Mr. Obisanya and Rebecca. By half time, Arsenal lead three-nil and Richmond isn’t playing well. Ted gives them a speech about facial hair which rounds about to how the right idea can be sitting behind the wrong one.

Jamie steps up and says that instead of passing the ball to him, the rest of the team should play through him. Jamie should be a midfielder and through him, they can get the ball to strikers like Dani and Colin. Everyone likes the idea and it works. The players do a fantastic job on the field, even earning praise from the commentators as they score a goal. They still lose the match but the overall impression is that Richmond has hope again.

An ecstatic Trent goes up to Ted and claims this isn’t just a week’s worth of training but the result of three years of coaching the Lasso Way.

Nathan waits nervously at a restaurant and texts him mum, asking if he can be sure his date wouldn’t stand him up. Jade turns up anyway and they get off to a good start. Keeley takes Jack out for a date as well and gets them the window table at A Taste of Athens.

Sams father tells him he’s proud of how they played. Sam takes him to the restaurant only to find the entire team fixing the whole place up. He’s extremely touched as Sam introduces Simi to his father, who reciprocates. One of the players then fixes the neon lighting that read the restaurant’s name — Ola’s.

Sam’s father decides to make dinner for everybody and the team heartily enjoys the meal as Sam and his father cook in the kitchen, while grooving along to the music.

The Episode Review

It almost seems like a given rule that when an episode of TV begins with The Cranberries’ Dreams, it’s going to be a good one. Episode 7 is definitely one of this series’ better episodes with football and coaching, finally, taking front and centre again. The storytelling was focused and compelling. The dialogues were great, with several quips and comments that made me laugh out loud. Will pretending to be Coach Beard was simply hilarious.

Total Football is an exciting idea, one that is in sync with the show’s other philosophies on teamwork and community. In any case, it’s nice to see the Greyhounds on an upward streak and I hope it lasts longer than one episode.

Jamie and Roy continue to stand out as characters with the best development so far — whether it’s Roy reluctantly making puns or Jamie coming up with the idea of putting himself in mid-field that saves the day. Sam’s father seems just as wholesome as he is and the two make a wonderful pair on screen. Seeing the team rally to fix up Sam’s restaurant again shows how far they’ve come and how strong their bond is.

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You can read our full season review for Ted Lasso Season 3 here!

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1 thought on “Ted Lasso – Season 3 Episode 7 “The Strings That Bind Us” Recap & Review”

  1. Am I old, or did no one else catch the “Major League” references? One of the fans saying “Just a bit outside” when the kick hit Higgins’ window, or the playing of “Center Field?”

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