As the Winter Formal comes around, so comes a lot of drama. Of which Casey and Sam find themselves in the middle of.
High Confessions: Elsa, Casey, Sharice
As Elsa leaves Nick’s bed once again, she does so with a high. Not a sort of elation from how happy she is, but an actual, I just smoked weed, high. With that, she blabs to April (Nakia Burrise), one of the track team moms, and that causes a slew of issues.
Most of which affects Casey, but also Sam. But as for how it affects Sam, we’ll go into that later. Especially since for Casey, the effect is much more massive. You see, being that Casey is the Lebron to the no-name players when it comes to Newton High’s track team, the prospect of her leaving is devastating. Making it where the parents, and particularly the girls, they get petty — including Casey’s best friend since the 3rd grade, Sharice.
First, it is simply by icing Casey out. This is followed by, after Elsa pushes for Casey to try to mend bridges, the girls, Sharice in particular, taking Casey’s clothes while they all are dress shopping for the winter formal. Thus leading Elsa to bring how she would act if someone was messing with Sam, to how she parents Casey. Making it so, Sharice basically gets kidnapped and forced to explain herself. Which, after confessing how she felt sort of abandoned, it leads to Casey reconciling with her.
No points are given to Elsa about this though.
Casey is a better person than me. Just the idea of my best friend from 3rd grade, who my mom buys certain snacks for just for when she comes over, betraying me because of pressure from people we just met? I couldn’t forgive that so easily. And never mind the icing Casey out, that was bad enough, but she took her clothes and then apologized, signifying she knew it was wrong! Yet, she didn’t even come back later to make sure Casey was okay.
I don’t know about you, but with Sharice showing she was capable of doing such a thing, all because she wasn’t given updates about Casey’s life, seemed drastic. Like, how can you trust someone again who is capable of doing that to you? Who is to say when you piss them off or make them feel abandoned, they won’t take the piss at you once more out of pettiness?
But, I guess, with the only alternative being Doug or Evan, maybe Sam to a point, Casey doesn’t have much in the way of options. Also, considering Sam is her brother, I’m sure that has gifted Casey with the type of patience to tolerate more nonsense than the average person. Even if Sharice can’t use ASD as the reasoning behind her actions.
Silent Night: Zahid, Sam, Paige, Elsa
Being that Paige is your average eccentric girl, the idea of finally having a boyfriend and going to a dance with him is keen. Especially since her parents will be away and with that, she is thinking maybe Sam and she could have sex. Problem is, well there are a whole bunch of problems.
First and foremost, convincing Sam to go to the dance. Second, trying to figure out a way to get him into the actual dance and not just stand outside. Third, there is the whole sex thing – which is a huge issue for Sam since, while Elsa makes use of her hair stylist skills [note]Before Sam it seems that was her occupation[/note], he talks with another autistic kid who mentions the bases [note]A part of me wonders why Elsa doesn’t push for Sam to have more friends with autism?[/note].
The combination of those three things leads to a series of events which help illustrate the difficulties of having a kid with autism or being autistic. The first issue is handled by the possibility of sex. As for the second one though? Well, that is when April makes a second appearance. You see, Paige, as Sam noted he likes, is resourceful. So, she comes up with the idea of a silent night and brings it to the PTA. Meaning, rather than blaring music, everyone would have wireless headphones, donated by Techtropolis. As for the lights? They just won’t be as crazy and lit as usual.
However, April isn’t for the idea of her child, and everyone else’s, having to accommodate one child. Especially since she wants to be petty about Casey maybe leaving the track team and her bum of a child now not going to state because of it. Yet, April and her petty gang get out voted and silent night is on! Elsa even notes she’ll do the kids hair for free! Potentially saving many a parent, like April, $80+.
But that doesn’t solve the issue of the sex thing. That’s where Zahid comes in. For, as shown, Zahid is Sam’s life coach. He makes sure he gets condoms, pays for them I should add, and when it comes to the bases, he tries to take Sam to a strip club to become adjusted to the idea of seeing breasts. Tries being the key word for between the lights and sounds, Sam probably doesn’t make it past the entrance hall.
Luckily, a nice young woman named Destiny (Azur-De) not only gives Sam sound advice when it comes to his first time and shows her breasts. Giving Sam some of the tools he needs to hopefully make the night special for Paige. As well as freak out Casey when he draws Destiny’s breast next to her.
Though it is for selfish reasons, you have to admire Paige’s tenacity. She found a way to both satisfy Sam’s needs, alongside make it so the dance could be fun for her and the rest of the school. Leading me to wonder what she wants to be growing up? Much less, considering that would require likely going to college, does that mean Sam may only be a high school boyfriend and that’s it? Future seasons I hope will answer that question. Though it is too soon to know if we may get a season 2. It usually takes about a month or two for Netflix to make decisions — they need to see the numbers first.
But, all credit can’t go to Paige. I think you really have to give props to Zahid. Though he isn’t biological family, he seemingly, like Elsa, will drop everything just to help out Sam. A relationship which is so deep and trusting that even when Zahid puts his hand on Sam’s shoulder, there is no flinching or anything. Which, I don’t know why, was so beautiful to me it got me teary eyed. For, despite how different Sam is, his relationship with Zahid I think really shows that, past the eccentricities which comes with being on the spectrum, Sam is just like everyone else. He desires closeness, trust, intimacy, and someone who he doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable around. A lot of which Zahid provides him.
You Are the Father: Doug, Elsa, Julia
Doug is feeling a little guilty about not telling his coworker about Sam being on the spectrum. With that, he tries to talk to Julia since she is the only person he knows who can provide insight. Much less may take his side. However, she has her own problems. She just got abandoned, messed up her ankle, and later finds out she is pregnant.
But, as for her time with Doug, she conveys her understanding. She, herself, had a brother who is autistic and wasn’t even as high functioning as Sam. Her parents, not wanting the social isolation, among other things, pretending he would just grow out of whatever issues he was having. They did that until he was 16.
Leading Doug to realize how lucky he is, alongside thinking he probably needs his own therapist to talk to. Something Julia is happy to refer to him since, considering how she is all about Miles leaving her, if he didn’t force her into the ER, who knows what may have happened with her foot. She’d probably, to keep herself busy, ignore it and just keep piling on work.
I sort of feel bad for Doug yet still can understand why Elsa cheats on him. On one hand, nobody asks for a kid with any sort of neural or physical disorder. Everyone just wants a happy and healthy baby who can become an autonomous adult. Yet, Doug wasn’t given that. His first born, a son, is this kid who doesn’t smile, who he can’t share his favorite things with, and he struggles to connect to — outside of conversations dealing with dating.
Yet, it doesn’t excuse him from dumping almost everything on Elsa either. For the reason she has become so reliant on people depending on her is because Doug doesn’t seemingly do anything around the house besides bring an income. He does show up to the kid’s events and things like that, but the actual work, the things which Elsa does to keep everyone comfortable, he doesn’t seem to contribute. Which, as I’m sure you can imagine, weighs on a person. To the point where they need an escape from that life and that routine.
Which is what Nick provides. But I do remain unsure how Nick sees this whole situation? Is he just in it for the sex or does he love Elsa? May he asks of her to leave her family and maybe marry him? Will he ever try to meet her family? I guess what I’m trying to say/ ask is: What will happen, long term, between Elsa and Nick?
Other Noteworthy Moments
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Do you think Sam has gotten past the point of seeing Paige as his practice girlfriend yet?
- Paige showing how far she will go for Sam to be willing, able, and comfortable with, going to the Winter Formal.
- Zahid and Sam’s relationship.
- Doug realizing he needs to go to therapy and apologizing to Elsa about not telling Chuck about Sam.
- Destiny being a kind and thoughtful stripper – no different than anyone else who has encountered and talked to Sam.
- The idea Sharice could do all that to Casey and then be welcomed back with her explanation being “I felt abandoned.”
On The Fence
- The long term potential of Nick and Elsa.