Last night’s mind-bending episode of “Lovecraft Country” was a beautifully written love letter to afro-futurism that starred criminally overlooked actress Aunjanue Ellis in an Emmy-worthy performance that left us in awe of her talent.
Over the course of her quantum-leaping odyssey into the great unknown, she finds closure as a woman who shrunk herself to fit into a box that never allowed her to reach her true potential.
“Hippolyta, up until this point, she’s been presented as this woman who’s a wonderful, supportive wife, loving aunt and mother, so she’s felt trapped in these roles that she plays in her house and in her community,” Ellis said to Shadow and Act.
“I think Hippolyta is one of those women who’s was one of these pillars of the block. She’s making cakes…and pies for the block party, people come to her for support and solace, a laugh…but she’s an astronomer in repressive 1950s America. So she wants to break out of that trap and Episode Seven we see her search…for her husband, but really what she’s in search of is herself.”
Hippolyta finds herself at the ruins of Ardham during her obsessive search for answers about her beloved George’s death that Tic and Leti haven’t provided.
It’s in these ruins where she finds the piece to the next puzzle that allows her to open an inter-dimensional portal into a futuristic space-time continuum.
Sucked into a strange yet incredible world, she encounters a stunning Grace Jones-esque figure who offers her the ability to be whoever she desires to be in that moment.
What happens next is a spectacular display of writing, directing and acting by Ellis who lands in Josephine Baker’s 1920’s Burlesque show, an African warrior training camp and the place she met George where she learns a myriad of powerful lessons about herself and the world around her.
Each experience opens her mind to all the possibilities she set aside as an incredibly gifted woman confined to rigid gender constructs and racism.
Other things happened in this episode (Tic discovering the truth about his father/more evil secrets about his lineage, Leti potentially being pregnant and Christina moving into a potential relationship with Ruby) but it’s Hyppolyta’s deeply moving moments of self-discovery that completely steals the show.
“I think that it’s important, especially now, for us to know that time is cyclical and the great thing about Lovecraft is that it says that,” said Ellis. “It speaks to, and especially my episode, it evokes that. It evokes futurism, what we thought the future would look like, and what it actually does look like, our perceptions of the past. So there’s this idea that time is really absurd and the past is something that we will always live. That’s something we’re experiencing right now.”
Did you love or LOVE this episode? Where do you think we go from here? Tell us comments and peep the Twitter reactions on the flip.