'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Episode 6: The #ActuallyAutistic representation of Matilda draws praise from fans
Nicholas struggles to give Matilda direct answers on how to go about 'having sex' under the influence. An important topic today, fans appreciate the way the episode processed an intense situation with respect and care
Spoiler alert for 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Season 1
The previous episode of 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' saw Matilda (Kayla Cromer) have her first sexual encounter with Zane, a boy in her high school. Unfortunately, she was also drunk and crying when this happens.
Being autistic also gave her a "diminished ability to read social cues" which worried her sister Matilda (Maeve Press) and Nicholas (Josh Thomas). While Matilda tried to stand up for her sister by punching Zane, all that got her was a hurt hand and a trip to the principal's office.
In this episode titled 'Harvester Ants', we see Matilda deal with the public knowing she lost her virginity and how Nicholas, her brother explains how what Zane did with her might have been quite wrong.
Her brother Nicholas struggles to give her direct answers on how to go about "having sex" under the influence. A very important topic in this day and age, fans appreciated the way the episode processed such an intense situation with respect and care.
"Tonight's episode of #EverythingsGonnaBeOkay is so important. The discussion about what is rape and how there are different kinds of rape. How sex-positive the show is yet highlighting whether or not Matilda had clear judgment in the situation," tweeted a fan.
"The way Josh Thomas lets some things be messy and hard and unresolved instead of wrapping every ugly, confusing thing up in a bow is absolutely the most beautiful thing about his f****** gorgeous shows. #EverythingsGonnaBeOkay," tweeted another fan.
Fans also had opinions on the situation with one tweeting, "Zane took advantage of Matilda regardless of her being autistic. She was drunk and a virgin and he still had sex and popped her cherry. He's like a douchy frat brother. #EverythingsGonnaBeOkay."
This episode takes a realistic prescriptive on teenage minds and highschool life, showing how Matilda wants to be treated like a normal teenager instead of having the fact that she has autism as a label.
It's a blurred line when it comes to consenting with autism, it's never black or white and has more shaded areas than we'd like. Matilda does need structure but there isn't a rule book for this sort of thing and Nicholas finds it hard to explain to her how the situation is portrayed on the outside is a lot different.
Either way, the show is an excellent portrayal of reality and fans agree. "This show is a breakthrough in #ActuallyAutistic representation of an autistic girl, Matilda, played by the incredible @KaylaCromer17. I love Matilda with my whole heart," tweeted another fan.
'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' airs on Thursdays at 8 pm EST on Freeform.