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Strong and capable: Ted Lasso, S3 E3

“I am a strong and capable man,” Colin says to no one before starting his bright orange sports car. He is not ready to come out and appears nervous about being seen leaving the house of his boyfriend.

Gathering himself in the driveway, he utters those words, the mantra he adopted after his first visit with Dr. Sharon last season.

What does it mean to be “strong and capable”?

Keeping it quiet

Colin wants to be strong and capable enough to keep his secret. He is working very hard to keep up the facade of what everyone expects a footballer to be.

Late in the episode, Colin’s boyfriend meets him at Sam’s restaurant Ola’s. Colin introduces him to some teammates as, “my pal, Michael… world’s greatest wingman.”

Michael plays along, “Yeah. Tough gig. ‘Hello, young lady. My friend’s a professional footballer. May I spend all night talking to your cross-eyed friend while he hits on your, poorly?'”

Throughout the episode, we get the sense of how heavy carrying this secret is on Colin.

Moving on

Also figuring out what it means to be strong and capable are Rebecca and Keeley. At one point, Keeley catches Rebecca staring at Sam, knowing it’s over. In the very next minute, the tables are turned as Rebecca notices Keeley looking longingly at Roy.

Ted’s discovery that his ex-wife is dating the couples therapist they consulted during their marriage seems to trigger his anxiety as he tries to be strong and capable.

Then there’s Zava, the one who can do it all on their own. We haven’t seen a crack in his exterior yet, but I have to believe something is coming.

One of eleven

One of the themes of Ted Lasso is summed up in a line from the second episode of the series. Trying to get through to Jamie, Ted says,

I haven’t known you for that long, but I can honestly say you are the best athlete I have ever coached… You are truly great at everything you do out there. Except for one thing… I think you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there, you’re just one of eleven.

Strong and capable isn’t about keeping your secret or suffering in silence. It isn’t about doing everything on your own —- trying to be one in a million. It’s our friendships and connections that make us strong and capable.

That’s a lesson I’m guessing Zava will be confronting at some point this season.

And it’s one you and I have to relearn from time to time.

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