Atypical (2017) s03e06 Episode Script

The Essence of a Penguin

1 I wanna talk about what happened at Bowdoin.
- But I'm too ashamed.
- Okay.
But I really want to.
All right.
Now we can talk.
But I can't see you.
When I got to Bowdoin, my expectations were sky high.
And why wouldn't they be? I worked my tushy off to get to college, and I knew it was a place that I could fit in completely.
That stupid stinking picture.
That's what started it all.
I was certain that that would be me, canoeing in the Bay of Fundy with my new bestie.
But it wasn't.
Not even close.
- Can I look at you now? - No.
No, I'm still too ashamed.
I didn't make friends right away.
Or ever.
It just felt like people already knew each other.
And if they didn't, they just got each other.
But nobody got me.
I get you.
Sort of, sometimes.
I know.
Anyway, I got sad and I got so sad that I couldn't focus on my classes, and my grades started slipping.
It was just so much harder than I thought.
So, what did you do? I developed a vice.
Was it flavored hookah tobacco - like Zahid's favorite auntie Shweta? - Worse.
I got really, really into online shopping.
My roommate Meredith wasn't pleased.
Whoo! [SIGHS.]
And five weeks later, I'd racked up $6,000 worth of credit card debt.
And I don't even like popcorn, but I just ate it by the bucketful because college is hard.
College is hard.
Anyway my mom knew how lonely I was and she suggested that I go to a party and try to meet some people.
We all know what happened there.
- [MAN.]
What the And that wasn't even rock bottom.
You bought a canoe? And two oars.
And I've got boat shoes on back order.
God, I'm such an idiot.
But I'm glad you're home.
Me too.
Looking good, Stumpy.
This is a perfect penguin.
Proportionate, graceful, realistic.
Clearly read the invitation regarding black tie.
Classy as hell in that little tux.
I really wanted to get it right.
Well, it's beautiful.
I like your slug.
Me too.
She gets me.
You know, I'm seeing some wonderful work that is technically perfect.
But for this next assignment, perfect is meaningless.
Hang on to your sketch pads, babies, 'cause here comes the fun part.
I really enjoyed the first part.
You're gonna create a second piece, but this time, I want you to forget about the science and simply capture your animal's essence.
Hmm? What is the essence of that meerkat? What is the essence of that water buffalo? [HOWLS.]
What makes Sheila's she-wolf howl at night? Shock me! Knock my dress socks off.
There are no rules.
No rules? This is so exciting.
Oh, maybe I can use real slug slime as one of my materials.
It's a liquid crystal, you know not quite a liquid, not quite a solid.
Dumbest thing I ever heard.
The essence of a penguin? What does that mean? It means nothing.
I'm sorry, Sammy, I've got bigger problems.
Even though I'm giving him a whole load of sweet threads, somebody is making me do inventory.
Or as I call it: "inven-borey.
" I love this.
Is this a time zone joke? Yeah, I'll say it is.
Why are you giving Bob your clothes? Gretchen thinks it's time for my wardrobe to be a bit more profesh.
Also, she seems to prefer a drabber color palette to my usual pimpin' brights.
I think my burden is I'm just too fly.
Maybe that's my essence.
Who knows? What does essence even mean? I don't know.
I think it's like who you are deep down.
Like, I used to be an iridescent leopard print kind of guy, but now I'm a pale neutrals kind of dude: essence.
Ooh, would this work for my trip to Jamaica? Only if you wanna get laid.
Looks like it would pack small.
Lorna only gives me a third of a suitcase.
Oh, Bob.
I thought I knew who a penguin was deep down, but maybe I don't.
Maybe I haven't spent enough time studying them.
Oh, you definitely gotta put in the quality time.
Then it's settled.
I'm gonna need a ride to the aquarium approximately four to five times a week until further notice.
I'm gonna text Paige.
She has a car and a boat.
Oh, in case of a storm, good thinking.
That's quite the haul, Bobbo.
How's inventory coming? Didn't you catch my hilarious joke? I called it "inven-borey.
" - 'Cause I abhor it.
- Well, someone's gotta do it.
Paige is too busy updating her resume and preparing for world domination.
What does that mean? I think it means no.
And that Paige has a pretty confrontational worldview.
Well, I need someone to drive me to the aquarium.
- Wait, Sammy, that's it.
- What? I will give you unlimited rides to the aquarium to study your little homie if you do inventory for me.
Even on weekends? Aquarium parking can get pretty tricky on the weekends.
Shit, I ain't scared.
What do you say? Do we have a deal? Deal.
They say the best caretakers are those that weren't cared for themselves.
That's definitely true for me.
I am great when I'm needed, not quite so good when I'm not needed.
But you guys you really needed me.
And I loved being there for you.
But now it's time to go our separate ways.
There you go.
Snug as a bug in a rug.
- You need friends.
- Hi, honey.
Paige is coming to pick up my little buddies.
You on your way to school? Yeah.
Where I get to see Izzie.
Extra fun 'cause we're in a fight.
Oh, no.
What happened? Do you need me to help? No, there's nothing you can do to help.
Sometimes I just say stuff.
You don't have to do anything about it.
But I can if you want.
Why, the plants are leaving so you need somebody to tinker with? No.
If you need me.
I don't.
- Oh, fine.
- [PAIGE.]
Hey, there! Oh, thank you so much for taking care of my babies, Mrs.
You know my mom, she means well, but she's pretty hopeless when it comes to this.
Don't even get me started about that poor cactus that she shut in the window.
So is this the look you usually wear to garden? Job interviews.
I've got three today.
It would be really easy for me to just slip into a pit of despair right now, but as Amelia Earhart said, the most effective way to do it is to just do it.
So I'm just doing it.
- Well, it certainly is inspiring.
- Yeah.
I got a whole book of power quotes for graduation, so And, I mean, I would make a great hire, right? I've been babysitting since I was 12 and working ever since.
When I was 14, I was the hostess at Sal E.
Sour Cream.
The potato place? Sam hates it there.
Yeah, I know.
We kind of can't talk about that time in my life.
Oh, there are my babies.
Oh, okay, well wish me luck.
Good luck.
- A lot going on here in the morning - Yep.
You still mad at me? Yeah.
You were such a dick to Evan at the party.
Why'd you say all that? Because it was true.
It wasn't your place.
I thought it was.
Well, I guess I just have to be careful what I tell you from now on.
Guess you do.
"Guess you do.
" Sorry.
That was childish.
- Hey, Mr.
- Casey's at school.
No, I know.
I was actually coming to see you.
About what? I just wanted to apologize.
I I messed up with the ride along and Okay.
Well, I just hoping that you'd give me another chance if that's cool.
Well, you're not gonna have me sitting around waiting for you again, are you? No, sir.
You have a decent pair of pants? - Well, yeah, I could get some.
- Yeah.
Are you free Thursday? Yeah, Thursday, totally free.
- All right, well, I'll see you then.
- Thursday.
Thank you.
It's Thank you very much.
See you Thurs - He's gonna screw it up.
- You never know, he might surprise you.
It's good to give people second chances.
He's gonna screwed it up.
I don't do well with abstract.
Maybe that's why this is hard.
Or maybe it's just the dumbest assignment of all time.
Hey, can you see my nipples through this shirt? No.
Yeah, I know.
You know, Gretchen likes what she likes and hates what she hates, but sometimes I'm just like, "Hey, girl, you're not always right about everything.
" Do Stumpy's feathers look dull to you? Look, I'm not one to comment on a penguin's appearance.
Ugly penguins need love, too, but Stumpy looks good to me.
- 'Sup, chimps? - Uh-oh, hottie alert! Get in here.
- Man, these puffins smell like butt.
They're not puffins.
They're penguins, and their odor is completely natural.
Hey, did you know that when Christopher Columbus discovered the penguins, he wanted to call them turd birds? That's a true story.
- For real? Turd birds? - Mm-hmm.
No, not for real, none of that is real.
Now, can I please get some peace and quiet while I observe? No prob, slob.
It's time to corn dog and chill anyway.
You gotta trust me on this.
I know what you're thinking, "Aquarium corn dogs? You lost your mind.
" But this place has the dopest, nay, loveliest corn dogs around.
What do you say, bae? Okay.
Don't hold back, I want to break free [VOCALIZES.]
Baby, let all them voices slip away Don't look back, I want to break free If you never see 'em coming Yo, Gretchen and I saw all the fish twice, now she's in the gift shop buying us Rastafarian octopus hats.
How's it going over here? Okay.
I've been watching Stumpy really closely, and I wrote down her whole schedule.
And her essence needs to be in here somewhere.
Rock-solid logic, brother.
Did you get your corn dog? Funny thing.
Um, we were about to order, and Gretchen convinced me to give up gluten.
So no corn dog for me, but it's cool.
It's cool, I mean, corn dogs are just salty meat rockets wrapped in a blanket of fluffy sugar cake.
I mean, what's good about that? [WOMAN.]
the North Pacific.
Hey, question.
Is it bad form to ask a random kid for a meat-only bite of their corn dog? That doesn't sound right.
Well, I won't know till I try.
Hey, have you guys seen Izzie? She gave me a tampon, but I think that was yesterday.
I don't think she's in school today, and she hasn't texted me back.
It's really not like her.
Sounds like her.
I love Izzie, but she's a mess.
Freshman year she didn't come to school for three weeks straight.
Never said a word about it.
Maybe she's like a secret spy and goes on missions.
Lucky ho.
Nachos? I'm good.
These are oxygen tanks.
Make sure they're all the way off or you can blow us up.
Oh, got it.
You sure you've got it? 'Cause that one's important.
Got it.
So is this, like, a normal day for you guys? Just sitting around waiting for a call to come in? Well, we don't just sit around and do nothing.
If that's what you're saying.
Oh, no, that's not what I was say 'Cause staying vigilant even when you're waiting is the hardest part of the job.
But there can be a lot of sitting around.
I'm really sorry that I messed this up before.
I really do wanna be here.
So what's Casey up to today? Let's talk about her.
You both like her.
Oh, she's at school.
And then I think she's training with Izzie, which is good that I'm not there 'cause Izzie's not really my biggest fan and she thinks that Casey's slumming it with me.
Which, you know, I'm gonna stop talking about right now.
Two-vehicle collision on Lawn Forest.
Can we get backup? We're on it.
Saved by the call.
- Let's go.
Get in.
- Buckle up.
- No, inside.
- The back? Inside.
Ooh, boy.
This essence assignment is stupid.
I need you to tell me if I'm doing it right.
Well, only your animal can tell you that.
But I'll do my best.
This is Stumpy's schedule.
- Stumpy is - My penguin.
You got a penguin.
Got it.
Go on.
I've taken detailed notes on everything, including when and where she eats, sleeps and defecates.
Poor lady has no privacy.
Her essence has to be in there somewhere.
I just need you to tell me where.
What? Oh, Sam, no, no, no.
What has the world done to you? This is what your penguin does.
It's not who she is.
What does that mean? What is essence? I think sometimes the essence of a thing can be as much about what that thing is not as it is what it is.
- What? - Yeah.
Here's some lavender oil.
It's calming.
Got me through some rough spots.
Hit it Ooh, baby, baby, baby, baby Ooh, baby, baby, b-baby, baby See? Even Google doesn't know what the essence of a penguin is.
Google! Ugh.
And they're spying on everyone.
Dude, I dig, but to me, essence is energy.
As the French say, it's someone's joie de vivre.
It's "joy de vivre.
" Um, what? You said joie de vivre, it's joy de vivre.
I don't think so, babe.
Zahid, pull over.
Please, don't pull over.
We have to get to the aquarium before Stumpy goes into her cave, which according to her schedule is in half an hour.
Joy! Oh, hell no! [SAM.]
But Stumpy! Oh, yeah, push it real good Gretchen.
You know what? If you're wrong, you're wrong! [MUSIC CONTINUING.]
Push it real Ooh, baby, baby, baby, baby Ooh, baby, baby, b-baby, baby Push it good Push it real good Ah! Push it Push it real good [ZAHID SIGHS.]
Do not despair, Sammy, America's favorite couple is back together.
Oh, that totally sucked, but at least I got 7,000 steps in.
Okay, let's get this shit show back on the road.
Next stop, the aquarium.
Whoo-hoo! - You can take me home.
Stumpy's already napping in her cave.
But we're almost there.
What do you say we swing through, see if the Stumpster's hanging around, and if not, we'll leave.
Okay? Okay, let's do this! - [ENGINE TURNS OVER.]
Ahh! Push it - [DOUG.]
All right, what's your name? - Bianca.
Okay, how many fingers am I holding up? - Three.
- Okay, good.
See if you can follow this light without moving your head.
- [CHUCK.]
There you go.
- Where's my son? Where's Will? Will? Will! It's okay.
He's over there with Evan.
Looks real good.
Who's Evan? He's, um he's our co-worker.
- It's coming in.
If I say hi, will you even hear me, or do I need to text you? Just text me.
Okay, I wanna say something, but just because it's on my mind and it's bothering me.
I don't want you do anything, just listen.
No doing, just listening.
Picture me as one gigantic cartoon ear with legs.
Really nice legs.
Eww, no.
Anyway Izzie wasn't at school today or at practice.
I haven't heard from her.
We're in a fight so we're not talking.
She might be sick.
But I don't know, and it's making worried.
- No doing.
- You know You're planning something.
I can smell it.
I've been meaning to bring some clothes over from the clothing drive - for her sisters and her brother.
- No, stop right there.
- I could easily drive by their place - No meddling.
knock on the door and make sure everyone's okay.
Okay, text from Izzie, she's fine.
I'm not convinced.
You know what? I shouldn't have said anything.
If she says she's good, she's good, okay? I know it's hard for you, but try, don't meddle.
Meddle? I wasn't even thinking about it.
Um Hey, my mom wanted me to drop off these clothes for your brothers and sisters.
- Thanks.
That's nice of her.
- Yeah.
You weren't in school today? No.
Is everything okay? No.
My mom, she disappeared like she sometimes does and caused a bunch of chaos, like she always does.
But we found her, so it's fine.
Thank your mom for these.
She's the best.
Emmy Lou, come on, let's go.
Wow, finally! Yo, Sammy.
I've been looking out for your bird, but I can't tell these little guys apart, no offense.
It's okay.
She's not out anymore.
Yes, she is.
She's right there.
Okay, see? She switched it up on ya.
That's what ladies do to keep you guessing.
No, not Stumpy.
She always follows her schedule.
She's very regular.
She's looking kind of rough.
Hey, why's she nipping at that other guy? That's not fun play.
Something's not right.
She should be resting in her cave right now, not fighting with her friends.
Another kid.
I'm gonna go find that beluga who winks when you pound on the glass.
Let me know when you're done watching your puffin break bad.
What do you wanna do, Sammy? We need to find a trainer.
So we found one.
Trainer Malik hadn't noticed the irregularities in Stumpy's behavior, but when I pointed it out, he ran the appropriate tests.
- Turns out she had a parasite.
- No.
They usually catch them early, but this one was moving especially fast.
Trainer Malik says I saved her life.
You are a hero, Sam Gardner! That's true.
But it's a big deal when a penguin has an irregularity in their routine because penguins are so consistent.
I love that about them.
I have an idea.
What was that for? And give me another one.
Okay, fine, last one.
Sometimes I just appreciate how annoying you are.
You do? Sometimes.
I'll take it.
Hey, why did Paige bring her plants back? I didn't know she did.
I just got home.
"You are a better mother than I'll ever be.
Thank you in advance for giving them the best life.
Yours in perpetuity, Paige Penelope Hardaway" Paige's middle name is Penelope? I think I need to meddle.
Yeah, meddle.
Meddle on, Mama.
PP Hardaway.
It's too good.
So you did good today.
- Yeah? - Yeah.
And you know what I was saying about - waiting being the hardest part? - Yeah.
It's not.
The hardest part about being an EMT is knowing how to act when someone's in distress.
And you keeping that kid happy and safe even though no one told you to that was good, I I was impressed.
Hey, thanks.
And that thing you were saying about Izzie Let me tell you something, when I first started dating Elsa her mother hated me.
Really? Yeah, she thought I was a bum and didn't want me anywhere near her daughter.
So what changed? Nothing, really.
Eventually, I just realized it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks - as long as Elsa's got my back.
- Hmm.
Okay, I got one double burger with cheese and two without.
Who wants to play lactose roulette? - [LAUGHS.]
- Here you go.
I like your khaki pants, man.
All right, here we go.
Welcome to Sal E.
Sour Cream.
I'll be your best spud today.
Can I take your order? Your mom told me where I could find you.
Well, we can't talk in tot territory.
Follow me to the burlap sack.
That's what we call our break room.
Potato, what about our order? Here we are.
Feel free to sit down.
I would, but I can't crease my spud butt.
I assume you're here to talk about the plants.
And to check on you.
Well Honestly, I'm not great.
Um I went on all those job interviews, and I didn't get a single one.
And so I ended up back here, slinging the cream.
That's why I wanted you to take care of my plants because you're just such a natural caretaker and I'm a natural disaster.
Oh, honey, I've had my share of natural disasters, too.
I just never thought that my life would turn out like this.
I mean, I was student class president and editor of the yearbook and, I mean, just a couple months ago I was starting college at the school of my dreams.
Now look at me.
And this is the only job I could find.
I used to be President Paige.
No, I'm Potato Paige.
I know how that feels.
When you think things are gonna go one way and they don't.
But you'll be okay.
Yeah, right.
What in the world makes you say that? Because you're still that same little go-getter.
That feisty overachiever who would convince the entire PTA to have a silent dance just so her boyfriend could attend, that's still you.
Thank you.
I guess I am a natural leader.
But would you mind hanging onto my plants just for a little longer just till I get on my feet? Not at all, honey.
I recently realized that the essence of anything is the thing that stays true about them in any situation.
And the essence of a penguin is similar to the essence of me, Sam Gardner.
We're both consistent.
Couldn't find what I was looking for back there so I'ma check downstairs.
But a penguin's essence is so much more than that.
Come in.
- [SAM.]
Penguins need each other.
- Hi.
I'm a jerk.
They look out for the good of the colony.
How'd it go with Evan today? Um You know, the kid has some growing up to do, for sure, but he's a good kid.
See? Aren't you glad you gave him a second chance? Oh, be quiet.
And once a penguin decides to do something there's no changing her mind.
It happens sometimes.
I just feel bad for the kids, it's scary for them.
But they're with my grandma now, so Thank you for letting me stay here.
Yeah, of course.
And I am so sorry for how I acted at that dinner party.
Dude, it's okay.
No, it's not okay.
I was just stirring shit up just because What? Because I was jealous.
Why? You know why.
Because the essence of a penguin comes down to this: penguins live in abnormally harsh conditions and they never leave.
They're one of the few species that stays, struggles and perseveres.
So to me, that's the essence of a penguin.
It stays.
Which I can appreciate because sometimes college feels like that, too.
So I guess in a way you could say I'm like a penguin and Denton is my Antarctica.
Sam, permission to hug you.
Permission granted.
So did I pass? [POP MUSIC PLAYING.]
Waking up in dark clouds It's a shakedown Believe that all my love And all my blood keeps me up 'Cause I'm believing in the change [VOCALIZING.]