Lovecraft Country Episode 9: Easter Eggs And References In Rewind 1921
The ninth episode of Lovecraft Country connects past to present.
In the past two years, the Tulsa race massacre has attained a high profile in mainstream pop culture. It refers to an incident in 1921, when over the course of two days, white residents burned and looted Tulsa's Greenwood District, an upper-middle class Black neighborhood popularly known as "Black Wall Street." Thirty-five city blocks were razed to the ground; anywhere from 150 to 300 people died. That so many people today don't know about the incident is testament to how history books can distort the truth by omittance.
In 2019, HBO mini-series Watchmen opened with a recreation of the massacre. In February 2020, a dramatic film, Black Wall Street Burning, was released in U.S. theatres. And in October 2020, the ninth episode of Lovecraft Country sent our main characters back in time to Tulsa, on the first night of the riots, to connect with their lost family and save a little girl's life.
Here are all of the Easter Eggs and references we found in "Rewind 1921," the ninth episode of HBO's Lovecraft Country. There's just one more episode to go.
You can read all of our episode reference guides below:
Leti tells Christina that the police officers died as a result of a "gas explosion" outside of her house. We learned from the past episode that it was actually a massive shoggoth who ripped everyone to shreds. However, since the police brass are Sons of Adam, it explains why there hasn't been any reprisal for the killings; they know that Leti, Tic, and their families are under magical protection.
2. A Convenient Ally
Christina helps the Freeman family, but only to the extent it helps her achieve her goals; she's more than willing to sacrifice Tic if it helps her to become immortal. This echoes a common 3rd wave feminist stance--most recently alluded to by Bill Burr on the October 10 episode of Saturday Night Live--that white women have benefitted from Black Civil Rights efforts, while often co-opting those efforts as their own. Christina aspires to the privilege afforded to the white men above her, rather than wanting for everyone to have an equal chance.
3. Robot Arm
The camera spends a lot of time focusing on Dee's withered left arm. Tic says in Episode 8 that when he traveled to the future, a woman in a hood and a robotic arm gave him the Lovecraft Country book. Could this have been a future version of Dee? It's certainly possible, given the other overlaps between the past and present in Episode 9.
The Dreamland Theatre was a real landmark in the Greenwood district that showed silent films and hosted theatrical performances. It was destroyed during the Tulsa massacre by arson.
The planes that bombed the downtown area during the massacre are part of the historical record. Multiple eyewitnesses reported seeing planes circling overhead, raining fire down on the buildings below. City officials would later claim that these planes were purely for surveillance. But many critics counter that this explanation is part of an extensive coverup, and proof that the city was complicit in the riots.
While the city burns, Montrose gives a eulogy to the victims of the massacre, and he names specific victims. These are real people who perished in the actual riots. Among the people he names: A.C. Jackson, who was considered "the most able Negro surgeon," according to the Mayo Brothers, at the time of his death.
7. Orithyia Blue
With her new mane of blue hair, Hippolyta more closely resembles the science fiction main character of Dee's comics, Orithyia Blue. There was a more accurate depiction, complete with a space suit, in Hippolyta's multiverse adventures in Episode 7. But now she has blue hair in the "real" world. Perhaps she claimed this specific identity while trapped in the multiverse, and is now showing her "true" self.
The poem that plays over the climactic scene, where Hattie burns to death and Tic beats the rioters with a bat, is "Catch A Fire, written and performed by Civil Rights activist Sonia Sanchez. It discusses a common theme throughout this series--of Black people using ingenuity to transform the tools of their oppression into the tools of their liberation.
The bat sequence has been alluded to several times during the series. During the first episode's opening, Tic has a dream about Jackie Robinson beating monsters with a baseball bat. It turns out that in the family story Tic heard growing up--about how his mother , George, and Montrose were saved from the Tulsa Massacre by a mysterious man--that he was the mystery man the whole time.
The requiem used at the very end of the episode was written specifically for this episode, by composer Laura Karpman. The soprano is Janai Brugger, who, due to the ongoing pandemic, recorded her solo in her house in a makeshift studio.
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