The A Word Recap: Episode 201 (Naming Day)
Alison (Morven Christie) accompanies Joe (Max Vento) as he walks down the road, listening to music on his headphones.
Paul (Lee Ingleby) and Alison rush to school after Joe climbs onto the roof. Alison coaxes him down a ladder. When they ask why he climbed onto the roof, he answers, “Because I’m autistic. Nobody wants that.”
Nicola (Vinette Robinson), who has a baby daughter, Emily, receives a surprise visit from her parents, Vincent (Jude Akuwudike) and Grace (Clare Holman). Nicola calls Eddie (Greg McHugh) in a panic and asks him to come immediately.
Alison and Paul try to discuss the word “autistic” with Joe, to no avail. Alison suggests they attend a support group for parents of autistic children, but Paul refuses. Rebecca (Molly Wright) returns from a backpacking trip in Africa, accompanied by her new boyfriend, James (Aaron Pierre).
Maurice (Christopher Eccleston) stops by Louise’s (Pooky Quesnel) home to pay for Joe’s missed music lesson. He inquires about her personal life.
Luke (Thomas Gregory) and James make awkward conversation in the living room.
Nicola greets Eddie in the driveway and quietly requests that he keep pretending to be married for her parents, despite the fact that they separated two years prior and that Eddie now lives in Manchester.
Everyone gathers for dinner at the Fellside. Alison asks Nicola for advice on how to discuss autism with Joe. Nicola suggests that Alison and Paul role-play a conversation about autism.
Alison and Paul attempt to role-play at bedtime but are interrupted by what sounds like love-making in Rebecca’s room.
Next door, Eddie vents to Nicola about their marriage charade.
Paul runs into a half-naked James in the kitchen and sees a tattoo of Rebecca’s name on James’ hip.
Rebecca sleeps next to Joe in his bed. James assures her he doesn’t mind.
Alison and Paul try role-playing again. Alison worries that Joe senses her panic at the idea of possibly caring for him his entire life.
Paul gives Joe some sports cards and teaches him the names of soccer players, hoping it will help Joe fit in at school.
Eddie insists to Nicola that they tell her parents the truth about their separation. Before they can deliver the news, Grace announces that she and Vincent are getting a divorce because he had an affair.
Paul drops Joe off at school and instructs him to tell other kids that his favorite soccer player is Marcus Rashford.
Eddie helps Maurice with computer issues at work. Ralph (Leon Harrop) stops by to apply for the brewery assistant position but asks them not to tell Louise.
At school, a group of boys asks who Joe’s favorite soccer player is. Joe forgets Marcus Rashford’s name and climbs onto the roof. Alison and Paul rush to school to get him down. Alison and Paul discuss Joe’s behavior with the teachers. Alison offers to speak to other parents after a teacher mentions that some parents are concerned about Joe’s behavior.
Alison insists that Paul attend a parent support group with her.
Nicola discusses the divorce with her parents and learns that Vincent slept with various members of his congregation.
James asks Rebecca if they can leave town. Rebecca points out that she’s barely spent any time with Joe and admonishes James for seeming to mock Joe.
After Grace leaves, Vincent informs Nicola and Eddie that he’s planning to stay longer. Sensing their hesitation, he tells them that he already knows they’re separated.
Alison meets another parent, Sophie (Lucy Gaskell), at the support group. Sophie explains that her son, Mark (Travis Smith), felt relieved when she told him that he was autistic. She suggests that Joe might do better at a school that specializes in autistic children.
Paul sits paralyzed in his car during the parent group session. Afterwards, he runs up to Alison and pretends that he ran late at work. Alison offers Sophie part-time work at the Fellside then confronts Paul about skipping the meeting.
Alison and Paul discuss the pros and cons of putting Joe in a specialized school. They later announce to the parents at Joe’s school that they are moving Joe to a more specialized school, but that it’s beneficial for their children to be exposed to children who are different.
After spotting Ralph’s job application, Louise orders Maurice not to give the job to Ralph, for reasons she can’t reveal.
James leaves the Hughes residence to catch a bus without Rebecca. Rebecca tells Alison that she loves James but that she disapproved of how he acted around Joe. Alison urges Rebecca to talk to James about her feelings. Rebecca runs after James.
Vincent tells Eddie and Nicola that he’s going to redeem himself by salvaging their marriage.
Alison and Paul discuss autism with Joe and explain that he is “different” — but that everyone is different in their own way.
Rebecca and James announce that they’re engaged.