'Alfred Miles' (Brian Tyree Henry) is a new hot rapper trying to understand the line between real life and street life. 'Darius' (Lakeith Lee Stanfield) is Alfred's right-hand man and visionary. 'Van' (Zazie Beetz) is Earn's best friend and the mother of Earn's daughter.
That twist isn't unexpected, especially if you've been watching this season dive headfirst into the dour deep end, but it's handled well with a detached sadness that is very meaningfully shot through the hazy grime of a school bus window.
It really does feel like the season has been building to something important between [Earn and Al], and this origin story was part of that, in addition to being a bittersweet nostalgia trip in its own right.
Donald Glover, Hiro Murai, and company create illusions so all-encompassing that they've created a world with its own mechanisms, functioning independently, in tandem with, and in spite of its viewers.