Atlanta: Season 2/ Episode 9 “North of the Border” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Earn was once at a high but the downward spiral has begun. One in which it seems he wants to hit the rock bottom of as quick as possible.

Director(s) Hiro Murai
Writer(s) Jamal Olori
Air Date 4/26/2018
Actors Introduced
Violet Jerusha Cavazos

The F— Up: Al, Earn, Tracy

After Al’s conversation with Sierra in the last episode, though his attitude hasn’t changed much, he has taken note of what Earn can and can’t do for him. So with him hearing about an unpaid gig, no hotel, and just the possibility of making money in the future – nothing confirmed, wheels start turning. But what really puts some grease on them wheels and pushes things into overdrive is Violet. Someone who seems cool, cute, may lay it on Al in a way to help him relax but then she starts talking about a dream when she eats him and later on, just for talking to some girl who wants to write a paper on Al, pouring a drink on him.

Leading to Tracy nearly killing the girl by pushing her off some stairs but luckily Earn catches her – and gets smacked the hell out of afterwards.


Tracy pushing Violet down a flight of stairs.

I think there is the need to question who has unrealistic expectations right now. Is it Al, who keeps comparing what Earn gets him to how much he can make on the block in an hour, or is it Earn expecting he can keep up with Al’s career. Because there seemed to be a serious disconnect when it comes to that topic.

But, another thing which seriously needs to be addressed is Tracy. How is he, someone who has to report to an officer every week or few weeks, of the mindset to believe that pushing a girl down a case of stairs could be a good idea? Especially at a party with a lot of witnesses? Granted, no one knows who Tracy is but Al and his people, but considering Al is barely off being watched, the man didn’t really do Al much in the way of favors. Besides pushing him to do some cardio.

Time For A Conversation: Earn, Al

After the drama of the Violet situation, the guys end up in a frat house and as Darius and Tracy check out a gun room, Al has a serious conversation with Earn. One in which he tells him that he has been speaking to Clark County’s manager and Earn has failed him beyond the pass being family gives him. For while he may present the type of adventures which could make good interview stories, he isn’t presenting the kind of gigs and money Al is expecting to make. So, despite Lottie and Earn’s situation, it has to end.


Al letting Earn know he is being fired.

We’re finally getting plot development again. Don’t get me wrong, the strange and weird episodes are fun, but everyone’s journey from the struggle to something consistent is part of the show. At this point, I would not say it is the heart, since the randomness of life is the heart, but it is weird to watch a show with what could be considered huge gaps between developments. Especially since this show is only 10 or so episodes a season, 11 for this one, and with Donald Glover in high demand, and increasingly his co-stars as well, who knows how long it maybe till season 3. So while you have to appreciate the snail’s pace vs. the usual overnight success storyline, it was becoming hard to not wonder when we’d actually get some story progress.

Now, with that said, being that Earn was dependent on making money off Al, so comes the question of what he may do now? Maybe try to get a job with Clark County’s manager or will it be back to the struggle? Perhaps even humbling himself a bit after he had a good run as an ass for a while.

Racing Towards Rock Bottom: Tracy, Earn

Earn pretty much blames Tracy for the events of the day. Him being an extra body threw things off with Violet. Tracy deciding to get into a shoving match with Violet is why Al had to run about like he wanted to join the track team and blame Earn for not living up to his, possibly, ludicrous standards, and so he wants to fight. Earn, who is average and we don’t see work out or even practice fighting, wants to go toe to toe with a dude who just got out of real jail, not holding, and clearly got some muscle on him.

Something Tracy doesn’t really want to do, so he gives one good hit to maybe wake Earn up from his stupidity. However, Earn keeps swinging so Tracy ends up having to bruise and batter Earn a bit.


Earn's face after Tracy whoops his ass.

With Earn back where he started, with hardly anything to his name, unemployed, and miserable, you have to wonder if he has learned anything? Considering he really pushed an ex-con to beat his ass, the answer appears to be no but I could be wrong. Maybe he wanted someone else to knock some sense into him? Perhaps someone to beat him so that how he mentally feels, it would match it in a physical sense as well?

I mean, who knows why Earn would really pick a fight with someone he had to of known he couldn’t beat.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. All things considered, if one person called the cops, Tracy would end up going back to jail and maybe taking Paper Boi with him, wouldn’t he? Also, bigger picture, with what Tracy did, couldn’t that ruin Al’s goals of getting Clark County’s manager as his own? His “security guard” touched and could have killed a student.


  1. Progression in Al and Earn’s storyline.

Low Points

  1. It seeming we really won’t get a female character, besides Van, who is consistently seen on this show.

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Previous Episode’s Recap

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