Three Episodes Crammed Into One
After a strong pilot episode, Lovecraft Country returns for an hour of drama that seemingly abandons everything that made that opening episode so endearing. While there’s still some stand-out moments here, it all feels sloppily handled and rushed which is a real shame.
Episode 2 of Lovecraft Country begins with our characters arriving at the mansion. It’s all singing and dancing as George and Leti get acquainted in their new home away from home. Atticus however, remains sceptical.
William greets them in the morning but has no knowledge of when Samuel will return. What he does know is the mansion originally belonged to a distant cousin, Titus Braithwhite. A great fire back in 1893 killed Titus and everyone else inside. However, apparently there was one survivor.
It immediately becomes apparent that the trio are being kept in Ardham for some reason. Even worse, Leti and George don’t seem to remember what happened the night before with the monsters. Is this trauma or something else?
Realizing they’re being watched, the group sit and eat dinner in a civilized fashion without arousing suspicions. After eating they head out to the garage to find the car just as it was with no scratches.
Suddenly, the piercing sound of a whistle (that same sound that called off the monsters last episode) sends them racing up to a strange woman with two dogs. She warns them not to be caught out after sundown and heads on her way.
As the trio walk through the woods, night closes in but the whistle once again sounds to stop monsters attacking them. This time Christina arrives on a horse and escorts them back to the mansion. However, Leti and George seem to forget the entire encounter has taken place.
George finds a book called “Order of the Ancient Dawn.” While he starts reading, Atticus finds William being stitched up by a strange man in a cloak while Christina watches on. Getting dressed again, Christina and William both discuss Genesis and passages from the bible.
Out in the hallway, Atticus learns more about what’s going on. Christina is actually William’s daughter and he believes they’re casting spells. This manifests itself in the form of Atticus trapped inside his room by a strange invisible force-field. Leti is calmed down by Atticus who sits with him and discusses their current situation. Promising not to abandon her, Atticus reaches out and the two start kissing.
Only… this isn’t actually Atticus as the camera swings outside the house and switches scenes to our real Atticus trying to communicate with George through the wall. Using morse code, he spells out the word “Wizards.”
Only, suddenly a dual-wielding woman (Ji-Ah) arrives and starts shooting at him. Dora arrives before George too, and it soon becomes apparent that all of these scenes are temporary distractions from what’s really going on.
This happens to be entertainment for Christina’s guests while Christina helps a cow give birth outside. It’s a strange birth though, one that sees the reveal of a monstrous, ugly hybrid.
As the bell rings, the hallucinations end and the trio hold firm in the hallway. At dinner, Atticus and George take their seats but the latter is unable to keep his mouth shut. He interrupts their club and tells them that he knows they’re part of the Order. He believes Atticus is the last blood heir of Titus Braithwaite.
Atticus stands up at that and orders them all to leave except Samuel whom is hosting the party. There, he asks for his Father to be returned.
When he doesn’t play ball, Leti knocks out the lady with the dogs and scrambles out with the others, racing toward the silo. On the way though they find Montrose crawling out the ground with handcuffs on. The quartet scramble in the car and attempt to leave the estate, only to be hit with the invisible force-field from before.
Unfortunately Christina and William show up and shoot Leti dead. Begging fruitlessly for help, another gunshot pierces the air as George is hit too.
This cuts us back to the mansion as Atticus is dressed up ready for some big ceremony. He looks through a portal and sees Leti awakening fine while George is bed-ridden.
It turns out Samuel is trying to open a portal across to the Garden of Eden and both Leti and George are being used as bargaining chips to convince Atticus to play ball. For now, he begrudgingly agrees to do just that.
As we soon find out, Atticus may not actually be Montrose’s son after all. However, there’s no time to dwell on this as Atticus is placed between a trio of generators that pulsate electricity and cause him to project a portal which sprouts flowers.
The mansion shudders and shakes, eventually resulting in everyone turning to stone as Atticus follows the vision of his ancestor out the front door. Just in time too, as Ardham turns to rubble. Unfortunately George has not been recovered from his injuries and lies dead inside the car.
The Episode Review
It’s hard to know where to start with this episode. Given the hour-long run-time, the pacing here is way, way off the mark. What made the pilot so endearing was its sense of wonder and slow-burn pace that expertly changed from period drama to horror across the run-time.
Here though, everything feels like a hyperactive child buzzing on Smarties. The entire episode bounces between ideas and theories, stitched haphazardly together with a religious undertone to give this more substance. The result is something that feels incredibly messy, under-developed and at times, bordering on CW level of absurdity.
There’s absolutely no explanation for anything that’s happening and worse, the entire mystery around Ardham is built and destroyed quicker than the machine that powers the portal at the end. And the questions. Oh, the questions.
Why is William trying to open a portal to the Garden? Who is the girl with the shotgun? What’s hidden in the silo? Where do the magical powers emanate from? Why do the group keep losing their memory? (I get it’s the magic but why would the Order do this?)
There’s so much that’s under-developed here and it’s a shame because the show had a lot of promise. I mentioned how last week’s pilot was one of the best of the year but right now, Lovecraft Country is spiraling down to become one of the biggest disappointments. That’s a pretty big drop across 2 weeks.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens next but right now Lovecraft Country teeters on the edge.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|