REVIEW: ‘Lovecraft Country,’ Episode 7 – “I Am.”

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Lovecraft Country Episode 7 literally reaches for the stars, as the series puts its unique twist on pulp-age science fiction. “I Am” sees Hippolyta Freeman (Anjanue Ellis) investigating the circumstances of her husband George (Courtney B. Vance)’s death, which leads her to a strange machine in Mayfield and a cosmic journey of self-discovery. Meanwhile Ruby (Wumni Mosaku) grapples with Christina (Abbey Lee)’s delusions of grandeur and Atticus (Jonathan Freeman) seeks answers about his mother’s side of the family.

It’s Hippolyta’s journey that serves as the draw for this episode; the other subplots feel more like moving chess pieces across the board. While I’m glad that the episode is continuing to advance plot threads from “Strange Case,” it can’t help but feel like set up for the final batch of episodes. A key example is when Atticus discovers his father Montrose’s (Michael K. Williams) secret. What should be an earthshaking revelation is quickly introduced and laid to the side as the episode progresses. A potential life upheaval for Leti (Jurnee Smollett) receives the same treatment. If Lovecraft Country has a flaw, it’s that it tends to pack a bit too much into some of its episodes.

However, when the focus is on Hippolyta the episode shines. Director Charlotte Sieling has a wide range of environments to play with, from a sleek futuristic spacecraft to an African village of warrior women. (The fact that Hippolyta and her daughter Diana-“Dee” for short- are named after DC Comics’ Wonder Woman and her mother adds extra significance to the latter.)

The visuals also extend to the costume designs. When leading an army in Africa, Hippolyta dons a golden helmet and wields a massive sword worthy of a general. She also encounters a mysterious Black woman dressed in a purple and black suit of armor, and later a flowing gown that seems to be made out of the stars themselves. I wasn’t able to tear my eyes away from the screen – that’s how stunning these images are.

When Hippolyta asks who the mysterious woman is, she receives a simple response: “I am.” Writers Misha Green and Shannon Houston use this as their mission statement, allowing Hippolyta to live out a range of lives before finally discovering who she is. It’s all anchored by a stirring performance from Ellis, who delivers a wide range of emotions across each scene. She is scared at times, furious at times, but confidence underlines every single emotion.

The series also surprisingly makes a solid jump to science fiction. Up till now, the genre trappings have been firmly in the supernatural/horror realm. Yet science fiction seems like the perfect genre to depict a journey of self-discovery. There are also subtle clues to the genre shift: Hippolyta is a skilled mathematician and Dee’s “Orithya Blue” comic depicts a spacefaring Black woman as its protagonists. Given that Hippolyta’s journey is connected to a device that Christina seeks, I would not be surprised to see more sci-fi elements in the last few episodes.

Lovecraft Country Episode 7 is a visually stunning journey of self-discovery, handling the shift in genres with care and grace. With only three episodes left in the season, we’ll see how these seemingly separate plot threads weave together.

Lovecraft Country Episode 7, “I am.” is currently available to stream on HBO Max.


Lovecraft Country Episode 7
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Lovecraft Country Episode 7 is a visually stunning journey of self-discovery, handling the shift in genres with care and grace. With only three episodes left in the season, we’ll see how these seemingly separate plot threads weave together.