SPOILER ALERT: The following story reveals major plot points from Ted Lasso’s latest episode “Sunflowers.”
AFC Richmond has been struggling plenty in Apple TV+ hit series Ted Lasso in Season 3, but things get a lot lighter in episode 6 titled “Sunflowers.” The team heads to Amsterdam for a break with Ted (Jason Sudeikis) declaring a mini-break for everyone following another loss.
If the writers had told fans in Season 1 that Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) and Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) would eventually become friends, nobody would’ve believed it. But here they are, exploring Amsterdam on bikes searching for a windmill. Both men have grown and evolved and, thanks to Zava (Maximilian Osinski), are now buddies.
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Dunster spoke to Deadline about working closely with Goldstein, enjoying Amsterdam for the first time and how the episode will change things moving forward.
DEADLINE: “Sunflowers” is quite a different episode from the others. What was it like to shoot?
PHIL DUNSTER: This was probably my favorite episode to shoot of the entire show; it was like a field day episode. I always like shooting on location anyway because it feels a bit like a holiday. Plus working so closely with Brett, and being able to show a side to Jamie that we haven’t seen before—this sort of energetic and sort of childish side—and to do it in Amsterdam, which I’d never visited before, made the whole thing [so special]. The reason I think the episode is so good as well is that there are so many characters having these huge moments. It feels like a real turning point for those characters as the season continues.
DEADLINE: Jamie and Brett have really come a long way. Has the evolution of these two men, former foes who are now on friendly terms, something you expected?
DUNSTER: It’s interesting. Zava was a catalyst for their relationship growing because I think there’s probably some schadenfreude from Roy seeing Jamie frustrated and angry in this way. We’ve seen emotional growth between them, but now there’s also vocational growth as well. They’ve been through enough now for Roy to be able to give this final piece of the puzzle to Jamie and Jamie is finally in a place where he can receive it. It’s like any good relationship, it’s being able to be the teacher and sometimes to be the person being taught. They’ve both learned that there’s space for them within this relationship to do both.
DEADLINE: It was shocking that Roy Kent couldn’t ride a bike. He’s the kind of character you expect to be proficient at everything, right?
DUNSTER: It’s such a good and silly thing for someone who is so physically capable as a premier league footballer, the idea that you can’t ride a bike. [Laughs]
DEADLINE: Would you agree that this episode feels like a turning point for everyone?
DUNSTER: To have Ted, with all of his many interpersonal powers, and now on top of that he’s learning about some of the more elite tactics of football, he’s becoming an unstoppable force. It’s similar to the progress we see in Ted, it’s not linear. There are still so many bumps in the road that sometimes feels like it’s not progressing. What can I say that won’t give it all away? It’s the coming together of the lessons that Ted has been teaching these young men to be the best versions of themselves and learning how to be better footballers alongside it. The former of those is the most important thing, and I think that that’s where the focus lies.
DEADLINE: Jamie seemed unbothered when Roy mentioned Keeley had probably moved on with someone new. Would you say Jamie is over her?
DUNSTER: I think that when you’ve dated someone or someone has been vulnerable around you, there’s always a level of intimacy that you can’t erase. So the fact that [Keely and Jamie’s] lives are intertwined, they still have that element of frisson between them. But I don’t know if he knows honestly, and I think that’s part of what I wanted to play at that point. He’s focusing on being a better version of himself and oddly, that means he doesn’t even seem to have time for any of that other stuff. Bless him, he can only think of one thing at a time.
DEADLINE: Do you not think Jamie and Roy’s blossoming friendship played a role in Jamie thinking of his mate over his ex?
DUNSTER: I think that there is an element of him having learned some semblance of altruism there, like empathy of being the bigger man. He’s learned how to be a friend as well.
DEADLINE: What can you tease about what’s ahead?
DUNSTER: There are some serious mic drops ahead. There are some moments with character relationships that we wouldn’t expect to happen at the start of the season. There’s a lot more football and it’s got a great ending.
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