Lovecraft Episode 9 titled Rewind 1921 is another great chapter in the series.
Last year's Watchmen centred its story on the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 and it's great to see Lovecraft Country put its own spin on this shameful historical point.
Let's dig in...
Last episode we saw poor D fighting off the demon “piccaninny's” on her own, whilst all the parents were absent.
Something that happens too much in real life, where the parent generation is caught up in the grind and no one really knows what’s happening with their kids and what they are going through.
The opening starts with recriminations between family members, which almost opens up one of the lingering secrets around Atticus's paternity.
This is stopped halfway by the surprise return of Hippolyta. Although Atticus now knows Montrose's secret, we don’t know if Hippolyta heard their conversation or not.
The episode goes onto a second gear once they’ve made the devil pact with Christina: to save D she wants Atticus to deliver himself to her on the Night of the Equinox - same as what happened to his great grandmother.
This reveal of Christina’s plan seems to have divided the group into Atticus, Leti, Hippolyta, Montrose on one side and Christina-Ruby on the other side.
It would appear that Ruby is throwing her lot in with Christina in order to get access to magic, which will give her an uninterrupted life. But at what cost?
At the moment, Ruby seems to think of Leti but does not seem to value Atticus as an individual, father to her nephew or as a fellow black person, as long as she gets what she wants.
It will be interesting to see if she will follow through with that thinking and if she does, what it will do to her as an individual, her relationship with her sister and finally with her community.
Selfish desires have a way of destroying instead of creating so I’m intrigued to see where it will go. Christina has shown over and over again that she is manipulative and only thinks of herself.
She got Ruby to plant the ruin in Lancaster's office, knowing that Lancaster uses black bodies to regenerate and uses the ruin to reverse the regeneration.
She could have gotten Lancaster to lift the curse to save D in exchange for his life but instead she got her revenge and Atticus to willingly sacrifice himself for her. The lady is devious.
Then we finally have the 3rd
gear as Hippolyta shows off what she learned on the alternative earth and opening up a portal to this world Tulsa, where she sends the trio.
Hippolyta in the nine episodes of Season 1 has basically moved from Sarah Connor of T1 to Sarah Connor of T2. It's great to behold and so empowering to the female of her generation. I'm all for it.
The Tulsa moments are heart-breaking and touching at the same time. The show gives us a picture of how the community was. How it thrived before the racist white came down on it. But even in this idyllic situation, we get to see how ignorant Montrose's family is of PTSD.
As the episode goes on, we get to see where his PTSD comes from, we see how badly it irrevocably changed him and why, as Atticus finally starts to learn about it, he starts to change.
That was powerful. With knowledge and openness comes change.
We see hat although Tulsa was idyllic, Montrose's father contributed in creating the monster that is Montrose and Atticus witnesses it first hand.
I love how the show gave Atticus and Montrose that moment to connect and the twist that Atticus was the mysterious saviour with the bat - he is Jackie Robinson from his dream of Episode 1.
When Atticus said “I got you kid,” he was saying it to his father as a way of saying I understand and accept you and I have your back despite who you are and what you done. It was beautiful.
Leti had to endure her own form of trauma. Staying in a house with people you know are going to die and you know you can't change was gut wrenching. I love how Leti's survival and what the grandmother said that her son is hope made flesh.
For the existence of Leti's son and the continued existence of black people in the US - despite what history has thrown at them - is faith and hope made flesh.
The faith and hope of the ancestors who lived through these horrible situations.
When Montrose is standing and looking over the fires and mentions the great historical people that perished during the massacre, it hammers home what was lost and the pain.
Down below in the fire, holding onto the Book of Names is a pregnant Leti, who carries in her a seed of a better future - but a better future has come at a great price.
So even with us here in SA, us who live in post-apartheid South Africa, some in the burbs and some still in the townships, we are here because of the nameless sacrifices that came before us.
I loved how the black folks in Tulsa fought back. They were armed and not just hapless victims.
For our ancestors did not just lie down and take it and the onus is on us, who in the future, knowing the fight from the past and the price the past paid for us to be here, need to do and be better.
Yeah, I could keep unpacking and unpacking this episode - it's that great. Although I didn't love how the show didn't explain what happened to Atticus's monster.
Was the monster just a one time thing and where did it go? If Leti's protection spell works in the future where was Atticus's monster?
But that’s a nit-pick in an otherwise great episode so I'm looking forward to next week's finale.
I wonder what Ji-ah's role will be. Will Ruby play Darth Vader to Christina’s Emperor Palpatine and will their relationship go the way of The Return of the Jedi or will it go The Revenge of the Sith way?
Will Atticus be sacrificed for the greater good or will Hippolyta and Montrose find a way to save him? All shall be revealed next week… colour me super intrigued.
It felt like:
Back to the Future meets Mississippi Burning, with a touch of Roots.