‘Lovecraft Country’ Recap: The Skin I’m In

Review of this week Lovecraft country, “Strange Case,” as soon as I’m finished Little orphan annie Radio puzzle…

“I enjoyed the rest of my day, using only the pose I needed: whitewash.” -Manual

Is whitewashing a superpower in itself?

This is a question asked and answered by the brilliant “Strange Case”, in which Ruby transforms into a white woman and learns that it is easier than “Hillary Davenport” to live her life inside her body Is only

First, however, the hour is a fantastically gorgeous piece of body terror. As anyone who has not witnessed all the adventures, magical and otherwise, that her sister has had for the past four episodes, Ruby is shocked and horrified to wake up early in the morning and face her own reflection – Especially not with William around to explain what has happened to him. After being “rescued” by a couple of racist white cops, she believes she is in danger among her South Side neighbors, Ruby-a-Hillary is passed on to William, posing as her respective husband Does. Meanwhile, the borrowed body begins to shatter and shatter, even as it is roaming in it. The sound design alone is incredibly macro, and then it all becomes more churning as we see things moving under her skin, then William drags her to a rug on the floor by her ankles, and her body. Dips a carved knife in it.

And all of this is much lighter, bloodier and bolder than what is coming.

It wouldn’t be clear until after the hour that William wasn’t attacking Ruby at that moment, but simply cut off Hillary’s rotting husk as the spell wore on. (It won’t even be clear until William is William later. But we’ll get back to that.) At that moment, we’re looking at the seeming attack from afar, but we’re completely into Ruby’s POV . : Disappointed, frustrated and horrified at what is happening.

Newman as Ruby’s ego Hillary.

Eli Joshua Ade / HBO

After an explanation from William (the mad scientist whose ghost caused Letty so much trouble in the Haunted House episode) about Hiram Epstein’s work, Ruby begins to take advantage of this new gift. She starts small with an afternoon in the park and a free ice cream, which she only gets to be white

. She then returns to Marshall Field, where Paul’s creepy manager not only hires him immediately, but gives him the status of an assistant manager rather than the salesgirl job Ruby once expected. At the risk of comparing every other episode to an Eddie Murphy routine, the free ice cream bit – and Hillary’s feats as it is commonly understood – is classic


The short film “White Like Me,” where Murphy used a team of makeup artists to pose as a white man. At one point, a convenience store clerk forbade him to pay for a newspaper, as there are no black people around to see the transaction. There is nothing special about Hillary. She is simultaneously and confident, but it seems that Paul and the other characters on the show respond to her elemental whiteness, saying instead that she is a bang like Marilyn Monroe or swell as Lucille Ball. . She is like the Lim Pat Boone cover of “Tutti Frutti”, which other salesgirls listen to in the break room, as opposed to the Little Richard original we hear later in the episode: almost all of which is unique and soulful about Ruby Are, they have been snatched away. , Yet this version is inherently more acceptable to white people, as they identify themselves in it and see Ruby / Richard as foreign novelties (note that the girls are the only black salesgirl, Tamara, they find the South To show how excited) sides), the worst foreign invaders. As long as Ruby needs her face, this spell never lasts

Burst Opens out of a job interview with Paul – But she casts herself in the role of Hillary, who is becoming increasingly anxious day by day. (However, Tamara’s scolding plays less as her complexing bigotry, as it is tougher than any part of her city whose work would apply to another black people for such a job.) Ultimately, it stopped being fun. it happens. . First, William Ruby (as himself) goes to the undercover as a maid at the lodge to get an item from Captain Lancaster’s office, where he encounters a tongue-tied man bound in the closet, whispering for help. Does. Then, during a visit to her neighborhood Marshall field staff, she spots Paul trying to rape Tamara in an alleyway. Tamara is able to fight him and go back inside, but this last seems to be about the life of Ruby Hillary Davenport – or, at least, her job at the department store. He has walked a mile in the shoes of this white woman, and eventually he wants to use them as a weapon, repeatedly stabbing a bandaged Paul and with a stiletto heel as punishment for his sins . She attacks him several times to make Hillary’s skin slip from the middle ground, to ensure that Paul realizes that she was a black woman who hurt and humiliated him terribly.

I think anyone could ask how Ruby did it every time she would be a blood-clothed naked black woman, but where would that be fun? In general, the less you think about logistics, the better Lovecraft country goes to work.

As long as Ruby considers herself powerful when she can pose as Hillary, she is still a woman in a society run by men. In the episode’s last big twist, it is revealed that magic can be used as well, as “William” suggests Christina was all along. The clues for this were hidden in clear sight: the two never appeared together, questions about the nature of their relationship, and Christina complained to Atticus about her inappropriate disposition to force her gender out of power. Christina’s bursting out of William is a disgusting cherry at the top of this wonderful nausea-inducing pact – at one point, you can see her fryler arms and hands moving along her back and her limbs – and a reminder that That you think doesn’t matter. Standing on the ladder of society, there is always someone on a high rig trying to kick you down.

The “weird case” is not for the faint of heart, or stomach, but it can be the best, most memorable

Lovecraft country

Episode so far.

Williams as Montreux.Eli Joshua Ade / HBO Some other thoughts:

* When Ruby is walking around the city as Hillary, Sammy the bartender – Montrose’s boyfriend – as suggested in the previous episode – assumes a distinct identity of her own by participating in the drag queen show. It is remarkable how many different aspects of the 20th century black experience that the show is able to cover, with the horror genre somehow tying it all together. This is true even when we get a subplot like this, which seems completely non-magical, at least at the moment. Again, there is definitely some magic in Michael Kenneth Williams’ performance, as Montrose is able to ease his usual inner self-senility and let loose with Sammy and the other drag queens on the show. * Misha Green (sharing writing credits with Jonathan Kidd and Sonya Vinton here) opposes translating the word “DIE” from the pages at the end on the episode, not on William / Christina’s discovery, then a woman (her ex Calls to) Flame from Korea?) Appears to know about what is happening. This is a misleading scene (Lovecraft

Much stronger on emotional clarity than the narrative type), and thus ends up having a far more anticlimatic note than an incredible ruby ​​snarling, “You’ve been William all this fucking time?”

* When Ruby hides in Lancaster’s office closet, she gets a blurry look with her shirt, and it certainly looks like she has implanted a black man’s torso over his body, Frankenstein -Style. We will see if there is more information about that story on the road or if it is just a minor detail and literal bit of appropriation, then what happens in it Get out. Ruby is enjoying the benefits of fair skin at the same time that Lancaster is secretly using black skin for her own nefarious purposes. * Hillary is a more prominent and complex role for Jamie Newman than Dale the racist dog woman was back in the second episode. Dale’s re-use of the form suggests that Spell borrows images of people whom Christina already knows, which would mean that Lancaster actually killed the real William to handle the lodge, and Christina Has been impersonating her ever since.* Dr. on TV set in Paul’s office. The story of Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as Ruby attacks him from a 1955 episode of the CBS anthology series. Climax! . Called later

Climax Mystery Theater The show is most famous for featuring the first filmed version of the James Bond book, which has a version casino Royale

“Jimmy Bond” starring Barry Nelson. Like earlier newscasts about Kenyan locusts shedding their skin (which cuts off Hillary’s skin from William Ruby) plays, archival footage shows not only what is happening on screen, but us scenes from blood What provides a bit of feedback is already a very big hour of television. * Finally, using this week’s many out-of-the-box song choices, especially Oczake Shange’s selection from the 1976 Theater Peace for Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enough Sequence. Ruby as Hillary enjoys an ice cream cone. Other tunes: “Tonight, you believe in me,” by patience and prudence; “Love to Love” by Black Atlas; “Money,” by Cardi B (a fine selection for Hillary’s job at Marshall Field); “Bad Religion” by Frank Ocean with Montrose and Sammy’s sex scene; “Please Give Me Your Love,” by Robin Robinson, both Pat Toon and Little Richard’s versions of “Broken Frutti”; “My Baby Dear Darling,” by The Charms; “Lonely World,” by Moses Sumney; “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B; And, once again on the closing credits, the Alice Smith version of “Sinnerman”.