Last week, Atlanta shocked its viewers with one of the best and weirdest episodes of the entire series so far. "Teddy Perkins" is a high bar to top, vividly showcasing Donald Glover's brilliance as a writer and actor, as well as Hiro Murai's superb directorial chops, but the latest episode definitely does its best.
"Champagne Papi," as its title would suggest, is all about Drake, and it's just as subversive as what we've come to expect from Atlanta. Taking place at Drake's mansion, the episode follows Zazie Beetz's Van as she joins her friends for a trip to Drizzy's mansion for his New Year's Eve party, hoping to get a selfie with him. Throughout the episode, Van loses track of her friends and starts to explore more of Drake's home, eventually raiding his closet. A 6 God cameo is consistently teased, but as Van discovers when she stumbles across Drizzy's Mexican grandfather, Drake isn't even at the party.
As Van goes to collect Darius and her friends, she sees two women selling opportunities to take a picture with a Drake cut-out for $20 since he isn't even there. Fed-up, she walks home with her friends before coming to the realization, "Drake's Mexican!" With how Justin Bieber previously turned up in the series as a young black man, it's clear that nothing is too surprising for Atlanta.
Ibra Ake, who wrote "Champagne Papi," joked about the idea behind the episode of Twitter.
The timing of the episode's release in relation to Drake's "Nice for What" is certainly pretty great, building on all the attention Drizzy has been getting so far this year. (All the years?) The episode has a lot of Drake references in the background, including a bizarre painting of Drake posing with an owl. It all ends with a Spanish-language version of "Hotline Bling," and also includes a piano cover of "Passionfruit" at one point.
It's definitely a more familiar episode for the series than the terrifying "Teddy Perkins" was, but it's no less strange. Watch the whole surreal episode here via FX.