Lovecraft Country: Whitey's On The Moon   Show Only 
August 23, 2020 8:04 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Inexplicably recovered from their terrifying night, Leti and George luxuriate in their new surroundings, while Atticus grows suspicious of their Ardham Lodge hosts - Christina Braithwhite (Abbey Lee) and her elusive father Samuel (Tony Goldwyn) - who unveil cryptic plans for Atticus' role in their upcoming "Sons of Adam" ceremony. Later, after Tic, Leti, and George stumble upon a clue that could lead them to Montrose, each takes an unwelcome walk down memory lane.
posted by oh yeah! (30 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not sure yet where this fantastic show is going but I’m loving every second of the journey. This episode had me thinking of Caroline Randall Williams’ My Body Is A Confederate Monument; that look across time/generations between Hanna and Tic, just...wow.
posted by stellaluna at 9:15 PM on August 23 [2 favorites]


This second episode is also extremely good and very fun. I haven't read the book (and what I've seen of reviews were pretty mixed) so I have no idea how much plot should be left, but I will say they are moving startlingly fast. I assumed that events like the ones in this episode would have been about the fourth episode of a ten-episode series. (And there were again a couple of points where I really could have used a connecting scene and perhaps slightly fewer minutes elsewhere watching Uncle George slow-dance, for example.)
posted by Scattercat at 11:15 PM on August 23 [4 favorites]


This felt like an entirely different show altogether and I wonder if the series is going to feel like an anthology, but right now I'm just tending to my tonal whiplash.
posted by crossoverman at 5:00 AM on August 24 [1 favorite]


I have no idea where this show is going, either, but I hope it decides soon. The first episode was interesting, but I'm not really hooked so far. This episode has me not really caring all that much and trying to make some sense of what they're all really doing.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:32 AM on August 24


I'm with scattercat. I said during the episode that this seemed to be progressing very speedily.
I for some reason assumed that The Huge Beautiful But Suspicious Mansion would be around a while and getting our heroes out of that particular jam with those villains would be a major arc. Now I have no idea, but I'm very intrigued. I wonder who, if anyone, from there will crop back up.
posted by pointystick at 5:39 AM on August 24 [1 favorite]


Hey, this was so fun! Also, shoggoths are part of the darkest-evil legacy of white supremacy. Totally checks out.

I was moved by the ghost of Tic's pregnant Great(x5) Grandmother as an icon of power.

Remember Me, I was the one who had your baby

I'm ok if this is pulpy, and not another 7-episode arc thing, you know. like television. but it seems like they are setting up things, since there was a book and all.

I don't really care about lore of mansions; i think for me, i'm more interested in exploring a fictional account of the detective work behind the road guides, the family drama behind supporting movement. The mansions and shoggoths and space aliens and liver ceremonies are just manifestations and conjurations to make this all fun instead of depressing to talk about
posted by eustatic at 8:25 AM on August 24 [4 favorites]


I liked this one. It would have been nice to draw out the creepiness for maybe another episode but I do wonder if it’s going to be a monster-of-the-week kind of thing? I have no idea at all what the book is about.

Maybe Tic’s magic got unleashed and that causes shenanigans back in Chicago?

We’ve also possibly got Chekhov’s magical daughter wandering around...

RIP Uncle George. They replaced an older male figure played by an actor from The Wire with another older male figure played by an actor from The Wire.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:21 PM on August 24 [1 favorite]


They replaced an older male figure played by an actor from The Wire with another older male figure played by an actor from The Wire.

I don't follow your meaning here. Courtney B Vance was not in The Wire.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:57 PM on August 24 [1 favorite]


I heard an interview with Misha Green where she said she wanted the story to move as fast as possible, hence not stretching the road trip out into multiple eps. That worked well in ep 1 but I was left breathless this time round, and not in a good way. We went from “creepy house” to “recreating the Garden of Eden, but for reals” in about 40 minutes, which I found really hard to handle given the extremely grounded reality of most of ep 1, shoggoths notwithstanding.
posted by adrianhon at 3:31 PM on August 24 [7 favorites]


Critics who had a preview of the first 5 episodes say that this was the weakest one. It definitely felt like there was pacing issues with so much story to tell. Maybe if they stretched this one out into two episodes it wouldn’t have felt so choppy.
posted by cazoo at 3:48 PM on August 24 [1 favorite]


I liked it, I'm sad Uncle George bought it. Still jazzed for more.

I'm wondering if we're actually still in Reality 195X -- referencing House on the Borderlands, and some of the coming-episodes bits shown at the end of the 1st ep make me think we're going to get into some of the dreamlands territory at some point. Tic escaped -through- the gate as he left the room.

Also: there is a lot going on with the actors' eyes in this show, a whole lot of Significant Looks that aren't actually the focus of the camera.
posted by curious nu at 4:02 PM on August 24 [1 favorite]


I don't follow your meaning here. Courtney B Vance was not in The Wire.

Ah my bad. I got him confused with Clarke Peters. I got a Lester Freamon vibe I guess...
posted by LizBoBiz at 5:27 PM on August 24


I think it RULES that this show dispensed with a season’s worth of plot in an episode. We all knew basically where this whole creepy mansion thing was going from the end of the last episode - why draw it out? Now I have no idea where the show is going and that’s super exciting.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:36 PM on August 24 [17 favorites]


The choice of serving one's liver is, surprisingly, well thought out.

When one does a live donation of (part of) one's liver, the remainder grows back to ~80% of it's original size and function, iirc.
posted by porpoise at 7:17 PM on August 24 [3 favorites]


This didn't land like the first episode for me -- it went from being a stylized realism tinged with pulp (which I love) to pulp tinged with realism (which I'm less crazy about tbh) -- but in era of glacial Netflix pacing, I was floored by how this felt like the whole arc of a season packed into an hour. Curiously, I think they killed off the only character we really understood and totally sympathized with, but since death already seems fairly meaningless on this show, I'm not too upset about that yet. It's nice to see Michael K. Williams, and while I guess it's typecasting, I kind of love that we immediately know everything we need to know about Tic's dad by virtue of his dad being played by Michael K. Williams.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:20 PM on August 24 [3 favorites]


I loved the first episode but got real frustrated with the breakneck jerky pacing of this one. This was two episodes crammed into one and too many ideas dispatched post haste.

The soundtrack was again righteous as fuck though.
posted by desuetude at 9:28 PM on August 24


Maybe it's just me, but I thought this ep looked pretty rough, visually-speaking. I don't know if it's a consequence of covid, or being shot separately from the pilot, or using so many sets and models for just one ep, but it was a step back from the gorgeous first ep.
posted by adrianhon at 1:48 AM on August 25


I agree. Both here and in the first episode I thought I detected the odd "hiccup" in the CGI, as if a frame or two had been snipped out of the sequence to create a sudden jump in what would otherwise have been smooth movement.

In this episode there was a moment without CGI where the same thing seemed to happen. I even wondered if this might be subtle indication that the characters' reality was somehow on the fritz or that different dimensions in their universe had begun cutting in on one another.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:50 AM on August 25


I loved the first episode. I've spent my quarantine playing the Arkham Horror card game and Call of Cthulhu, and that episode felt like I was watching a session played out on screen.

This episode didn't do it for me, though. The pacing was an issue, but primarily, it felt like the tone shifted to something... not sillier, perhaps, but more pulp? All those CGI magic bolts and invisible barriers felt more Harry Potter than Lovecraft. I loved the more realistic, dread-filled atmosphere of the first one, and would have preferred a depiction of magic/the occult more in line with that.
posted by kaisemic at 7:21 AM on August 25 [4 favorites]


I think it RULES that this show dispensed with a season’s worth of plot in an episode. We all knew basically where this whole creepy mansion thing was going from the end of the last episode - why draw it out? Now I have no idea where the show is going and that’s super exciting.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:36 AM on August 25 [7 favorites +] [!]

I'd never thought of this way but it's totally an aesthetic choice right? Like a response to the reality that we know our pop culture too well, so the way to surprise us is to get to the known end point, and keep GOING.

Remember feeling this in Parasite (wait, how is there more) and still not sure of its use in the Good Place (loved the end point, not sure about the S3 journey), but yeah - it's interesting as a neo-narrative, just... it risks being either lazy (beyond the hero-story... is a haunted house!!) or total tonal whiplash.

But even if all crashes and burns, I am so here to enjoy this. Fucking exciting TV.
posted by litleozy at 10:31 AM on August 25 [3 favorites]


I loved the more realistic, dread-filled atmosphere of the first one, and would have preferred a depiction of magic/the occult more in line with that.

I was trying to figure out why this didn't bother me, because normally it would. And I think it's because a big part of both Tic's and George's characters* is being extremely aware of the tropes of the genre they have found themselves in. They accelerate events because they are too genre-savvy to allow the story to play out in the slow, creeping way it "wants" to. Tic immediately realizes the "perfect" mansion is actually terrifying, George sees right through the whole "lost love" thing, and the two of them refuse to sit and let the Super Secret Cult Dinner go ahead.

This episode was very Dracula-y, right down to the creepy villagers and the threat of the tame "wolves," and when Jonathon Harker goes to stay with Dracula it takes him weeks to really figure out how fucked-up things are. But the people in this story have almost certainly read Dracula. So they aren't capable of being that clueless. I love that.

(*and actually Lettie's, come to think of it - wasn't there a line about Tic and her being the only members of the sci-fi club? - but so far it hasn't come up quite as much.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:40 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


i found the creepy white people to be far less interesting than our main characters, and i am glad we are done with that mansion. this ep was definitely uneven. but still, many bright moments, and very worthwhile.
posted by lapolla at 10:44 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


On a more dour note, not thrilled that it may have been the white woman that saved Atticus via the ring.

I hope and suspect that this will mean some examination of the white saviour 'I'm not one of the bad ones' narrative? And I fully trust the show to do that. Just I've been hurt before TV in America, need to put a marker down.
posted by litleozy at 10:52 AM on August 25


I kinda hope they release a cut of this episode that's 20 minutes longer.
posted by Catblack at 5:20 PM on August 25


wasn't there a line about Tic and her being the only members of the sci-fi club?

I think the line was that Lettie was the club's only female member.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:41 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]


THIS IS THE BEST
THATS ALL IVE GOT!
it's been such a long time since I've been following along in real time with any tv show week to week. it's thrilling. I'm obsessed.
posted by emirenic at 5:56 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]


That was so different from the first episode and yes, definitely felt condensed. I thought this was going to be the base for the series and they they go and blow it up at the end up the episode with some dodgy CGI. I do like how they leaned into every horror trope but I wish that there had been more time for the narrative to breath a little.
posted by octothorpe at 6:33 PM on August 27


It's interesting reading this thread because many of the criticisms in it are how I felt about about the first episode: unfocused, odd pacing, changes in tone, bad CGI. I liked this episode better because it was pulpier which seemed to suit the fast pace and culty white person magick bs. Still very curious to see where it goes.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:11 PM on August 27


My partner and I really enjoyed episode 1 but I have to admit, this one was a real slog and I can't quite put my finger on why. There was certainly a lot of stuff going on, but at the same time it felt like none of it was of consequence, and very little of it was interesting. Hope episode 3 improves things and this doesn't go the same way Westworld did (i.e. straight down the gurgler of its own fundament).
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:29 PM on September 1


really enjoying this storytelling. this episode was not nearly as dreadful -- as full of dread -- as episode 1, the supernatural horrors (yeah: i don't think those are canonical shoggoths, and i guess i'm perfectly fine with that: i don't want to see canonical shoggoths -- "They were normally shapeless entities composed of a viscous jelly which looked like an agglutination of bubbles; and each averaged about fifteen feet in diameter when a sphere. They had, however, a constantly shifting shape and volume; throwing out temporary developments or forming apparent organs of sight, hearing, and speech in imitation of their masters, either spontaneously or according to suggestion." at the mountains of madness) being, as others have noted, so much less frightful than the depictions of real, historical, natural human horrors or the dread of the promise of such horror. showbiz_liz's, that is a very interesting observation.

but really, i just came in to say Omar! and, also, Gil Scott Heron!
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:44 PM on September 1


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