Atlanta (Season 4), Episode 6 Recap & Ending, Explained: Since the time it came out, the FX TV series – Atlanta has continued to have a dedicated fanbase. The music-based show streaming on Hulu may have had this following solely due to the creator Donald’s (Childish Gambino) massive popularity. Having been in popular sitcoms like Community besides being a hip-hop artist, he has always amused the audience while reinventing himself as an artist wearing different creative caps. The series itself gained many more fans over the years for the continued excellence it showcased while packing so many themes effortlessly in its half-hour episodes.
Atlanta (Season 4) Episode 6 Recap:
Episode 6: Crank Dat Killer
The 6th episode titled ‘Crank Dat Killer’ is written by Donald Glover and his younger brother – Stephen, and is directed by Donald’s most notable collaborator, Hiro Murai. The episode begins with the three at the center of the narrative – Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), Earn (Donald Glover), and Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) lazying around in Al’s humble abode. Al is going through a shitload of TV channels on his TV trying to find ESPN. The sheer number of channels available on the TV irritates him, which delays his search. Darius suggests that he should cut all of it, the TV, cable, and electricity, the way he has always done so.
Alfred goes on to note how he won’t abandon all these things since now he is rich. He mentions how you can’t find everything you want on streaming to which Earn objects and asks what it is that he can’t find on a streaming service. Al mentions news, which makes both he and Darius raise their eyebrows. Earn even makes fun of him for thinking as if he is an 80-year-old man. He mentions different internet sources where they can find different kinds of news. While doing so, he mentions someone called ‘Crank Dat Killer’ whom he found out about online. This serial killer is on a mission to kill everyone who had made dance videos, dancing to the song – ‘Crank Dat’ in the past. They note how he methodically killed the series of people who did so.
Al seems alarmed by this piece of news since he remembers making one such video when he was young and naïve. He goes silent and when both ask for the reason, he shows the dance video he made back in 2007. He also shares how almost every drug dealer made one such video back then. He doesn’t even know the whereabouts of J-Berg, with whom he made that video, in order to ask him to take it down. He asks both to see if they can get it off the internet. Later, in the recording studio, Darius starts discussing the topic of how hard it is to buy sneakers in the recent past since a Nike shoe he and Darius got sold within 30 seconds. Al blames it on the resellers but offers his help. He tells him to ask the Nike office to send a pair for him. Earn had already tried that and had been turned down.
That’s when Paper Boi learns that a guy named Doug is there to meet him from the studio person who asks if he should let him in. While Al allows this young guy to enter his studio, he spills his drink all over the recording material, which makes it unusable for the time being. He then explains Earn, who is stunned by this, that Doug is someone who is been trying to get him to feature on his track. All this time, Al has been trying to avoid considering how terrible Doug’s work is. When Doug (Wisdom Allah) finally enters the studio, Al makes up every conceivable excuse to not record a music track with him. After getting out of the studio and getting into his car, he sees his old dancing video is liked an hour ago by someone with a skull and bones DP, which makes him restless.
We meet a different couple altogether – Veronica (Yanelisa) and Roberto (Adrian Mauro). She drives him to his work at the mall and before leaving, requests him out of concern for his future to consider some other path that has a stable and growing career instead of pursuing rap. He mentions how he is hoping for a big break just like some old artists did. His naïve optimism wins the argument for the time being and he enters the shopping complex. Meanwhile, Darius and Earn reach the same parking lot and walk towards a van where they are supposed to get their desired Nike’s from a reseller (Terence Rosemore). When they enter the van and get hold of their shoes, this old man asks them to kiss one another as its compensation.
Darius seems game to it while Earn is conflicted. It isn’t about inherent homophobia or a worry that it would mean he is gay. But he is worried to lose his dignity for a pair of sneakers when he can purchase it in a sane manner by paying its exuberant price – which is something that he can afford now. While they discuss it, the reseller gets out of the van. On the other hand, Al calls Soulja Boy and speaks with him about the Crank Dat Killer and the dance video – who advises him to run away as soon as possible and find a safe refuge the way he is heading towards.
As a result, Alfred leaves his house dressed to disguise himself as a common man. He enters the same shopping complex and tries to buy a pretzel and the saleswoman quickly recognizes him. She mentions how difficult it is to get a cap without any logo on it and since he didn’t have one, it made him instantly noticeable. She also mentions Chris Evans being there as well in disguise. Somewhere around this counter, Roberto is busy trying to make people try out Free Samples of some food item. A guy passes by and mentions that everyone already knows what it tastes like. While he gets dissuaded by that, his friend who works at Sbarro comes in to inform him about Paper Boi being in the mall. It seems like just the right opportunity to him, and he rushes to meet this famous rapper hoping to get his own shot at fame.
Al stands outside the mall eating his pretzel which is when a car pulls by near the mall. A guy walks out and shouts Paper Boi’s name. That alerts Al who runs back inside the mall trying to get away from this man. He tries to hide and meanwhile reaches a shop where the salesperson asks what he wants. He makes a request while looking incredibly scared & out-of-breath. She suspects him of being a crackhead since he shows signs of one through his gestures. That’s when Al finds the man from outside pointing a gun at him. He ducks and starts running away but the firing continues. Suddenly different people start firing back at him. This man holds a kid in his hand, pointing a gun at the kid’s head. The entire mall turns into a chaotic and terrifying circus.
Even amidst that, Roberto tries to take his shot and when Al passes near him, he starts rapping his own verse. Before even acknowledging it, Al just pushes him away with force, since he gets in his way while running. Meanwhile inside the van, Darius and Earn finally kiss each other. But right at their awkward embrace, the reseller gets shot in the head out of nowhere. Darius sees that right after the kiss and then they both start hearing the sounds of gunfire. So, they rush out of the van right away with two pairs of Nike’s.
Atlanta (Season 4), Episode 6 Ending, Explained:
Does Alfred manage to escape from the gunman?
While running away from the dangerous man consistently firing at him, Al exits the mall and hides behind a car. That’s when the guy named Doug shows up just next to him and gets him in his car. Doug mentions showing up there out of sheer coincidence, due to something written in their fate. Since he helps him escape, Al mentions that he owes him one. That becomes the golden opportunity for this guy who takes advantage of this situation to record the collaboration track with Paper Boi. Later when Darius, Earn and he gets together at his place, Darius mentions the news that Crank Dat killer is found.
Al then mentions his day when he ran into a person, he had a beef with at high school. The whole chase seems to be due to some old beef they had back in the day for which this guy is still mad at him. When Al compliments their new Nike sneakers, Earn gets awkward thinking about how they got them. In the end, they talk about Al’s collaboration with a guy named Doug that happens to be terrible, to no one’s surprise.
Through this episode, we witness Alfred being haunted by the ghosts of his past which also seems like a commentary on cancel culture in which something that the naïve version of the rapper did can be considered as a parameter to cancel him. The character assassination takes a literal meaning over here and through his terrifying fight for his life, Al’s surreal journey unfolds in front of our eyes. At the same time, the conundrum that Earn and Darius fall into takes its absurd situation to delve deeper into understanding what shapes these characters.