Major spoilers below for those who haven't yet watched the second episode of Lovecraft Country.
Anyone who marveled at the unique weirdness of Lovecraft Country's series premiere wouldn't have been out of line for thinking the HBO horror series would pull back the reins for a more subdued second installment. Yet, "Whitey's on the Moon" was every bit as bonkers as its predecessor, if not more so, as it further developed the show's central narrative and characters. One oddball element that didn't make the list: Gil Scott-Heron's spoken-word poem "Whitey on the Moon" playing over the episode's mystifying climax, which was unpredictably perfect.
Join me once more as I gleefully go through all the most baffling scenes and moments that turned my brain upside-down and inside-out. Now let's start movin' on down to our first WTF entry from Lovecraft Country's second episode.
The Jefferson's Theme Song
Though the series premiere ended with the central trio arriving at the Braithwhite mansion covered in blood, Episode 2 immediately left all that mess behind in the opening seconds, thanks to Ja'Net DuBois' oh-so-familiar voice singing The Jeffersons' theme song "Movin' On Up." As viewers would later find out, both Courtney B. Vance's George and Jurnee Smollett's Leti had lost all memory of the previous monster-filled evening, and both characters found themselves overwhelmingly impressed with their rooms in the mansion, with George surrounded by his favorite books, and Leti finding wardrobe full of outfits that fit perfectly. It was all too good to be true, of course, but for a few culture-clashing minutes there, it felt like everyone had made it up that hill.
Everything About Christina Braithwhite
After first showing up to save Tic, Leti and George from highway racists, Abbey Lee's Christina Braithwhite once again protected the trio from harm in the woods. It turns out she's the one with the magical whistle that sends the monsters away, and she's also the Bible-quoting daughter of Tony Goldwyn's Samuel Braithwhite, the egotistical leader of a freemason-esque group called the Sons of Adam. It's clear that Christina has a helping hand out for Tic & Co., while still following her father's orders (at least before he died), but how will she remain in these characters' lives after everything that went on in this episode?
Samuel's Liver And Onions, Hold The Onions
Who else agrees with me that Tic should have hauled major ass as soon as he saw Samuel getting his liver removed via impromptu tabletop surgery? Sure, Christina's nonchalance was a small sign that things weren't too out of the ordinary, but seriously, how many times could she have seen something like that happening? In any case, it was revealed later that Samuel's liver had been "prepared" for consumption by the Sons of Adam, as part of his wild plan to bring the Garden of Eden to the modern day. It is insane to me that Samuel's entire storyliver, er, storyline got told in a single episode.
The Cow-Monster Birth...Thing
What. The. Fuck. Though. For. Real. Because. What. Is. Happening. Some unidentified kid summoned Christina to go to the barn, where she assisted in the breech birth of what appeared to be a baby Shoggoth, only it came from the body of a normal cow. So did one of the monsters copulate with one of the fertile bovines, or was this somehow done via artificial insemination? (That concept alone is worth its own article.) The birth seemed to be pretty noteworthy among those in the barn, but it wasn't fully clear what was meant when one of the hands asked if Christina had ever done that before. Did he mean delivering a monster-cow hybrid, or just a normal calf? Also, why was she treating the wormlike beast with such motherly affection?
Tic's Waking War Nightmare
While inside the mansion, Tic, Leti and George all dealt with manifestations of their subconscious thoughts. George had a peaceful visit from Tic's mother Dora, who was clearly his lover at one point, while Leti started getting down and dirty with an entity she believed to be Tic. More interesting, though, was Tic's nightmare situation, in which he got into a major brawl with a female soldier presumably from the Korean War.
It was quite the well-choreographed fight, which was awesome, but the most WTF part of it all is that the soldier was played by Jamie Chung, who appeared in the premiere's opening sequence as the red-stained woman who descended from the UFO. After normalcy was restored, Tic mentioned to the others that something horrible happened in the war, though George wouldn't let him get a full confession out. Did he kill that woman? Did he love her?
Umm, Tic Might Be George's Son?
In a super-quick turn of events, the group discovered Michael K. Williams' mansion-escapee Montrose Freeman, and then Leti and George got shot. While Leti survived, George knew his time was running short (more on that lower), so he tried having a final-hour conversation with Montrose about Tic's true parentage, which is apparently up for debate. Given Montrose's angrily defensive reaction, it seems like the brothers had gone down that topical route before, which basically proved that George did indeed have a presumed affair with Dora.
It's clear that Tic takes after George in terms of his literary fandom and the way he isn't instinctively an abusive ass like Montrose is/was. But could George actually be Tic's father, and if so, how would that revelation change Lovecraft Country's narrative?
That Whole Ritual Scene
In most other shows, Lovecraft Country's epic third-act sequence would have happened in the finale, but somehow this mega-bananas situation played out before audiences had a chance to fully grasp what the hell Samuel Braithwhite's plans were. It turns out Tony Goldwyn's self-supremacist was kind of a McGuffin motivator for Tic to become one with his heritage. Power to Lovecraft Country for that effects-heavy sequence (set to the aforementioned "Whitey on the Moon" poem), which temporarily opened up a portal back to the Garden of Eden as Tic became enveloped by the dark energy.
However, it all went to shit for Samuel and the Sons of Adam once Tic inexplicably caught sight of his pregnant ancestor. He raged out and turned everyone else in the room to dust – a really cool visual – before causing the whole damned mansion to collapse in a massive heap. I guess there's no point in getting the cops involved for those whackadoo cultists, but what about Christina and the farmhands and anyone else who lives there?
Considering Leti's gunshot wound magically disappeared, I totally expected the same to happen with George by the end of the episode. Yes, even after his conversation with Montrose that we talked about earlier. Surely something happened during Tic's ritual situation that would have also allowed George to survive his injury, right? RIGHT? Sadly, no, that wasn't the case at all.
While George could always resurface down the road in flashbacks or dream sequences, it's a big blow for Lovecraft Country to lose the magnificence of Courtney B. Vance so early on in its first season. Not that the rest of the cast isn't equally brilliant, and to that end, I can't wait to see Aunjanue Ellis get more screen time as she mourns George's death. But still, damn.