Atypical: Season 3, Episode 1 “Best Laid Plans” [Season Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Evan, Casey, and Izzie in bed together.

As Sam preps for college, and the anxiety that comes with it, Izzie and Doug are still dealing with trying to avoid being in a love triangle.

As Sam preps for college, and the anxiety that comes with it, Izzie and Doug are still dealing with trying to avoid being in a love triangle.

Director(s) Ryan Case
Writer(s) Robia Rashid
Air Date 11/1/2019

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The Struggle For A Resolution: Doug, Elsa, Megan, Julia

Elsa is still waiting on a sign, a conversation, something to say that she and Doug haven’t just healed their friendship but could work on their relationship as well. However, between him hanging with Megan and avoiding Elsa a bit, it has her worried and wondering if she is waiting for nothing. She even consults Julia, while at an event to teach cops and first responders about people with autism, what she should do?

The answer? Give Doug space. Also, she may have to accept that Doug may not come back to her.

I Give You My Heart, They Took My Appendix: Casey, Izzie, Evan

Casey trying to understand her feelings for Izzie, while still being very much in love with Evan continues to be an obstacle course. One that, like her father, doesn’t get a whole lot of conversation, which does leave Izzie sort of settling into the idea that their intimacy, and how weird it is, comes from not having a female friend in a long time.

As for Evan? He knows something is up, beyond Casey having her appendix removed, but he can’t say what it is. So he just makes it known something is different, and Casey, likely taking note of her parents, opens up about her fear of life being too good and something bound to go wrong. Leading to Evan reaffirming his commitment and them both exchanging that they love one another.

New School Jitters: Zahid, Paige, Sam

Zahid talking about his nursing school anxiety.

Zahid may have a storyline! In terms of what? Well, he is going to nursing school, and since he knows how he can be, Zahid is hoping Sam will keep him on track. He even makes him promise to do so.

Which, honestly, might be a bit too much for Sam. Why? Well, with his support group offering less support and more anxiety, he is thinking about the statistic that four out of five people with autism don’t complete college in four years. Now, whether that means they drop out or it takes longer, that isn’t said. However, Sam gets really stuck on that.

But, to add more weight to his mind, Paige wants to get back together and have a summer of love and sex. That last word, “Sex” consumes a tremendous amount of space in Sam’s mind and makes him forget to register online when he gets his first chance and since he didn’t allow himself to use the options for people with disabilities to register earlier – he ends up taking ethics.

Getting back to Paige and the sex thing, Sam botches every opportunity Paige comes up with, but with him communicating how anxious he is about school, and just them having a conversation as friends, never mind as boyfriend and girlfriend, she gets it. After all, it isn’t like Paige didn’t study what it was like to be with someone who has autism for a good while. It is just, sometimes, she gets wrapped up in her own thing so much she forgets he has his.

So, long story short, they don’t have sex, but it is on the agenda for Thanksgiving.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Paige yelling at Sam.
Paige: We were gonna take back the Olive Garden!

The thing is the obstacles weren’t really obstacles. They were usually just other people living in the world. Which can sometimes feel very problematic.
— Sam



Sam Going To College

With such limited representation of people with autism, what Atypical does is give you an almost chapter by chapter of what can happen in the teen years and beyond. That is, whether you want to be prepped as a sibling, a friend, a parent, or a figure in a person’s life. For even in just the basics, like Elsa saying to put the person before them being autistic when speaking about them, it is little things like that which help change how you approach things.

Making seeing Sam in college, especially with that statistic hovering, of great importance. Specifically, due to us getting to see why there are hurdles. Since we can all fathom the varying kind there are but to see it in action, even if in scripted form, creates a specific type of empathy which could make it easier for people. After all, while there are various protections for people with autism and other disorders, there is only so much a handful of people can do or one teacher in a class of 20+. Especially if an aide isn’t available or if the person is someone like Sam, and they want to push themselves beyond people’s expectations.

Zahid Going To Nursing School

Zahid has been a bit of a Desi version of the Black best friend for Sam. The process of rectifying this began last season, with us meeting Zahid’s parents, and getting their take on him, and with him going to nursing school, he may truly break free of this criticism. Plus, with him relying on Sam a bit more, so comes a bit of balance to their relationship not previously seen.

Casey’s Conundrum

Casey embracing Evan and being vulnerable.

Doug and Casey are in similar problems but at different points in their life. Casey is dealing with her first love, Evan, conflicting with the recognition that she is capable of having romantic feelings with a girl, Izzie. Now, while love triangles are tiresome, there is something about this one that feels like it respects the queer experience and isn’t using Izzie for the sake of creating drama. Instead, Casey is dealing with a real challenge to her way of thinking and not just in terms of being queer but having this much attention.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, Casey has never been the girl multiple people wanted to be with, in a romantic way. So things shifting as they are, that is just as much a challenge as her first notable boyfriend, her first love, and all the things Izzie adds to the mix. Much less, let’s not forget, as much as Doug is an attentive parent, Casey has also had to relinquish the affections of her parents since Sam needed it more. So all this at once? It’s a serious overload.

On The Fence

Doug’s Love Triangle

It’s hard to say why, but it is a real challenge to deal with Doug and Elsa’s relationship. Maybe it is because we don’t know if Megan is a threat to it or not, and that is complicating things? Perhaps it is due to Elsa being so stuck on being the villain, she has become stagnant and now doesn’t have much of a life? Either way, as difficult as the conversation they need to have is, I hope they don’t stretch it out.

Not to imply I want the healing process rushed, but I would like to see some incremental steps taken towards either dissolving the marriage or reconciling.


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