Donald Glover put 'Atlanta' fans through a theoretical wringer on Thursday.
Last week, we followed the shenanigans of a frenzied, side-hustling, duplicitous barber in the show's "Barbershop" episode, which was centered around Paperboi -- played by Brian Henry Tyree. In retrospect, we didn't realize how easy we had it until this Thursday.
For 41 uninterrupted minutes, viewers followed Darius, a beloved character played by LaKeith Stanfield, on a quest to obtain a free piano he claimed to have desperately needed in his life. He arrives to a mansion in a U-Haul truck while jamming to Stevie Wonder and is eventually greeted by the eerie and off-putting Michael Jackson-adjacent character of Teddy Perkins -- who some believe is played by Donald Glover himself. (Spoilers ahead)
As the episode unfolds, Perkins -- and his home -- appear increasingly weird. We discover the piano was once owned by Teddy's brother, Benny Hope, a '60s/'70s-era musician who is locked in the mansion's basement and who, in the final moments of the episode, kills both Teddy and himself. Throughout the episode, numerous references are made to Jordan Peele's "Get Out," which Stanfield also starred in, amplifying the show's already sinister nature.
The sixth episode of "Robbin Season" was strange. At best, it's a gripping commentary on the troubled lives led by some of the most profoundly talented artists. Thus far, the haunting and epic episode was unarguably the most notable of the series, with some social media users even insisting it's Emmy-worthy.
But before we can get to any talk of award season, we got questions, and they desperately need answers.As we try to dissect Donald Glover's mindf***ery, the Twitterverse has alleviated some of our analytical woes by offering a few explanations about what exactly went on in that commercial-free span of our Thursday night. Here are a few:
-This #AtlantaFX episode theories:
- the ending mirrored Michael’s actual ending: first he killed his mask, then he killed himself
- “there is no bobby”... michael kept his real self (brother — also “brother” as in “black”) locked in the basement (supressed)— LaT’Challa 🎥✨ (@JustLatasha404) April 6, 2018
The piano, Teddy’s childhood, our souls. Lot of robbin #atlantaFX— Sowmya Krishnamurthy (@SowmyaK) April 6, 2018
1. Mrs. Winners was robbed.
2. Paperboi was robbed
3. Earn was robbed by strip club finesse
4. Earn & Van robbed of a true love relationship
5. Paperboi robbed of his time, patience & a permanent barber
6. Darius was robbed of a piano. Teddy was robbed of his childhood #AtlantaFX— Riley (@rileywrittens) April 6, 2018
I think its deeper than that bro (pause) I think Darius got robbed of his innocence. Paper boi was telling him to leave but Darius really thought dude was just different like himself.— J$ (@Startrack90) April 6, 2018
The answer to this entire episode... #AtlantaFX pic.twitter.com/t7wL342yoj— Omari Daniels (@TheOtherBigO) April 6, 2018
Just read a pretty amazing theory on tonights #AtlantaFX episode. Going to thread it here.— Sammy H. 🐻 (@sammylemar) April 6, 2018
Love how #AtlantaFX portrayed Benny/Teddy and duality. Benny represented the innocence/childhood, beaten, locked away, and sacrificed for greatness. Teddy, a shell of a human. Evil behavior from a person that has rationalized what was done to him and repeating a vicious cycle. pic.twitter.com/C5JF4aNyZ4— rafael. (@rafaxodiaz) April 6, 2018
Best Twitter analysis I've seen so far: Teddy is Michael Jackson and Benny is Prince, now I have to watch third time, to see what else I missed #AtlantaFX— Trevor Michaels (@trevmikewrites) April 6, 2018These theories could explain some of the episode's head-scratching moments. Either way, folks still reacted in the best ways:
That Atlanta episode was all sorts of uncomfortable. As soon as Teddy said he didn’t have a butler, it would have been a wrap for me at that point. #AtlantaFX pic.twitter.com/NLIpbVPmga— Ben Felix (@TheBENfactor_) April 6, 2018
If you then you
don't love don't deserve
me at my me at my
#AtlantaFX pic.twitter.com/8uyHcPbcph— Papa-Gâteaux (@SadgeRising) April 6, 2018
#AtlantaFX When Teddy Perkins answered the door I woulda been like.... pic.twitter.com/6tS70l3QlH— Sheila Dixon (@SheilaELTL) April 6, 2018
A live look at me this entire episode #AtlantaFX pic.twitter.com/ouVkL5rQTa— Pusha V (@vebeans) April 6, 2018
at first i was like , "uhhhh, darius, what are you doing?" , but then i saw his vision & i'm here for it .
U MAD !!!!
😝 😝 😝 #AtlantaFX #RobbinSeason pic.twitter.com/tBuzgvmwm1— —- n i c o l e . (@saucyfbaby) April 6, 2018
The credits list “Teddy Perkins” as himself. #AtlantaFX staying in character even after the credits. 😂— Jeff J. (@JeffJSays) April 6, 2018
If you then you don't
don't love deserve
me at my me at my pic.twitter.com/o5DneI6FlE— nathaniel (@NatMcMahan) April 6, 2018
When someone asks me to describe tonight's ep of #AtlantaFX pic.twitter.com/a5ps6nd5wi— Mike Hanley 🇵🇷 🇺🇸 (@Magic20099) April 6, 2018
WTF they got me watching before I go to bed?! 😨#AtlantaFX pic.twitter.com/c4MkXHRO0d— 👸🏾L E A👸🏾 (@_MissLeandra) April 6, 2018
"You're my sacrifice" #AtlantaFX pic.twitter.com/skRo3xp3BV— di blek pentha (@panhalfrican) April 6, 2018
Just read a pretty amazing theory on tonights #AtlantaFX episode. Going to thread it here.— Sammy H. 🐻 (@sammylemar) April 6, 2018All we know is the cast better be in their God-given skin tones next week.