‘Atlanta’: What Meredith (Jay Ellis) taught us

As Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) try to keep a roof over their heads, Jason (Jay Ellis) moves in. Then, of course, like most kids do, he explodes in the middle of dinner.

However, his meltdown at the kitchen table wasn’t so much a result of a) the stress of surviving financially on the show, b) not being aware that the messes he caused were causing anyone else in the house to mess up a little (which is basically his point), and c) being young and irresponsible.

As he and Issa argued, Molly stood silently at the back of the kitchenette. In typical Meredith way, she stood behind her crying friend, saying, “This is about protecting Issa.” Then she walked out of the kitchenette and out of the episode, after quietly asking her why she’s doing this. (Meredith), the unsung hero of the show and one of its best characters, could have easily dropped a line or two. But how can you get into a situation like that with your best friend and not at least want to ask, “What the fuck are you doing?” And why, did you say it this way? Please someone please say it. But I’m rooting for Meredith in this episode, and in any other episode. I know she’s not the character we thought she was at the beginning of the season — but she’s growing on me and I’m loving her just the same. She’s definitely in the middle between loyalty and respect as well as defensive when Issa brings up being on a reality show and not the main characters. And honestly?

The best revelation in this episode — besides the drama of a homeless Jason taking up space in the episode room — was that she’s not around to speak to the boys. Not because she went to the doctor, not because she bailed on Thanksgiving, and not because she left town. No, she couldn’t. She didn’t speak to them because she thought their greatest moment of the day was planned out in her head, and she’s uncomfortable speaking about themselves. Where does that come from? Insecurity? Watching what other people perceive? It’s not something you can erase with a shower, and you should maybe try.

Then, at the end of the episode, Molly moved out. That’s more than we saw her in the first four episodes. We see her in the elevator and on her way to a drug and alcohol rehab. I guess she knew that her relationship with the boys — and the dinner — was becoming too much for her to handle alone, so she left. Not just broke up with them, but out of town as well. I can’t imagine she’s too sad about it, and she probably got a lot of closure from her mom. But somewhere, Jason is probably having his own dark moment.

And I’m not jealous of her. I’m confused. And I don’t even think that’s something she needed. Well, except when it comes to being on a reality show.

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