Warning: This review will contain spoilers for all four seasons of “Atypical” on Netflix.
The final season of “Atypical” was a wonderful mix of emotional moments, hilarious jokes, and character growth. During this season, Sam trains to go to Antarctica, Casey begins to lose her love for running, and Zahid prepares for an upcoming surgery. Despite having a little too much going on at times, it was an emotional season that I think gave a very satisfying ending to the beloved series.
Season four showcased a lot of realistic character development. It was very enjoyable to see how far Sam has come since the first season. Watching him learn to drive, as well as work toward his goals and become more independent, was a very good character growth moment in my opinion. I also enjoyed the character development of Casey this season. Watching her become burnt out from one of her favorite things, running, was an unfortunately realistic struggle that isn’t discussed often in TV. I really liked watching her regain her passion for running once she realized that putting so much pressure on herself was deteriorating her enjoyment of the sport.
Although Zahid often coped with his upcoming surgery by using comedy (which was fitting for his character), I enjoyed the few moments when the audience got to see a more emotional side of his personality. I thought that it was a very nice way to make his character more well-rounded, especially after the many overly zany moments he had in season three. One of the things I didn’t enjoy about season three was that it seemed to lean into the more wacky aspects of the show a little too much, to the point where it often felt out of place in my opinion. After the slightly over-the-top storylines that were often present in season three, it was refreshing to watch more realistic scenes that showcased much less out-of-character moments than the previous season.
I really enjoyed watching the characters’ relationships with each other grow more. It was especially refreshing to see Casey and Elsa bond after constantly fighting in the earlier seasons. (Although many of those fights were valid, it was nice to see them get closer to each other after being disconnected for so long.) I also really liked how Doug ended up going to Antarctica with Sam, showing that he wants to get closer with him. This also shows that Doug has decided to take advantage of life, especially after the death of his best friend Chuck.
This season tackles a lot of parental issues that many can relate to. Watching Elsa get close to her mother for the first time in her life was very heartwarming, and their brief bond made it so much more troubling when Elsa realized her mother was having memory problems and didn’t know who Elsa was. Viewers also got to meet Izzie’s mom, who is neglectful and often very rude to Izzie. I think her mother’s inattentive parenting style gave more insight as to why Izzie doesn’t have very good self-esteem, and it allowed viewers to empathize with Izzie more.
Despite the many things I liked about this season, there were some aspects of it that I didn’t enjoy. Although Gretchen’s brief return made sense plot-wise, I found her to be an irritating character in both season three and four. Her over-exaggerated rudeness was often played for comic relief, but it got repetitive quickly in my opinion. I also thought that the last episode seemed very rushed. The endings that the characters all got, although fitting, happened very quickly and weren’t given much time to become more fleshed-out ideas.
Other than the fact that it felt rushed, I really liked the ending. Watching Sam become so determined to go to Antarctica, and actually succeeding at the end, was a very nice full-circle moment that was extremely enjoyable to watch. I also really liked watching all the characters grow closer to each other throughout the series, and I think that the audience was able to get very attached to all the characters. Although I’m sad that “Atypical” is over, I’m glad that it ended on a high note with a satisfyingly entertaining final season.