Friday, November 1, 2019

REVIEW: 'Atypical' - Sam Experiences College Orientation By Preparing for Even More Independence in 'Standing Sam'

Netflix's Atypical - Episode 3.02 "Standing Sam"

Sam makes a bold move amid the buzz of orientation day. Casey crosses paths with Nate. Elsa and Doug unpack the hazards of half-truths.

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 next episode of Netflix's Atypical.

"Standing Sam" was written by Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal and directed by Rebecca Asher

Is Doug going to make the same mistake as Elsa? That appears to be the suspicion by the close of this episode. He may make better choices because he understands the motivation that allowed Elsa to cheat. He knows how it happened. That's what he needed. It didn't justify the behavior but it helped bring him into the process so that their union could heal once more. And yet, Megan is in his life. They support each other. He may have said things that have created some awkwardness. But she also relies on him when her daughter is having a panic attack. He knows how to handle that situation as well. He is a life saver. She appreciates that. Doug just feels the impulse to lie about it. It's such an easy lie to get away with too. It's the same thing that Elsa found when she was caught thinking about Nick. She makes that confession here. She wants to control the reunion between them. However, Doug remains in a fragile state where he is still figuring out exactly what he wants. He knows how to effectively do his job. He is there for his children when they need him. Elsa is welcome in his life. They still live together. But the future remains very uncertain because he is now the one telling these little white lies. That too could snowball into something much bigger. Meanwhile, Sam is officially a college student now. He experiences orientation and even aspires to live in the dorm. That would be a huge adjustment for him. He needs to sleep with his turtle. The last time he didn't he was harassed by the police. That was a terrifying experience. He doesn't want to repeat that. But he also strives for more independence. He believes he can navigate the college campus without needing his family's support or help from disabilities services. He has an appointment to officially register in that office. However, he chooses not to attend it because he belives he can reinvent himself in this new environment. He simply needs the confidence to know exactly how to act. And yet, he latches onto the first people who tell him he is funny and cool. He has always been those things. He may not always realize that he is making jokes. However, he knows how to navigate this world. Sometimes he just needs the right kind of support. The Tasty Trio aren't a well-meaning group. It's simply two students who have come to campus in order to pull hijinks and have fun. That may not be what Sam wants from his college experience. He is determined to beat the odds because he knows that they may be stacked against him. That's why he is so prepared. But again, he can get easily distracted. His potential roommate is more than accommodating even though his name is Sam as well. Casey helps Sam look up how he can take his turtle with him to the dorm. That means all of the tools are in place to help Sam succeed. He just needs to know the right places to look. That is very comforting. He can make his own place in the world. Elsa may be terrified having him move out of the house after having to take care of him for so long. He is old enough where he has to take responsibility over his own decisions. She can't make all of the arrangements for him and tell him what to do. She is so used to filling that role. She too is yearning for more out of her life. She is fundamentally proud of her children and the support they extend to each other. And yet, she remains worried about Casey's violent impulses. She may be self-sabotaging her standing in this prestigious school. Summer hasn't made the old tension any easier. Nate still sees her as a bitch he can't tolerate. She needs support right now too. It's trusted that she has the right tools in place to succeed as well. It's just up to each person to implement them when needed. Casey may not like Elsa comparing the actions they each take to prove their love for Sam. However, this is still a family that cares about what happens to each other even though more distance is present now than ever before.