When fans first heard the title Lovecraft Country, most assumed it was a show about the horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft. So far, HBO's first two episodes have not disappointed in this regard. But what many viewers may not know is that it's also pulling from a completely separate novel. The novel Lovecraft Country is a dark fantasy horror compendium of loosely connected stories written by Matt Ruff. For fans of that book, the good news is the Lovecraft Country Season 1, Episode 3 promo promises that after a rousing two-parter intro, the series will follow that more episodic format.
Warning: Spoilers for Lovecraft Country Episode 2 follow. Lovecraft Country's opening two episodes revealed Atticus to be the descendant of a wizard. They brought in the Braithwhite family, distant cousins of Tic's long-lost ancestor who are obsessed with using Atticus for his abilities. The episodes also introduced Christina, the Braithwhite cousin whose feelings about Tic are messy.
On the one hand, Christina acts like a guardian angel to Tic, protecting him and his friends from white supremacists. On the other, her jealousy of his place in the family is also painfully on display. Atticus is Black, and yet, he is allowed into the Ardham wizard's lodge, The Order of the Ancient Dawn, by her father Samuel, because he's a man. Meanwhile, she, a white woman, is not, despite being far more skilled in magic.
As Episode 2 ended, Atticus managed to rescue his father, Montrose, and escape the Braithwhites. But though he destroyed the Braithwhite family home and Samuel along with it, his Uncle George seemingly died in the melee.
Now Atticus, Letitia, and Montrose have headed back to Chicago. But the strange events are following them.
The title for Episode 3 is "Holy Ghost." Here's the full synopsis of the episode:
Hoping to mend her relationship with her sister Ruby, Leti turns a ramshackle Victorian on Chicago’s North Side into a boarding house — an endeavor that stokes neighborhood racism and awakens dormant spirits stuck in the house. Meanwhile, Atticus remains burdened by a guilty conscience as George’s wife Hippolyta presses him for the full story of what happened in Ardham.
The second story in the Lovecraft Country novel is a haunted house tale titled "Dreams of the Witch House." So far, the series seems to be going in order according to Ruff's book, with Letitia coming into money and using it to buy the building known as The Winthrop House. The use of "Holy Ghost" to reference the house's haunted nature calls back to Black church culture, and Letita's religious issues referenced in Episode 2. Fans can only hope it also brings a few more musical numbers from Ruby and Leti to drive the spirits (and the racists) away.
Lovecraft Country continues on HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.