Atlanta: Andrew Wyeth. Alfred's World.
November 4, 2022 8:54 PM - Season 4, Episode 9 - Subscribe

They always making Paper Boi go through something.

Back to the woods again, but a very different vibe this episode as Al explores the solitary life on his "safe farm".

The title references one of Andrew Wyeth's most famous paintings.

Perennial and beloved character actor Sam Coulter plays Clyde – the only person who speaks face-to-face with Al in this episode.
posted by skoosh (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is the takeaway that you should buy your frying pan on Amazon? :) Another great episode.
posted by triage_lazarus at 9:16 AM on November 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Alfred's happy tractor ride ending in tragedy is just so sad for him. He really never has any fun, poor man.
posted by gladly at 5:23 PM on November 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

I have been watching a lot of horror movies for Halloween and this had all the beats of a horror movie. The supposedly safe retreat turning out to filled with danger, warnings about danger unheeded, foreshadowing, help just out of reach, reaching safety only to find out it is not safe.

Well crafted but man I'd like to see Alfred just have a nice day.
posted by jeoc at 6:17 AM on November 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

and this had all the beats of a horror movie

I'd say about 60% of the last two seasons are very deliberately made to be short horror films of various kinds. Very much of the magical-realism-campfire-tales kind of vibe, and absolutely fantastic for it.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:50 AM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

When I saw the title of the episode I pictured the famous painting but with Al, and I was like, wow, interesting but SURELY not literal.. haha of course they meant it! I love this show so much. I screamed when he first mentioned the hogs & they paid that off too.
posted by bleep at 5:02 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Also I really liked how at the end, Al was okay, he just got cleaned up & called his friend & started joking around. Very relatable.
posted by bleep at 5:04 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite details is, on the wall of the hardware store, the juxtaposition of the Confederate flag sign with, just a few feet over, the cardboard sign reading "We don't call the police." I swear I could read on Al's face a "well, at least they don't do that."
posted by General Malaise at 7:50 AM on November 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

Pretty sure that "we don't call the police" sign is a threat and Alfred took it as one. It's not some defund the police sentiment, it's in line with "we shoot shoplifters". It's part of the menace Alfred feels.

Atlanta has done a lot of that this season, showing instances of what appears to be threatening white people. And then dissolving it. The shopkeeper never makes a threatening or racist comment, is vaguely friendly and vaguely gruff and gamely goes along when Alfred tells him he's growing corn. Similar thing in Snipe Hunt, in an early scene Earn & family are met by the white guy who owns the property and he looks all threatening. Shades of Deliverance, also Get Out. But then the property owner ends up just being all business and stays out of the way the rest of the episode.

Like jeoc says above there's a lot of horror movie tropes in these episodes. And one of the horrors they use is the threat of white violence. Only in Atlanta the white threat doesn't manifest. I can't tell if the show is vaguely mocking the idea of Black people being afraid of white violence, or if they're just using a cultural menace to heighten tension, or what.
posted by Nelson at 7:05 AM on December 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

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