The following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Season 4, Episode 3 of ‘Atlanta’. Check out our review of Episode 3 here.
After last week’s disturbing dive into the unknown, this week’s installment of FX’s Atlanta begins with a peak into the unknown: the life and times of Donald Glover’s Earn are busted wide open. In the scrumptiously titled “Light Skinned-ed”, it is revealed that Earn still attends Sunday service with his family, in the same mini-van. a notion that feels familiar to those of us who have done the same time and time again. The opening bit also continues to highlight the fact that Earn has little to no relationship with his daughter with Van. We’ve literally not seen them together since season one. Like, is the baby okay?
Anyway, we move on to Earn’s journey through his day at church with his aunt. Black church services are always unlike any sort of religious celebrations. They are empowering, they are as if the moment has been building for months. It’s honestly refreshing to see a young man have to deal with the antics of his far-off relatives and the drama and theatre that comes along with it. His dramatic altercations with someone who knew him as a child seem to weigh on him as he is forced to mix two separate worlds together. Since the first episode, we’ve known Earn and Alfred were cousins. Never questioned it. Now, it seems as if we are about to see how that dynamic works in one of the greatest shows of all time, according to The Rolling Stone.
Katt Williams is back in this episode, which means it is clearly a farewell season. That hurts. He appears alongside all the elders of Earn and Alfred’s family on a group call. The brothers and sisters argue about parental relationships and, after a hilarious light-skin joke, a realization they too have their own collective trauma between them. Watching through the lens of the show’s main characters, it’s easy to put my own mom, aunts, and uncles into these roles. While they hold positions of power and influence on us, at the end of the day, they have their own lives and responsibilities and may not always be as they seem. Atlanta continues to speak to an entire generation in subtle ways that deserve this weekly acknowledgment from me.
All the while, Earn’s father is taking his time away from the family drama at the shopping fall, flirting with a French hat sales associate. His day off from the drama. A select scene in the episode is when Earn hears his phone call to his mother ring three times. Personally, that seems strange because moms always answer on the first ring. After a conversation with the police as they investigate the kidnapping of Earn and Alfred’s grandfather (by Earn’s mom, of course) it’s clear this family, as a whole, has a whole lot of lore to it.
Over the past five years, Atlanta has tried to be a lot of things. Tonight, in this episode, they achieved all of them. Throughout its seemingly short 38-minute runtime, episode 4 not only establishes a familial bond between the show’s main characters, but also allows the viewers to see how they become the men they are today. If season four of Atlanta wanted to create an all-time run at the crown for the best show on television, this is its last chance. And they are currently creating an all-time run at the crown for the best show on television. – Christian Hubbard
Atlanta premieres Thursdays on FX and the next day on Hulu!
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