Man! It’s been a wild ride. Many thanks to each of you that held me down for these two-and-a-half months, and especially to those of you that sent me information and research. I truly appreciated it. I enjoyed every minute of writing these reviews and was encouraged by your feedback each week.
The Beginning of the End
The episode opens with us in a race against the clock to save Dee. The crew has the Book of Names in their possession, but they have not yet unbound it. When Tic speaks the unbinding incantation, the book opens and turns to the page marked with the symbol that has protected the Black Braithwhite’s for generations. He and Leti pass out and are transported to an ancestral plane where they learn about Hannah and her past with the book. While there, Leti is tasked with keeping the book safe for the future and Tic is told by both Hannah and his Mother, Dora, that he must sacrifice himself to save everyone. (Was anybody else holding out hope until the very end that he would not die?) Tic, Leti, Dora, and Hattie come together to reverse the curse on Dee. Once Dee is healed, except for her arm, Tic and Leti return to consciousness and share what they’ve learned with Montrose and Hyppolyta. I’m still a little salty (no pun intended) that we do not have a definitive answer about who Tic’s father is, but it’s whatever. LOL
Afterwards, Tic and Leti take the elevator back down into the tunnels. They create a circle of salt, setting a trap for Hannah to confront Titus Braithwhite. The ancestors have said Tic needs DNA from both Titus and Christina in order to sabotage Christina’s spell. Titus proves to be difficult to pin down, which allows him to hint to Christina that the n-words have the book. Tic, Leti, and Hannah must enlist Hattie and Dora to help bring Titus back. Once Tic gets the pound of flesh, he and Leti release the ancestors. They can no longer call on them if they get into trouble again.
Christina barges into the garage and demands to speak with Tic privately. He politely lets her know he was with fam, and they could hear whatever she had to say. She led with, “this isn’t generational hate.” Nah, it’s just you thinking you are entitled to my blood for a spell that will help YOU live forever. Ain’t that just like the privileged? When she declares that her quest is not personal, I wanted to slap fire from her. She pledges to leave Tic and the rest of the family alone if he gives her the book. Not only does he know better than to trust her, but he also knows to give her that much power would be detrimental and so he simply answers, “no.” No explanation. No bargaining. No looking to his family for approval or justification. Just, no. Christina is pissed and she removes Leti’s invulnerability in response to being jilted.
Ha! First of all, it took me stepping into my forties to understand that the word, “no,” is a WHOLE sentence and a WHOLE vibe. Secondly, that is when Tic took his power back. He’d been afraid of what he knew was coming up until that point. When he told Christina no, he had fully embraced what he must do.
Leti meets Ruby at their mother’s gravesite. She gives Ruby a whole speech about finally realizing what family really means. Ruby gives her the, “say what nah,” look. To Ruby, Leti’s behavior looks like the same old selfish behavior to which she is accustomed. Leti asks for her help, but Ruby begins to walk away. Leti tells her to wait because there’s more she needs to know. We are not privy to what that “more” is, but I was hopeful it would be enough to change Ruby’s mind.
Ruby returns to Christina’s dungeon. She gets an education about magic, which seemingly draws her closer to Christina. Ruby reassures Christina that her spell will work and pledges to Christina that she is there for her. They kiss as two women for the first time. This exchange leaves us unsure of whose side Ruby is really on.
The Final Countdown
Leti and Tic go to church to get baptized. They have a sweet conversation in which Leti shares her belief that they will be fine. The next time we see the whole gang, they are preparing for the trip to Ardham. Tic has made amends with Ji-Ah and she joins the group. *Me side-eyeing Ji-Ah and Leti for allowing her to come.* Ruby shows up at the last minute with a vial of Christina’s blood and hops in for the ride. They all have a cute moment of singing “Life Could Be A Dream” in the car. Looking back, we should have known that was a bad sign for a couple of reasons. One, Ruby said in episode 1 that she hated that song. Two, when have we seen ALL of them happy at the same time since the first episode?
Tic eats of Titus’ flesh and drinks of Christina’s blood in preparation for the ceremony. When he arrives at the altar, the weird townspeople surround him and take his belongings. Meanwhile, Leti and Ruby are marking the tower with symbols. Christina gives herself away with babbling on about understanding the pull of family. Leti realizes it’s not Ruby. She learns that Christina has killed her sister and a fight ensues. Leti loses and Christina (still in Ruby’s body) pushes her from the window, leaving her for dead after a long fall… or so we think. Montrose is brought to the site on a stretcher, along with Hyppolyta and Ji-Ah. It seems that all hope is lost.
Christina performs the ceremony successfully. Leti shows up and sees her man dying. She whispers that she loves him before he closes his eyes. She tries to cast a counter spell. The only thing she manages to do is whip up some black smoke. Ji-Ah remembers the words of the Mudang and rushes into the black smoke. She uses her tails to connect Christina and Tic. A flashback sequence begins and we see Christina catching Ruby with her hand in the cookie jar, Tic being baptized, Tic introducing Dee to the shoggoth, Tic giving Hyppolyta the letter that is later given to Montrose, and Christina in the tower giving Leti back invulnerability after her fall.
Everything explodes and we return to Leti hovering over an injured and pinned Christina. Leti reveals that ALL WHITE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BOUND FROM MAGIC. The pettiness abounds and that was the best tee-hee of the season. Montrose tries pitifully to awaken Tic, but he’s gone. Hyppolyta gives him the letter and we hear the words Tic has penned. It was a sweet and fitting goodbye to his father and encouragement for Montrose to redeem himself by being a good father to the baby.
After spending most of the episode angry that her mother left her alone, Dee is once again fending for herself in the middle of the woods while the adults go into battle with Christina. However, Dee is not really alone. When the shoggoths come to attack, they are met by the larger, darker shoggoth that now belongs to Dee. After the battle is over, Dee sneaks out the of the car and finds Christina. Why Christina thought Dee would help her is beyond me, but she does ask. Dee – clothed in George’s jacket – utters, “they still haven’t learned,” before giving us our first look at her mechanical arm. Many of us had deduced that Tic was referring to Diana in episode 8 as the, “woman with the metal arm.” (Thanks, Nicole N.) Dee uses her arm to crush Christina’s throat while her shoggoth looks on. Yas, baby girl! I understand everyone was dealing with their grief over losing Tic, but Christina, of all people, was not the person to leave with one ounce of breath in her body. I am glad Dee had the wherewithal to close that chapter indefinitely. Period, pooh!
- Billie Holiday’s “Easy Living” played when Tic spoke with Dora. The song was recorded in 1937.
- There were hints of the Xhosa language in the Language of Adam. Xhosa is earmarked by distinct clicking sounds when spoken. We’ve heard this language before in movies such as The Gods Must Be Crazy and Black Panther. A nod to The Language of Adam coming from the cradle of civilization; Africa.
- Dee uses the phrase, “everything’s jake.” This was popular slang for, “everything is cool,” in the 1920s and 30s.
- When Dee asks Hyppolyta where she learned how to draw, Hyppolyta tells her and artist named Afua taught her. Afua Richardson is the name of the real artist who drew all of Dee’s comics for the show. Sis is dope af. Check her out. (Thank you, Delorise L.)
- “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” by Mississippi Fred McDowell plays during the ceremony.
- WHO IS THE PAPPY?
- Will there be a season 2?! They need to just put us out of our misery and go ahead and tell us already!!!!!
Where To Next?
I really would have appreciated at least a 90-minute finale; the ending felt a bit rushed. However, it was still a good episode which left me pleased… for the most part. Even if there is no season two being planned, this body of work has been game-changing for Black people in the space of television, and even storytelling as a whole. Watchmen opened the door and Lovecraft Country came bulldozing through, gangbusters style. I’m super proud of Misha Green and all of the people who worked to make the show something we’ve never seen before. I absolutely can’t wait to see what’s next!