Atypical season 2, episode 3 recap: ‘Little Dude and the Lion’


Sam finds some common ground with an autism peer group in Atypical while Casey starts to settle into Clayton Prep, and makes a new friend.

Atypical is finally giving Sam some confidence as a character which came in the form of him joining a peer group. This suggestion came from the school counselor who advised Doug and Elsa that they need to start thinking about transitioning Sam into a graduating mindset.

Doug seems pretty open to the idea of letting Sam decide, but Elsa is a bit reluctant which becomes another point of tension for the separated couple. The peer group is coming at an opportune time for Sam who is essentially on his own at school with Casey gone and Paige having broken up with him.

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It’s a little weird to say this but it’s hard not to feel bad for Elsa, with her changed haircut and her failed attempts to reach out to her family. She totally deserves it, but it’s still tough to watch.

There is a point in the episode that Sam talks about a story with a lion and a boy with autism who goes on an African safari with his parents. In the story, the boy is overwhelmed by the sounds and noises around him, and runs off into the night and apparently, gets eaten by a lion.

Credit: Netflix

Sam experiences a similar moment when during class the teacher asks the students to break into groups. The sounds and noises are a bit too much and he runs out and gets hit by a student driver in the car.

Presumably, it seems like this is a way for Atypical to help the audience understand the emotions an autistic person may have, and the sense of overwhelming panic they may often endure. And the show does not shy away from Sam narrating exactly what he is feeling and going through.

Remember Julia the therapist? We get to see more of her in this episode as she talks to her ex and friend about being pregnant. Yes, pregnant! However, she doesn’t seem too thrilled over her situation and has been hiding it from her family as well.

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It’s nice to see Casey making nice with who seemed to be a potential archnemesis. After a scuffle on the track field, the two get sent to detention. As the conversation unfolds, the two actually realize they have more in common than they realized. The both of them aren’t from extremely wealthy families like their peers and both have siblings that they take care of.

After pulling all these strings, Elsa finally gets Sam an appointment with Dr. Brob. However, Doug opts to take Sam to the peer group instead, leaving Elsa on her own. It’s nice to see Sam find comfort amongst a group of peers similar to him. Even Doug found a parent to bond with during this whole ordeal which is nice to see after all the Elsa drama.

By the end of the episode, Sam decides he wants to go to college, and while change has always been hard for him, it is inevitable. Luckily, Doug and Elsa are on board with his decision and give him their stamp of approval.

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And before we sign off on this recap, it is worth mentioning that Casey may be headed down a questionable path as a result of being friends with Izzie. Their detention turns into a drunken afternoon, and she shows up at Evan’s house saying she’s ready to have sex again. She passes out before anything can happen and he ends up dropping off her to Elsa.

Oh, the drama!