Lovecraft Country has gotten off to a roaring start thanks to powerhouse performances from Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, and Courtney B. Vance. In the second episode of the HBO series, fans learn more about the mysterious blondes in the towering estate while becoming embroiled in a nefarious plot involving Tic’s father.
Spoilers for the “Whitey’s On The Moon” episode follows, so proceed with caution.
We left our heroic trio in the last episode happening upon a mysterious house in Ardham, Mass. thought to be the location of Atticus “Tic” Freeman’s father, Montrose. Much of the group’s journey was fraught with night terrors and the racist environment of the times, and they narrowly escaped the clutches of the vampiric mole-like beasts that gave chase in the woods.
The sprawling grounds of the Ardham estate and the resplendent beauty inside was showcased in humorous fashion in the opening segment of the latest episode, which featured Tic, Leti, and Uncle George dancing to The Jeffersons theme song while nearly every need and personal comforts were met in this foreboding place. Tic appears to be the only person of the three to find that detail suspicious, and also appears to be the only person to remember what happened to them just the night before.
William, the man who greeted the group initially, informs them that their presence at Ardham Lodge was requested and expected. It is revealed that the lodge was built by Titus Braithwite, a founder of a group of wizards known as The Order of the Ancient Dawn. Titus Braithhite, who was a slave-owner, attempted to open the gates to the garden of Eden but destroyed the original home by a fire. The estate that exists in the current setting of the show is learned to be a replica.
Tic’s bloodline is directly tied to the Braithwhite after it is shared that the lone survivor of the blaze was a slave by the name of Hanna, who carried Titus Braitwhite’s child. Samuel Braithwhite, the current leader of the Order, hopes to channel the opening of the Garden of Eden through Tic’s mystic bloodline all in a quest to seek immortality. Apparently, this plot to lure the trio to Ardham was orchestrated by Samuel’s daughter Christina, another ghostly-pale blond with mysterious intentions.
With Christina lifting a spell that robbed Uncle George and Leti of their memories, they all come rushing back but it comes at the cost of zany hallucinations that drops a bombshell that Uncle George most likely is Tic’s father after dreaming of dancing with his nephew’s mother, Dora. In Leti’s dream, she reveals her love to a man she believes to be Tic but is actually the serpent from the Garden of Eden, and there’s an R-rated revelation that will shock some.
Tic’s dream shows him fighting off a solider from the Korean War he recently returned from, and the woman is one from the dream he had in the first episode in a field of soldiers and aliens clashing. The violent fight between Tic and the woman ends with him choking her to death, which leaves him reeling in horror. All of this occurs while white guests of the Braithwhites and men of the Order gaze upon the trio living out these nightmares.
During a dinner featuring men of the Order, one that Leti was not allowed to attend, Uncle George rattles off that he too is of an ancient order of men, the Prince Hall Masons. A brief lesson in masonry is provided, including a bit of thumbing his nose at the white men frowning upon TIc and Uncle George due to their race. Ahead of this Christina revealed something akin to jealousy of not being a member of the Order due to her being a woman but it’s clear she has a connection with Tic that has yet to develop.
Gil Scott-Heron’s “Whitey On The Moon” spoken-word piece from 1970 is played during the ceremony that Tic reluctantly agrees to, if for no reason to uncover the mystery of his missing father. However, Samuel’s chanting and spell-casting are overtaken by Tic, who conjures a reversal so powerful that it reverses the spell. And yes, Montrose Freeman, played by Michael K. Williams, is sprung from a dungeon cell that the group first visited and realized they’re surrounded by racist white folks with a distaste, or taste, for their kind.
We’re clearly missing some bits as we’re getting a little long in our recap but in short, Leti is shot, as is Uncle George, and the episode ends with the loss of a beloved character with so much more to offer. We’ll let Twitter fill in the rest of the missing blanks as so much happened in this episode alone that we’d need to cover it in two posts.
Check out the reactions to episode two of Lovecraft Country below.