Lovecraft Country: Season 1/ Episode 7 “I Am” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

In “I Am,” Hippolyta is pushed to the center stage with the spotlight on her, and Aunjanue Ellis conveys the message, “Took ya’ll long enough.”


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Title Card - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 7 I Am

In “I Am,” Hippolyta is pushed to the center stage with the spotlight on her, and Aunjanue Ellis conveys the message, “Took ya’ll long enough.”


Director(s) Charlotte Sieling
Writer(s) Misha Green, Shannon Houston
Aired (HBO) 9/27/2020
Introduced This Episode
Josephine Baker Carra Patterson
Nawi Sufe Bradshaw
Seraphina AKA Beyond C’est Karen LeBlanc

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Recap

This Is Who I Am – Montrose, Sammy, Atticus, Leti

As usual, Atticus is torn somewhere between the attention Leti deserves and his obsession with deciphering what little he knows about The Book of Names and the Order of the Ancient Dawn. Yet, with Leti possibly being pregnant, it may make competing with magic more difficult. However, she is committed, and with that, she knows Montrose is the key to discovering more since Dora is a ghost in pictures to Atticus, and she and her family hold the key.

Montrose reminding Atticus he is still his father.

But, before they even step into Montrose’s apartment, they discover he and Sammy are a thing, as rumored, which leads to a confrontation. One in which Atticus calls Montrose out of his name, and it stirs up a lot of feelings for him. Many of which Leti can’t calm, but she tries. Partly by redirecting Atticus’ focus to Dora having family who survived the Tulsa massacre and having the contact information for a woman in St. Louis.

Separate, But Connected – Ruby, Leti, Atticus, Hippolyta

Originally, Atticus and Leti assumed they could take Woody and head to St. Louis. However, Hippolyta, who knows they lied about George, solves the puzzle from the item she took from the Winthrop house, and so she is off to Mayfield to further explore her curiosity. Thus giving Atticus time to go by bus to St. Louis as Ruby and Leti watch Hippolyta’s daughter and have a chance to talk.

Ruby sitting in the window, talking to Leti.

Now, as for Atticus, beyond recognizing a family birthmark from a picture, not much comes of his trip to St. Louis. However, when it comes to Leti and Ruby, while neither reveals the hijinks and madness they’ve been through, they do find peace in each other’s company. Thus bringing them back to a neutral zone, which could become loving once more.

A Journey Towards Self-Rediscovery – Atticus, Hippolyta, Josephine Baker, Nawi, Seraphina

Switching back to Hippolyta, at Mayfield, she finds this strange observatory and finds herself tinkering with the machinery. Which just as she believes she has got it, two cops, who know Captain Lancaster, show up and seemingly are going to be trouble. But with Atticus getting a call and somehow making it just in the nick of time, he helps keep Hippolyta from ending up mysteriously dead like her husband.

Seraphina aka Beyond C'Est (Karen LeBlanc) using her powers.
Seraphina aka Beyond C’Est (Karen LeBlanc)

However, in the process, one cop is killed, the machine activates, and Hippolyta is sent to what looks like another dimension. A place where this being, Seraphina, who reminds us of Garnet, from Steven Universe[1], pushes her to reveal who she is. Which, after years, if not decades, it isn’t an easy thing to understand and verbalize.

So, Hippolyta goes through multiple decades to understand, re-discover if you will, who she is and what led her to become the person she is today. Thus, she finds herself dancing and making friends with Josephine Baker, and realizing how much being Black oppressed her. Then, in an African village, Nawi, one of the warriors, helps her reclaim her ability to fight, and to seal the deal, we see George.

Nawi (Sufe Bradshaw) bowing to Hippolyta
Nawi (Sufe Bradshaw)

Now, with George, while the reunion begins sweet, it ends with an unfortunate realization. One in which George admits he is the reason Hippolyta shrunk and didn’t cherish and support her being the same woman he met and was attracted to. And with reconciling who she was, how she became a smaller version of Hippolyta, and now catching up to where she should be, she asks of Seraphina, who seemingly was her guide throughout the journey, to return her home. An idea which leaves you to wonder how will she reconcile, externally, who she is know with who people have known her as?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

I feel like they just found a smart way to lynch me without me noticing the noose.
— Hippolyta

Review


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Highlights

The Imagery/ Ellis Showing That, Like Viola Davis Said, All You Need Is Opportunity

For a lot of “Lovecraft Country,” when it came to imagery, what it pushed you to focus on the most is the gore, the horror, and things like that. Rarely did it push you to see the characters. With “I Am,” whether it is Hippolyta physically or emotionally raw, it makes you see her. The episode forces you to see that she is not in alignment with who she sees herself as and what she is capable of. Thus, with each era, and when she is in space, you find yourself seeing Hippolyta as an individual, disconnected from family ties, and just her as a person.

In these moments, you see what she is capable of, how she sees herself, and Ellis reminds you there is strength in vulnerability. With each era, she delivers a monologue about empowerment, no longer shrinking yourself for the benefit of others, and walking in your truth. Truly making this episode likely the one to be submitted for when she wins an Emmy in 2021.

The Desire For A Josephine Baker Mini-Series

While there has been a movie starring Lynn Whitfield, documentaries, and a new movie starring Paula Patton in production[2], I think we need a mini-series. If it could be starring Carra Patterson, that would be wonderful for HBO could use more synergy beyond the same bunch of white women. Plus, movies shrink a figure like Josephine Baker into just their origin, highlights, and a few split-second faults and stumbles. At this point, I think we need a full life story that gives us Ms. Baker in full.

Josephine Baker (Carra Patterson) talking to Hippolyta
Josephine Baker (Carra Patterson)

The Magic Now Is Interesting

From Christina revealing she is the one who perfected transformation magic, and us seeing how that works, to what Hippolyta did, magic has found new life on the show. Because, previously, it seemed to just be a means to set up the dramatic and crazy situations everyone was in. Making it a secondary focus because there was way too much going on to give magic any real credit. But, as a testament to Ellis and this episode, magic now has become something desirable to see more of and to understand. Especially considering the positive ways it has empowered Black women and let them steal the show.

How Montrose’s Sexuality Can Play A Role In The Future

With us learning Dora knew Montrose was gay, bi, or however he identifies, and now Atticus knowing, here is hoping we dive into Sammy and Montrose more. For Montrose needs an episode detailing his past, and considering what we’ve seen with Ji-ah and now Hippolyta, something tells me it could be one of the most heartbreaking we’ve ever got on this show.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnet_(Steven_Universe)

[2] https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/paula-patton-star-produce-josephine-baker-drama-1263047

How Montrose's Sexuality Can Play A Role In The Future - 84%
The Magic Now Is Interesting - 85%
The Desire For A Josephine Baker Mini-Series - 83%
The Imagery/ Ellis Showing That, Like Viola Davis Said, All You Need Is Opportunity - 92%

86%

This is the episode that's all about Aunjanue Ellis winning an Emmy through a singular focus on Hippolyta that you may not have thought about before, but she makes seem overdue.


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