Atypical: Season 2/ Episode 6 “In The Dragon’s Lair” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

WE MEET ZAHID’S PARENTS! Also, we learn what he wants to be as Nate does something major, and Elsa and Doug reunite with old friends. Network Netflix Director(s) Silver Tree Writer(s) Robia Rashid Air Date 9/7/2018 Characters Introduced Theo West Liang Holly Mina Badie Zahid’s Mom (Padma) Rashmi Rustagi Zahid’s Dad (Jay) Sanjay Chandani Officer…

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Zahid trying to console and advise Sam.

WE MEET ZAHID’S PARENTS! Also, we learn what he wants to be as Nate does something major, and Elsa and Doug reunite with old friends.

Director(s) Silver Tree
Writer(s) Robia Rashid
Air Date 9/7/2018
Characters Introduced
Theo West Liang
Holly Mina Badie
Zahid’s Mom (Padma) Rashmi Rustagi
Zahid’s Dad (Jay) Sanjay Chandani
Officer Timms Jeremiah Birkett

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A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends (I Really Use This A Lot): Theo, Holly, Doug, Elsa

Before Sam was born, Theo, Holly, Doug, and Elsa were close friends. Heck, Elsa and Holly seemingly were to give birth around the same time and planned for Sam and Arlo to grow up together. Perhaps as best friends and like brothers. However, what changed that was Sam having autism and how he would act during the duo family camping trips. With that, Holly stopped inviting Doug and Elsa and while Doug kept in touch with Theo, Elsa went silent on Holly.

That is until Arlo took $700 from Sam. Now everyone got reunited and then things flipped. For after giving Doug and Elsa a $700 check, and a new phone to replace the one Arlo broke, Theo makes Sam sound like a punishment. With that, as much as Elsa and Holly become cool, it isn’t clear if they may speak after this. Especially since Elsa stole one of Arlo’s trophies.


After a rather disastrous reunion with old friends, Elsa steals a trophy and Doug double checks she did what she did.
Doug: Did you steal a child’s trophy?

While Doug noted he and Elsa are broken, there is a chance the base of their relationship, a friendship, may have survived. At least it seems that way. It could honestly just be their connection to Sam leading to them finding common ground. With that said, this is but one example of prejudice against autistic people we see in the episode and it seems like the one you’d figure most parents of kids with autism deal with. The inability to show and have patience because they aren’t required to for the sake of their kid. So they’d rather isolate than integrate.

Hence why Elsa probably attached so strongly to Sam. Without Holly in her life, even with Luisa, and the support group, Elsa lost her best friend. So, she made Sam her best friend for she chose him and he chose her. Despite the headaches they both caused each other as they worked out a routine that they could agree on.

I BE KNOWING!: Izzie, Nate, Casey

With Izzie’s mom’s boyfriend getting aggressive, she takes her younger siblings to her grandma’s and goes over Casey’s. Not just to talk to someone, her favorite someone, by the way, but because her grandma doesn’t have room for four kids. Leading to what originally was a girl’s night but then Izzie texted Nate and everything went wrong.

How? Well, Izzie seems to be someone who goes to bed early and that makes the… what’s another word for threesome or three-way that isn’t sexualized? Either way, you get what I mean – the situation becomes where only Casey and Nate are up so they get to talking and then Nate makes a move. Mind you, part of their conversation is about Evan but because Nate thinks there is something there, despite his girlfriend right next to him, he goes in for a kiss.

Leading to Casey kicking that ass out the house because she does not need that kind of drama. But you know Nate’s going to bring it.


I wished the video would just pop up as most Instagram videos do, but can’t have it all. It does say all I feel about the situation though.

This Is Why You’re My Best Friend: Zahid, Padma, Jay, Sam, Officer Timms, Paige

In Sam’s second year of growth, the next big thing is prepping to sleep somewhere which isn’t home. A task that Paige brings up because she wants to do the senior lock-in but apparently, she sleepwalks. It’s because of her get up and go mentality – so she says. So, showing, once more, he can adapt for the sake of Paige, he has a dry run of sleeping in a place which isn’t his home by sleeping over Zahid’s. Leading to us FINALLY meeting Zahid’s parents – who are perfectly normal.

Actually, normal is an understatement, they are quite nice. They even called Sam’s parents to see what to cook for dinner so he would be comfortable and everyone exchanges compliments. It’s rather sweet, to be honest. Yet, this episode is all about prejudice so, as Sam finds himself unable to sleep because of all the stimuli in Zahid’s room, he goes for a walk. If not tries to walk home from wherever Zahid lives, and then Officer Timms rolls up on Sam. I’m talking he rolls up on him like a Black dude in a suburban area that athletes haven’t integrated yet.

Why? Well, apparently Sam comes off like someone on drugs. Mostly because he was doing his penguin mantra to calm down. Luckily, Zahid shows up and deescalates the situation. Not enough to keep them from going to the precinct, but in the precinct, Zahid begins to show what he gets out of Sam’s relationship. For after Sam calms down, they have a conversation. One in which Zahid reveals, thanks to his grandma getting sick when he was little, he did once aspire to be a nurse. However, one teacher dashed those dreams. Yet, with Sam using his analytical skills to remind Zahid the man, who was estimated to be 88, is likely dead, it makes Zahid feel better.

Leading him to apply to nursing school.


Zahid reprimanding a police officer for the way he treated Sam.
Zahid: Dude, he has autism. What went down, that is on you.

I continue to question why Zahid’s actor isn’t a regular on this show. Dodani seriously is one of the best parts and his character is written in such a way you can imagine him having a network sitcom from his point of view. Seriously.

That aside, while I knew nothing serious would happen, I love that the show brought up how dangerous cops can be when it comes to people on the spectrum like Sam. Be it training or personal prejudice, people on the spectrum are in serious danger if a cop just pulls up on them for there is a chance they may be in a mindset like Sam and not comply. Leading a cop to take aggressive measures and bang up a person with autism, or any kind of cognitive difference which isn’t neurotypical, and maybe even killing them.

I mean, imagine if it was the big dude from Sam’s support group – the Black one. That dude looks like he could fight and hurt someone. So imagine him in this situation. And, yeah, the cop is Black, but we all know when it comes to situations like this, especially in the climate we’re in, they try to diversify the cop so they don’t all fit one profile.

But I digress, point is, you have to appreciate Atypical showing both what parents and their child go through because people decide to remain ignorant.

Which I can’t easily segue so let’s just switch to Zahid. While what he says in the police precinct isn’t on the level of what happens to Sam, you have to take note of that curse his biology teacher put on him. All he did was likely find Zahid annoying and say he’d end up in a dead end job and be a smoker and look what happened. As said on the podcast The Read, “Words mean things” and I don’t think the man took full note the influence of saying something like that, just to a kid who was annoying, affected him. Because, look what happened. Zahid put off his dreams of becoming a nurse, which he would have been good at, to the side because of one man saying something out of frustration.

Leaving one last thing to say: As much as it was probably annoying for Sam that Elsa was so protective and active in Sam’s life, and Casey to be as well, imagine how much they protected him from. I mean, just taking note of Arlo bullying Sam, imagine how much worse things could have been if they didn’t hover over him a bit. Heck, if Casey didn’t toughen him up a bit for a world that would be much worse than her.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Zahid’s parents’ names weren’t said in the episode, but in the credits the names were the only ones which, by assumption, fit, so they are assumed.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How did Doug and Elsa meet again?
  2. Is Nate going to end his pursuit or still push it? Will Casey tell Evan?


  1. Us getting to see and understand why Elsa and Casey have always been so protective of Sam. For if it isn’t people like Theo then it officer Timms. If not kids like Arlo who could take advantage, insult, or mentally, if not physically, hurt Sam just because they have no intention of trying to get to know him.
  2. Zahid and Sam’s relationship, as said countless times before, I don’t know if it is ideal or not, but I love witnessing it regardless.
  3. Sam doing something major, trying to sleep over somewhere he isn’t comfortable, for Paige.
  4. Meeting Zahid’s parents.
  5. Zahid showing how, despite how jovial and bubbly he is, he holds a bit of pain and darkness as well.

Low Points

  1. Nate being the bastard I thought he was.

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