Recap: Travel Across Space and Time in ‘Lovecraft Country’ Season 1, Episode 7: “I Am.”

9 Min Read
Courtesy of HBO

Note: This recap contains mentions of racially motivated violence against Black individuals that can be disturbing or triggering. For a deeper look at the historical basis that provides context for the events described and shown in the series, you can listen to HBO’s Lovecraft Country companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio hosted by Ashley C. Ford and Shannon Houston.

Courtesy of HBO

The episode opens with Hippolyta attempting to make the no-longer-missing orrery work. As she tinkers with it, we flashback to three days prior when her and Dee found their way to the destroyed Ardham. While there, Hippolyta finds a scrap of Dee’s comic she gave to George. Back in the present time, Hippolyta figures out how to start the orrery. It opens to reveal a key, a quote, and coordinates.

Christina shows Ruby what happened with William, and he, along with the real Hillary, lie dead and drained of blood in hospital beds, but Christina didn’t kill them. She tells Ruby that her father wouldn’t let her join the Order, so she turned to William, soon realizing she had untapped potential, leading to the creation of the transformation potion. Ruby demands the full truth, and Christina mentions it involves Ruby’s family.

Leti has a nightmare of Ardham burning down while Hanna stands in the doorway, eerily similar to Atticus’. Her dream, however, also suggests Leti may be pregnant. She startles awake and goes to find Atticus, who’s translated about half the Language of Adam. They discuss their mutual nightmare and realize they may be able to find the Book of Names in its entirety by learning more information about Atticus’ mother.

Montrose wakes up and finds Sammy, who spent the night, making breakfast. Montrose, however, only finds things to complain about, frustrating Sammy. They start to argue and Sammy decides to leave. Montrose goes to stop him, and when they enter the hallway, Atticus and Leti are heading towards them, noticing Montrose holding Sammy’s hand. Sammy soon leaves. Leti and Atticus stay behind, and Atticus is shocked and upset. He throws an insult at Montrose, deeply hurting him before storming off. Leti stays and gets the information about Atticus’ mother, learning she and a cousin (Ethel) survived the Tulsa massacre, along with a family friend in St. Louis who may have more information.

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Hippolyta prepares to leave on another road trip, this time following the orrery coordinates. Atticus and Leti arrive, hoping to borrow the car to go to St. Louis. This leads to Atticus mentioning the bus and Leti choosing to stay. She goes to apologize to Ruby about the money debacle, still not knowing where the money for the house really came from.

Atticus arrives in St. Louis at Ms. Osberta’s, the family friend. He asks how Ms. Osberta knew Ethel, and their conversation leads into Atticus inquiring about the Book of Names. Ms. Osberta tells him that everything, except for a photo album, was destroyed in Tulsa. When they look through the album, Atticus notices a woman with a birthmark that matches one he has. A little later that evening at Hippolyta’s, Ruby asks Leti to taste something she’s cooking, but Leti gets queasy, further hinting at a potential pregnancy. She rushes to the bedroom where she finds the orrery. She calls Atticus about it, telling him it means Hippolyta knows they lied about George and that’s where she’s headed. Ruby overhears the whole conversation.

Hippolyta arrives at an observatory in Mayfield, discovering Hiram’s machine. While she gets it up and running, two cops show up. She hides, but they find her, and Atticus gets there before they can cause her too much harm. Meanwhile, an interdimensional portal opens up while they fight. One cop is thrown into the portal, and the other is shot dead. While Hippolyta and Atticus process what happened, the portal sucks them both in. Hippolyta finds herself on a different planet (and probably different dimension), and two futuristic beings appear and take her away.

Courtesy of HBO

Hippolyta wakes to find herself laying on a table in an all-white room, her wrists pulsing with a strange glowing implant. A woman wearing a similar futuristic uniform as the other two comes to check on her. When Hippolyta asks what she is, the woman simply responds, “I am.” Hippolyta wants to leave, but the woman tells her she’s not in prison, clarifying exactly nothing. Hippolyta tries to talk herself through what’s happening. The woman returns, again telling Hippolyta she’s not in prison. She asks Hippolyta where she wants to be, and Hippolyta says she wants to be in France with Josephine Baker. Then, poof. To France she goes.

She arrives at a theater where Josephine Baker is performing, finding she’s part of the dance line. She’s confused at first but soon discovers her own rhythm. A montage of Hippolyta adjusting to her new life ensues, as she becomes a regular part of the show and befriends the other women, including Josephine. Hippolyta confides to Josephine that she found a new type of freedom. She airs her frustrations and anger with white people and herself, soon saying, “I am Hippolyta,” triggering another transport.

Now, Hippolyta is part of a tribe of African women training to be warriors to fight for their true freedom, and she soon becomes just as fierce as the rest of them. They take on an army of white men and win, and Hippolyta gives a passionate speech before moving to her next destination, this time naming herself as George’s wife. She wakes up next to him, excitedly telling him about her adventures. He mentions her still naming herself as his wife, and her excitement dissipates. She admits she was angry with him and describes how she kept shrinking herself and he let her. He apologizes, wanting her to be as big as she can. She smiles, names herself as a discoverer, and transports again, taking George with her.

Courtesy of HBO

The two arrive at a planet entirely different than any other place Hippolyta has visited. As they explore, the words of Jazz musician and poet Sun Ra play over them. Hippolyta once more encounters the woman from her first trip, but this time, she appears to Hippolyta as a celestial being full of warmth and support for Hippolyta’s journey. She offers Hippolyta a place in this new society. As tempting as it is, Hippolyta declines, saying Dee needs her, and she disappears once more. This time, though, Atticus is tossed out of the portal and Hippolyta is nowhere in sight. Sirens go off in the background, and Atticus leaves. The body of the cop is still in the observatory, his blood pooling around one of Dee’s comics.

Lovecraft Country airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, streaming on HBO Max.

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By Julia
Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.
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