This season of Atlanta has been all about the finesse and robbery. People have been robbed of money, time, relationships, and their sanity this season. The culmination of these things has led to many things changing and tables turning throughout this season. The latest episode, Champagne Papi, really put these things into realization throughout the episode. The thing that I really like about the last three episodes is how much each episode is navigated entirely from one perspective of a main character the entire episode.
Last night, we got a lot of Vanessa. This episode completely navigated by her and charged by the black female perspective of beauty, partying, and social media. Social media fuels a lot of people’s lives. This episode showed how far people are willing to go for likes, retweets, followers, and the dreaded clout. The episode is focused on a mansion party hosted by Drake. Van and her friends Candice, Nadine, and Tammi. It begins with Candice on Facebook Live, talking about how she’s going to the party. She shows off Van and talks about pretty she is. Van looks annoyed, as she learns about Earn hanging out with a new girl through Snapchat (Social Media is the Devil, man). The girls have some pretty wild discussions about marijuana, sex, and birth control. One thing leads to another, and they are ready to go. Candice has a friend “DJ” who is going to meet the girls there, escort them in, and introduce them to Drake.
Once the girls get to the area where they are to be picked up, which just so happens to be a parking lot they are met by a man selling pizza. He claims he has to get the pizza to Drake, and seems very obsessed. Fanatics will often do things like this, it’s something that has been driven through time. People become obsessed with celebrities and do weird things to get their attention or even just to get them a belonging of the fans. I’ve never really understood it. The girls get into a van/shuttle and are taken to the mansion. The driver talks about how pretty they are and jokingly tells them he’s going to take them home with himself. This is another thing that women often have to deal with. Men, young or old being extremely weird or saying creepy things. Especially when they are younger.
The girls all arrive at the mansion, and we get to see the stalker/groupie/fanatic thing again. There is one girl with a letter signed by Drake that’s obviously fake. She is taken away by security. The women are told that they are shooting a music video and that they have to keep booties on their feet because the floors are marblewood. Now, upon entering the mansion… Candice introduced the girls to her friend DJ, and they all tell him they want to meet Drake and kind of hound him about it. He tells them that he will introduce them, but he has to DJ first. He gives the girls edibles or marijuana-induced gummy bears to ease them at the party. Candice then ditches the girls in order to go be with DJ.
The girls all react to the drugs differently. Nadine freaks out, but Van and Tammi don’t exactly feel the drug. Things only get worse. Tammi walks off on the girls to stalks a black man, Devyonne Johnson, who is dating a white woman. This makes Tammi furious as she doesn’t understand why he doesn’t love black women, or so she thinks. Van sits Nadine down to go get her a bottle of water. She finds a guy named Brandon who has a bottle of water. They flirt for a little bit and he gives it to her and they go back and find Nadine missing.
With Van’s phone dying, Brandon shows her the downstairs studio area so she can charge her phone. While downstairs he reveals that he’s only there because he’s the cousin of Drake’s nutritionist. He shows Van to the restroom and then he tries to talk his way inside, only to end up creeping Van out completely. She finds a way to dodge him and ends up walking around alone. She walks into what looks like it could be Drake’s room and she starts trying on colognes, clothes dancing around, and all types of things. Taking only a jacket that she really really likes. While in the midst of all of this, Candice completely ditches the girls to go to T-Pain’s NYE party with DJ.
We see Nadine talking to Darius, thankfully she was safe. They end up having a deep conversation about how reality is fake and it’s all a simulation. There are many theories, speculations, and scientist that believe this to be true. There are many films based upon this as well. The idea of the scene is that since Nadine is high and has her chakras awakened, she is better able to comprehend the conversation stating that this is all fake, which is true. The party is a total scam.
On the other hand, we see Tammi stalking Devyonne and she finally gets close enough to his girlfriend Sabrina to Express her feelings. She tells her that she is only with Devyonne to have him as her “black man accessory.” Sabrina then explains to her that she’s been with him the entire time. She’s been his girlfriend since he was in theater in school. Tammi of course rebuttles and tells her that she doesn’t understand why black men date white women. She goes on to explain that if you type “beautiful women” into Google that only white women will appear.
Van finally gets to a room where she thinks that she is meeting Drake. Only to see his Hispanic grandfather. Then, as she converses with him, she realizes Drake is on a European tour (he’s not there at all). She goes and finds a room where women are paying $20 to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Drake, $30 and you get white PUMA slippers. This is the epitome of a scam. The women are only here taking the pictures for clout. As to why Van was so pressed to get a picture with Drake the whole episode. Because her Instagram account is “dead.” Van eventually finds Tammi and Nadine, she also finds Darius. She asks about Earn, of course, but he’s not there. Nadine talks about how everything is fake, as she has just become woke or been awaken by Darius. The crew gathers up and they head out.
This episode was pretty deep and intellectual. Ibra Ake’s writing is amazing as is the directing from Amy Seimetz. This episode was very female-driven from the writing, directing, to the acting. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and was glad to see a female front for this episode. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!
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Atlanta’s new episodes premiere every Thursday at 10pm/9pm C!
– Rascal F. Kennedy
Starring 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.