This Wasn’t an ‘Atypical’ Season

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Gregory Shepherd, Contributing Writer

This past September, the Netflix original series, “Atypical” made its return to viewer’s watch history. After a satisfying finale to season one, the floodgates of potential story were unlocked for season two. The core of season two’s content surprisingly strayed away from Sam Gardner’s adversities towards being on the spectrum and focused more on the circle of people that care for him. The importance of companionship, honesty and evolution is especially highlighted throughout these characters’ progression season two.

The character who goes through arguably the most drastic change is Sam’s sister, Casey. She was first introduced as a naive, caring sister who supported Sam in the most brother-sister way possible, by annoying him with a sprinkle of good advice.

Now, she’s transitioning from having to look out for her little brother, to having to only worry about herself. She moved from her high school to a wealthy private school away from close friends and most importantly her brother. With this move came a bunch of added problems that would be debilitating for any teen. However, she seemingly started to embrace it by befriending her biggest bully. Through a series of tests that would strain their newfound relationship throughout the season, they would have to figure out one major test in the show’s next season.

The roller coaster of a relationship continues between Elsa and Doug. It began with Doug taking a ‘leave of absence’ from his family due to Sam’s diagnosis. As an escape of her responsibilities, Elsa had an affair with the local bartender that lived the worry-free lifestyle she envied. This affair didn’t go unsaid with a not-so-hidden message to Elsa from Casey. Understandably, Elsa was forced out the house and roomed with a friend. After Doug began showing symptoms of stress with having all responsibilities of the household fall on him, he reluctantly took her back.

Slowly and overtime, their marriage began to reconnect, but it was quickly disrupted when Doug experienced visions of the bartender antagonizing him. In a vulnerable mindset, the season ends with Doug knocking on the door of one of his lady friends. Season 3 would hold many questions on whether the two can repair such a damaged marriage.

Finally, this topsy-turvy plot lands on Sam. Out of the situations escalating in everyone else’s life, Sam seemingly has the most stability out of all characters. He did have a few episodes during school, and struggled to find a better therapist than his previous one Julia. He also had a very dramatic encounter with the police. To manage these damaging issues, he relies on everyone but his family. This new found resilience and independence birthed a new passion to attend college, practice stepping outside of his comfort zone and experience the personal growth that comes with being a senior in high school.

With the help of his friend Zahid, a peer group of other teens on the spectrum and his friend Paige, Sam fights through the daily struggles most people go through. Many viewers would admit that in season two he’s handling his chaotic journey better than any neurotypical.