Atypical: Season 3, Episode 4 “Y.G.A.G.G.” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

The truth about Paige’s college experience is exposed, alongside why Sam is Zahid’s best friend.

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A doodle by Sam of Paige at Bowdoin.

The truth about Paige’s college experience is exposed, alongside why Sam is Zahid’s best friend.

Director(s) Wendey Stanzler
Writer(s) Mike Oppenhuizen
Air Date 11/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
Gretchen Allie Rae Treharne
Abby Kimia Behpoornia
Duane Todd Robert Anderson

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Do For Others As You Wanted Them To Do For You: Izzie, Elsa

While Casey is gone with Evan, Izzie drops by. Originally, it isn’t to hang out, or anything like that, but to drop off a math book. Yeah, Elsa sees through that, and so she invites Izzie to help her organize clothes she has gotten for a donation drive. That leads to them talking and Elsa talking about how she overcompensates for her bad childhood by trying to provide the best one possible for her kids. Which parlays to, with Izzie hearing about all Elsa has done for her kids, Elsa saying that she has an open-door policy and Izzie can come by whenever.

Daddy Wasn’t There: Duane, Josie, Beth, Casey, Evan, Doug

Josie (Carly Jibson), Duane (Todd Robert Anderson), and Beth on Duane's living room.
Josie (Carly Jibson), Duane (Todd Robert Anderson), and Beth

After around 18 months, Duane, Beth and Evan’s father, decides to contact them and trick them into coming to New Hampshire. To do what? Well, for Evan to sign away his college money his grandmother left him. Which is upsetting to Evan, but with Casey coming along, she steps in and yells for him. Be it over how trash of a father Duane is or her support of Evan not going to college.

But, while Evan may not go to college, after his car breaks down, he does talk to Doug, who mentions lots of EMTs don’t go to college, and that seems like a path Evan could do. After all, as Casey said, he is good with people. So, all he needs is to learn medical procedures and terminology. Plus, considering he could use those skills anywhere, that would solve the issue of Casey possibly holding herself back.

Trying New Things, Meeting New People: Paige, Zahid, Gretchen, Abby, Sam

Unfortunately, Paige is struggling at her new school and is trying to put on a brave face, but if she isn’t talking to Sam she is being made fun of. As for Sam? Well, in his technical art class, he makes a friend in Abby who invites him to an art jam. Something that, with the trauma Arlo left, makes the idea of anything resembling a party an instant no.

However, with Zahid having a difficult time at school, and needing a party, Sam goes and ends up having a good time. Zahid, on the other hand, while the party is lame for him, he does meet Gretchen by the dumpsters and seemingly falls in love.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Casey apologizing for cracking a joke.


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Elsa and Izzie Bonding

With there being something so soft and delicate about Izzie, you can understand not only her appeal to Casey but Elsa as well. More than likely, she sees a bit of herself in Izzie and on top of wanting to feel needed, she also wants to protect not just her kids, but the friends of her kids. But another reason this bond might become an asset, though it could become a liability, is Izzie maybe pushing Casey to calm down on the mom hate. If only a little bit.

Casey Defending & Understanding Evan

It isn’t 100% clear how much Casey understands between having a stay at home mom and a father who tries, she is privileged. Granted, due to Sam, she didn’t get an equal amount of attention from her parents but considering all that she has been afforded, it is way beyond what Evan can claim. So, with that in mind, her understanding and defending Evan not wanting to go to college, his fear of abandoning his mom and sister, I think made things click for her. For it may not be the fear of something greater but the fear of leaving behind people who have been tossed aside before.

Sam Stepping Out Of Their Comfort Zone & Moving Past Trauma

Like with The Good Doctor, there is a need to question when does the effects of autism end and someone’s past trauma or upbringing step into their decision making. For Sam, that question comes in the form of how much has negative experiences with socializing have amplified the obstacles he already has due to autism? Much less, if not more, what can he move past, adapt to, or just needs better people in the environment, vs. is just an ill-equipped situation for him?

Well, going by Abby’s party, the issue seems to be if Sam is put with likeminded people, with similar interests, whether ASD or atypical, he can not only get along with them but have fun in a group setting.


Though Zahid’s storyline isn’t front and center, the fact that we’re getting consistent check-ins really helps you understand that the writers are now comfortable with these characters and what they’re doing. Something which can’t be said for many shows for it seems, the more people they add, the more that get lost in the mix.

However, with us learning Zahid is in school, having social issues, but doing alright in school, we get a firm grip on what is going on, his goals, and his struggles. Which, honestly, is all a person could want sometimes.

We Need To See Paige’s College Experience

The same goes for Paige. While she exists primarily as Sam’s off and on girlfriend, getting to see her college experience is less than stellar is a gift. For despite having a limited knowledge of her life outside of Sam, she is still a valued member of the cast. I wouldn’t mind, if this show was more of an ensemble, having a Paige focused episode. While there is something about her that reminds you of the weird kid on a children’s television show, who didn’t sometimes wish that weird kid was the star?

[ninja_tables id=”26179″]

Elsa and Izzie Bonding - 85%
Casey Defending & Understanding Evan - 86%
Sam Stepping Out Of Their Comfort Zone & Moving Past Trauma - 87%
We Need To See Paige’s College Experience - 83%


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