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The Biggest Takeaways From ‘Atlanta’ Season 4, Episode 5

(SPOILERS for this week’s Atlanta will be found below.)

Last week’s episode of Atlanta focused mainly on Earn for what turned out to be a wacky Sunday with his family. Series frequents like Earn’s baby mother Vanessa and his close friend Darius were absent from the episode, while Paper Boi arrived in the second half as he got dragged into Earn’s series of unfortunate events.

In this week’s episode, titled Work Ethic!, the spotlight is on Vanessa who viewers follow as she spends and day with her and Earn’s daughter Lodi. Van brought her daughter on set to be with her as she was set to appear in a television show. The day turns for the worst when Lodi interrupts the set and an unseen producer takes a liking to Lodi’s youthfulness. As a result, Lodi is added to a number of shows being filmed on-site, but it proves to be too overwhelming for Van who is forced to put an end to it by the conclusion of the episode.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways that we have after season four’s fifth episode.

One Time For The Good Children Of The World

Lodi is a great kid. We see several examples to support that in Work Ethic! She doesn’t fuss when her mom doesn’t have snacks for her during their time on the TV site. She adorably defends her mom when Van’s character is disrespected in a scene from the show. Lodi is also well-behaved as Van gets her hair and makeup done in a trailer. Van and Lodi’s day on set was going to be a long one, and Lodi’s good behavior through it all made it a lot easier. To Van’s surprise, Lodi really enjoyed acting and interacting with the other actors. With all that being said, one time for the good children of the world like Lodi who make their parents’ days a bit easier.

They’re Always Watching

You can’t help but feel there’s some government-esque theme to the Work Ethic! episode. The tv production studio that Van and Lodi are at is run by a man named Mr. Chocolate whom the cast and crew of the shows have never seen in person. They’ve only heard his voice which blares from various speakers as he delivers instructions for scenes as he sits in his office watching everything go down thanks to a complex surveillance system set up to monitor the entire tv production studio. It certainly has a Big Brother feel to it, and when it comes to the world of Atlanta, there’s no doubt that they’re always watching. As for the real world, well, there are probably fewer differences than there are similarities.

Mother’s Intuition Is A Real Thing

From the very beginning, Van knew something was off with Mr. Chocolate’s appreciation — or rather — infatuation with Lodi. She sits Lodi down and makes it clear that she will take her home the second she doesn’t want to be on set anymore. Unlike Van, Lodi is having a blast on set but that doesn’t make Van any less worried. Things only get worse when Van, and no one else on set, can track down Lodi as she moves around the tv production studio as Mr. Chocolate, the unseen man, is the only one who knows of her whereabouts. Push comes to shove, and Van breaks into Mr. Chocolate’s headquarters to confront him and she eventually reconnects with Lodi. It’s clear that something weird is going on with Mr. Chocolate and his company, especially as he admits to owning the police, and Van lets her intuition drive her to find Lodi and get her away from Mr. Chocolate as quickly as possible.

Control And Consent Are Key

Control and consent being key are the main themes of the Work Ethic! episode. Mr. Chocolate wants and has control of every and anyone that works at the tv production studio. He doesn’t really ask for his cast and crew’s consent to have them do certain things, it’s his world and he decides what does and doesn’t happen in it. On the flip side, Van wants Lodi to have true control of her possible acting career, along with Van herself being able to control how much and when her daughter is used for filming episodes. With this, also comes Van’s hope that Lodi can at least be of age before consenting to everything that comes with an acting career. Van is raising her daughter to know that control and consent and two important things to have and be aware of in this world, something that Lodi will surely appreciate when she grows up.

FX’s ‘Atlanta’ airs on Thursdays at 10:00pm EST.