By Elizabeth Scalzo
“Atypical” released its third season on Netflix this month, and it was more heartwarming than ever. The Netflix original series follows a young autistic man named Sam, played by Canadian actor Keir Gilchrist, who is dealing with the challenges he faces in his daily life. Viewers watch as he grows up and applies to college, as well as deals with family issues and strains on his friendship with his best friend.
At the end of Season 2, there was discord between Sam’s parents, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport. Sam’s mom, Elsa, cheated on his dad, Doug, and Sam struggled with his relationship with his girlfriend, Paige, played by Jenna Boyd, after he told her he loved her.
At the beginning of Season 3, Sam struggles with preparing for his first year of college and balancing time to spend with Paige before they go to separate universities that are hundreds of miles apart. Sam initially does not apply for accommodations when going to college, but shortly finds out he should.
Sam struggles to find his crowd at college, but after his best friend from his job, Zahid, played by comedian Nik Dodani, encourages him to go to his first college party, Sam finds himself among a group of art people who support him.
In Season 3, there is a development between Sam’s parents when they decide to start rekindling their romance after they visit their family cabin for the first time in years.
This season’s storyline also has a strong subplot surrounding Sam’s sister, Casey, played by Brigette Lundy-Paine. Casey struggles with having feelings for her best friend, Izzie, played by Fivel Stewart, who she meets when she started private school in Season 2. As Casey’s feelings develop, she has to tell her boyfriend at the time, Evan, played by actor Graham Rogers, which results in a devastating breakup that is emotional for viewers.
As the season progresses Paige ends up dropping out of college, which creates stress on her and Sam’s relationship because she is afraid that he will see her as a failure. Although, this is quickly put to rest with a heartfelt moment in which Sam tells Paige he loved her at the end of high school and still loves her now.
The major conflict of the series is when Sam and Zahid get into a fight about Zahid’s new girlfriend. After a lot of emotional turmoil, Sam eventually reconciles with Zahid because at the beginning of the season, Sam promised Zahid that he would not let him fail out of nursing school. Zahid has extremely clouded judgment and was going to skip his midterm to marry this girlfriend that caused the issues between him and Sam. But Sam takes promises seriously and made sure Zahid did not fail out of nursing school.
“Atypical” is known for its heartfelt moments and general feel good storyline. It is no wonder audiences love it.
The story takes the audience through the simple problems that people encounter every day and shows them how large of an obstacle small things can cause for people with disabilities.
“Atypical” is known for its relatability through several characters who each possess their own complex lives and storylines that align with the main one of Sam’s. While Netflix has not officially announced whether or not “Atypical” will be renewed for a fourth season, fans are already buzzing on social media about their hopes for Season 4. Fans are hoping to see a development of Casey’s collegiate track dreams at UCLA as well as the result of Zahid and Sam becoming roommates, as agreed upon at the end of Season 3.
If “Atypical” is renewed for a fourth season, the writers will continue to create the heartwarming moments that viewers cannot get enough of.
Screenshot from Netflix
Sam and Zahid watch penguins at the zoo for Sam’s art project.