‘Atlanta’ Recap and Reaction: “The Jacket”

Danielle Ryan

FX’s new series Atlanta has taken its viewers on a wild ride this season. Each week has brought new surprises, and the season finale, “The Jacket”, was no exception. After getting a deeper look into Vanessa and Earn’s relationship in last week’s episode, the finale gives a quick overview of everyone’s status, especially Earn’s.

The episode begins with Earn waking up in a strange house. The home’s owner repeatedly explains to Earn that he “knows you guys”, but he doesn’t really “know you guys”. Earn asks about his jacket and is told that it’s not in the house. Earn then goes to the strip club where he partied with Darius and Alfred the night before – it’s not there either. The bouncer gives him a hard time and one of the strippers asks to be in Paper Boi’s music videos. Frustrated, Earn finally heads to Alfred’s to ask him about the jacket.

Earn calls the Uber driver from Alfred’s phone and finds out he has the jacket. The guy wants to charge Earn $50 to bring the jacket to him, however, so he instead agrees to meet somewhere and pick it up. Alfred drives Earn to a sketchy neighborhood, where they sit for a few minutes. Alfred feels like something is off about the situation and tries to drive away. A black SUV pulls out in front of them and dozens of Atlanta Police Department officers surround the car with guns drawn.

While Earn, Alfred, and Darius are being patted down, Earn spots Fidel (the Uber driver) running away nearby. Fidel is wearing his jacket. He’s also apparently wanted by the APD for some serious crimes. The APD shoot him down without hesitation, bullets ripping through Earn’s jacket. Once the trio is cleared of any suspicion, Earn asks an officer to check the pockets of his jacket. When that turns up nothing, he heads back with Darius and Alfred, dejected.

Alfred tells Earn that he’s sorry about the jacket. He and Darius discuss the craziness of the situation while Earn sits quietly. Something important was clearly in the jacket pocket, but the show hasn’t revealed what that is just yet. Alfred gives Earn a rolled up wad of money and tells him that it’s his 5% earnings as manager. Earn’s impressed by the amount of cash. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem.

Earn goes to Vanessa’s and cooks dinner for her and their daughter, Lottie. After dinner, Earn and Vanessa are snuggling on the couch when Earn’s co-worker stops by to bring him a set of keys. They look like the keys to a storage unit. Apparently, Earn gave them to his co-worker to hang onto the night before, in case he got too drunk. “You outsmarted yourself again,” his co-worker says with a grin before hitting on Vanessa and getting the door closed in his face. He gives Vanessa the rolled up cash he got from Alfred. “What’s this?” she asks. “That thing we always need,” he replies.

Vanessa offers to let Earn stay for the night but he turns her down and walks away. She seems saddened by his desire to be elsewhere. Last week revealed his infidelity, but the two seemed close and comfortable on the couch. Earn goes to a storage unit and opens it up. He is living out of the storage unit, it appears, and he takes two hundred dollar bills from his shoe before turning off the light and going to sleep.

Earn is clearly trying to live by his own means. Throughout the season he has been sleeping in everyone else’s homes, and now he’s trying to make a home of his own. Even if it’s only a storage unit, it’s a sign that he’s becoming more independent. Given his mysterious past and often selfish behavior, is that really a good thing? Only one thing’s for certain: Atlanta season two can’t come soon enough.

Best Moments

  • When a stripper asks Earn about another stripper’s breast size and then chastises him for getting it wrong, he quips “I don’t know the ti**y median here.”
  • Drunk Earn singing Nelly and questioning whether or not Ja Rule is really just a dog in the backseat of the Uber is great. It’s nice to see him so relaxed for once.
  • Darius tells Earn that black people’s number one problem is not having any fun. Earn stares at him, incredulous. “I really disagree that that’s black people’s number one problem,” he says.
  • When they get back to Alfred’s place, Darius tells them that he ate some Blondies out
Danielle Ryan
A cinephile before she could walk, Danielle comes to Fandom by way of CNN, CHUD.com, and Paste Magazine. She loves controversial cinema (especially horror) and good cinematography; her dislikes include romantic comedies and people's knees.
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