Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Strange Case

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Poor Ruby has gotten sucked into the internecine battles within the Order of the Ancient Dawn.

If you were curious about what William wanted with Ruby, it became all too clear on Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5.

I thought that Christina and William were just going to use Ruby as leverage to get Leti to do something for them, which Leti wouldn't want to do. Based on the way that she greeted Christina on Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 4, it covers a lot of ground.

Family Schism -- Tall - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

That leverage could include such things as turning over Hiram's orrery or searching for the pages from the Book of Names that he had stolen.

But so far, Christina appeared to be taking a different tact. She was seducing (literally) Ruby with a taste of what it was like to be a white woman.

Deal With the Devil - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

As Christina tacitly admitted later in the episode, it isn't even enough to be a knockout white woman in a man's world.

Ruby was particularly susceptible to Christina's temptation. After all the training she had done to turn herself into the perfect candidate for Marshal Field, she discovered that the department store had already hired their token colored saleslady.

A frustrated, quickly-getting-drunk Ruby was an easy target for William. Hell, who wouldn't be?

We were all left hanging as to Ruby's fate after their spirited sex on the stairs. What kind of fate was Ruby waking up at home in a white woman's body (Dell's body, if I'm not mistaken)?

Still Has the Beat - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

That scene when White Ruby wandered the streets of the South Side was telling.

Many of the blacks tried to help her out, which certainly wouldn't have happened to a black who ended up on the white North Side. Based on how badly Leti and her boarders had been treated, Ruby had to make that connection eventually.

But Ruby was at first too confused, then was having too much fun, to think that philosophically.

Ruby, as Hillary Davenport, initially enjoyed the perks of being an attractive white woman. For instance, she didn't need cash because men would do favors for her.

It made sense that Ruby would set her sights on Marshal Field again since it had always been her dream job.

Under-qualified Hire - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

Her qualifications on Hillary's resume got her an assistant manager's position, although she was bothered by hiring manager Paul being a little handsy.

Like with any fantasy, the new soon wore off for Ruby.

She met Tamara, the colored saleslady, and was rightfully pissed that Tamara was woefully underqualified. She was just hired to make the store look progressive, which was laughable for that era.

The white sales force around Hillary picked up on her paying any attention to Tamara instead of just freezing her out. And those husband-hunting airheads around Hillary annoyed her with their racist comments they were unaware they were even making.

As for that favor Christina required, it was dangerous for Ruby, and she almost got caught, but only because she was freaking out since she ended up hiding out in the closet with the man Lancaster had been torturing for information.

Undercover Work - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

Another reason to be on Team Christina in her ongoing war with Lancaster. She's the lesser of two evils. How much lesser is still to be determined.

It will be intriguing to see what that talisman that Ruby planted in Lancaster's office ends up doing. He strikes me as someone who is in over his head, attempting to advance on just brute force and no finesse.

It's clear that Christina has chosen to take over the Chicago chapter of the Order (as William?) and is planning to push Lancaster out of the way.

At least Christina got Ruby to think about the big picture by suggesting what that transformative magic could do.

Maybe Christina didn't understand what it meant to be a black woman, but she was undoubtedly aware of what obstacles a woman faced, especially in an organization such as the Order, which wasn't only racist but also sexist.

Handsome Tempter - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

And if this meant she had to create a new, male identity to rise, so be it.

Now we know why we never saw Christina and William in the same scene. Which is a shame, because they were the perfect Aryan couple.

The question remains whether Ruby can return to her drab life or if she has been corrupted by magic and what she's willing to do for her fix?

We also got to experience Tic's dark side, which he had succeeded in leaving in Korea.

Montrose had his undisclosed reasons for killing Yahima and destroying Titus's pages. But Tic's attack on him was brutal.

Attack Aftermath - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

Worse yet, he scared Leti, which wasn't easy to do.

So Leti, who has been surrounded by monsters since Tic re-entered her life, had to decide whether Tic was also a monster.

She rightfully saw the good in Tic and appeared tentatively ready to let their relationship continue to develop. Time will tell if she will regret that decision.

Time will also tell if Tic is going to be around, after deciphering the message "DIE" apparently aimed to him. And how did Ji-ah know about it enough to warn him to stay away?

Unrepentant Father - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

Michael Kenneth Williams gave another master class in acting, showing every emotion Montrose was going through while hardly speaking a word as he healed from his beatdown through his interactions with his secret lover.

Still, could Montrose speak up and explain to Tic and Leti what he knows, if for no other reason than to protect them?

To sort out the Order of the Ancient Dawn, watch Lovecraft Country online.

Deciphering Code - Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5

What will Ruby do next?

Will Tic and Montrose reconcile?

What's Hippolyta up to in Ardham?

Comment below.

Strange Case Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (5 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Let's get you somewhere safe, ma'am.

White cop [to Ruby]

Wake up, Ruby! Wake up!