The intersection of Blackness and personal identity is a major theme in HBO’s Lovecraft Country episode 5. The crew returns to Chicago, trying to move forward with the pages of the Book of Names, which they restored during their trip to Boston in episode 4. However, in the event of an unexpected change in the focus of the plot, the episode spends considerable time focusing on Letty Ruby’s sister and the development of her life.
Now Ruby is able to become a white woman, thanks to a special decoction that William gave her. Her new identity gives her the freedom to navigate spaces she could only dream of, but she learns that this may not be all that is cracked. Meanwhile, Tick and Letty get closer during the process of deciphering the lost pages of the Book of Names, and Montrose reveals his true desires.
7;s transracial evolution gives her new life
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Ruby’s affair with William gave her new privileges, one of which is a magic potion that allows her to change races after consuming it. She is initially shocked by the revelation, but soon realizes that the transformation allows her to enjoy a finer side of life she has long dreamed of.
She soon returns to the department store, for which she previously decided not to apply, but easily gets the job in her new skin. She offered the position of assistant manager with the same powers that would probably have made her resign if she were still black. After turning to Black’s only other employee in the store, she realizes that she is far more qualified than Tamra, the girl who has the position she originally wanted. She is also provoked by the non-standard racist remarks made by her white colleagues.
To repay William for the potion, she is required to serve an exclusive party where the body is hidden in the closet. She later took her white colleagues to a bar in south Chicago, where they danced and had fun at Ruby’s expense. Things turn around when she brutally attacks Mr. Hughes, her boss, for trying to rape Tamra while they are partying. To round out the confusion, viewers even realize that William has been disguised by Christina all along.
Montrose shamelessly explores his sexuality
In a shocking twist, it is revealed that Montrose, Tick’s father, is actually attracted to men after he appears at the home of an unknown lover and engages him in a wild experience. Earlier in the season, Uncle George hinted that Montrose was not Tick’s real father, so it actually made sense for him to have some secret romantic endeavors that attract viewers unprepared.
Later, Montrose hangs out with the same unknown man in the locker room for what appears to be a drag show, along with several other men. Eventually, they enter the party, with Montrose dancing in pure bliss. It seems that he is finally in a safe space where he can be himself.
Tick and Letty get closer when they make discoveries
Tick and Letty’s relationship continues to develop as they delve into the secrets of the Book of Names. They have a steamy meeting in a garage and later work together to learn more about the mysterious alphabet used to write the lost pages.
However, in Letty’s absence, Tick makes the disturbing discovery that viewers will have to wait later to find out.
Ruby’s new identity is a dream shared by many black Americans
Ruby’s newfound identity as Hillary gives her the freedom to walk the streets and earn an income she has never had access to before. The smile on her face as she licks an ice cream cone, as a white woman embodies the joy she feels when she is finally given the opportunity to live an honest life. She couldn’t have said it better when she complained that she was black and the woman had “interrupted” her life.
Her moods are very appropriate for blacks living in America. Too often, black Americans are stopped by police, questioned by their neighbors, and protected from the opportunities they have won simply because they are black. Their lives and lifestyles are constantly marginalized due to systemic inequalities that serve to maintain white supremacy. And all too often, members of the black community seek to escape this truth by assimilating with white culture.
Black identities are smooth and constantly evolving
Ultimately, Ruby and Montrose’s experiences in episode 4 embody the reality that Black identities are complex and not binary. Black creatures can be that and this, both, without having to identify as such. Black identities are not limited to the titles that are imposed on them, and black Americans have the freedom to choose how to identify at any given time. Ruby must not remain stuck within her ethnic background, and Montrose has the right to explore the sexual spectrum as he pleases.
“Strange Case” reveals the complexity of the Lovecraft crew and the magic around them
Things have gotten weirder since the premiere of Lovecraft Country. Just when viewers think they understand how magic works, an unexpected discovery emerges. Obviously, there are spells that allow people to become another race, gender, or whatever they like. We are also shown that each character in the show has a hidden truth about them (whether it’s their abilities, desires or identity) that they only have time to reveal. On Lovecraft Country, only one thing is certain – nothing is certain.