‘Atlanta’ Season Four, Episode Nine Recap: Alfred Has Another Brush With Death In The Woods

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
Photo Credit: Guy D'Alema/FX

In new Atlanta episode “Andrew Wyeth. Alfred’s World.,” Alfred goes head-to-head with a wild hog in his bud-growing “safe farm.”

Alfred took Soulja Boy‘s advice and moved into a “safe farm.” In the second to last Atlanta episode, “Andrew Wyeth. Alfred’s World.,” which was written by Taofik Kolade, the rapper goes back into the woods, retreating from his apartment in the city. The episode’s opening song, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” by The Geto Boys, soundtracks Al’s paranoia as he’s had three close encounters with death, with the last being in “Crank Dat Killer.”

At Al’s farm, the rapper misses phone notifications from Earn and Darius to practice shooting and tending to his marijuana crops, only to discover (twice) that a wild animal has rummaged through his bud. All the while, he watches an online agriculture show hilariously titled These Backhoes Ain’t Loyal, where the host warns that while fixing a tractor, there’s a likelihood of the vehicle rolling over.

After an initial visit to a local store, Al returns to seek advice on the invasive creature. But the store clerk advises him to shoot what he thinks is a feral hog.

“These things ain’t no bedtime story animals,” the store clerk says. “They don’t deserve no sympathy. They are aggressive, they are invasive, and they will not stop until they destroy everything you have. You gotta kill them before they kill you.”

Al laughs off the remark, but takes heed of the clerk warning him that a pack of wild hogs attacked and killed a woman in Texas the year before. Al’s trip gets even more sinister after he finds what appears to be a rodent impaled to his tractor.

Midway through “Andrew Wyeth. Alfred’s World.” is where the episode and its title align. Al finally gets his tractor to start, and a montage shows him driving to “Rollin'” by The Dungeon Family. When the tractor hits a ditch Al assesses the possible damage, only for the vehicle to roll over and land on his foot. The back of Al’s head is injured and bloodied in the process, but after retrieving his foot from the tractor, he begins an agonizing limp – and then crawl – home.

Al’s in-the-grass moment replicates the 1948 Andrew Wyeth painting “Christina’s World,” which depicts Wyeth’s former neighbor, Anna Christina Olson, who preferred to crawl because of her degenerative muscle condition. (“The challenge to me was to do justice to her extraordinary conquest of a life which most people would consider hopeless,” Wyeth said of the painting, according to MoMA.)

Able to belly-crawl his way home after trying – and then failing – to get help from a distracted Amazon delivery driver, Al returns to his cabin and comes face-to-face with a menacing wild hog. The animal charges at Al, who escapes yet another brush with death by putting the hog into a headlock, and beating it with the delivered cast iron skillet.

Calling shortly after Al’s victory is Earn, but Al doesn’t tell him what happened. Instead, the two jokingly get into a banter about how Black people can’t get sunburn (they can), and Earn insists that the countryside is probably boring to Al, telling his cousin that he can return to the city whenever.

“Atlanta’s not going anywhere, y’know?” Earn says, possibly foreshadowing the show’s next and final episode, as “Andrew Wyeth. Alfred’s World.” concludes with “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying,” sung by Ray Charles.

With Al finding peace in nature, Atlanta could roll the dice on the series finale. It can either land on a final anthology episode, a reunion between the four main characters, or center Darius, who’s barely been visible the entire season. One thing is for certain though — we’re ready for wherever Atlanta decides to close the book.

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