The first two episodes of Season 4 of Atlanta: Atlanta have successfully challenged our preconceptions over the course of three seasons by providing a nuanced portrayal of black individuals and incorporating absurdist themes. Donald Glover’s surreal comedy has gained a devoted following thanks in large part to the show’s ability to constantly experiment with new forms of storytelling, which have earned the show praise from fans of Glover’s many other projects as well.
The show, which focuses on the lives of four African-Americans in Atlanta, has never failed to entertain with its sharp wit and engaging storytelling.
Atlanta (Season 4 Premiere) Episodes 1 & 2 Recap
First episode of season 4 is called “The Most Atlanta,” and it focuses on four main individuals. An irate crowd is shown robbing a store, and Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) comes along with an air fryer he received as a gift. Given that he has misplaced the receipt, he approaches the cashier and proposes a swap.
There’s a good reason why the cashier is perplexed. With people openly stealing from the store, why would any rational person bother returning an item and hoping for a fair exchange? He tells him the same thing but then scans the Q.R. code on his product carton against his will. The next thing you know, he’s dashing out of the building, cash in hand.
Because of this, Darius has no choice but to walk out of the store with the air fryer. However, a white woman in a wheelchair who mistakes him for one of the looters stops him at the front gate. He explains respectfully that he was given the item as a present and is returning it, but she doesn’t believe him and keeps the item.
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Even so, he takes the air fryer home from the shop with him. Later, he rides a shotgun in a car driven by Alfred (AKA Paper Boi) (Brian Tyree Henry). He explains how, despite having gone to the store, he still expected to be delayed in traffic. Darius notices Paper Boi is depressed and inquires as to the cause. He says that Blueblood, a rapper, has passed away.
They talk about how he used to lead his supporters to his secret shows by posting hints on Tumblr. Now he’s performing a brand new Blueblood song. Darius, meantime, realizes the wheelchair lady is still following him and opts to leave the vehicle. Meanwhile, Donald Glover’s Earn transports Zazie Beetz’s Van to Atlantic station, where he quips that they’ll have to wait until the next day to meet.
They run across one of his exes, Kenya (Sh’Kia Augustin), and have a short conversation with her. They visit the Apple shop, where he runs into yet another ex of his. After Van makes fun of him by suggesting that he dated everyone working at the Atlantic station, the ex-boyfriend salesperson approaches her. He says that they first met at a concert around ten years ago (and also says being trapped there for a while). When she learns that he can recall events from a long time ago, she is astonished.
Meanwhile, an adoring fan begins secretly recording the rapper Paper Boi behind the scenes. In a hurry, he leaves the line of cars and heads to the gas station. The location mentioned in the Blueblood song is literally in front of him, and he can’t stop listening to it.
He makes the conscious decision to visit the establishment and get some zoo pie. The shopkeeper ignores him until he finally insults Paper Boi when he asks whether he knows Blueblood. Sorry, he gets the pie. To his surprise, though, there is a mailing address inside the box. He treats it like a lyrical treasure hunt and visits the locations and performs the tasks that are stated.
However, as Earn and Van stroll around the Atlantic station, they keep bumping into more and more of their ex-partners. Because of all the close calls, they finally decide to go. They get to the parking lot but can’t seem to locate their vehicle. (It made me think of the Seinfeld episode when the gang spends the whole thing trying to find their car, but that’s not where this story goes.) When they run into each other again, Kenya acts as if they’ve never met before.
Despite the oddness of the situation, Earn pleads for her assistance in escaping. She says she’s been there personally and can’t get out. While they are still in the airport, he inquires as to what movie is currently playing at the local theatre. She claims it’s the sequel to “Now You See Me” (which was out over five years ago!)
Meanwhile, Darius evades the wheelchair woman even as she catches up to him. After following Blueblood’s rap trail, Paper Boi finds himself in a deserted area. Yet he goes in anyhow and discovers a woman seated next to a casket. When he struggles to explain his being there, she wonders whether he’s there to see Blueblood.
She reveals that her late husband, Gary (Blueblood), was married to her. Few people besides Paper Boi had made it there, and when he did, the casket contained only a skeleton—not even his own, as he had died a long time before. The complexity of Blueblood’s rap album was praised by her as a labor of love. About the eleventh track on Blueblood’s record, she presents a plant to Paper Boi.
At the same time, Earn and Van, who are still in the parking lot, locate a means of escape. Even though they aren’t sure if it’s the exit, he decides to go in there anyway, and she follows him since she doesn’t want to be abandoned like all of his other exes. It’s dark and mysterious inside, but once they follow this path to the finish, they’ll find themselves in Paper Boi’s room. Even the purported follower, Kenya, has now revealed themselves.
Kenya ran out of time to find a present for her father, so Darius met them outside and gave her his air fryer. After experiencing this weird voyage that shows them both their past and present, our protagonists and antagonists find themselves back in the universe that gave them their individual identities, together. Hiro Murai’s astute direction brings the show to this satisfying close.
In the second episode, titled “The Homeliest Little Horse,” Brooke Bloom plays a white woman whose black neighbor nonchalantly ignores her while she discreetly peers into his life via her window. Her name is Lisa, and a literary agency is interested in the manuscript she wrote for a children’s book.
Earn is then seen in a car with Paper Boi, having a conversation. The rapper probes further by inquiring about his gaming handle, hoping to glean some insight about his preferred film. Even though Scarface is the first thing that comes to his mind, Earn suggests Mulan because that’s where they registered when they were in middle school.
Having made it through the portal, he turns to Earn and inquires as to his next destination. Whenever Therapy is brought up, Paper Boi pokes fun at him by pointing out how wealthy even a small cut of his earnings would make him. (This implies that the affluent may be thinking about getting therapy despite the high price tag. Furthermore, it elucidates the racial and economic underpinnings of the stigma associated with seeking therapy for mental health difficulties due to financial constraints.
Earn sees his therapist but spends much of his time texting back important messages. When Earn’s therapist, Tillman (portrayed by Sullivan Jones), tells him to stop being distracted by this, Earn counters that the same messages are also enabling him to pay for therapy. Finally, he stops fidgeting with his phone and Tillman inquires as to the source of his annoyance. Earn says he recently went to the doctor, but they were unable to pinpoint the source of his suffering to any specific physical condition.
The doctors suspect that a mental health problem, such as depression, panic attacks, or anxiety, is at the root of his physical symptoms. If he feels anxious, Tillman says to pay attention to his physical symptoms. Since Earn has no triggers for anxiety, he appears to be adamant about avoiding feeling it.
Lisa, meantime, visits the office of the literary agent, where she encounters the black assistant who works there (Khris Davis). He allows her to enter the building where she meets the white agent, Gordon Rosenbaum (Keith Flippen), who tells her that her book will soon have a publisher and that she must have artwork ready in a week. She may be confused by his passion, but she is confident that she has earned this unexpected attention.
At a later meeting with her white buddy, she explains that she quit her job to pursue this possibility, which may make her novel the next “Harry Potter.” The buddy is conflicted and thinks that, given Lisa’s financial predicament, she shouldn’t have quit her job on a whim. It’s a hint to Lisa that her friend doesn’t have faith in her.
Atlanta (Season 4) Trailer
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