Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched the latest episode of HBO's Lovecraft Country.
In Lovecraft Country's previous installment, Aunjanue Ellis' Hippolyta took an unprecedented trip across time and space to recognize and celebrate her true self, and she was sadly still missing in action during the events of Episode 8, titled "Jig-a-Bobo." Fortunately, creator Misha Green & Co. gave viewers lots of weird and wild moments to mull over in her absence, though it's rather un-fortunate that Hippolyta and George's daughter Diana became the central target of this episode's most evil forces.
Let's hop on our bicycles and pedal straight into the belly of the beast to go through all the WTF moments that went down in Episode 8. For those who may have missed our earlier Lovecraft Country features, you can check out the most baffling scenes from Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, and Episode 7.
Diana Getting Cursed
Having discovered Diana's Orithyia Blue comic book beneath that cop's corpse from last week's episode, Mac Brandt's über-heinous Captain Seamus Lancaster accosted the young girl in an alleyway as the public mourned Emmett "Bobo" Till's murder, itself a real-world tragedy. Using dark magic that caused Jada Harris' Diana to hallucinate maggots and flies, Lancaster smeared his sticky saliva on Diana's face, which was surely part of the curse, but was still grosser than grossy gross. More real-life discomfort set in when Diana exclaimed "I can't breath!" while being held back by the other cop. Thankfully, the encounter ended without more physical torture, though even that might have been more preferable to the mental mindfuck spawned by those roaming eyes on the Cream of Wheat sign as Diana ran away. I think I got goosebumps on the inside of my body from that one.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
After that creepy Cream of Wheat dude, the next sign of Diana's personal haunting came inside Montrose's bathroom, where his edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin came alive in the most frightful way. At first, the already questionable cover image featured the seemingly happy characters Topsy and Eva in front of a mirror. But as Diana grew more stressed, the book's cover showcased a far more ghoulish and murderous version of Topsy sporting a purely wicked grin and long, sharp fingernails, and then it mysteriously fell off of its shelf, and all to a stress-inducing version of A.F. Winnemore's "Stop Dat Knocking at de Door." If only that was the last time Topsy would appear...
Ruby's Body-Morphing Orgasm
Ruby and Christina's relationship, as it were, managed to produce yet another completely bonkers and gory AF moment. With character motivations being debatable, Ruby's sponge bath turned more lustful after she downed some of the potion and had sex with "William" as her white counterpart "Hillary." It was already interesting enough to consider the scene's race/gender elements just in that context, but then Lovecraft Country took things up a notch by having Ruby break through her caucasian exterior during what I have to assume is one of the bloodiest climaxes ever put to film. I hope Christina has an endless supply of mattress covers, or at least some truly magical laundry detergent.
A Nightmare On Topsy And Bopsy Street
To say it right away, absolutely everything about Kaelynn Gobert-Harris' Topsy and Bianca Brewton's Bopsy gets A+ accolades for unbridled WTF freakiness. Starting with their sanity-breaking backwards-skipping appearance at the train station, Topsy and Bopsy rather immediately became Lovecraft Country's most nightmarish entities. To that end, I can't imagine it was completely coincidental that the episode featured a trio of sing-song jump-ropers while also giving the two creatures long, sharp fingernails, since those two visual references easily brought to mind Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street films. Diana's final scene, which we'll get to in a bit, was also reminiscent of that dream-centric franchise. Maybe I was just looking for any reason possible to not focus on Topsy and Bopsy when they were on screen.
The Lovecraft Country Book
When Tic emerged from the time-traveling portal in "I Am," I thought his Lovecraft Country book was meant to have been penned by Courtney B. Vance's George Freeman. However, the real story is enjoyably weirder. Tic revealed that he'd actually traveled to the future, where the novel was to be written by Tic's son, who would be named after the late uncle. Wildly enough, Tic reveals the book's story about their family history, with certain changes that match up with Matt Ruff's real-world novel that the TV show is based on, such as Christina being a male (named Caleb), George having survived the trip to Ardham, and Diana being a boy named Horace. I love this kind of meta shit.
Christina's Assisted Suicide Attempt
After having a testy conversation with Ruby about their respective feelings on Emmett Till's murder and its aftermath, Christina attempted the ultimate form of vicariousness by paying two white dudes to basically echo Till's murder with her body. In this truly uncomfortable scene, the men brutally beat Christina to a bloody pulp before wrapping barb wire around her neck, shooting her in the head, and sending her body to the bottom of the river. (Seeing her slide backwards off of the dock offered an added chill, too.) Of course, Christina didn't actually die like Till did, since she is protected by magic. Instead, she emerged from the water with a hysterical mix of sobbing and laughter, making it totally unclear what her next move is going to be.
Diana's Big Showdown
After being chased throughout the episode, Diana went on the offensive by luring Topsy and Bopsy into a closed store for a showdown. It's not entirely clear how well Diana was doing by her lonesome, as it appeared she was just clobbering the two glow-eyed ghouls with a pipe without causing any lasting damage. But Montrose tipped the scales away from Diana with his well-intentioned embrace to calm her down, allowing Topsy and Bopsy to sink their claws in, causing visible wounds to appear on Diane's arms that Montrose couldn't possibly understand. This felt like another quasi-nod to the Elm Street films, where Freddy's dream attacks would simultaneously appear on victims' sleeping bodies in the outside world. Here's hoping Montrose quickly figures out a way to reverse the situation by the time Episode 9 starts up.
The Return Of The Shoggoth
After settling some of their personal issues, Tic and Montrose attempted a magical team up in placing a protection spell on Tic. Though neither man thought it was successful, the spell's true effect became clear at the end of the episode during the cops' most unlawful shootout at Leti's house. The very same scene where viewers also witnessed Leti's newfound invincibility. Just when it looked like Tic would become another dead Black man at the hands of law enforcement, a Shoggoth suddenly burst from the ground and saved him. It was the monster breed's first appearance since Episode 2, and the situation mirrored the beasts' arrival in the series premiere, in that the Shoggoth totally mauled all of the cops in the area to stop them from harming Tic. It even threw one over the house, which was hilariously over-the-top in the face of all the heightened suspense.
Since we apparently don't have to worry too much about Tic and Leti's survival anymore – yeah, right – now all of our hopeful attention can pivot to Hippolyta, even though she clearly seemed happier on her adventures than she did while in mourning. With only two episodes left to go in Season 1, Lovecraft Country airs Sunday nights on HBO at 9:00 p.m. ET.
While waiting to find out what happens next, stay tuned to CinemaBlend and stay current with our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way in the near future.