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Atlanta - The Jacket - Review: "Coming up slamming Cadillac doors"

"It's that thing we always need"

It's been ten weeks since the debut of Atlanta on FX, the first series created (written, directed and also produced) by hip-hop star/comedy actor Donald Glover, and with the finale now having aired, it's safe to say that his experiment has definitely succeded.

For its final outing, the show sticks to its proven structure of Earn going on a journey of sorts, looking for something. This time is jacket, that he had lost during the partyin' and debauchery of the evening before. Right off the bat we meet one of the usual definitely more surreal than real type of characters that the show has been using since the beginning, like one of Earn's friends, but he ain't really his friend. Once Earn realizes that his jacket has gone missing, his first stop is at a strip-club where he's forced to pay 10$ just to get in and take a look, despite being full-on day and the locale half empty, courtesy of one very hardened bouncer. After striking out at the strip club, he uses Alfred's snapchat to try and piece together the rest of the happenings of the night, with a terrific and very funny sequence of the whole gang way too drunk, partyin' all night.
He discovers that their uber driver, Fidel, still has his jacket, and enlists Alfred to driving him to Fidel's house to retrieve the jacket.

While on a sort of stake-out at Fidel's house, we finally have a big piece of development in Paper Boi's career, with rapper Senator K asking him to go on tour together. While the gang was hanging, minding their own business and waiting for Fidel, we got one sudden outburst of violence with the police taking them and then shooting Fidel on sight, killing him, while he's seen fleeting the scene. He was a uber driver while also a gun and drug dealer on the side! He's wearing Earn jacket while getting shot, and he even is brazen enough to ask the cops on the scene to check the pockets of the jacket and see if the key he's been looking for all day it's still there, something that would've been unthinkable for the Earn we met in the Pilot.

The key wasn't there, but the glass is still half full for Earn, as he earns his first honest-to-god piece of salary from Alfred as is manager. Back to the house with Van and Lottie, we see an Earn much more comfortable in his role as a husband and father, though still not enough to living with them. While watching TV with Van, his colleague Swift drops by (in a nice little circle back from the Pilot since he has basically been MIA ever since), finally giving him the key he had been looking for the whole day and that he had kept following Earn's instructions.

Before heading away, Earn even gives some money, some sort of "alimony" to Van, describing them as "that thing we always need", once again another stepping stone for him as a character, now taking care even financially of his family. He still has a long way to go, but the direction is definitely the right one. In the final scene of the season, we see Earn walking through the streets of Atlanta -with the amazing "Elevators" by Atlanta-born Outkast in the background-, as the show reveals us that he has been sleeping in a storage locker for who knows how long, and that is what the key was for.

All in all I think that this debut season of Atlanta has been nothing short of terrific. It's a different kind of show, one that manages to be a commentary without even trying, that mixes good laugh born out of subtle punchlines, with moments where things seem to suddenly take a turn for the dramatic side of the spectrum, and this while always staying true to itself, within the identity established in the first few half-hours and that it continued building for the duration of the season. This was definitely among my favorite comedies of the whole year, sharing the podium with heavyweights like "BoJack Horseman" and "Veep". My expectations were stellar high, and the show managed it to overtaking them anyway!

Episode 1.10 - "The Jacket" - A