We’re back with another So Here’s What Happened in Lovecraft Country! session, and once again, LaNeysha and I are joined by Perdita, who graciously agreed to record another recap with us for episodes 7 and 8.
In our last two recaps, we noted how the majority of the show’s episodes have storylines that focus on the female characters of the show. Episode 3 was about Leti’s battle with demonic forces, episode 5 about Ruby trying to find space where she could be uninterrupted, and episode 6 about Jin Ah, the South Korean nurse who turned out to be way more than she appears. and the trend continues with episodes 7 and 8. In episode 7 we finally, FINALLY get to learn more about Hypolytta (Aunjanue Ellis) as she journeys through the universe and time, and for 8 the story revolves around her daughter Diana (Jada Harris) is who terrorized by demonic specters human and non-human.
After figuring out how the mysterious orerry she found in Let’s house works, Hypolytta goes on a road trip across the country to the clue to the mystery of how her husband George died. Following the map created by Diana, she is lead to an old observatory, where she fins a device that turns out to be the key to time travel. In I Am. Hypolytta is given the chance to finally live the lives she’s always wanted to, and perhaps was meant to.
We see her in 1930’s Paris dancing on stage with Josephine Baker, laughing and talking with her, surrounded by other Black women. With Josephine, Hypolytta is unguarded and honest in a way the show hasn’t given her the chance to be. We learn of the anger that sits heavy on her chest. Anger that comes from being held back and held down by a racist society that seeks to devalue her existence for being Black. Like her namesake, we see her release this rage as the leader of the Amazons in a battle sequence that is brutal and bloody. We also get to see her give voice to the hurt she’s kept bottled up inside of her because she put the needs of others before her own. People like George who never took the time to ask Hypolytta what she wanted out of life for herself, and took it for granted that her needs were fulfilled because theirs were.
Titled Jig-a-Bobo, episode 8 follows Diana on the worst day of her life as she’s tormented by demons of the real and supernatural variety. Beginning in the streets pack with funeral-goers waiting in the stifling heat of a scorching summer sun, Diana, Tic, Leti, Ruby, and Montrose are surrounded by hundreds of other Black people waiting to pay their respects to young Emmett Till, whose life was violently taken from him. Overcome with the anger and sorrow, Diana wanders away from the crowd to an empty street. She becomes angry at two other Black girls eating ice-cream, unable to understand how they could be so happy on a day like this. She has a traumatic encounter with two racist cops who assault – that’s what that was, assault – threaten and put a curse on her which makes her unable to say what’s been done to her. Followed by two female demonic representations of “picaninnies”, Diana is left to her own devices, as the adults charged with looking after her, do their own thing, showing little to no thought or worry for her well being.
This episode was stressful for a number of reasons. It was difficult wo watch Diana face off against two white men with badges not knowing what could happen. It was difficult to watch her being scared and unable to turn to any of the people in her life because they’re too caught up in their own drama. It was heartbreaking to see her unable to speak, and it was enraging watching her be made vulnerable to the curse because Montrose didn’t read the literal sings she made of what was happening. And while I get the narrative purpose for everything that happened, this episode served as a reminder that even in fiction created by Black people, Black girls are always left to fend for themselves
For many Black women “Dreams Deferred” could be a playlist in the soundtrack of our lives. The hopes, wishes, and dreams we had for ourselves as children and young women, unfortunately, stay just that, when the reality that we can’t always become who we want to be is realized. But sometimes, we’re given a second chance or have to take them for ourselves when we realize that no one but ourselves can make it happen. And if it happens at 34, 40, or 56, it doesn’t matter, because we’re finally living the lives we always wanted. They may not be perfect, and there will still be challenges, but at least we’re facing them on our terms. I for one hope that by the end of Lovecraft Country we see Hypolytta kicking more ass and taking Diana on a fantastical journey amongst the stars.
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.