Review: Lovecraft Country Episode 3 – Holy Ghost

After the last two episodes, it was anybody’s guess (having forgotten how the book went) where the next episode was going to go. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that while Lovecraft’s dark underworld of wizards and magic was the first homerun, the second at-bat decided to take a swing at HPL’s ghost stories.

Another decidedly great decision was to make this story more about Letti and her backstory.

Holy Ghost is the name of the episode, and as per usual, the first half of the story takes place in the solid reality of the ignorant.

It has been several weeks since the events of the first two episodes. Montrose and Atticus told George’s family that the asshole sheriff that was eaten by shoggoths ended up shooting him. It was a lie that was more believable than the truth, but it’s obvious that something about his death (aside from the being dead part) isn’t sitting well with Hippolyta.

Atticus has been trying to assuage his own guilt through helping the family in every way that he can, but even he knows that it can’t continue as hanging out in his uncle’s house and playing his uncle’s role is only making everyone uncomfortable.

He decides to ask his dad to let him stay with him, but his father’s alcoholism and generally abusive behavior quickly show him that it wasn’t worth the effort to ask.

During all of this, Letti mysteriously came into some money and bought a large house that she plans to turn into a safe haven for black people. It’s a wonderfully quaint idea that is hit over the head in a violent manner by the fact that they are in an all-white neighborhood.

Letti likes doing things the hard way, and it’s admirable.

The neighbors get pissed off by their presence as they do renovations and more of Letti’s friends (including Atticus for a few days) move in. The neighbors put out “Whites Only” signs and tie bricks to the horns of their cars to try (as Atticus puts it) audible warfare. The police aren’t any help and we can see that, as per our suspicions, Letti and her friends are entirely on their own.

Letti decides to throw a housewarming party once everyone is settled and it goes mostly well, with Letti and Atticus (finally!) hooking up, although we learn some interesting, although not entirely important, information regarding her lack of any previous partners. The party is hopping until the neighbors push Letti’s final buttons and she goes Jackie Robinson on the cars outside.

Letti is, for some odd reason, the only one arrested. During her violent interrogation she learns that the officer who arrested her has had some undisclosed history with the house and we get to the good stuff.

The house had a mad scientist-styled doctor living there who worked with the cop to kidnap black people to experiment on. They got all sorts of messed up. Super long arms, baby heads, no jaws, and lots of other weird crap that we get to see because the ghosts of his experiments are still haunting the house. Letti and Tic get an exorcist lady or something to conduct a seance and things get down-right crazy.

It wasn’t just that this was a Lovecraftian ghost story, but my brother pointed it out before I could see the connection: this was a take (just as the bipedal creatures in the first story were totally a reference to shoggoths) on Herbert West: Reanimator. We don’t know that these mutilated people were ever undead, but the experimentation in a grotesque manner on the people that society assumed wouldn’t be missed was “on the nose.” We got ghosts, we got monster corpses, and we got a seance. At the very least, I was very pleased with this story.

So far, I haven’t found a single thing that I didn’t like about this series. Until I do, just assume that each review is going to be at least one star more than my rating system.

Before we get to “Mikey’s Thoughts,” I would also like to point out that Mikey has a theory that he keeps bringing up, but didn’t add to his thoughts. In this episode we learn that Letti was a virgin. In the previous episode there is Adam and Eve symbology as the dreams they are subjected to encourages a relationship between Letti and Tic with Letti getting scared by a snake penis (not a snake’s penis, but a penis on a person – Tic – that is actually a snake). Mikey believes that the combined symbology of the dream and the emphasis on her sexual history is going to come back in the form of some sort of monstrous progeny. I’m unsure, but I can’t deny his math.

Mikey’s thoughts: This show has a habit of making you think, “Humans can be real monsters,” and then reminding you, “Oh crap! This show has MONSTER-monsters too!” Right before making you jump out of your seat. It’s amazing.

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