RECAP: Atlanta: Season 1, Episode 2 / by Aquillia Mikel


This Episode's Big Question: How else would you know you're alive unless you knew you could die?"

"Food in jail is genetically modified to make you lie."

"As humans, we are always close to destruction. Life itself is but a series of close calls. I mean, how else would you know you are alive unless you knew you could die?"


All right. Let's get started. 

Scene: GINA!

We open up to Alfred and Earn having a conversation in jail about how they ended up there. (Remember in the last episode, Alfred shot that dude in the parking lot, so clearly he got caught.) They talk about the half a blunt they didn't finish, a video vixen from the T Pain video, and how the cops tried to get them to snitch on each other. I started couch dancing to the super beautiful + super ratchet "That Law" intro and then we get into it.


Scene: I hate this place.

Alfred gets out and the lady in processing is SO polite until he starts asking too many questions. And then, she goes off on him out of nowhere.  Darius comes through with his beautiful headwrap to pick up Alfred. He gets accosted by a police officer in such a weird way that I'm still processing it. The cop wants to take a picture with him because he's a rapper and apparently he loves rap. We find out that he really is just a jerk who doesn't deserve to wear the badge. He tells him that he locked Gucci Mane up and to do a back to back picture for the Instasluts. Earn calls Vanessa and asks her to bail him out AND pick him up. The police officer is being nosy behind him and is laughing at his trifling request. I mean, yes, it is triflin- but dang, can Earn live?

Scene: Man, fuck you, Grady!

Earn is in processing, but he's not allowed to fall asleep until he's in a cell. I don't know about ya'll, but I didn't know that was an actual rule- so I used the Googles and it checks out. So, he wakes up and is forced to deal with the nonsense that is going on in the prison around him. As always happens, whenever you don't feel like talking, someone desperately wants to talk to you. Like they actually believe they are in dire need and must talk to you right then at that moment or else they will implode or something. Anyway, we learn from this man who talks entirely too much that he is in prison because of his low down friend Grady who made him get drunk on the porch and chill after not seeing him for 12 years. Also, we learn that our boy (Earn) is clearly not made for prison. He looks like a deer in headlights and I'm hoping that someone gets him outta there before this episode ends. 

Scene: Lemon pepper wet?

Darius and Alfred are in a restaurant and Darius is playing with the condiments because he's an awesome wonder. Darius waxes poetic and then the waiter brings out their food. He tells Alfred how much he loves his music because it basically promotes violence and that he hates the "singing ass niggas" of today. To show his gratitude, he makes them the extra coveted lemon pepper wings with the sauce on them and they can't take it- like they go nuts with joy. The waiter then tells Alfred and that if he doesn't keep making kill-a-nigga music- then he will basically kill him. At the end of this scene, Alfred starts to realize that people recognize him- but he doesn't seem to be excited by that. He looks wary of everyone around him. 

Scene: He looks like he needs help. Man, shut up.

Earn is served some inedible trash from the prison workers and basically gets his lunch finessed by an old man who has no faith in him surviving in jail. Earn notices a man who is clearly struggling with mental illness that everyone is taking for a joke. He learns that the man is in jail every week and asks why something isn't done to help him. He's quickly shut down. The mentally ill man then dips his cup in the toilet and everyone looks on in disgusted wonder to see if he would drink it. He does and then, seconds later, spits it on a correctional officer. That officer then beats him silly with a nightstick while everyone else looks on. Lee continues to scream in agony as he is being accosted like an animal by the police.

Scene: Is Paperboi Atlanta's Tupac? They say no.

Alfred is getting press for his music, but he doesn't really care. He wants to get his energy right, and Darius is trying to be a good friend and take him out. Alfred decides to get his chakras aligned by taking a stroll through the hood. Alfred sees some kids playing with fake guns and pretending to be him. He watches them play and then one of the kid's mothers comes out and yells at them for playing with guns because black kids are seen as violent adults by the police (basically.) Alfred tries to do a back to school special on guns and the mama is like " are.....?" They don't believe he's Paper Boi so he raps his wack lyrics and then Mama instantly tries to slide in his DMs. She wants pictures, only claims one of the kids, and demands to put her hand on his Alfred's chest. Yikes.

Scene: So you think I'm gay?!

We go back to Earn in jail and he is in the middle of this extremely weird conversation between two gay men. I mean, I instantly know that they are both gay, but one of them seems to be in denial. They reminisce about their sexual experiences while Earn sits very uncomfortably in the middle of this conversation. It is not clear that this man understands that he has been talking to a man for the majority of his life, so the rest of the men help him turn his lightbulb on. His "girl" Lisa looks at him like " should have been known that I was a man, my dude." The jail philosophy on black male homosexuality is then stated as follows: if you have sex with other men in jail- that's just survival. If you do it outside of jail- then you're actually gay. I love when Earn tries to make the closeted gay man feel more enlightened by saying that sexuality is a spectrum, but he's not here for that. Nobody is. He really can't admit to being gay and he is freaking out on everyone, ESPECIALLY Earn who he gets incensed with because he's "acting weird."

Scene: "You got the juice, man."

Best friend Darius is trying to encourage Alfred and get his energy right. I kid you not, a man in a Batman mask comes to the door and asks if Paper Boi lives there. Darius says yes. And then he just dips. Like he runs over a hill at full speed and DIPS. Darius suggests that Alfred is getting a little too hot in the streets. 

Scene: Ay, remember that time we had to pick up Daddy from jail?"

Earn only gets out of jail because Vanessa bails him out and she's pissed. Which, duh. Their baby is in the car and you can tell she just loves her dad so much. I just love that they show the two of them together all of the time. Earn makes some awkward jokes that would make me swoon normally, but I'm on Vanessa's side right now and I'm kinda pissed at him. They drive off to the song "Grandma's Hands"- which Blackest thing ever (didn't add that above- so there ya go.)

If you liked this recap and made it all the way to end: first of all, amen and thank you.Second, tweet this.

What did y'all think of the second episode?