Throughout the first season of Atlanta, Al “Paper Boi” struggled to make a name for himself. His cousin and manager, Earn, struggled even harder, to get Al noticed, so hard, that he was sleeping in a public storage garage. But the struggle paid off to some extent because now people know Paper Boi. Some are even uploading acoustic covers of music.
Al’s new popularity is bittersweet. Yes, he has a little exposure now. But it makes makes a target for opportunists, especially, with Al not on house arrest like he was in the first episode of Robbin’ Season. In the midst of Robbin’ Season, Al can get robbed at any given place and time by anybody, including his own plug for ten years. Yes, Al is robbed at gunpoint by his own plug who apologizes for it and claims to pay him back. Robbin’ Season will have a man do unthinkable things.
The next day, Al and Earn meet with the head of Music Outreach Peter Savage (or 35 Savage because he is 35 years old). The meeting is to make a deal with the company and grow Paper Boi’s audience on its platform. After showcasing Paperboi’s new song, Al hops into the studio at Music Outreach to record some voice over. The guy recording throws out suggestions to make his voice over sound “cool” or like he is “at a party and everything is crazy.” Al looks back at Earn with a “why the fuck you bring me here?” face.
Later, Al gets the chance to showcase his music live for the staff at Music Outreach but then hands the microphone to some white boy eating a banana and leaves. At that moment, he had to be thinking, I’m not tap-dancing for you white folks.
Now Al and Earn are back at the house in the living room. Darius walks in and hands Earn an envelope full of cash he got from selling puppies. With about $4000 in his hand, Earn realizes how much “people love dogs”. Tracy (the new house guest from jail) comes in, and says he can double the money with some gift card scheme.
Tracy has a job interview, which is why he has on a durag. Under his durag is hair grease that will bring him mesmerizing waves. “The Prince of Tides” schools the guys on how to produce the perfect waves. “First you got to brush them, right. And then, you just let them bake.”
Earn inquires about Tracy’s gift card scheme, asking if there is a limit on them. Tracy tells him there is no limit, so Earn tags along with him to the mall to use the gift cards.
Meanwhile, Al searches for a new plug. The first guy he meets with is a huge fan of him. When Al sees the man’s selfie of Instagram, showing Al doing business with him, he moves to his next option. What drug dealer in his right would post pictures of his clients, holding weed?
While in the shoe store, Earn ask Tracy about the he is interviewing for. Tracy says, “Some marketing job or some shit. Then he ask Earn how he should talk to the “white folks”. Earn says, “Probably don’t call them white folks and talk confidently.” Earn assumes Tracy would use one of his gift cards to buy the shoes. But Tracy has another way of obtaining the shoes, walking out of the store with them because they have a “no chase policy”. The policy is a “liability thing” that states a shoplifter cannot be chased even if employees see them stealing. After an employee walks up to help them, Tracy grabs three shoe boxes and walks out. The employee stands there and watches. Then looks at Earn who is dumbfounded.
Now Al and Darius meet with the next candidate for his new plug, Andy. Andy is white guy with a hippie vibe and claims to sell “the best weed in America.” He agrees to be the new plug. Then mentions his girlfriend is a Paper Boi fan and “she’s gangsta”. Right after their first drug deal, Al gets a text from Andy. He sends him a video of his girlfriend’s Paper Boi acoustic cover. Al tosses his phone out of the window and drives off. The search for a new plug continues.
Back at the mall, Al tries out the gift card. It goes through. But shortly after, he gets a text from Tracy send him a text saying “They’re on to you to you” and he has ten or twenty minutes until they shut the card off.” Earn takes advantage of the time frame and goes on a mini shopping spree. Earn heads to the parking lot to meet Tracy only to find Tracy is already at his interview and left him stranded. Damn you, Tracy. A wise man once said, “Never trust a man who wears a wave cap in public.” Okay, it was me who said that.
Verdict: 5/5 Sams
Robbin’ Season is proving to be bigger than its predecessor with bigger problems. Besides it being the season of stealing, Earn is homeless and is balancing on the fence between right and wrong. While Al is dealing with the fact he is somewhat famous now. He now has to be mindful of the people he engage with because some are opportunists who might want to capitalize off of him whether by robbing him at gunpoint or promoting him to increase the popularity of an entertainment platform like Music Outreach. These obstacles pulls its viewers in to find out how they overcome them.
New episodes of Atlanta airs on FX Thursdays at 10 p.m.