Last week we saw the end of Al and Earn’s complicated partnership come to an end. Last night’s episode of Atlanta takes us back to the past where we see how a young Earn and his cousin Al’s relationship blossomed into what we have seen before their fissure.
The penultimate episode aptly titled FUBU opens up with young Earn bored out of his mind shopping with his mother at Marshalls.Like any young teen who has endured shopping with their mom, he wanders off and discovers hidden treasure in the form of a yellow FUBU jersey on sale.
Earn quickly scoops up the gem and brings it to his mom and she agrees to purchase the highly coveted 90’s piece of fashion for her son.Earn of course is so excited about the new fashion acquisition he can barely sleep and is up at the crack at dawn to throw on his jersey and head to school.Once on the bus, he is immediately greeted by a compliment for his new shirt. The day is looking up for Earn, but we know something is going to go wrong for him.
Earn arrives in class just beaming with confidence but that quickly subsides when is fellow classmate Devin walks in with the same FUBU jersey. Kids are cruel and pick up on the accidental twins and inspect both jerseys because something is just completely off.Devin’s shirt puts Earn’s into question because he has a patch and more stripes. Before they officially label either Earn or Devin’s shirt fake they need Johnny to render the final verdict on the issue of the fake FUBU jersey.
The damage has been done, and the doubt has been cast in the air. The teasing begins instantly, and young Earn’s FUBU sweater is being called FIBI despite him pleading his case that it’s real. With word quickly spreading around the school Earn is worried but one of his white friends didn’t quite seem to understand. He asks what is the big deal anyway and points out he wore the same shirt twice in the same week.
Thing’s were so bad that Erica a young girl Earn was crushing on sent two notes one asking if he likes her and the other asking if his shirt was fake because she doesn’t like “broke niggas.”
Bruh can that day get any worse for Earn? The answer is yes because the resident bootleg expert Johnny has finally arrived. With both him and Devin present Johnny who happens to be of Asian descent checks the tags on birth shirts. He determines Earn’s shirt is the fake being that it was made Bangladesh and Devin’s was made in China.
This is where young Al who is cooler than other side of the pillow as the late great Stuart Scott would say walks in looks out for his cousin like he always does. Al points out the Earn’s shirt is real because Johnny is Chinese and of course he would say that Devin’s is real because it came from China. Johnny mumbles under his voice that he’s Filipino though but Al has already made the case and Earn makes out school alive.
The next day we learn the extent of the damage over the fake FUBU fiasco. The principle comes to class to announce that Devin committed suicide. His parents were going through a divorce and plus the bullying over his “fake” jersey pushed him over the edge. The episode quickly became a reminder just how dangerous bullying can be when it comes to young children and also gave viewers a severe case PTSD as they remembered their times back in middle school.
Hit the flip for more reactions from last night’s episode of Atlanta.