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Atlanta - Go for Broke - Review: "Stick and move, then I SKRT SKRT SKRT"




"Come on dawg, how are you broke on payday? What are you, 12 years a slave?" "Yeah, my name is 12 years a slave. The slave".
In this week's episode of Atlanta, we find out what it means to be broke in the city of Atlanta.
This episode shares the same structure as last week's second outing, as the storytelling opens with a sequence shared by both Earn and Alfred, and then the narrative switches to two different point of observation, where we follow both characters in their different, yet eerily similar in many aspects, adventures.
The show a cold opens with Earn trying to order a kid's meal at the local fast food (in an effort to be as cheap as possible) only to find out that you can't order a kid's meal unless you're 14 or ounger. He ends up buying a glass for water and then filling it with Coke.


This kind of sour, cinic scene, somehow reminds me of Louie's disadventure in New York, with a touch less surrealism maybe, but similar in many ways. It's also worth mentioning that the opening sequence, though pretty simple and basic, with a title card of the show and the city in background, it's different every week, with a different hip-hop tune (this time it's "SKRT" by Kodak Black), a choice that isn't actually that surprising considering Donald Glover's second job as a rapper.
Later on, while at his house, Earn confesses to Alfred that despite being pay-day, he still feels like he's barely hanging on, and that's when he finds out that Alfred is making money, and basically paying his carrer as a rap artist, by selling drugs; and that he has some kind of big deal up ahead with some "Mexicans".


Vanessa confronts Earn about him still chasing his dreams despite having a daughter to take care of, they have a scuffle and he ends up offering to take her out, just to make peace. The morning after though, as he receives the deposit for his day-time job as a credit cards seller, he comes to grip with the fact that he's going to have to go about it on the cheap side, if he wants to have enough money to last through the weekend. Following an advice by his friend and co-worker, he takes her to the Indigo, a supposedly cheap that offers happy hour option. Yeah that's right, supposedly. Of course, the date doesn't go like planned, at all. First, we get a glimpse of what it means to street park in Atlanta, Earn doesn't want to pay the valet (which is 10$) so he tries to park his car in a shady neighbourhood, where an unauthorized parking attendant is willing for 10$ (which will then come down to 6) to watch their car until 11 and eventually warn them if any gang is passing by to vandalize the car or if it is being towed away.


This place, the Indigo, was recently acquired by a new owner from NOLA, and is now a triple A elité kind of place that only serves seafood, with a waitress that of course does her best to sell them the most expensive stuff. The situation offers a couple of laugh moment which I won't spoil, but revolves around Earn doing his best to spend as less as possible, and failing spectacularly at it. At the end of the evening, he doesn't have enough money on his card to pay the dinner and he's forced to ask for a 20$ to his cousin Alfred, but what has been doing in the meanwhile?


Well, as mentioned earlier in the episode, he's supposed to have this meet with a Mexican gang about a drug buy, he and Darius leave with the most ferocious intentions, but as they find out soon enough, this supposedly soft Mexican gang, is actually a much more serious and dangerous african-american gang. The whole scene plays out great with Alfred increasingly afraid and worried about the gang might do to them, and Darius worrying about the briefcase being cuffed to his wrist (one of his brilliant ideas to look "more professional"), and the key left home. Just when it seems like Alfred might be catching some heat from the gang, because they heard about him being locked up for attempted murder and are suspicious of his expeditious release, he receives a call from Earn asking him for the 20$. Of course Earn let his big mouth blabbers way too much while on the phone, but the streetgang leader can relate, since we soon after finds out that also his cousin, a mexican dude named Tanqueray that wants to become a rapper, is kind of crazy and talks way too much.
The deals workout, and then the recurring joke about the briefcase being cuffed to Darius' wrist comes to a head when the leader of the gang says "we can solve that" just right on the ad-break.


The cliffhanger gets subverted when after the break he explains "we take the money out of the briefcase and leave the briefcase to you". The gang is called "the four migos" and I have a feeling that we'll see them again during the course of the season.
Back to Earn though, he has a scuffle with Vanessa, and ends up defending his right to "chasing my dreams" because he thinks that ultimately that's the right way to do right by his daughter. Once again, Earn proves to be plenty stubborn about his way of doing things being the right way, we'll find out if he's right about it.
The half-hour kind of comes full circle in the final sequence, with Earn reporting the theft of his now empty credit card.

I found this to be another strong outing for the newborn series, though probably not as strong as last week debut. What did you all think? Sound off in the comments!

1.03 - "Go for Broke" - B+



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