Like AtlantaWith the third season of nearing its end, there’s no doubt that Donald Glover and the creative team behind the FX series are making arguably the most exciting television of the current era. The final episode, for example, marks the final entry into the series’ anthology strand and notably features an appearance by the late Kevin Samuels.
The episode – titled “Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga” – opens with the sounds of Travis Scott’s 2021 single “Escape Plan” playing on a panoramic shot of a bedroom with, among other on-screen elements, a Post Malone poster and a Logan Paul T-shirt. We are then introduced to the main character of this entry in Atlantagrowing anthology catalog, Aaron.
Without giving too much away, Aaron, played by Tyriq Withers, is a biracial student at Stonewall Jackson High School who is currently struggling with concerns about impending college life or the potential lack thereof.
Samuels appears in the episode as the “very special guest speaker” at the school, Mr. Robert “Shea” Lee. He is introduced by a school official as a “businessman/philanthropist/philosopher/Christian” before giving a speech to an auditorium full of students.
In that speech, Samuels’ character reveals his plans to donate $1 million to the school, which he says will see its name changed to end its current tribute to a slave owner. The new name, the character explains, will instead honor “one of the wealthiest black men this side of the Mississippi,” which is Lee himself. Elsewhere in the same speech, Lee promises to pay tuition for every black senior.
To see where the episode, written and directed by series creator Donald Glover, goes from here, watch it in full via Hulu.
Samuels’ appearance on Atlanta comes days after the controversial and polarizing YouTube personality died at the age of 56. In a previous anthology episode of Atlanta this season, the show took a similar route in its cast of Liam Neeson, who played himself and notably referenced his 2019 racism controversy while having a drink at the fictional “Cancel Club” with Paper Boi. Chet Hanks also made a self-referential appearance this season, appearing in the Glover-directed episode “Trini 2 De Bone.”
Atlanta wraps up its third season with next week’s episode, “Tarrare.” Later this year, the series will return to kick off its fourth and final season, as confirmed by FX President John Landgraf in February.
Meanwhile, Complex recently spoke with Season 3 guest star Justin Bartha about an anthology entry from earlier this season, “The Big Payback,” which focused on repairs. Revisit the extended conversation in its entirety here.