In what’s been a hell of a week for Donald Glover, Atlanta’s Robbin’ Season came to a close with a dramatic finale Thursday night (May 10),in an episode titled “Crabs in a Barrel.” After a flashback to his younger days in episode 10, Earn is still hanging on by a thread with his job managing Paper Boi, who is gearing up for a European tour.
Before the crew heads out, there’s still a lot of business to be taken care of. The opening scene finds Earn late to a meeting with Paper Boi and a potential entertainment lawyer who came highly recommended, though his resume doesn’t impress Alfred since his biggest client is a C-list rapper and four Love & Hip-Hop stars.
Earn hires a trio of movers to help the squad speed up the process of packing for their flight to Europe and, of course, Darius realizes his passport is expired while playing a chess game against himself. Alf reminds Earn about Uncle Willie’s gold-plated gun that’s still in their house, which just adds to the laundry list of things Earn has to deal with before takeoff.
Director Hiro Murai throws a curveball at viewers by implementing an ancillary storyline to set the table for Van and Earn’s co-parenting relationship plans for Lottie going into next season. They find themselves at Lottie’s kindergarten school for a parent-teacher conference. The teacher informs them of how advanced Lottie’s learning ability is and strongly encourages them enroll her at a private school.
Earn dances around the fact until he just admits the hike in tuition may not be in their financial plans for pre-k. The educator leaves them with a shocking analogy. “This school is awful. If I see a steer smart enough to get out of the pen, I leave the gate open,” she says to their shock.
When Earn gets back to the house, he finds the movers taking a late lunch break and manages to entice them with an extra $150 to stop eating lunch and pick up the pace so the crew can make their flight. The Princeton grad then takes Darius to spot he knows about to renew his passport as take-off time ticks down.
The store’s clerk guesses that they’re somehow involved in the rap scene and helpfully offers up his uncle and cousins’ services to be their entertainment lawyer. When Earn asks him if he thinks there’s a black lawyer as good as his cousin, the clerk offers up a brutally honest response: “There definitely is but part of being good at your job is your connections,” he quips. “Black people don’t have the connections my cousin has for systemic reasons.”
The moving operation ends up going smoothly when the guys, who have noticeably dropped Tracy, make their way to the airport where they run into tourmate Clark County. When they finally reach the end of the hectic security check line, Earn remembers Uncle Willie’s gun is still in his bag, which he smoothly ditches before rushing through the TSA line.
Earn looks mentally drained as he plops into his seat on the plane and Paper Boi recognizes what Earn just did to save the group from a potential disaster. “Just know that’s what I’m talking about,” he begins. “N—-s going to do whatever they gotta do to survive because they don’t got a choice. You’re my family, Earn. You’re the only one who knows what I’m about and you give a fuck. I need that.”