“The Most Atlanta” and “The Homeliest Wheelie”

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LaKeith Stanfield in season 4, episode 1

LaKeith Stanfield in season 4, episode 1
Photo: Guy D’Alema/FX

After a head-trip of a European tour, atlanta has finally returned to Atlanta. The third season came out this spring, placing its characters in various wacky situations on another continent, that is, when it didn’t completely alienate audiences from the main quartet. Season four, then, focuses on what happens when Earn, Alfred, Darius and Van return home and resume lives they may have outgrown. Based on this two-part premiere, fans can breathe a sigh of relief that the final season will be back to basics but perfectly elevated by the weight of what the characters have been through.

By the way, this is the first time that I have summarized the ave club. (Hello! Nice to meet you all). So I have to let you know that I am one of the fans who quickly lost interest with the standalone episodes of the third season. They seemed to be a way for the show to continue to comment on America without the characters actually being in America, but once the surprise wore off, the main quartet’s quick departure ended up doing the show a disservice. atlanta it’s best when it shows the characters’ responses to surreal situations. His first departures from everyday life (“PROHIBITION” Y “Teddy Perkins”) introduced Al and Darius as audience surrogates; we had a strong sense of how they would respond and could delight in them saying what we had been waiting for or setting the stage until the end, respectively. When season three took viewers into character studies on reparations or “black culture in America” ​​without our familiar surrogates, there wasn’t enough to stop us.

RATING FOR “THE MOST HOME HORSE” (SEASON 4, EPISODE 2): A-


On the other hand, the plot in the first episode of the fourth season (“The Most Atlanta”) between Darius and the hyper-determined protector of property is so Darius that it works completely. Of course, this man who we’ve seen be a little out of sync with the world to the point of ignoring flashing warning signs, would dive into a alternate target during a raid to return a cash gift. And of course, even though she’s not involved to the point of being ridiculous, the woman would zero in on him because she wears a symbol of middle-class aspiration. Once the configuration is there (and why wouldn’t this exact set of circumstances happen in the world of atlanta?), the sequence turns into pure black comedy as this woman’s supernatural determination sends her across town to stab a man for stealing a deep fryer.

While Darius is pushing his attacker away, Earn and Van are caught between their exes. Lots of slum dwellers have that one mall that they won’t go to because if they do, they’ll run into everyone they know. (My dad started avoiding a mall when he was dating my mom, and continues to this day.) “The Most Atlanta” turns that concept into full-on horror in such a visceral way and so atlanta that I plan to show snippets to anyone who asks, “What’s that show about?” Also, the sequence gives Earn and Van a chance to affirm their partnership, that neither of them will be sent to the ex-graveyard for the other. It’s not enough of a sequence to build up an entire episode, but it’s important, impressive and visually compelling, with Hiro Murai returning to the director’s chair.

Meanwhile, Al’s journey on “The Most Atlanta” features the legacy of another local superstar. Scavenger hunts designed around new music releases aren’t a new concept at all. (Glover even set up an online search for a Childish Gambino Secret Clue in 2014.) Social media platforms have brought exercise into the mainstream and global to the point where hunting can be a cheesy public relations stuntbut atlanta takes the exercise back to its lo-fi roots to show Al embarking on an exploration of what are presumably Blueblood’s favorite spots in his city. A menu item at a barbecue joint, a broken dryer at a laundromat, an original comic book, and even a 3D movie lead the way through an end-of-life celebration. Every part of Blueblood’s death and funeral is intentional, from the declaration being three months late to his most devoted fans taking a symbolic part of him with them. Not that many people watch the final mystery of him, but the biggest people will, and that’s a powerful message for Al to move closer to mainstream stardom.

Donald Glover and Sullivan Jones in Season 4, Episode 2

Donald Glover and Sullivan Jones in Season 4, Episode 2
Photo: Guy D’Alema/FX

If the first episode was classic atlanta, “The Homeliest Little Horse” shows how the series and Glover’s performance have evolved. If I had heard at any point in the first season that a later episode would revolve around a therapy session, I would have responded with a healthy dose of skepticism (and probably would have felt the same way anytime before “Teddy Perkins” and “Three slaps.” This exploration of Earn’s self-proclaimed love of meanness comes at a perfect time in the series and not just because it answers questions about Earn’s motivations that fans have had since 2016. It feels warranted rather than belly buttoned, and this show always has. been about the slow game.

I’ll stay relatively spoiler-free about the episode’s big reveal in case anyone is reading this before watching (note: don’t do that!), but the way the episode hinted at a possibility for the white female connection with Earn before revealing the truth made me see his actions in a whole new light. The manager’s plan is pettiness to the highest degree of his, but at this point he has been dragged down so low, probably even lower, than the object of his revenge. Also, this may be the most sympathetic portrayal of a white person on a show where I often the whites are the villains. I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for this woman, as she’s obviously being scammed (although that’s probably the aspiring novelist’s connection).

atlanta is playing a long game with what it says about wealth and power in American society: parts of season three showed that whites had the upper hand (see “The Old Man and the Tree”), and two of the independents portrayed what could happen if blacks tried. Now, Earn is the one screwing with white people, and as the show continues to explore the gray areas of cultural dynamics, that may not be good for him. It is likely that each member of the main quartet has the feeling that he has come home different from when he left. Whether it’s their pockets, their mindset, or their literal locations, Earn, Van, Al, and Darius are moving toward…something.

missed observations

  • I can’t stress this enough: Darius was trying to return a deep fryer he received as a gift. gift. That’s a brilliant added layer of “oh, he’s got money now” behavior for this scene.
  • I grew up in Los Angeles, but Atlanta traffic stories strike fear into my heart.
  • It’s great that Van’s ex who works at the cell phone store shows up before “The Most Atlanta” reveals all the horror of that place. Maybe his life just hasn’t moved on the same trajectory as Van’s.
  • “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here” by Deborah Cox playing over the mall speakers is *chef’s kiss.*
  • I feel sorry for the man who will now live with the eternal nickname, “The last white American I ever kissed.”
  • I highly recommend Atlanta natives/residents to leave their Atlanta station stories in the comments; I would love to know if the mall is really the Blair Witch Project forest but for ex.
  • My favorite part of the scavenger hunt is when Al has to play a shooter game for a specific number of tickets to get the t-shirt.
  • The absolutely perfect tagline for “The Homeliest Little Horse” reads: “We have grown men here being so petty. You all really need therapy. I don’t know because I already know what’s happening to me.”
  • We probably won’t get the full explanation for the second incident that took Earn from Princeton student to essentially homeless, and the therapy sequences are so good we don’t need to know any more. Glover’s performance leaves us with the enormous effect it had on Earn.
  • I completely see Darius as Al’s platonic life partner, so an interesting later story could explore if one wants to leave and the other wants to stay.

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