Which Episodes Of 'Atlanta' Season 2 Is Van In? Zazie Beetz Has Teased Some Big Moves For Her Character
Some of the most intriguing episodes of Atlanta have come not only on the shoulders of Earn, Donald Glover's protagonist, but on those of Van, Earn's on-again, off-again girlfriend, who is constantly working to provide a stable life for the daughter the two share. Despite Zazie Beetz's masterful performance as Van in the first season of the FX series, Van has been absent in the first two episodes of the second installment, leaving some people wondering which episodes of Atlanta Season 2 Van will actually be in.
Luckily for viewers, she's definitely going to be there. She's very much present in the season's promotional materials and attended the premiere along with her co-stars. And she's finally back in Episode 3 of Season 2. There's no way she and Earn will be done anytime soon, and Van's got big plans. In an interview with W magazine in 2016 after the first season wrapped, Beetz said while she's not sure of the exact direction Van's narrative will take, there are countless ways her story could develop in Season 2. "I oscillate between wanting Van and Earn to end up together versus Van or Earn dating other people," she said. "We talked about that being a possibility. Also, seeing how scrappy she can get with finding work because she needs to find something. Even while we were shooting this last episode, he was talking about how this sort of opens up a door to a whole number of things that she can do."
The dynamic of Van and Earn's relationship in terms of their individual goals is something Beetz said is also important to her in Season 2 — so far, they've butted heads over Earn's financial situations and business decisions, and have yet to come to an agreement on a situation that works for both of them long-term. "I feel like they both individually have some growing to do. You know, Earn has been honestly relinquishing some of his autonomy and learning to be less selfish and putting his daughter and Van's future first," she said in the same interview. "For Van, what I felt that where she needs to grow is not necessarily thinking that Earn's dreams or what he wants to do is just the fantasy of a child and that working in the music business is also legitimate work." She also told The Hollywood Reporter that Van develops more friendships with other women as Atlanta's second season goes on, and that the show digs into her character "outside of just the context of Earn," and she's excited about that.
Though the lack of Van material in the first two episodes of Atlanta's second season could be purely coincidental — the plot so far has focused mainly on Al (a.k.a. Paper Boi) and Earn bouncing back from Al's house arrest — there may be a practical reason for her absence. Beetz recently solidified a three-movie deal to play the supervillain Domino in addition to her appearance in Deadpool 2, the same THR article reports, and that could very well be keeping her busy even as she reprises her Atlanta role.
When she does return to the series, though, it won't be a moment too soon for fans. People have already noted her absence online, but, as some have pointed out, she only appeared in six episodes last season, so there's still plenty of time for her to come back with a bang. Atlanta has a history of fully devoting itself even to characters who don't snag as much screen time as the "main" players like Earn, Darius and Al. None of those more elusive players ever feel like cardboard cut-out characters, serving only to further Earn's personal plot, and that's especially true in terms of Van. In the Season 1 episodes where she was given the most room to flourish, she offered up some of the most impactful scenes Atlanta has seen, and there's no doubt she'll continue to do so through Season 2.