‘Lovecraft Country’ Episode 2 Review: As Black Bodies Are Exploited For White Gain, More Questions Than Answers Are Revealed
Episode 2 of HBO’s spooky new series, Lovecraft Country, finds Tic, Leti, and Uncle George at the Ardham Lodge, taking in their new digs. While things are far less stressful than the previous episode at first glance, it becomes clear that something strange is going on at the estate, as well.
As the episode progresses, it’s revealed that Tic and his crew are at the center of a sinister plot that involves Tic’s body, magic spells, and an ancient fraternity that’s on a search for immortality.
Something suspicious is going on at Ardham Lodge
At the episode’s open, Leti and Uncle George are enjoying their new rooms. Leti is in love with her lavish wardrobe and George is immersed in the endless collection of books at his fingertips. However, Tic is on edge, easily seeing that things are too good to be true. It’s revealed that everyone’s mind has been wiped of the incident with the shoggoth monsters in the woods—except his.
After a run-in with a racist butcher, the crew agrees that something is up at the lodge. They also have a second encounter with 2 shoggoth monsters, but once again, Christina saves them from impending doom. As Tic, Leti, and George explore the lodge, George begins to suspect that the letter from Tic’s missing father was merely baiting them to arrive at the lodge.
Magic spells are working against the crew
Tic realizes that the reason Leti and George can’t remember the previous night’s adventure is because there’s a spell in place that wipes the memory of anyone who sees a shoggoth. It’s unclear why Tic is able to remember, but apparently he’s been chosen for a special ritual taking place the following morning, so that may explain things. He demands that the spell be removed, and soon all of the horrible memories rush back to Leti and George.
Things become confusing when each member of the crew begins to hallucinate, unable to differentiate reality from imagination. Leti imagines she’s hooking up with Tic, George has a romantic encounter with a woman from his past, and Tic gets into a bloody fight with a Korean soldier. The “Sons of Adam”, a secret society inhabiting the Ardham Lodge, watches on as they all engage in their twisted fantasies.
Shortly after, they exit their rooms, and William (Jordan Patrick) invites Tic and George to a black-tie dinner. At the dinner, it’s revealed that Tic is a direct descendant of Titus, the founder of the “Sons of Adam.” George and Tic capitalize on this and use a loophole in the society’s bylaws to force every other member to leave the dinner except for Samuel (Tony Goldwyn), Christina’s father and the leader of the society. Flustered, Samuel leaves the dinner, and Tic and George run to the butcher’s quarters to find his father. They remove a boulder from the building and free Tic’s father, Montrose (Michael K. Williams), who reveals that him being captured was indeed a trap.
The crew’s failed escape leads to a sacred ritual
Attempting to escape Ardham Lodge, the crew drives off in a stolen vehicle, but are stopped when they drive into an invisible barrier. As they exit the vehicle Leti and George are both shot by Samuel, and they are taken back to the lodge.
Back at the lodge, Tic is washed, clothed, and told that he must participate in a ceremony designed to bridge Samuel with the immortal, biblical world of Adam. Before the ceremony begins, we’re shown Leti, who has had her gunshot wound miraculously healed, and George, who lies on a bed in pain, talking to his brother. They unveil the fact that Tic may not actually be Montrose’s son after all, although Montrose demands that Tic not be told.
The next morning the ritual begins; electricity surges through Tic’s body and light shoots from his chest, opening a portal to another dimension. However, things go horribly wrong, and the lodge begins to collapse. Samuel and other members of the fraternity are turned into stone, and Tic, led by a mysterious Black woman, is barely able to escape the building as it tumbles down. In an emotional scene, Tic breaks down as he finds out George has died in the backseat of their getaway vehicle.
Tic’s hidden ability symbolizes the power of Black bodies and how they’re exploited for white gain
Throughout the entire episode, it’s made clear that Tic’s relation to Titus makes his blood a powerful tool for the impending ritual. Ironically, as much as he’s looked down upon by the “Sons of Adam” for being Black, they need him and his sacred body to complete their quest for immortality. This need is an excellent metaphor for the historical exploitation of Black bodies, especially in regard to their role in America’s development.
While Black Americans have always been portrayed as less valuable than their white counterparts, they’ve played an integral role in building our nation, powering America’s earliest economy, and bringing valuable innovation to its culture. Whether the example be slave labor or the numerous uncredited advancements in technology and art, Black Americans have always been—and continue to be—exploited by white Americans for the advancement of our nation.
Black Americans do not have the luxury of knowing their lineage or history
Initially, Tic has no clue that he is a direct descendant of Titus, the founder of the “Sons of Adam.” He’s also unaware of the fact that his father Montrose may not actually be his father at all. These seem like simple truths on the surface, but they speak to a larger issue in the Black community, as well.
The majority of Black Americans have no idea what their ethnic origins are. Due to the slave trade, many Black Americans are unable to identify which country their family originated from, and many have no record of their family lineage beyond 4 or 5 generations. Just as Tic roams the nation unaware of his familial identity, many Black Americans walk the streets of America clueless to their own history and historical background.
Episode 2 of ‘Lovecraft Country’ leaves viewers wondering what’s next for the traumatized crew
The heartbreaking ending to episode 2 of Lovecraft Country raises a lot of questions. Without Uncle George, how will the crew navigate the country? Where do they go, now that they’ve found Tic’s father? Is Montrose really even Tic’s father? Most importantly, what is their mission, now that they know there are lodges all over the country participating in twisted, magical rituals?
The only way to find out is to keep watching.