One of the best parts of the first two seasons Ted Lasso are watching growth Juno TempleKeeley Jones. The series is predominantly male, with much of the focus on Lasso and AFC Richmond’s England men’s soccer team. Few women managed to come out of their shadows. One is Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton, the strong but vulnerable owner of AFC Richmond. The other is Keeley, who, in Season 1, is a model trapped in a bad relationship with selfish Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster).
As a model who dated a famous football player, Keeley could have fallen into stereotypes, but instead she grew past her preconceived boundaries, leaving Jamie for the man she truly loved in Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein). Even though they come from different backgrounds, he finds a friend in Rebecca. He even started his own sports PR firm, KJPR. With her candor, Keeley is one of the best written characters Ted Lasso. Season 3, however, has seen Keeley go through so much, only for her to end up back where she was as the same person.
Keeley Jones and Roy Kent Crush ‘Ted Lasso’ Fans’ Disappointment
Perhaps the most interesting part of the first two seasons Ted Lasso nothing to do with the titular character, but the growth of two supporting characters in Roy Kent and Keeley Jones. Roy is Oscar the Grouch in human form. He’s a walking pout that never smiles, but fans love him because when the layers are pulled back, Roy Kent has a lot more to it than meets the eye. Much of his rudeness stems from his diminishing role as a football player. He used to be a star, the guy who got all the attention, but now he’s older, and others, like the cocky Jamie Tartt, are getting all the attention. That makes Roy an unbearable jerk at times, but we endure it because, well, someone like Jamie – Season 1 Jamie, that is, – is worse, and we also get to see Roy’s adorable relationship with his young niece Phoebe (Elodie Blomfield), whom he loves like she is his own, even if he is grumpy about it.
Then there’s Keeley. As a former model, he can be a thinly and blandly written character, especially when he attaches himself to Tartt, a man so self-absorbed he treats Keeley in second person. However, as their relationship soured, we saw how much pain he was in and how much more he wanted. His relationship with Roy was fast. He soothed her, and she made him feel wanted and needed. They must end up together.
It gives them the perfect opportunity to grow. Roy, though still short-tempered, mostly vents his anger, even becoming tolerant of his nemesis in Jamie. Keeley is now very confident about starting his own business, a PR firm named after himself called KJPR. But because a series needs drama, Roy and Keeley can’t live happily ever after easily. Roy broke up with him, because he was not ready to give himself away. He would rather lose himself coaching than be so vulnerable. Many fans were outraged, because it came out of nowhere, just as the pair were growing and committed to working through the tough parts. It’s still a story that could work, if it truly changed Keeley and made him grow. Instead, Season 3 of Ted Lasso has focused almost solely on how Roy grew as a person after the breakup.
Keeley Finds Love With Someone New In ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3
Ted Lasso fans are equally frustrated at how quickly Keeley has moved on from Roy. Even though Roy broke up with her, and she is entitled to date other people, it feels rushed because of how the episodes are laid out and jumps right in time. Roy is miserable, throwing himself into his job, now an assistant coach, but while we do see Keeley sad at times, he seems to be doing just fine, excelling in his new career, making new friends, and constantly having fun with his BFF, Rebecca.
As much as Keeley and Roy’s breakup came out of nowhere, so did Keeley’s relationship with Jack (Jodi Balfour). One minute Keeley’s new boss becomes close friends who could potentially threaten Rebecca’s status, the next finds them making out, and just like that, they are a couple. There are a few ideas that could be explored in there, as are other people’s reactions, but nobody really cares about Keeley’s bisexual status (as they should) and not much office chaos when Jack announces he’s dating. his own employee. We see Roy a little down and talk about his feelings for Keeley, but again, it’s Roy we watch grow.
There’s more potential drama for Keeley when her nude videos leak. He was crushed, but not ashamed. But Jack was shy. Suddenly, this woman who was so safe to date other women who were underlings was embarrassed by nude videos that weren’t Keeley’s fault. He asked Keeley to apologize for ever making the film feel out of reach. What didn’t come out of left field was Keeley refusing to do so. We know he wouldn’t do something like that, nor should he. But that’s not growth. That’s Keeley and always has been. He is secure and strong in his individuality and refuses to conform or apologize for it. It’s a powerful moment for Keeley, but one that’s barely explored.
Everything in Keeley’s Life Is Back As It Was Last Season
A few episodes ago on Ted Lasso, Keeley was on the brink. Her relationship with Roy is over. Her new relationship with Jack is over. To make matters worse, Jack refuses to talk to Keeley, and in a cowardly move, withdraws his funds from KJPR, which means Keeley’s new business must be shut down. Keeley was so devastated that he ostracized Rebecca. This could be an interesting arc for Keeley. How will such a strong character react when everything is taken away from him?
Instead, everything was quickly returned to Keeley. Jack was never seen again. Roy grew up and wrote notes to Keeley, apologizing for what he did and praising Keeley for who she is. He reads it to her, and she gets swept up in it. When Rebecca showed up at Keeley’s door, concerned about her friend’s silence, Keeley immediately apologized and Rebecca accepted without issue. When Keeley tells him about Jack pulling out of his funding for KJPR, it’s followed by a moment we can see coming. Rebecca stepped in to fund it herself. Business saved.
All this is not bad. Ted Lasso thrives on good times and Keeley deserves it all. But Ted Lasso also a lot about growth through loss. Ted struggles as his ex-wife (Andrea Anders) have moved in, are dating their own therapist, and are watching their son (Gu Turner) grew up without him on another continent. Rebecca must deal with the pain of her ex-husband Rupert (Chief Anthony) and her behavior, and her loneliness, and the heartbreaking news that she is now too old to have children. Roy was forced to grow up repeatedly due to the loss of Keeley and the bromance that formed with Jamie of all people. They all have to lose something in order to thrive.
Keeley had nothing to lose. He does so temporarily, as a plot device, but in later episodes, everything in his life returns to the way it was. He returns with Roy sleeping in his bed as if Jack and the pain he caused never happened. His relationship with Rebecca is stronger than ever. The business is saved. Keeley was circling. Not only is Keeley unforced to change in a number of ways, but her circular storyline serves others more than she does. Their split was about Roy, not Keeley. The nude videos are about Jack and Roy and his team, not him. His business losses were about Jack, not him. With the other people’s arcs in her life satisfied, Keeley can return to her true self.
Keeley Jones is the strongest character in Ted Lasso. She is the embodiment of female empowerment. Maybe he doesn’t need to do much personal growth. It is the people around him who need to grow up. Still, her character deserves more than being a driving force for others.