Season 1 Episode 8
The episode begins with tragedy as the murder of Emmitt Till brings the South Side out in huge numbers for the public memorial and Diana finds herself not only dealing with the murder of her friend, but the disappearance of her mother. Things get even worse when Captain Lancaster catches up with the young girl in an alley in a scene that is indicative of the fear every black person feels when confronted by law enforcement and the power they take from you through their intimidation.
The scene is raw, powerful and scary even without the supernatural elements and Jada Harris is pitch perfect throughout this episode.
Ruby looks for comfort in the eyes of William/Christina when she finally sees what happened to Emmitt and decides that if she’s going to see that comfort it will be as Hillary. The scene is intense, visceral and cathartic. There’s even more intensity when Atticus returns to the boarding house and discovers Ji-Ah is there talking with Leti. Even before any of the characters speak, you can feel everything that’s been said and its emotions on their faces.
One of the best and most tragic aspects of the episode is the fact that everything Diana is going through is ignored or dismissed by everyone else including Atticus and Leti. It’s a testament to how wrapped up in their own crap the characters are that they ignore Diana who they started off looking for and her need for help is truncated by their agendas.
Atticus and Montrose share a moment that is revelatory for the characters as they work through their past and Atticus tells him what he knows about the future.
One of the other truly disturbing aspects of the episode are the demons hunting Diana throughout the episode. They are carved from the racist depictions of black children and they are disturbing to look at both as monsters and as depictions of how people of color were viewed.
The episode ends with one of the most beautifully satisfying and brutal moments in the series, but there is still a shadow hanging over these characters and Diana especially. This episode moves everything and everyone forward in delightful fashion and Misha Green directs it with style and energy. This is one of the best episodes of the series so far and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.