In this third installment of our So Here’s What Happened in Lovecraft Country!, LaNeysha, I, and our special guest Perdita, each share our thoughts on episodes 5 and 6 of the multi-genre show that has twitter feeds all atwitter every Sunday night. Eps 5 and 6 were very female-centric as they both focused on one female character each, a trend that would carry over to the following to episodes.
From the beginning of Lovecraft Country, one character had caught my interest, Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku), the sister of Leti. In episode 1 we saw that she had a tense relationship with her sister, which stemmed a difficult connection they both had to their mother, and also how people treated them differently because colorism is a real issue within the Black community. We learned that Ruby’s biggest dream was to be a sales clerk at the biggest department store in Chicago, but is repeatedly rejected despite having many certificates that actually make her overqualified for the position.
In Strange Case Ruby is given the chance to live out her dream of working at Marshall Fields’s except there’s one catch, it’s in the body of a white woman. Initially changed against her will by William, Ruby accepts this new change as it gives her the opportunity to live life uninterrupted. As Hillary – played by Jamie Neumann – Ruby is free to it stroll down busy streets populated by other white people without the fear of being harassed with vile racist threats. As Hillary, she holds a position of power over other white women, and Tamara (Sibongile Mlambo), a young Black female clerk and uses this seniority to question Tamara about how and why she was hired. Strange Case explores what a woman with Ruby’s past and experiences could do if she didn’t face the obstacles that racism places in Black people’s lives, but it also reveals that whether she’s Black or white, being a woman means she’s still subjected to sexism and misogyny.
Though all three of us had things we loved and disliked about this episode, we all agreed that Wunmi gave a stellar performance, and hope that Ruby is given the chance to break away from the twisted relationship developing between her and William-Christina.
For episode 6, “Meet Me in Daegu”, the show takes a trip back in time to South Korea while Tic was stationed there with the US military. There we meet Jin Ah (Jamie Chung), a nurse in the South Korean army who meets Tic as a patient. At first glance Jin Ah seems like a regular nurse who seems to be very shy and unsure around men, but we quickly learn that she’s a Gumiho – the mythological Nine-Tailed Fox of Korean folklore. As a Gumiho, Jin Ah’s shyness falls away when she seduces men to sleep with in order to consumer their souls and memories to fulfill a spiritual debt she must pay to the woman who summoned her into her daughter’s body.
Having no real connection and meaningful connection to men beyond a few failed speed-dating experiences and her seduction and killing of them, Jin Ah falls for Tic’s charming personality – even though she has initially set out to kill him as revenge for him killing her best friend – and they begin a romance that unfortunately comes to an abrupt and frightening end for Tic, when Jin Ah is unable to control her tails, causing her to connect with Tic, and seeing flashes of his future death. This revelation is the connection to episode 4 when Tic called her after deciphering the code written in the coveted pages found in the ship’s cabin. How her connection to Tic plays into the remainder of the season remains to be seen, but one thing we do know is the Jin Ah is a complex and compelling character we want to know more about, and Jamie Chung deserves to be seen more on television.
Carolyn is a Freelance Film Critic, Journalist, and Podcaster – and avid live tweeter. Member of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), her published work can be found on But Why Tho, The Beat, Observer, and many other sites. As a critic, she believes her personal experiences and outlook on life, give readers and listeners a different perspective they can appreciate.