What’s poppin’, y’all? I know there’s a lot going on in the world that I need to be reporting on, but I wanted to take some time to speak on the upcoming season of Atlanta. As y’all know, Atlanta is one of my favorite TV shows, and sadly, season four will mark the end of the series.
While I enjoyed season three, it wasn’t quite as good as the previous two seasons, so I wanted to voice my hopes for Atlanta‘s upcoming installment. Let’s do this.
More of the Gang!
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the standalone episodes, namely “Three Slaps” and “The Big Payback.” However, I wanted to see more of Earn, Van, Al/Paper Boi, and Darius. The downside of the standalone eps is that we were somewhat robbed of more content concerning the gang while they were in Europe. Plus, I was curious to see the culture shock they’d have once the plane touched down, and the outcome of gun-in-the-bag scandal with Clark County. Instead, when we see the gang again, they’ve been in Europe for some time (and clearly have acquired a bit of success), and Clark County might be…dead? I’m all for creative license but give us more of the characters that drew us to the show in the first place.
I know what you’re thinking, “You just said you wanted more of the gang! Why are you repeating yourself?” Allow me to clarify. I want more storylines revolving around Earn. During Robbin’ Season (season two), Earn pretty much disappeared after the “Helen” episode and didn’t come back again until “North of the Border” (I’m not counting the few episodes where he had five minute cameos and/or voiceovers). In season three, we barely saw Earn, and it’s pretty evident that he had a major glow up. His clothes and style were upgraded, he commanded respect and didn’t really back down from people, he was actually doing his job as a manager, and it was clear that he had a little coin in this pocket. However, due to Earn’s appearances being sporadic, no one really talked about his growth as a character. Most of the focus—with fans and with the writers of the show—were on Al, Darius, and Van, not to mention the standalone storylines. I feel like Earn’s become a supporting character on his own show, and although I love the other main players, I’d like to see more of Earn’s journey as well. The season four trailer teases a bit more Earn-centric scenes, so that’s a good thing.
Earn and Van Get Back Together
Atlanta is an unorthodox show, so this may not happen, but I’d really love for Earn and Van to get back together. They broke up in season two because Earn couldn’t get his act together. In the next season, it was clear that Earn still had feelings for Van, but a real reunion wasn’t possible because she was going through her own stuff. It’s true, Earn and Van didn’t make the best couple, mainly because Earn wasn’t the best boyfriend. A YouTuber even made a video about how Van and Earn were a dysfunctional couple that shouldn’t get back together, and I couldn’t really disagree with that assessment. However, it appears that with Earn’s glow up, came maturity, and perhaps he’s ready to be the man that Van needs him to be. Also, Van may be getting herself together as well, so now that they’re healing themselves (possibly), they can be better partners. But, as I said before, Atlanta isn’t your typical show, and although I’d love to see these two be endgame, Van and Earn may end up remaining friends that co-parent. I’ll hold on to some hope, but not too much hope.
Don’t Change Darius!
During the “New Jazz” episode of season three, we saw Darius being cheap and allowing Al to pay for his food. Not only that, he and Al get separated, and there was no mention of Darius being worried or trying to look for him (Earn ended up finding him, cleaning him up, and bringing him back to his hotel). I didn’t like that very much. One of the things I love about Darius is his sincerity and genuine love for people (along with his quirkiness). Please don’t turn Darius into one of those you-know-whats that love to po’ mouth and mooch off their friends. You know, like Tracy! And speaking of Tracy…
Bring Back Tracy!
Yes, Tracy was a triflin’, shiftless, thievin’, 1950s wave sportin’, freeloadin’, idiotic ex-con, but those were all the things we loved about him! He could work Earn’s nerve like no other, but he was hella entertaining to watch. I’d love to see Tracy in at least one more episode just see what happened to him after the fellas pulled that much-deserved disappearing act during the season two finale. Speaking of folks disappearing, I wonder what happened to that no-good ass Socks. I’m fine with Socks not making a comeback, though. He can stay gone.
Make the “Woods” Saga into a Trilogy
So far, we’ve had two episodes that were coming-of-age stories—if you will—for Al. In “Woods,” Al’s hallucinations showed him that he needed to stop being stagnant and take further steps in his career. In “New Jazz,” Al tripped off a space cake and realized he needs to be in better control of his finances (thankfully, Earn had his back in that aspect) as well as certain career decisions. I’d love to see one last episode that teaches Al a life lesson. Gambino and the writers’ room may not want to do that again, since it’s been broadcast twice already, but I’d love to see the “Woods” saga have a third installment. Again, it appears that the season four trailer teases something along these lines, so I’m excited!
Don’t F**k It Up!
For the past three years, otherwise phenomenal shows have left me with deep disappointment when it comes to their final seasons and/or series finales. The endings—be they simply the final episode or the entire season—were either lackluster (Power), rushed (Insecure and Pose), didn’t quite fit (Mr. Robot…yeah, I said it), or were a complete disgrace to humanity (Game of Thrones and Empire). I’m hoping to God Atlanta doesn’t take that route. The small gap between seasons three and four are a bit concerning for me. Season three ended on May 19, 2022, less than four months before season four begins. Now, I’m not naive. I’m well aware these episodes were filmed long before May of this year. However, considering that we had to wait two years between seasons one and two, four years between seasons two and three, and only four months between seasons three and four, makes me scared that the showrunners rushed to put the last two installments out. If these last few years have taught us anything, it’s that turning a great series into a quick and easy microwave meal ain’t it. In spite of all this, I’m gonna remain positive and hope that the show keeps me entertained, takes its time with the storytelling, and truly “sticks the landing.” Don’t fuck this up, Gambino.
—Written by Nadiya
What do you hope to see in the final season of Atlanta? Do you want more of the gang, or did you prefer the standalone episodes? Do you think we don’t get enough of Earn’s storylines anymore, or would you rather not see him? Speaking of Earn, do you want him and Van back together, or do they work better apart? Do you want Al/Paper Boi to have another personal moment? Would you be okay with Tracy coming back? Do you believe this season will be good—if not better—than previous seasons, or are the showrunners rushing everything? Did you agree with any of the things I mentioned? Let me know in the comments section!