The tension reaches a breaking point when the guys finally make it to the airport. (In a brilliant touch, Earn brushes by a suit-wearing credit card salesman, the job he left behind at the beginning of Season 1.) While waiting in line for the security check, Earn discovers the golden gun from Uncle Willie, the alligator-chasing eccentric from the season's premiere played by Katt Williams, in his bag. It was laying around Al's house earlier and he simply stuffed it in his backpack and forgot about it. In a life-altering act of desperation and survival, he swaps it into Clark County's bag. Crisis averted.
That decision, which Paper Boi witnesses in line, ultimately saves Earn and solidifies the wavering bond between the two. When the guys are safely on the plane, Al tells Earn he appreciates what he did. "You the only one who knows what I'm about and you give a fuck," he says. "I need that." As he becomes more famous and gets more opportunities, it's family like Earn that will look out for his best interests. In a system that's stacked against him, Al understands the importance of that.
In a similar way, an unwavering commitment to granular details keeps Atlanta grounded. Compared to the wildly ambitious thematic swing of the "This Is America," a video that's attempting to make a big statement with each densely packed frame, the finale of Atlanta feels focused and locked in. It's the work of a team of writers, actors, and directors who have successfully tuned out the decoders of the world. Hopefully as Glover's star continues to rise, Atlanta will retain that closed-off quality. Lando is free to explore a galaxy far, far away, but Atlanta has created a rich universe right here on Earth.