Warning: This post contains spoilers for Thursday Atlanta final’s night.
AtlantaTheir European tour ended in Paris this week… and ended Season 3 with a truly “WTF” moment.
Thursday’s finale focuses on Van, who runs into her friend Candice – remember her from the party at Drake’s house in Season 2’s “Champagne Papi”? – while in Paris, living a carefree life, Amelie-esque ingénue, French accent and all. Van has led Candice and her friends on a wild adventure that includes a brutal bread beating, a dinner with a lamb’s hand and… Alexander Skarsgard, somehow? But when she finally confronted Candice, Van tearfully admitted she was just trying to reinvent herself after falling into some serious psychological fun.
It answered a lot of viewers’ questions about Van this season – and Atlanta Executive producer Stefani Robinson (who wrote the ending) told TVLine. They knew they wanted to bring Van to Europe with Earn, Al and Darius, but “the question was: ‘Okay, what is she doing here?’” So they came up with the idea: “ What if she’s going through some kind of existential crisis, mental breakdown, identity crisis? And we show that in a funny and whimsical movie, but then obviously with a darker turn. “
Bringing Candice back is a way to highlight how much Van has changed, notes Robinson, because in “Champagne Papi” Van is the one tagging along with Candice. “That reversal is so amazing because it’s a reversal of how we see Van in general and about most of the female relationships she’s ever been involved in,” she points out, citing the Part 1 episodes like “Values” and “June 16” where Van sat in the back seat. Here, “she’s in control and it’s ultimately her who makes these decisions and continues this wild goose chase and [living] a very interesting life. We didn’t see her that way.”
We’ve also never seen Skarsgard this way before, dancing to Ashanti and, um, enjoying Van’s newfound confidence. “We had a wish list of people who could fill the role, but he was definitely at the top,” recalls Robinson with a laugh. “He just really threw himself in there… He doesn’t seem shy about doing what’s written. If anything, he added more to it.”
Fans might have been expecting the finale to focus on Earn, Al, and Darius, and Robinson admitted that she didn’t know this episode would be the final episode of the season when she wrote it. But it “brings some final conclusions” and “answers questions we’ve had throughout the season,” she believes. “Van is going through what we’re exploring this season, with the idea of being away from home and stepping outside of your comfort zone… In this season, we questioned: What does black mean? What does it mean for Americans to travel abroad? What does it mean to be “white in America” in today’s apartheid era? “So I think there’s something nice and final about Van of it all. It can finally say, ‘I don’t know who I am.’ And: ‘Is it okay?’… That way, it sums up the season pretty well, I think. ”
We did get to see Earn, however, in a post-credits scene where he received a piece of lost luggage that wasn’t his and peered inside it to find a framed photo of a white man with family. Yes, that’s the same white guy in the boat during the season premiere and the same guy who killed himself in Season 3’s compensation episode, Robinson confirmed. This season’s indie episodes can, she said, “exist on some dreamlike plane, but connecting it to Earn’s story shows that” the stories we’re watching have can be very real. There are several intersection points here. These episodes are not random, the way a lot of people are reacting to them… They exist as some kind of subtext to everything we are seeing. ”
Well, about those reactions: Season 3’s stand-alone episodes have irked fans, put AtlantaThe main trilogy on the sidelines for five out of 10 episodes – half a season altogether. But “even if it feels chaotic and random, I think there’s some intent behind it,” Robinson assures us. Series star and creator Donald Glover has “said that every season is like an album,” she added. “I think it’s a great way to look at it Atlanta seasons. Each episode has something to do with the other, but it can also feel like a strange thing on its own… They play together and inform each other. ” She considers the final scene with the framed photo to be the “end of the chapter” of the Season 3 story: “It’s very weird, but I think a great bookend.”
What do you think, Atlanta fan? Rate the finalist – and season 3 in general – in our polls and hit the comments to share your thoughts.
https://tvline.com/2022/05/19/atlanta-fx-recap-season-3-finale-ending-explained-standalone-episodes/ ‘Atlanta’ Season 3 Finale Recap: Ending Explained, Standalone Episodes