Kevin Samuels Featured in Latest Anthology Episode of ‘Atlanta’

Donald Glover wrote and directed the latest episode of the acclaimed FX series, which sees the late Kevin Samuels making an appearance as a philanthropist.

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As Atlanta’s third season approaches its finale, there’s no question that Donald Glover and the team of creatives behind the FX series are making arguably the most exciting television of the current era. The latest episode, for example, marks the latest entry in the anthology side of the series 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 over a panning shot of a bedroom featuring, among other items given screen time, a Post Malone poster and a Logan Paul t-shirt. We are then introduced to the main character of this entry in Atlanta’s growing anthology catalog, Aaron.

Without giving too much away, Aaron—played by Tyriq Withers—is a biracial student at Stonewall Jackson High School who’s currently dealing with senior-focused concerns of impending college life, or the potential lack thereof.

Samuels shows up in the episode as a “very special guest speaker” at the school, Mr. Robert “Shea” Lee. He’s 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 unveils his plans of donating $1 million to the school, which he notes will see its name changed to end its current honoring of a slave owner. The new name, the character explains, will instead honor “one of the richest Black men this side of the Mississippi,” i.e. Lee himself. Elsewhere in the same speech, Lee vows to pay every single Black senior’s college tuition.

To see where the episode—written and directed by series creator Donald Glover—goes from there, catch it in full via Hulu.

The appearance of Samuels on Atlanta comes days after the controversial and polarizing YouTube personality’s death at the age of 57. In a prior anthology episode of Atlanta this season, the series took a similar route in its casting 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 cameo this season, appearing in the Glover-directed episode “Trini 2 De Bone.” 

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Atlanta wraps its third season with next week’s episode, “Tarrare.” Later this year, the series will return to launch its fourth and final season, as confirmed by FX chairman John Landgraf back in February.

Meanwhile, Complex recently spoke with season 3 guest star Justin Bartha about an anthology entry from earlier this season, the reparations-focused “The Big Payback.” Revisit the extended conversation in full here.

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