Friday, November 1, 2019

REVIEW: 'Atypical' - Sam and Paige Embrace a Summer of Romance Before College in 'Best Laid Plans

Netflix's Atypical - Episode 3.01 "Best Laid Plans"

Paige invites Sam to redefine their romance, Casey struggles with complicated feelings, and Elsa attempts to find a new normal with Doug.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of Netflix's Atypical.

"Best Laid Plans" was written by Robia Rashid and directed by Ryan Case

The second season concluded with several big emotional declarations. As such, it's up to this premiere to mine through the fallout of those various actions. Some of them are a big deal like Sam and Paige becoming a couple once more. Other ones feel like they remain in a holding pattern as the people figure out exactly what they are feeling. Nothing more happens between Casey and Izzie. Instead, she gets a text from her mother asking for a fire extinguisher. That is so random. And yet, it's so immediately rewarding as well. Plus, this premiere does build to an emotional declaration between Casey and Evan. She may be unsure of her feelings for a moment. All of that stress could ultimately trigger her appendicitis. However, there is no scientific reasoning to back that up. Instead, it's just reassurance that Casey is loved and special even if she doesn't feel like that all the time. Plus, Evan continues to present as an incredible boyfriend who loves her unconditionally and will do anything for her. She accepts that. She may fear what may come next. And yet, everyone should remain happy and excited about this development. It may be weird as Casey, Izzie and Evan are in bed together not quite knowing how to react. Casey is different with Izzie than she is with Evan. But both dynamics can still be sweet and rewarding. This premiere puts the emphasis on Casey and Evan. It continues to prioritize them as a couple. The same is true of Sam and Paige. He may be freaking out over the statistics of students with autism succeeding in college along the same four-year track as everyone else. He fixates on that idea. Zahid gives him some very practical advice of simply being prepared. He can succeed at college if he goes in with the right mindset. He has to be willing to address any obstacles he may face head on. That's how he has always been conditioned. His parents want to believe that he can overcome any obstacle. In fact, his friends and family have seen him do some incredible things. He just gave the graduation speech instead of Paige. That was a sweet and heartwarming gesture. Sure, it sucks that they are locked out of the school when the rest of the graduating class is locked in. But they still have each other. Paige is even willing to take their relationship to the next level. Sex is something that is heavily on their minds. They just don't have the opportunities to do it. It continues to elude them even though she tries to create good karma in the Olive Garden to restore order to the universe. She believes in that kind of logic. Meanwhile, Sam freaks out about missing the first day to register for classes. He still ultimately gets every class he wanted. Only one is an outlier. And yet, that ethics class is probably going to be his most significant one this season. Life can be surprising like that. People have to remain open to the possibilities. Elsa is furious that she and Doug still haven't discussed the current state of their marriage. He just made a huge confession to Megan about how he may not be able to move past Elsa's affair. And yet, they are still slowly just navigating through life. Elsa is furious and sets a couch on fire. She needs to understand that progress is being made. But it has to be on a respectful and appropriate time table. No one can force any significant developments into happening unless the motivation is clear and understood. That just means this is yet another season in which Elsa and Doug seem to be far more disconnected as a couple than a strong union once more. But hope still remains that things might work out for them. They are both giving back to the community to help inform others on how to help neuro-atypical people. Sam is preparing for more independence. That too will be a significant change. One where promises are made and will have to be kept as the season develops.