Hip-Hop

'Atlanta' Recap: Season 2 Premiere Chronicles 'Florida Man' & The Alligator in the Room

"Alligator Man" Atlanta.
Guy D'Alema/FX

Lakeith Stanfield as Darius, Donald Glover as Earnest Marks in "Alligator Man" on Atlanta. 

Donald Glover’s dramedy Atlanta has finally returned to FX, and the series launched right in theme: Robbin’ Season. Showing two teenagers who were casually conversing as one played FIFA, the show eventually fast forwards to the (what you thought was an innocent) duo robbing a fast food joint, utilizing guns to demand dominance.

Titled “Alligator Man,” the season 2 premiere introduces Glover’s character, Earn, who visits Alfred “Paper Boi’ Miles (played by Brian Tyree Henry) when he’s on house arrest. The rising rapper is confined to the house, showing him only in the comfort of his home, and the episode primarily focuses on Earn and Darius’ journey to Willie aka Alligator Man’s (Earn and Paper Boi’s uncle) house — where he’s accused of kidnapping his girl for stealing $50 from his wallet.

There’s a lot that went down during the episode, “Alligator Man,” so here are the top moments from the season two premiere of Atlanta.

A Lesson In “Florida Man”

Darius is blasting metal music when Earn looks confused. Eventually, the music is lowered and Darius speaks of “Florida Man,” who he describes as the “alt-right Johnny Appleseed.” Glover denies the introduction and questions the urban myth, but Darius insists saying that this type of man is responsible for a "large percentage of abnormal incidences that occur in Florida." What are the characteristics of a “Florida Man”? Well, he defines him as having no identity, no date of birth, and no one truly knows what he looks like — that’s why news headlines refer to him as the given term.

The prime purpose of “Florida Man” is to keep black people from visiting and/or registering to vote in Florida, according to Darius. Earn accepts his explanation, and insists they turn the music back on. They both concur on the matter.

There’s No Elephant in the Room — There’s an Alligator

Earn heads to Willie’s (his uncle) house at the request of his cousin, Paper Boi, only to find out that he has an alligator hiding in one of the rooms. When Earn arrives to the scene, Willie’s love interest is hiding out in one of the rooms because she stole $50 from him. One of the neighbors calls the cops saying that Willie kidnapped his love interest, and moments after Earn arrives, the cops also show up.

Glover’s character does damage control giving the female love interest cash in an effort to mend the issues between her and Willie. Confused and curious, Earn eventually inquires about the alligator and whether it was present when he lived there? The fine lady reassured him that the alligator was indeed always a house guest.

Willie Makes a Run for It

As soon as the cops arrive, they demand Willie step out and surrender to them. He refuses as he knows the matter simply got out of hand quickly. Earn interrupts to tell the cops that he’ll attempt to reason with his uncle and hopefully have him come out of the house. As he tries to do damage control once again, Earn tells his uncle that he has to go outside or else the situation will only get worse. The two eventually get into a deep conversation about how Willie failed to be something substantial and how Earn is “scared” to be him one day — “smart and f---ed up.”

Willie gets sentimental with Earn, and gifts him with a shiny, gold gun telling him he’s going to need the weapon for the music business. Earn tries to reject the gun, but his uncle threatens him as the police are outside and he finally proceeds to put it in his backpack. The conversation ends with Willie telling Earn that he must get rid of the chip on his shoulder because it’s not worth his time, especially in relation to his cousin Alfred. 

Earn walks out of the house telling the police that he couldn’t get his uncle out of the lovely abode. Glover shows remorse to law enforcement and joins the crowd outside. Coming out of the front door, making the grandest appearance of the entire 30-minute episode, the alligator creeps out and walks to the front of the house where he stays posted comfortably. The cops were in shock, and Willie sneaks out and runs down the street, completely escaping authorities. Earn reports that Willie is not in jail to Paper Boi, and the premiere ends with Earn leaving his cousin’s house — still homeless.

Atlanta airs on FX at 10 p.m. every Tuesday.