Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Ted Lasso Season 2 premiere on Apple TV+. Read at your own risk!
Ted Lasso Season 2 certainly didn't pull any punches in its Season 2 premiere and got things off to a real wild start for AFC Richmond. Team optimist and soccer superstar Danny Rojas had his happiness stolen minutes into the season opener when his penalty kick unintentionally struck and killed the team's greyhound mascot.
It's a truly twisted bit of dark humor for Ted Lasso, as we see the jubilant Danny Rojas transform into a shell of his former self following the event. I spoke to star Cristo Fernández about the startling turn of events for Danny in the Apple TV+ series and how he felt when he first learned about it through the script, with the actor saying:
[Laughs] It was a combination of emotions. I laughed, but then I was [thinking] 'Why am I laughing?' [laughs] That's not good. But I think was just very excited to play another side of Danny and just show that other aspect and vulnerability that he can have. And the fact that we started to see how his mental health was gonna be treated and how he is gonna defeat this, overcome this, and I was just very very excited for that.
Cristo Fernández had the same reaction I'm assuming many Ted Lasso viewers had when the moment happened because it just feels so wrong to laugh about. At the same time, there's certainly something funny about AFC Richmond's most energized player becoming devastated over a freak accident to the point that he can no longer play soccer correctly as a result. It's also funny to see the brief glimpse into Danny's personal life when the audience sees shortly after his night terror that he's sharing a bed with several women.
Danny Rojas does eventually find help in the form of Sharon (played by Sarah Niles), a sports psychologist who is brought on to help treat Danny's yips and get him back to the player he was. Coach Ted Lasso is obviously thrilled to see Danny back to form, but he made it no secret that he's wary of any and all psychologists. In the Season 2 premiere, Ted revealed that his distrust of psychologists came from his belief that his marriage counselor always sided with his ex-wife, which led to their eventual divorce in Season 1.
Danny's tragedy and recovery certainly feels like the catalyst for a major storyline in Season 2, as perhaps Ted's inability to help Danny on his own reveals another potential hitch in his coaching ability. Ted got a pass in Season 1 for his general lack of experience in coaching soccer in general, let alone at a professional level. Should he lose his ability to meet the emotional needs of the team, is this a bad sign for his tenure with the team?