Of the amalgam of Black-led movie and tv initiatives of the final 10 years, Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” has cemented itself as one of the singular, iconic contributions to the tradition. Frequently retaining its finger on the heartbeat of Black identification and the state of America, no different present has delivered the extent of artistic commentary that “Atlanta” has. Of the whereas, every episode exists underneath a masterfully woven veil of comedy.
Season three noticed the present’s core characters Earn (Donald Glover), Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (Lakeith Stanfield), and Van (Zazie Beetz) confronting the overwhelming whiteness and othering within the Netherlands. However, for this fourth and ultimate season, they’ve returned to the present’s core, Atlanta. The final season opted for an extra concrete anthological format; this time round, the sequence establishes extra continuity between its varied vignettes.
The premiere, titled “The Most Atlanta” wastes no time in its preliminary moments, opening with a Goal overcome by looters. Darius, there solely to return an air fryer he does not need after “realizing [he] has an oven,” is unable to meet his refund amidst the chaos, and is pressured to stroll again out with the equipment. Mistaken for one of many looters, we’re reminded of a notorious second from the Summer season 2020, and right here a lady in a wheelchair begins pursuing Darius with a knife. She follows him out of the shop and across the metropolis, as he spends everything of the episode attempting to flee her.
In the meantime, Alfred, caught in visitors, learns of the death of rapper “Blue Blood.” Listening to his posthumous album, he begins to appreciate that the lyrics include a scavenger hunt around Atlanta. Earn and Vanessa, nevertheless, operating an errand on the mall, discover themselves in a purgatory of former lovers, a few of which have been caught within the inescapable loop of the buying middle since “Now You See Me 2 [was in theaters.]”
This introductory episode is efficient in relocating the sequence again to its residence metropolis. As every character is on their mission—Darius, Earn, and Van set on escaping as Alfred pursues discovery—we’re transported all through the streets of Atlanta. It makes a poignant declaration concerning the inescapability and interconnectedness of Black relationships.
“The Most Atlanta” touches on this assertion by juxtaposing previous relationships with ones in limbo, and by analyzing the pathos between Black musicians and their audiences and the flippancy of white racism. It synthesizes love, violence, and confusion into a skilled investigation of what motivates the pursuits of Black folks.
The present’s cinematography stays easy all through the season, with regular digital camera actions and lengthy takes permitting excellent performances to steer the scenes. But, among the many anticipated quantities of absurdist comedy, there are true moments of the emotional impression concerning stigmatized elements of Black life. The inherent nature of spite as part of the Black expertise, the standard anti-therapy sentiment, the shorter life span of careers, and whether or not or not a price ticket could be placed on the trade of tradition are just some matters dissected early on.
The afrosurrealism that has been crafted over the previous three seasons of “Atlanta” continues to pump by way of the present’s bloodline in this ultimate chapter. Glover has curated his personal universe. The meticulousness with which present occasions are utilized with a discernible, but ever so slight, distance from the legal guidelines of our pure and social world is profoundly efficient.
Season 4 of “Atlanta” continues to tailor the widespread shared existence of Black Individuals to Glover’s personal nook of the uncanny valley. It’s masterful at taking tangible, conspicuous tradition and emboldening its worth of it; such hyper-visibility and crafting of the actual into the surreal-but-undeniable is what’s cementing the legacy of the sequence. And on this concluding season of “Atlanta,” we are able to anticipate the waves of brilliance that have pushed the present so far to conclude with tsunami-like proportions of mind and creativeness.