“I don’t know the titty median here.” – Earn
“I’m gonna go inside. I ate them two blunts when the cops showed up. Tonight’s gonna be weird.” – Darius
“But you’re a good daddy.” – Van
I feel more vindicated than Dashboard Confessional right now, y’all.
I’ve been a Donald Glover/Childish Gambino fan for a long time (have I mentioned this yet?). I knew that he was smart. I knew that he was funny. I knew that he was really talented. I knew Atlanta would be good/creative/fresh.
I knew all of these things. I knew all of this but still would have never predicted the level of brilliance this show offered week in and week out. Every new episode had me like, OK this is my favorite one. It’s really funny. It’s really precise. It’s really challenging. It’s really serious. It’s really surreal. It’s really real. It’s really a lot of things that I am not capable of describing properly. I feel very confident in saying it was the best show on TV this year. Please @ me. I will fight you all day to prove to you that I am right.
So the season finale of Atlanta (entitled “The Jacket”) revolves around the central plot point of Earn trying to find his lost jacket. He retraces his steps from the house he woke up in to a strip club before finally meeting up with Alfred and Darius (yay!) on the outdoor couch after realizing the Uber driver from the night before probably has said jacket due to the breadcrumb-trail of Snapchats left by Alfred.
The Uber driver has them meet him somewhere so of course it’s a setup and the cops show up and finally shoot Fidel, the Uber driver, who is wearing Earn’s jacket. We are still ignorant as to why he is so hellbent on retrieving the damn jacket – he asks the cops to check the pockets just after ol’ boy bought the farm (“There’s like a secret pocket in the front”). And then we find out.
But not until after he gets paid his 5% – time to renegotiate that contract Earn – by Alfred (who is going on tour!), cooks dinner for Van and their daughter, and gives all of us hope for the weird-ass relationship (Zazie over everything).
When he unlocks the storage unit we find out where he lives when he doesn’t stay with Van, or crash at Alfred’s, or wake up in a random house. It’s heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. And so goddamn human. You can’t help but root for Earn to figure it out and get back together for good with Van and secure a decent existence for their daughter.
My favorite part of “The Jacket” was when Earn was talking with the Uber driver while, in the foreground, Alfred and Darius have a barely intelligible conversation about sunflower seeds. From what I could make out, it starts with Darius saying “Speaking of money, how do you think these sunflower seed companies make money?” which leads to a ridiculous back and forth re: sunflower seed flavors: “BBQ, Teriyaki, Sushi.” That results in the following exchange:
Alfred: “They don’t kill the fish and put them on the seeds, man.”
Darius: “Oh, so it’s artificial?”
And but so, we have to wait almost a full calendar year for more episodes of Atlanta. Which is so very sad, but also so very exciting. We have to wait, kind of like Earn, for more excellence. But that’s OK. That’s real. That’s life.
Oh, and of course it closed out with an Outkast track.
See you next year.FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD