Warning: This publish incorporates spoilers for Thursday’s Atlanta finale.
Atlanta‘s European tour resulted in Paris this week… and wrapped up Season 3 with a very “WTF” second.
Thursday’s finale centered on Van, who bumped into her buddy Candice — keep in mind her from the celebration at Drake’s home in Season 2’s “Champagne Papi”? — whereas in Paris residing her finest life as a carefree, Amelie-esque ingénue, French accent and all. Van led Candice and her mates on a wild journey that concerned a savage beating by baguette, a dinner of fried human palms and… Alexander Skarsgard, in some way? However when Candice lastly confronted her, Van tearfully admitted she was simply making an attempt to reinvent herself after falling right into a critical psychological funk.
It answered lots of questions viewers had about Van this season — and the Atlanta writers had the identical questions, govt producer Stefani Robinson (who wrote the finale) tells TVLine. They knew they needed to deliver Van alongside to Europe with Earn, Al and Darius, however “the query was: ‘OK, what’s she doing right here?’” So that they got here up with an concept: “What if she was going via some form of existential disaster, a psychological breakdown, a disaster of identification? And we showcase that in a set piece that’s form of humorous and eccentric, however then clearly takes a darker flip.”
Bringing Candice again was a strategy to spotlight how a lot Van had modified, Robinson notes, as a result of in “Champagne Papi,” Van was the one tagging together with Candice. “That reversal is so nice as a result of it’s such a reversal of simply how we see Van usually, and of a lot of the feminine relationships that she’s been in,” she factors out, citing Season 1 episodes like “Worth” and “Juneteenth” the place Van took a backseat. Right here, “she’s in management, and she or he’s the one lastly making these choices and occurring this wild goose chase and [living] a really attention-grabbing life. We haven’t seen her in that method.”
We haven’t seen Skarsgard in fairly this fashion earlier than, both, dancing to Ashanti and, um, having fun with Van’s newfound confidence. “We had an inventory of dream individuals who would have the ability to fill out the position, however he was positively on the prime,” Robinson remembers with amusing. “He simply actually threw himself in there… It didn’t appear to be he was shy about doing what was written. If something, he added extra to it.”
Followers might have anticipated the finale to deal with Earn, Al and Darius, and Robinson admits she didn’t know this episode can be the season finale whereas writing it. Nevertheless it “brings some form of finality” and “solutions these questions that we’ve been having all season,” she believes. “Van goes via what we’re exploring this season, with the thought of being away from dwelling and stepping exterior of your consolation zone… This season, we had been interrogating: What does it imply to be Black? What does it imply to be American touring overseas? What does it imply to be a white particular person in America” through the present racial reckoning? “So I believe there’s something good and remaining in regards to the Van of all of it. It’s lastly with the ability to say, ‘I don’t know who I’m.’ And: ‘Is that OK?’… In that method, I really feel prefer it sums up the season fairly properly, I believe.”
We did really see Earn, although, in a post-credits scene the place he acquired a chunk of misplaced baggage that wasn’t his and seemed inside it to discover a framed picture of a white man along with his household. Sure, that’s the identical white man who was within the rowboat within the season premiere, and likewise the man who killed himself in Season 3’s reparations episode, Robinson confirms. This season’s standalone episodes might “appear to exist on some dream-like aircraft,” she says, however connecting it again to Earn’s story exhibits that “the tales we’ve been seeing really might be very actual. There’s some crossover right here. These bottle episodes aren’t so random, the way in which that lots of people are reacting to them… They exist because the form of subtext of every part that we’re seeing.”
Yeah, about these reactions: Season 3’s standalone episodes have been polarizing with followers, placing Atlanta‘s foremost trio on the sidelines for 5 of the ten episodes — absolutely half the season. However “even when it feels chaotic and random, I believe there may be some intention behind it,” Robinson assures us. Sequence star and creator Donald Glover has “stated that every season is like an album,” she provides. “I believe that’s an effective way to have a look at the Atlanta seasons. Every episode has one thing to do with each other, however can even really feel like its personal singular factor… They play towards one another and inform one another.” She sees that remaining scene with the framed picture as “closing the chapter” on Season 3’s story: “It’s very eerie, however I believe an excellent bookend.”
What do you assume, Atlanta followers? Grade the finale — and Season 3 total — in our polls, and hit the feedback to share your ideas.