Previously on Atlanta: When the newest clothing line from a white-run fashion company results in massive backlash from the African-American community, Paper Boi is approached about taking part in a press conference in order to help them look good and get their groove back. Darius accompanies Sharon, the white and female head of hospitality, to a Nigerian restaurant called Eko Chops due to his hunger for some jollof rice. After weeks of separation, Earn is reunited with Van, who has apparently been exploring Europe and going shopping while doing so.
THE STORY SO FAR: An upper-class white married couple in New York City find themselves struggling with what to do next when their son’s nanny, an elderly Trinidadian woman named Sylvia, dies unexpectedly.
SO THIS IS ANOTHER EPISODE THAT ISN’T ABOUT THE MAIN CAST?: Yes, it is.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Miles jogging through the city while “Black Harlow” by Sada Baby plays on the soundtrack, and then realizing that it’s actually coming from his headphones. Sebastian not wanting to eat his eggs Benedict (what better food to give your child for breakfast?) because it’s too bland, and insisting on Miles adding some spicy curry mango to it, which causes Miles to cough and freak out when he tries it out himself as it’s “too spicy.” (Is it really too spicy, Miles, or are you just white?) Sebastian: “Are you sad because you missed your yoga class? Do you want to take an ocean breath?” Miles and Bronwyn attempting to explain the concept of death to Sebastian before telling him about Sylvia’s death. Bronwyn discussing how they should’ve hired a younger nanny, that their next choice for a nanny should be someone who is more “metropolitan,” and how great it would be if Sebastian could get an Asian nanny and become fluent in Mandarin. (The “Antiwork” subreddit on Reddit would have a field day with this episode showing an employer who cares more about finding a younger, whiter, and cheaper replacement than about mourning the death of their longtime employee) Khadija, Sylvia’s daughter, bonding immediately with Sebastian when they meet at Sylvia’s funeral, and then showing Miles where to park his car, which is left in the hands of a very young valet driver named Richie. (If Henry Hill can park cars at a very young age, so can Richie)
Sebastian showing how comfortable and at home he is in the Black church, which throws Miles and Bronwyn for a loop. Miles receiving a mysterious text message from “Gooch Lickman” that is simply a very graphic photo of someone’s bootyhole. (Thanks to Girls Trip, it is now damn near impossible for me to hear or read the word “bootyhole” without hearing it in Tiffany Haddish’s voice) Sylvia’s other daughter, Princess, going up to the podium to lash out at her mother for spending more time taking care of other people’s children than she did taking care of her own, which leads to fighting, wailing, and crying amongst the mourners until Devon grabs the microphone like Taylor Swift and tells them all that they need to calm down, and stop scaring the white people. Devon making sure at Sebastian is okay, and explaining that this is simply how Black people express their grief. Miles and Bronwyn wrestling with whether they did the right thing in taking Sebastian to the funeral, while also assuring themselves that their relationship with Sebastian will never be as bad or a nonexistent as Princess’ relationship with Sylvia. The package addressed to Sylvia that is mysteriously and repeatedly delivered to their home, which Miles finally opens after being awakened late at night, and realizes that the package contains pictures that Sylvia and Sebastian took together at his school for Family Picture Day, which neither parent was present for.
ANY CAMEOS FROM THE CAST OF COMMUNITY?: None.
HOW MANY F-BOMBS WERE THERE IN THIS EPISODE?: None, especially since Paper Boi isn’t in this episode.
ANY CAMEOS FROM THE CAST OF SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY?: None.
ON A SCALE OF 1 TO “WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST WATCH?” HOW WEIRD AND TERRIFYING WAS THIS EPISODE?: Definitely a 7, if only for the photo that Miles receives, which some people on social media are convinced was Sylvia’s way of contacting Miles from the afterlife and telling him that he’s an a—hole.
ANY TIME-TRAVELING ALIENS IN THIS EPISODE?: No, but Chet Hanks appeared in this episode, which is so much weirder than any time-traveling alien could ever be.
CHET HANKS WAS IN THIS EPISODE?! REALLY?!: Yes. Yes, he was.
CHET HANKS?! SERIOUSLY? THE SAME CHET HANKS WITH THE HORRIBLE JAMAICAN ACCENT? WHO TRIED TO MAKE ‘WHITE BOY SUMMER’ AN ACTUAL THING? WHO HAS BEEN A FUCKBOY TOWARDS A LOT OF THE BLACK WOMEN HE’S DATED? WHO MAKES US ALL WONDER HOW TOM HANKS AND RITA WILSON GAVE BIRTH TO THIS DUDE WHENEVER HE OPENS HIS MOUTH TO TALK?: That very same Chet Hanks was in this episode, yes, and he made many a viewer’s jaw hit the ground when he appeared onscreen. He played Curtis, one of the mourners at Sylvia’s funeral who had her as his nanny when he was a child, and who immediately takes out his phone to record the fighting so he can send it to Worldstar Hip-Hop.
UH……..HUH! DOES HE STILL SPEAK IN THAT ACCENT?: Yes, he does. Bronwyn and Miles hear his ‘natural accent’ and ask him if he’s also from Trinidad and Tobago like Sylvia, and he explains that he’s actually from Tribeca.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: In the recap for last week’s episode, I wrote about how there are some fans of Atlanta who have grown dissatisfied with this season not focusing enough on the main cast, and focusing too much on white people. I also wrote how this season has been tackling themes of how white allies (or white people who think they’re allies) can end up doing far more harm than good, and how they don’t always notice or care when doing so. “Trini 2 De Bone,” another impressive and hilarious episode this season, continues to make those points, and does so by showing how so many rich and upper-class New Yorkers who live in apartment buildings that look like Jenga towers are heavily reliant on Black women and on other minorities (some of whom are incredibly talented in other fields, and usually overqualified for childcare positions, but who are in dire need of employment) to care for and look after their children when they’re not around, and how these caretakers usually spend a lot more time bonding with, caring for, and about those children than the parents themselves. It becomes more evident throughout the episode that Sylvia was a much better and loving parent to Sebastian than his own, and that when it comes to caring for him, knowing what he likes and what makes him happy, and even comforting him whenever he needs it, Miles and Bronwyn are clearly well-intentioned but clueless. And as much as they want to convince themselves that they know their son, and are there for him whenever they need him, the wake-up call that they both receive in the form of the Family Picture Day photos being aggressively left at their doorstep (possibly by Sylvia?) is enough to prove them both wrong. Fingers crossed that Sebastian doesn’t grow up to speak with a horrible Jamaican accent and attempting to make “White Boy Summer” into an actual thing.
This episode of Atlanta has been brought to you by, what else, “Trini To De Bone” by David Rudder:
And “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: