Lovecraft Country

HBO

Season 1 Episode 5

Strange Case

Two people with connections to Atticus and Leti will find themselves taking personal journeys directed by Christina Braithwhite.

After Montrose’s betrayal, the man finds himself at odds with his son. Odds that come to blows in a fight that scares Leti. Atticus is in a frenzy to find out if she too pictures of the missing pages and Leti is both afraid of and for him. Montrose leaves and finds himself in an unexpected place and with a surprise revelation.

At the same time, things for Ruby get even stranger when she wakes up in the body of a white woman. After finding her way back to William, Ruby discovers that William has a potion that will let her change back and forth. With the potion in hand, Ruby takes on the persona of Hillary and proceeds to live out her dreams. Unfortunately, she will discover that being white reveals more than she imagined.

This episode is all about transformation and truth. Both Ruby and Montrose struggle with living their truth throughout this episode. Montrose coming to terms with his sexuality is handled subtly and with an eye towards giving the character a freedom he’s never experienced. It’s one of the only truly positive moments in the episode and Michael K Williams delivers a wonderfully understated performance.

Wunmi Mosaku is great as Ruby as well. Her journey of transformation is a highlight of the episode and Jamie Neumann does a remarkable job of acting uncomfortable in white spaces. There are mannerisms and facial expressions that convey that even though she looks white, she doesn’t feel white. Ruby’s physcial transformations are visually jarring and the reveal towards the end of the episode is powerful in its overt and subversive contexts.

Atticus and Leti’s story takes a back seat to Montrose and Ruby, but their struggle is no less interesting. Atticus is confronting his anger towards his father and his feelings that he’s not worthy of love. Leti is dealing with her own issues of having true feelings for Atticus in the face of how she was raised. It was compelling to see the characters try to connect with each other on a level beyond their own trauma.

After an uneven previous episode, Lovecraft Country seems to be getting back on its feet and delivering some powerful, interesting and engaging drama.

Lovecraft Country S01XE05

9.5

9.5/10

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