In real life, Donald Glover might be an unstoppable force with a packed calendar of music, film and television projects, but his “Atlanta” alter ego Earn — though increasingly industrious — is far from successful. He’s also been MIA on audiences since November 2016 — when the first season of the FX series wrapped — and at the time, he wasn’t doing so hot. Well, by conventional standards, that is.
Before the Glover-created show’s second installment — named “Atlanta Robbin’ Season,” instead of “Atlanta” Season 2 (because reasons) — hits Thursday, we decided to run through where we left off with Earn, Alfred aka rapper Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) and Van (Zazie Beetz).
The Season 1 finale, “The Jacket,” saw Earn looking for his blue bomber the day after he got borderline-blackout drunk with Alfred and Darius. It’s got something in the pocket he seems pretty invested in retrieving, so he retraces his steps using Alfred’s Snapchat story before figuring out he left it in an Uber.
The attempt to get our protagonist’s property back is ultimately unsuccessful, as Darius, Alfred and Earn’s meet up with their ride-share driver turns into a fatal shootout with the cops. The crew comes out unscathed (luckily, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time), but the now-dead suspect/Uber employee is wearing Earn’s jacket, which the police find to be empty-pocketed. Crap.
Back at his and Darius’ crib, Alfred throws a wad of cash at Earn, telling his cousin/music manager he “did good” after learning Senator K (who we assume is a big deal) wants to take Paper Boi on tour. Earn ends up handing a good chunk of that change over to Van after cooking her and their daughter dinner and snuggling up on the couch. Van wonders if he made that money selling drugs and Earn is very flattered that his baby mama thinks he could successfully deal in that trade.
Earn finally gets what he’s been looking for the entire episode when Justin shows up to return some keys, which the former had apparently asked the latter to hold onto for safekeeping the night before. Then he heads out, though Van tells him he can stay if he wants after calling him a “good daddy.” He knows he’s welcome, but opts to leave for the location the keys unlock — a storage unit he has been living in.
The episode closes with Earn lying down to look at the two $100 bills he’s saved for himself, while listening to music through his headphones, before turning off the lights. His living situation may be a mess, but he looks a little hopeful for the moment. Of course, now comes “Robbin’ Season.”
“Atlanta” Season 2 — err, “Atlanta Robbin’ Season” — premieres Thursday, March 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.