‘Ted Lasso’: Is Rebecca Abusing Her Power Over Sam? Co-Creator Bill Lawrence Says It’s ‘More Complicated’ Than Boss/Employee

Ted Lasso fans were surprised by a season 2 love connection. Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) tried out the dating app Bantr, and her dream match turned out to be Sam (Toheeb Jimoh). Not everyone was rooting for them, though. Some are concerned that Rebecca may be exploiting a power dynamic. Sam is a player on the team she owns. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the Ted Lasso Season 3 finale.]

Sam Obisanya and Rebecca Welton stand in a hallway in 'Ted Lasso'
(L-R) Toheeb Jimoh and Hannah Waddingham in ‘Ted Lasso’ | Apple TV+

Co-creator and showrunner Bill Lawrence addressed this issue on The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top Five podcast on Oct. 8. Host Leslie Goldberg asked Lawrence directly about the workplace power dynamic between Rebecca and Sam. 

‘Ted Lasso’ will address Rebecca and Sam dating in the workplace

Ted Lasso Season 2 was about Rebecca and Sam connecting. There were jokes about Sam and Rebecca from Cheers. The big conflict was Sam’s offer to play for a Nigerian team. Lawrence promised that season 3 would explore what exactly it means for Rebecca and Sam to continue dating while he plays for AFC Richmond.

“I don’t like to give spoilers for episodes that haven’t even been shot yet, much less ones that people have only seen,” Lawrence said. “It’s a really smart writing staff and a really astute group of people that care about all this stuff. The odds are, if you have thought about something that would raise an issue or a sticking point or something that might be considered, it probably is going to be or has been. But maybe not just in the immediate ‘I want the answer to it now’ way that you think you have to get when you watch television.”

Toheeb Jimoh in “Ted Lasso” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+
Toheeb Jimoh using his Apple iPhone in ‘Ted Lasso’ | Apple TV+

RELATED: ‘Ted Lasso’: Jason Sudeikis Thinks Rebecca Has a Soulmate — But Her Soulmate Isn’t Sam

Lawrence pointed out that watching Ted Lasso week to week is different than binging it all at once. Similarly, In the penultimate episode, Trent Crimm (James Lance) disclosed his source to Ted (Jason Sudeikis). Journalists were quick to point out that would never happen. Lawrence knew the show would explore the consequences of Crimm’s actions in the finale. 

“I don’t think we’ve done anything on the show yet that hasn’t had ramifications that you’ve watched it and go, ‘Oh, that should have ramifications,’” Lawrence said. “It might not always be the story version you have in your head but it’s a smart gang.”

Bill Lawrence points out Rebecca and Sam aren’t exactly unequal 

Lawrence’s second point has to do with the nature of professional soccer as a sport and industry. Yes, Rebecca is the owner. However, as a player, Sam has his own power. Ted Lasso explored that via his free agency, and simply the scale of his job.

Hannah Waddingham smiles in a blue dress sitting at a desk in 'Ted Lasso' Season 2
Hannah Waddingham in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2 | AppleTV+

RELATED: ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3: Are Roy and Keeley Endgame?

“When we talk about power dynamics, be there a male boss/female employee, female boss/male employee, that story is a little trickier and different than the typical power dynamic,” Lawrence said. “Instead of talking about an employee that can lose their job and livelihood, we took great pains to make Sam a star. Someone who’s probably getting paid somewhere between $10-20 million and could blink, just like if you saw at the ending of the show, and get that money somewhere else tomorrow. It’s still interesting but more complicated and one of the things I look forward to telling those stories as we move on.”

What’s next for Rebecca and Sam in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3?

The Ted Lasso writers went to work on season 3 in September. Apple expects to air the season in the summer of 2022. Lawrence would not spoil what’s in store for Rebecca and Sam, but he said to expect surprises.

“I don’t think you should be worried,” Lawrence said. “But, I hope that people anticipate things playing out in ways that they expect they deserve to.”

Source: TV’s Top Five podcast