Lovecraft Country has managed to outdo itself each consecutive episode in its inaugural season, with its seventh episode putting a strong focus on Hippolyta. The latest entry, titled “I Am,” finally shows fans what the orrery can do, but there were other big reveals as well.
Hippolyta Freeman, the wife of George Freeman and aunt to Atticus “Tic” Freeman is played with exceptional grace and presence by actress Aunjanue Ellis. Hippolyta’s curiosity and doubts surrounding her husband’s death leads her to discover the secrets of the orrery, which Christina Braithwaite is in hot pursuit of in order to find missing pages of that pesky spellbook.
The show picks up right after Hippolyta’s drive up to Ardham to learn more about her husband’s mysterious death. Back home in Chicago, she’s seen figuring out the intricacies of the orrery that Christiana tried to obtain from Leti’s ghost house on the north side of the city using her superior mathematical and logic skills. After unlocking a set of coordinates housed secretly in the orrery, Hippolyta goes on a dimension-hopping adventure for the ages and happens upon an observatory that doubles as the time machine.
Much like Ruby, who also gets a bit of important camera time alongside Leti, Hippolyta has been muting herself in lieu of being a good wife and mother but dulling her vast array of possibilities. As she gets greeted by a pair of alien beings in a far-off world, she’s granted an ability to transcend time and wills herself to become a dancer with Josephine Baker’s troupe in France. From there, Hippolyta is part of a group of fierce African warrior women who confidently eliminate what appears to be American Confederate soldiers in a bloody melee.
The theme here is simple; Hippolyta, who reunites with George in an alternative timeline, confides in her husband that she shrunk herself to fit whatever image of a Black woman and mother should be due to the time period she finds herself in. With the orrery, she realizes how much more she could become and it should come to little surprise that her name and that of her daughter, Diana, will play into something far larger down the line.
Also in the episode, Leti and Tic figure out that the Book of Names is most likely still intact while Christina focuses her search on the missing pages. With the pair initially set off to borrow Woody The Car to drive down to St. Lous where Tic’s family might have a link to the spellbook, they’re told off by Hippolyta who sets off on her mission, leaving Tic to make the journey to St. Louis alone.
Back in Chicago, Ruby and Leti try to mend their broken bond as only sisters can, and a moment of tenderness is shifted radically when it appears that Leti’s shared dream with Tic reveals she’s actually carrying his child. Given that Tic’s bloodline is directly tied to the Sons of the Ancient Dawn Order, his progeny would be of high interest to the cult and the cunning Christina. It also seems as if Ruby is working for Christina for her own aims, perhaps drunken with the potential for magic to change her life for the better.
Early in the episode, Montrose Freeman is still wrestling with his own personal demons despite having a willing partner in Sam the bartender. However, Montrose, still wanting to hide who he is, isn’t sure how to proceed in the relationship, and that secrecy gets exposed as Tic and Leti happened upon the pair having an argument that confirmed the rumors Tree first spread. Angered by the revelation, Tic tries to reconcile his tough upbringing alongside his father’s true nature and struggles with it all.
In the show’s climax, Hippolyta, dressed as her daughter Diana’s Orinthia Blue comic character, is zipping around the universe alongside George and discovering new worlds via their intergalactic journeys. The scene is backed by the words of the late Jazz legend Sun Ra and his film, Space Is The Place. All of this happens as Tic, who first finds Hippolyta at the observatory and in danger of getting caught by two suspicious cops who, apparently, know more than they let on. The time rift that sucked them both in only spat out Tic, who then shoots and kills one of the officers who was seen carrying a copy of Diana’s comic book.
On Twitter, the reactions for “I Am” were favorable as expected and we’ve got those listed out below.