AVClub: To this point in the season, Casual has balanced on the finest of edges, expertly walking the line between comedy and tragedy to create something that feels sometimes ugly, sometimes joyful, but (almost) always honest. “Home” isn’t an exception when it comes to honesty, but for the first time, it felt like there wasn‘t much to laugh at.
That’s due in no small part to the place in which the episode leaves us—and that’s with Valerie, shattered. The sense of impending disaster grew ever-so-slightly throughout the episode, and it seemed clear that Valerie, Laura, and Michael were headed straight for the confrontation they’ve been setting up for weeks, but none of it could have prepared me for Laura actually going to Michael’s house, or for Tara Lynne Barr’s performance. She’s never seemed smaller or more vulnerable, and it was quite a smack in the head, for both teacher and parent, to see how little about what’s going on with Laura they’ve understood.