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.
In this week’s Lovecraft Country, the show explores the real-life horror of the murder of Emmett Till while expanding what we know about the motives of our leading characters. Dee begins to investigate what really happened to her mother and comes face to face with dark magic as Leti and Tic both look for ways to protect each other. As if that isn’t enough, an unexpected visitor arrives looking for Tic. Read on to find out what happened in “Jig-A-Bobo.”
Everyone is gathered for the funeral of Emmett “Bobo” Till after his lynching at a white mob’s hands. Ruby is worried about having Dee there, but both Tic and Montrose think it’s important she sees it. Leti wonders how she will tell Dee about Hippolyta when they suddenly realize she is missing. Dee wanders away and finds Captain Lancaster, who knows it was her comic Tic left at the observatory. Upon realizing she has no knowledge of magic and believes her mother is on a guide trip, Lancaster performs a spell on her before leaving her. When Leti goes home to find Dee, Ji-Ah is sitting in her living room.
Tic meets with Christina, wanting her to teach him some magic so he can protect himself and his family. He offers the key to Hiram’s time machine in a trade. Christina laughs, saying that a spell is a lot more than just words. He needs energy and intent. But she gives him a protection sigil, and he hands over the key. He asks what she needs the key for, and she says she’s going to become immortal on the equinox. Dee makes her way home and asks if her mother is dead, telling Montrose she knows everyone is lying to her. Montrose tells her he understands the anger she is feeling, that white people will always try to take away what matters to them. He says when they come after her, she needs to make them work for it. Dee then sneaks out to the train station, where two demon girls chase her. Ruby returns to the North Side, where she and Christina-as-William have sex as Ruby takes the metamorphosis potion. Tic returns to find Ji-Ah and Leti together.
Ji-Ah reveals the full truth about who she is. Tic wants to know how he dies, which Ji-Ah can see, but she says she can’t see his death. He asks her why she bothered to come if she wasn’t going to be able to give him answers, and Leti says it’s because Ji-Ah loves him before running off. Tic tells Ji-Ah to get out and that what they had wasn’t real. Leti tells Tic to get out, angry he didn’t tell her the truth about Korea. Tic says he thought he was protecting them, but now he has a real way to do it. He shows her the sigil, and Leti points out they can’t trust Christina. But Tic says he’s fighting for them.
Christina and Ruby discuss Emmett Till, with Ruby realizing Christina will never be able to understand her anger and pain due to her immense privilege. Ruby says she takes the potion because she doesn’t want to be a Black woman having sex with a white man. Christina admits she doesn’t care about the Black lives that have been lost. But she says Ruby is lying to herself about why she takes the metamorphosis potion to hide from her own desires. Dee finds Leti on the North Side but is forced to flee when she sees the demon girls again.
Tic and Montrose have a heart to heart, where Montrose reveals he only started being with men when Dora died. Montrose also shares the details of a horrific hate crime against a gay pastor that convinced him he could never fully be himself. Tic tells Montrose that Leti is pregnant, which he knows because he went to the future. He pulls out a book from the future that is written by his son, George.
Leti calls a meeting with Christina. The two discuss how magic and miracles are similar, and Leti asks if Christina wants to be a god like her father. Leti offers Christina the pages from the Book in exchange for Christina casting an invulnerability charm on Tic. Christina says she won’t do it for Tic, but she’ll cast a spell on Leti. Christina gives Leti the Mark of Cain, which Christina says can also heal someone.
Montrose is upset that Christina has the key, but Tic reveals the machine is broken, so the key is useless. But Montrose also says that the book written by George has some details changed: Christina is a man, Dee is a boy, and George is alive. It also says Christina will sacrifice Tic in five days, and he doesn’t know how to change it. Montrose says he will save him and his grandson.
Dee confronts Lancaster, who is responsible for the curse on her. He says he’ll lift it if she tells him where the orrery is, but she spits on him before running away. Tic and Montrose try the incantation, but it doesn’t work. In a strange attempt at understanding what Ruby told her earlier about pain, Christina has two men mimic Emmett Till’s death on her while she is invulnerable. She leaves the river hysterical, crying and laughing at once.
Ruby reveals to Leti that she knows everything, and Leti warns her not to trust Christina. Ruby says for right now, they benefit each other. What she really wants is to learn magic to create a life for herself. But outside is a massive police force led by Lancaster. He claims he received a tip about the Nation of Islam operating in the house, but the protection charm takes hold. He and the other officers open fire. The Mark protects Leti. Dee battles the demon girls with a lead pipe in her garage, with Montrose trying to restrain her since he can’t see them. Tic sees the attack on Leti’s house, and as the officers turn their guns on Tic, a shoggoth appears and shields him. It then kills Lancaster and all his men while Leti runs to Tic. As they embrace, expecting to be attacked, the shoggoth goes to Tic like a dog to its owner as the two look at it, shocked.
Lovecraft Country airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.