'Atypical' season 2 trailer suggests a shift from Sam's world into a deeper investigation of other relationships
'Atypical' season 2 will be all about love, betrayal, disappointments, and the lack of the sense of belonging, as each character struggles with their own setback.
The trailer to Atypical's second season, released by Netflix on Tuesday, opens with Sam (played by Keir Gilchrist) stating a fact "for most Mammalian species, survival depends on knowing and sticking with your pack." As the trailer suggests, it looks like that Sam's world, with his quest to find true love while overcoming the obstacles that autism brings along with it, will fall apart as his family tries to cope with the changes of life.
Season 1, besides introducing us to the typical family who is actually not so ideal, has established the fact that 'Atypical' strongly revolves around a coming-of-age story about an autistic boy who is trying to fit in a world which otherwise considers itself pretty normal. The first season rang in on a very strong note claiming that no one actually is normal, and what does being normal even mean? Sam's journey, as he sets out to seek true love at the same time realizing all the responsibilities and virtues that come with a relationship, was not his alone. It involved several others who were equally confused about life like Sam, establishing the fact that normal or not- life always screws you.
While the characters took some time to organize themselves in the storyline, by the season finale each character had a different perspective to add to the show. Although 'Atypical' has been criticized for its stereotypical portrayal of autism and for treating the neuro disorder as a tool for humor, it certainly has the nitty-gritty which can easily make up for a good family drama. Putting aside Sam's colorful world, it gives us an insight into the lives of those people who devote themselves completely to the person suffering from the disorder; there cannot be a better example for those people other than Sam's mother, Elsa (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Elsa's character evolved from being a submissive one to being unyielding. As she tries to get her life together and putting her son's needs as her top priority, it can only be expected that the lady will lose it at some point...and that she does. When she visits a nearby pub with her friends, she is smitten by the bartender and the two immediately set out on a forbidden affair. Elsa is consistently struck by the guilt that she is doing something inappropriate, yet one cannot blame her. She has been grilling herself to maintain a balance within the family but she is also the one who is mostly ignored in the family.
Doug (played by Michael Rapaport) tries to connect more with his 18-year-old son, and Casey (played by Brigette Lundy-Paine) tries to deal with her own life, Elsa begins to feel unwanted in the family who she has been with for almost 20 years. She also feels unwanted in Sam's pursuit of love as she clearly thinks it to be a bad idea. She is anxious about the pain which often follows love, and believes that Sam will not be able to cope with it. However, when Sam sets out on his adventure she has no other option but to set him free...in a way setting herself free. Eventually, Elsa realizes that her affair with the bartender would not go on for too long, and ends matters at a proper time.
Season 1 left us on a note where Casey had already discovered her mother's deceit and Doug is suspicious of Elsa's betrayal. In the trailer, we get a glimpse of Doug claiming that Elsa has ripped off the family's trust:"You threw a grenade into our lives. I can't be around you." Probably Season 2 will be more of a redemption, like a journey back home for Elsa. We hear her saying in the trailer, "Before you know it, you are so deep in that it becomes impossible to dig yourself out." It almost seems to recall what Sam says in the same trailer. "What was once something that seemed so rock solid, it cracks wide open."
Elsa is constantly scrutinized by her daughter Casey. Season 1 saw a life-changing moment in Casey's life as she receives an offer to continue with her education at Clayton Prep. However, that doesn't play out very well for her since she is initially about some of her best friends who do not even leave the chance to humiliate her. Casey eventually finds a companion, Evan, who stands by her to support her through everything. Although Evan does not hold any significant part in Season 1, he might emerge as the one who helps bring the family together.
Casey, however, will probably face some issues at the prestigious school. The trailer reveals that Casey definitely finds it difficult to fit in the new environment, as she tells Evan, "I hate it there." Evan tries to assure her that things might turn out in her favor, she just has to "give it a chance". The trailer also shows a scene which appears to be a group discussion where the coordinator asks how many people are scared of change. It can be assumed that maybe change is something Casey isn't well acquainted with. It is always difficult to fit into a new environment since people aren't always accepting.
Casey probably faces the similar issue, once again resonating that whether you are autistic or not life still screws you up. Casey becomes the subject of discrimination, the weird one, the one who doesn't really fit in- an exactly similar situation in which Sam has been for all his life. However, the one thing which stands in Sam's favor is that he is somebody willing to embrace change. When Julia (played by Amy Okuda), his therapist, assures him that people in the spectrum can date Sam immediately sets out on a mission to find true love. However, after everything, he falls for Julia but picks up Paige (played by Jenna Boyd) as his "practice girlfriend".
By the end of Season 1, Paige realizes that Sam had actually drawn out a checklist to see if Paige was the perfect "practice girlfriend", and Julia rejects Sam explaining to him that pursuing her would be an unprofessional thing to do. The trailer reveals that Paige is not at all pleased with what Sam had done, but maybe eventually when Sam finds his own ground there will be space for forgiveness. Julia who had discovered in the first season that she was pregnant after breaking up with her boyfriend is trying to cope with her pregnancy in the second season. In spite of her own crisis, she always has some good words to offer to Sam and never stops believing in him.
Season 1 saw the story revolving around Sam, while each character was like a subtext of his storyline. However, season 2 is more inclusive of all characters. In a constantly changing world where everyone has their own setbacks, it is only family which will always have your back, that is the message that season 2 will probably deliver. Maybe, it will also give a closer view into the lives of the characters who have played a significant role in building up Sam's character in season 1. Each character has something to contribute to the protagonist but at the same time, they all have a story of their own.
Watch the trailer below: