Teddy Perkins is the episode of Atlanta that makes you say “What the F***?!” like twenty times. There were so many twists, turns, and odd things. The episode played off of a lot of ideas and it was a thirty-minute horror/thriller short film. The way the episode was set up is interesting, things that formed in the episode apparently had the internet creeped out as well. This was different from any other episode this season, but it still has the same vibes. Teddy Perkins will go down as one of the strangest thirty minutes of network television ever. There were no commercials which made the episode stranger. To explain this episode I’m going to need to do some deep thinking because, wow.
The episode was about Theodore “Teddy” Perkins. Teddy Perkins and his “brother” whom is wheelchair bound and he cares for Benny Hope, who are piano players. Teddy, played by Donald Glover, has bleached skin and is kind of… Strange. Benny has a serious skin condition that doesn’t allow him to step outside. This episode made me think, what if Micheal Jackson never made? What if he was a washed-up musical genius with a deranged abusive father? What would happen if he failed at every aspect of life, but still managed to be rich? That’s the thoughts I processed at the end of this episode.
This Donald Glover written episode was everything that makes Atlanta different from other TV shows and showed that this may be the best show on television right now. Everything starts off normal, Darius is at the store buying things. He gets a few supplies for acquiring something that must be pretty big. He also buys a red “Southern Made” Confederate flag hat and a red sharpie marker. He shades in a few letters to make the hat read “U Mad” with a Confederate flag next to it.
The meaning behind it was significant in its own way. Many people in cities and states in the south want to completely rid their city and/or state of anything that may glorify the Confederate flag and the Confederacy. Many people have accomplished this through town meetings and voting. There will also always be that memorable video of Bree Newsome going up a flagpole and removing the flag from the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina. The fight continues today, and this was a good way to get at those upset about the coming changes and the change that has happened.
The craziness doesn’t start until Darius arrives at Teddy’s house. From the moment he enters the house until the moment he leaves. Teddy is a pale white bleached skin African-American Male. He resembles Micheal Jackson (or Cat in the Hat), it’s very creepy and eerie. The thing about the first act is it exactly resembles that of a horror film. Teddy talks to Darius about his love (obsession) with pianos. He asks Darius about how he found out about it, Darius tells him that it’s through an anonymous message board. Teddy tries to think of who could have told him about it. He claims a girl named Sam that works for him told Teddy about it. Personally, I think it was creepy Teddy, but I never saw a computer in the house. Teddy stalls Darius the entire first act of the episode. From the ostrich egg to the voice recorder, everything starts to seem like a setup.
There’s this awkward moment where Teddy explains to Darius that great music comes from great pain. Which in a way is true, some of the best albums have come from the artist after they have just gone through something. Whether it be a heartbreak, death of a loved one, etc. there is usually a great album that follows. This plays into the episode, and in its own way sets the tone for how things happen throughout. He also shows Darius around the lower level of the house. He takes him to a room dedicated to “great” fathers. He explains to Darius that his father was a great man, that basically abused him. He abused both Teddy and Benny. Darius tries to talk to Teddy and explain that it’s wrong to beat children, but Teddy doesn’t listen. Teddy sees his tragic childhood as a blessing because it made him “great”. As they leave he mentions Joe Jackson, Marvin Gaye Sr., Serena Williams father, and Tiger Woods father as examples of great fathers. We all know that these men were horrible abusive fathers. They treated their children horribly and one of them killed his child. This just added to the creepy tone of the episode and showed how deranged Teddy really is.
Teddy has a voice recorder that looks like an intercom. Darius thinks he has a butler, but the voice recorder is strict to help Teddy remember things. He offers Darius water several times before actually giving Darius water. Darius walks around the house and we find out the entire house is filled with cameras. He goes up the stairs and finds Teddy in a room with a wheelchair by the piano. This creeps him out and we see Darius step outside and call Alfred.
He explains the situation to Alfred and Alfred explains to him how he treats seller situations. While on the phone to give them a visual of Teddy, he tells them to Google “Sammy Sosa hat”, a picture of a bleached skinned Sammy Sosa pops up… Man, Sammy really looks different. Alfred’s explanation of the situation is this when people want a certain amount of drugs they’re in and out when they want the lesser they usually try to chat. He also tells Darius that the situation seems sketchy and he needs to get out of it. Teddy knocks on the window and waves for Darius to come inside. Darius then tries the rush the sell so he can get away from the area at all cost. He asks Teddy where are the papers he needs to sign and Teddy takes him upstairs to a room so he can sign them. Teddy seems upset by Darius’ sudden need to hurry and leave. He tells Darius to sign the papers, put the piano on the elevator, and bring it to meet him downstairs.
Darius does as told, but the elevator takes him to the basement. In the basement, Darius finds Benny, who he didn’t think existed. He thought Teddy made Benny up because of what he had done to his skin. But alas, Benny exist and he needed Darius to help him kill Teddy. He asks Darius to go to the attic and get his gun… This is where things get really crazy really quick. When Darius finally gets to the first floor of the house, he sees his Uhaul blocked in by Teddy’s car. Teddy though is nowhere to be found. Al texts Darius a message that says, “U dead yet?”
Darius searches for Teddy, he grabs a fireplace poker and finds Teddy in a film room. Teddy is watching a video of his father beating him and being verbally abusive as he plays the piano. He then turns it off and speaks to Darius about the basement and attic. He pulls out a rifle and aims it at Darius. Darius tries to de-escalate the situation but Teddy has made up his mind. He tells Darius to drop his phone but keep the poker. He’s going to stage a home invasion. This was literally a setup from the beginning. Teddy walks Darius to the front of the house and gives him handcuffs. He makes him cuff his hands and ankles. Darius tries to explain to Teddy that it’s not worth it and he knows what it’s like to have a horrible father but it doesn’t mean you should kill someone. Teddy doesn’t want to hear it. Benny comes in and saves Darius though. He shoots Teddy and then kills himself. It’s a very tragic ending to a very crazy episode. The police take the piano, which is all Darius wanted and they take the bodies away.
This episode was the definition of amazing. The creepy/eerie tone was definitely a mood setter. I enjoyed this so much. The play on horror I this episode makes you want Donald Glover to create a horror film. There was a lot to digest in this, but it was definitely worth every minute of the commercial-free Atlanta episode. We all learned a valuable lesson though, never go pick up a piano from a stranger without friends! I hope you guys enjoyed the episode as well!
What did you guys think of the episode? Did you enjoy it? What was your favorite part? Tweet us and let us know @SuperBroMovies!
– Rascal F. Kennedy
Atlanta Stars Donald Glover, Keith Stanfield, Bryan Tyree Henry, and Zazie Beets
– Atlanta is one of the top cities for young rappers looking to make a name for themselves in the business. Among those up-and-comers is Alfred Miles, a hot new artist who is trying to understand the line between real life and street life. He is managed by his cousin, Earn, who gets caught up in the local rap scene and his cousin’s career after returning home to the ATL. Earn does whatever he can to try to get Alfred’s career to the next level. Darius, the rapper’s right-hand man and visionary, is also in Alfred’s entourage. When Earn isn’t busy managing his cousin’s career, he spends much of his time with best friend Vanessa, who is also the mother of his daughter.