The season premiere of Atlanta hit viewers over the head with a special guest appearance from Katt Williams, but episode two may have just been the most Atlanta episode of the entire series. It’s a string of black consciousness with pop culture commentary that is somehow wildly entertaining and compelling in driving home the episode’s major theme, change.
The episode opens with Al in the backseat of his plug’s car preparing to do a deal, but things quickly go south when his plug turns the tables and robs him in the nicest way possible. In all seriousness, his plug attempts to apologize to him after robbing him and tries to convince Al that if he hadn’t just robbed him he would’ve given him a ride home.
The next morning, Al is in the office of a start-up music streaming service based in Atlanta explaining to Earn what exactly happened. What ensues from this conversation is the clear separation from Al and Paperboy. Earn and Al spends a few hours in the start-up’s office going through the motions of attempting to partner with a company that loves rap music but is woefully white and unassuming. Al is unwilling to dance on the desk “Bobby Shmurda” style for the amusement of white music executive in the way that they would expect Paperboy to do so.
On the other side of the coin, Earn begins to finally find some good luck in that he finally receives the pay off from the dog breeding trade that Darius tricked him into getting into last season. With $4,000 in hand, Earn is looking to stretch his big payday as wide as possible and through this turn of events, the episode’s true hero, Tracy, is introduced. Cooking his waves in some house shoes, Tracy explains that he can double Earn’s money through the trustworthy trade of gift cards. Princeton intellect intact, Earn, falls for the trick and ends up not even being able to spend all of his $4,000.
The second episode of the show’s sophomore season is all about change. Tracy is now in the picture. Al is now truly a public figure. Earn finally has some money. Everything is different and the fact that it all can be stolen away during robbin’ season makes everything uncertain. One arrest could land Earn back in jail. One slip up could land Al back in jail. Honestly, the fact that the Earn, who is on probation and Tracy, who is recently released from jail, are allowed to hang around Al who is on house arrest defies everything I know about house arrest, but I guess we’ll see the impact of that later on. For now, we’ll just continue to figure out what is going on in the world of Atlanta.