But Sam’s emotional sobriety is put to the test again in Episode 3 when he dates his former boss Alex (Ricky Velez). Alex is a “normie”. This is the term Sam uses to describe an addiction-free person. At first Sam fears she doesn’t want to date her because she is recovering, but later suspects he asked her friends not to drink in front of her. He felt judged by him after that.
“I don’t like being around alcohol anymore, and I don’t think Sam does either,” Finch said. and they have to learn how to deal with us.”
By the end of the season, Sam decided she was not suitable to date. She’s advanced enough with her personal life, including moving out of her mother’s Carol’s (Allie Sheedy) home after a violent altercation. Carol reads Sam’s Fourth Step, an anonymous alcoholic, which takes the form of Sam’s private journal. After reading that her daughter described her as “absent” and “intimidating”, Carol lashes out at Sam, who is furious that her mother has invaded her privacy.
The fallout tests Sam’s emotional abstinence and prompts Carol to attend a conference for family and friends of people with addictions. Adam, director of the Institute for Addiction Sciences at the University of Southern California Matthew Leventhal says that family involvement in recovery is both challenging and beneficial.
“Family is a source of love and a source of conflict, and they can be both beneficial and detrimental to some people in recovery,” Leventhal told BuzzFeed News. Addressing shared issues yields better results on the other side, just like a person in recovery.”
After Carol apologizes to Sam for reading the Fourth Step and tells her she attended the meeting herself, the two quickly patch up their far-from-perfect relationship.
Through all the obstacles and triumphs Sam faced in Season 2, Finch said he wanted to make it clear that becoming physically sober was not the solution to his journey.
“I’ve been sober for almost nine years, [and] There are still things I have been doing since my first year. I try not to. I think I do a lot less of it,” said Finch. “A little too much idealism with abstinence and excessive expectations.”