Atlanta’s freshman season course corrects itself by returning to Atlanta

Previously Atlanta: Van, who wears a wig that makes her look like Audrey Tautou in Amelie and who now speaks with a French accent, reunites with her friend Candice (whom we first met in the Season 2 episode “Champagne Papi”) in Paris. The two, along with Candice’s friends Shanice and Xosha, travel to Paris together, where things get very strange and very bloody, leading Van to be confronted by Candice about what’s really going on with her.

THE STORY SO FAR: Earn, Paper Boi, Vanessa, and Darius have returned from Europe and back to Atlanta, where things are just as weird and surreal as ever. Darius tries to return an air fryer to a department store for a refund during a massive riot that breaks out for unknown reasons, only to be followed all over town by a white woman in a motorized wheelchair who is armed with a knife and who thinks Darius stole his air fryer. Paper Boi learns that Blueblood, one of his favorite rappers, has died suddenly and finds himself on a mysterious treasure hunt that Blueblood organized shortly before his death. Earn and Vanessa constantly find themselves running into their exes as they spend the day shopping at Atlantic Station, as they realize they are both unable to leave.

WHAT’S GOOD IN THIS EPISODE? : Darius attempts to return the air fryer for a refund (and does so simply because he realized he has an oven) to the customer service section, only for the employee to realize that since shit is already popping (and causing the whole store to look like a Marshalls, which is a very accurate description, and I say this as someone who worked in a Marshalls for two years) , he might as well take all the money out of the cash box and run away. Christine, the woman in the motorized wheelchair, refusing to let Darius or anyone else leave the store with stolen goods, only to get pushed around and sprayed with fire extinguishers as a result. (This was based on a real person and an incident.) The opening title sequence, which shows sweeping aerial shots of Atlanta as if to comfort viewers at home and let them know, “See, everybody ? We are back in Atlanta, and we are no longer in Europe! We’re back on familiar ground, and we won’t be offering you any more one-shot episodes with white characters you don’t recognize! OK?! Are you happy now?! We heard all your fucking complaints!

Paper Boi and Darius stuck in traffic and discussing where they should go if they take a flight out of town, and cross Jamaica off the list, like their weed and the movie Shottas are both overrated. Earn and Van realize that time seems to stand still at Atlantic Station, as evidenced by Vanessa’s ex Amir, who has worked at the same AT&T store for nearly a decade, and Earn’s ex , Kenya, apparently stuck at Atlantic Station ever since. now you see me 2 (which really should have been called Now you don’tdepending on who you talk to on social media) hit theaters.

Earn and Van spot and portray at least six of their exes as if they were Captain America and Black Widow on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Winter Soldier while walking around the outdoor section of Atlantic Station. (Van: “Peter Brookfield. went on six dates between 2012 and 2014, and he was the last white American I ever kissed.”) The Paper Boi montage revealing clues that ultimately lead him to the location of Blueblood, which holds the funeral and where Paper Boi is greeted by his widow, Keisha, who explains that it was something he planned in detail to be remembered and appreciated. (It also includes a coffin with a fake skeleton wearing a suit with a bow tie and a baseball cap.) Earn and Van find an exit at Atlantic Station, which is a doorway to a dark room with damp, carpeted walls. . …leads to the same room where Blueblood’s funeral takes place and where Darius finally arrives after escaping Christine and her knife-wielding claws. The last shot of the episode, in which the camera slowly zooms in on Kenya, who is waiting for an Uber to take her home and who has accepted Darius’ air fryer as a gift for her father, and the familiar sound of Christine’s wheelchair as he gets closer and closer to Kenya from behind before the episode instantly cuts to black.

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE? : Nothing that comes to mind.


DOES SHE-HULK TWERK WITH MEGAN THEE STALLION IN THIS EPISODE? : You’re thinking the wrong show, but if She-Hulk or Megan Thee Stallion appeared on this show for some reason, twerk-related or not, it still wouldn’t be as weird as most of the other things we’ve seen happen on Atlanta.

HOW MANY BUMPS DID FY HAVE IN THIS EPISODE? : A few, and of course, most of them are from Paper Boi.


ON A SCALE OF 1 TO “WHAT WILL I WATCH?” How weird and terrifying was this episode? : Definitely a 7 or 8. When Earn and Van found the exit door of Atlantic Station and walked through, I was expecting them to either end up in the house of Teddy Perkins, John Malkovich’s mastermind, or end up immediately get thrown off the New Jersey Turnpike.

ARE THERE TIME-TRAVELING ALIENS IN THIS EPISODE? : No, Dustin, still no aliens in sight.


TO SUM UP: There have been many people who have not been shy at all about expressing how they fell in love with Atlanta last season, and how they found the majority of last season polarizing, and how they wanted the show to go back to what it was and focus on the main cast rather than a bunch of guest stars (mostly white) of which they knew nothing. These same people were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief with this season’s premiere, as it allowed us to earn money and company at home, and surrounded by black people while dealing with deliciously weird shit with which we are used to seeing them. .

We see Earn and Van spending time together as they try to find their way out of the seemingly inescapable maze that is Atlantic Station (there’s been no acknowledgment of their struggles with each other since last season , but Earn verbalizes more than once how much Van means to him compared to all of his other exes he’s met all day), Paper Boi remains hopeful that a rapper who inspired him to enter in the rap game was still alive, only to realize that he wasn’t and didn’t get the most out of living his life and enjoying it as much as he should have ( Blueblood’s voice was provided by Earl Sweatshirt, and the character himself was largely inspired by the late, great MF Doom); and Darius is chased all over town by a Karen who, like most Karens, overestimates her own importance and refuses to mind her own business when it comes to black people (the fact that she shares the same name, the same determination and murderous rage as the nearly unstoppable vehicle of one of Stephen King’s best-known stories is no coincidence).

This is a very strange and unusual way for Atlanta to kick off its final season, but if there’s anything that Atlanta has proven itself and also excelled, it’s strange and unusual. The fact that we can see more things happening in the backyard of the characters (and hopefully without more problematic celebrity guest appearances that would get the show talked about on social media for all the wrong reasons) is the best and most appropriate. for the show to begin bidding farewell to us in the weeks to come.

This episode of Atlanta brought to you by Gang Starr’s “Ex-Girl To Next Girl”:

And “Hotel California” by the Eagles.

// Read the recap of episode 2 //

Brian Richards is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Header image source: FX Networks

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