Last year, HBO premiered their horror series Lovecraft Country, adapted from the Matt Ruff novel of the same name. The show was a critical success, earning several award nods. It delved into racial tensions in the mid-50s, brought shocking body horror, and excellently crafted characters. One such character who pops on screen is Letitia “Leti” Lewis, played by the one and only Jurnee Smollett. Throughout the season, Leti — through Smollett’s incredible acting — proves time and time again why she demands our attention. Read on for a few of our favorite Leti moments!
Know Her Name
Arguably one of Leti’s most iconic lines comes from the first episode of the season. As she, Atticus, and George travel to Ardham, they stop at a diner. They quickly realize they’re not welcome, and bolt, Letitia taking over driving. As George panics, he calls Leti “girl,” prompting her to say, “My name’s not ‘girl,’ it’s Letitia f*cking Lewis!”
“Take It Back”
In episode 3, after successfully moving into her new home, Leti throws a party to celebrate (and to spite her white neighbors). Everything goes downhill, though, when her neighbors increase the blaring car horns. In return, Leti grabs a baseball bat, heads outside, and begins smashing her neighbors’ cars, knocking the bricks tied to the horns off, effectively stopping the noise. The scene is set to the rather upbeat but fitting “Take It Back” by Dorinda Clark-Cole.
Leti Lewis, Exorcist
Later in the same episode, Leti and Atticus combat their ghost problem, performing an intense ritual led by a woman named Martine. At first, the ritual seems to work, but the spirits are relentless. Soon, though, the real source of their pain is uncovered. In a highly emotionally charged scene, Leti and the spirits work together to exorcise the evil spirit, Leti (and Jurnee!!) throwing her all into the ritual, which finally works.
Leti’s Gotta Have Faith
One scene later in the season that stands out for me is when Leti goes to the church to pray. In an earlier episode, she and Atticus talk, and mentions her mother’s faith and it how it never really translated to her. Not only is this scene in the church an intense moment of vulnerability that’s not usually seen from her, it also showed her willingness to do whatever she can to protect her loved ones, considering faith wasn’t necessarily something she held much of until that point.
Along the same vein (and the same episode), we later learn a protection spell Christina placed on Leti in the church worked. Leti and Ruby are at home, gunfire raining through their house. As bullets fly, Leti realizes this, and she sits up from where she was previously ducking for cover, watching the bullets destroy the house. Ruby shouts at her to stay down, but Leti knows that, in this moment, she is untouchable.
Walking Through Fire
For a large portion of the show, Atticus and Leti’s energy was focused on tracking down the Book of Names. They came close a few times, but it was always just out of reach – until the penultimate episode of the season. Leti, Atticus, and Montrose travel back in time to Tulsa, Oklahoma 1921, the day the massacre began, for the book. As the massacre starts, Montrose and Atticus are ready to go back home, but Leti is still missing … and then Montrose spots her. We then see Ms. Letitia F*cking Lewis walking through literal fire, in the middle of a massacre, clutching the Book of Names tightly against her chest, a set determination on her face.
What were some of your favorite Leti Lewis moments? Let us know in the comments! Stream Lovecraft Country now on HBO Max. Find the rest of our coverage on the show here.