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Lovecraft Country recap: season one, episode nine – the Tulsa massacre sets stage for gripping finale | Television & radio

Y.Often times when you watch Lovecraft Country you get the feeling that a show that knows tomorrow is never guaranteed and a second season is even less bankable. These guys are determined to give their all in any remaining time. To that end, we had a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones-like episode, body swapping, erotic K-horror, and Afrofuturism Meet the Jetsons. However, this week it was time to return to the future in Hiram’s time machine. Sorry, do this “multiverse machine”. We are corrected, Hippolyta.

Yes, Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis) was back. How could she stay absent when her daughter Dee (Jada Harris) was at the door of death after meeting the Capt Lancaster summoned Topsy last week? We haven’t figured out where she had been all along and my guess is that we probably won’t. There is already so much to do. At least Hippolyta didn’t need a lengthy presentation, because after her mind-expanding interdimensional journey she already knows everything. (Didn’t I already say in the fourth episode that you were stupid to underestimate this woman?)

Even so, Hippolyta’s return didn’t come soon enough to save Tic from discovering the truth about his parentage. When Christina (Abbey Lee) instructed her to use the blood of Dee’s closest relative in the restoration spell, Montrose had to admit that Tic could indeed be Dee’s half-brother, not her cousin; that is, George’s biological son and not his.

Meanwhile, the hunt for the Book of Names was on – it was the only way to save Dee permanently – and with Capt Lancaster dead and his pages destroyed after last week’s Shoggoth attack, the only way to get it was secure, a journey back in time. The book’s last known whereabouts: Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1921 (I’ve lost interest in Christina’s evocation of revenge on Lancaster. Suffice it to say, firstly, it worked and, secondly, it was a terrible idea, a transplant without performing proper sterilization).

Now you may be wondering why it was necessary to go back to the exact date of the Tulsa Massacre, a real historic event that saw hundreds die and an estimated $ 32 million fortune destroyed mostly by black hands? Why not a few days earlier, when the Book of Names would have been in the same place and it might have been less dangerous to find it? A reasonable question, but who dares to question the wisdom of Hippolyta? As she herself said: “It was on earth 504 and I was there on this earth for the equivalent of 200 years. I could name anything, infinite possibilities that came with infinite wisdom, and I will use anything to save my daughter. Now get in the damn car. “Personally, I was buckled up before she was halfway through the first set.

Speaking of powerful women, what do we think of Christina? Ruby “daughter of a hustler” Baptiste (Wunmi Mosaku) seems to trust her and even tells her sister Leti to do the same, but I won’t buy it. Tulisa’s 2012 album The Female Boss had a more coherent feminist philosophy and the open plan to assassinate Tic to secure her immortality seems like a red flag, doesn’t it? Ruby, I ask you again to reconsider your terrible taste in women.

Christina (Abbey Lee, left) and Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku)Trust problems … Christina (Abbey Lee, left) and Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku). Photo: HBO

Ruby may not think much of her sister’s new boyfriend, but he’s pretty important to everyone else on the show – especially Montrose. I was happy to see the show this week exposed the raw wound of their father-son relationship to more healing air. Even before Montrose spoke about the heartbreaking murder of his first love, it was understandable that he would find another massacre traumatic. Yes, maybe he’d had a few too many shandies before jumping through the portal, but didn’t he? Tic’s insensitivity to it seemed to speak more to his pain and emotional dysfunction than to his father’s. This scene, in which Tic, Leti, and Montrose watched from a distance while young Montrose took a beating for his father, was an efficient and moving piece of drama. We’d forgive our parents a lot if we could see their childhood, right?

Again, the common time traveler’s problem of avoiding changing the present for fear of changing the present (sometimes referred to as the grandfather’s paradox) was pleasantly explored. Leti’s life was saved by Tic’s two grandfathers and she was in his mother’s soon-to-be-burned family house, clumsily reassuring one of his aunts that “everything will be fine” (it definitely won’t be). . The most glorious moment, however, was Tic picking up that baseball bat as if King Arthur were laying his hands on Excalibur and realizing that he had been the mysterious Jackie Robinson-like savior of his family all along.

He could be forgiven for taking the time to do it. He shouldn’t know that Hippolyta was struggling to keep the portal open and risking that they would all be forever trapped in the past. Meanwhile, with the book of names in hand, Leti took full advantage of her new invulnerability by leisurely strolling down the main street while bombs rained down and shops and cars burned around her. Sure, it’s not every day that you get a chance to recreate the Angela Bassett exploding car gif, but she should have got her ass started anyway.

Somehow they did it. The episode ended with everyone and the book of names, alive and on the right side of the portal, all set up for a magically enhanced finale. As an added bonus, Hippolyta now has a gorgeous flushed blue hairstyle. Mrs. Slocombe, eat your heart out.

Listening instruction

  • The orchestral music that gives rise to tics Jackie Robinson moment? It’s not the theme of the 1985 time travel classic Back to the Future, but I do feel a certain influence.

  • This episode had possibly the best use of the spoken word interlude to date. Sonia Sanchez’s words sounded so powerful as two women engulfed in flames embraced their fate: “Where is your fire? I say where is your fire / Can’t you smell it when it comes from our past? “The full title of the 1994 poem is actually Catch The Fire (For Bill Cosby) awkward, but this dedication tends to be left out in modern recitals for presumed reasons.

Additional Comments

  • “What is a motherboard?” Hippolyta’s definition may not agree with a computer engineer, but it was a beautiful homage to the power of maternal love.

  • “They closed school just hours before the chaos began.” Booker T Washington High School was and is a school in Tulsa. In 1921, the school was in the affluent African American neighborhood of Greenwood known as Black Wall Street and was scheduled to hold a senior prom on the evening of May 31st.

  • So Leti’s dream of episode seven was as much a premonition as a message. Here she escapes a burning building while pregnant and clutching the book of names, just as Tic’s ancestor Hannah once did.

  • “Commodore Knox, you made him worse …” The list of names Montrose recites as he looks over the devastation are real people implicated in the Tulsa massacre. Almost a century later, the death toll is still controversial – from 36, the official reported in 1921, to more than 300. Efforts have been made to reconcile the community since the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission published its findings in 2001, but The The redemption campaign and the search for a mass grave of the missing continues.

  • Montrose might be surprised to learn that a name on its list, Horace “Peg-Leg” Taylor, actually survived that legendary last stand on Standpipe Hill and lived another three decades. A podcast called Black Wall Street 1921 tracked down and interviewed his descendants earlier this year.

Quote of the week

“When my great-great-grandson is born, he will be my incarnate faith.” In an episode full of moving exchanges, I found this line from Tic’s great-grandmother (Regina Taylor) particularly moving.

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