The biggest pots did it: The roar of bones, the deadly disease and the horror of the mind, which cannot be surpassed at the moment of birth or death. Then the agony quickly began to fade away and I came back to me like a major illness. There was something strange in my feeling, something indescribably new and incredibly sweet in its novelty. I felt younger, lighter, happier in my body, inside I was conscious of an intoxicating carelessness, a deluge of disordered sensory images, running through my imagination like a windmill race, loosening the bond of engagement, unknown but not innocent to the freedom of the soul. I knew that in the first breath of this new life I was worse, ten times worse, I sold a slave to my original evil and at that moment I thought, cemented and had fun as wine. I stretched out my hands and rejoiced in the freshness of these feelings; and in action I suddenly realized that I had lost my greatness.

-by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson. – By Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson.

It’s really a strange case this week, because I’ve struggled a lot with this episode of Lovecraft Country, my reading has changed and became more and more complicated when I thought about it. As the readers of my throne play know, my favourite pastime is to unpack a TV episode in which all the stories of seemingly dissimilar subgroups converge on a common theme and within an hour they all swing together and comment on each other. And the strange case, recorded by Cheryl Tribune and written by Misha Greene, Jonathan E. Kidd and Sonia Winton-Odamtten, is just that one episode. Each of his individual narrative chains – Ruby, Montrose and Tick – is about what Dr. Jekyll Robert Louis Stevenson calls a complete and primitive human dualism. The ideas of the different plots are opposite, the arches of the figures are strangely parallel, and some identical scenes and motifs are played with small variations in C major and minor. Exactly halfway through the Lovecraft Country season, Strange Case feels like Lovecraft Country at its peak, complex in its structure and integrated in its goal.

But when I first watched it, I didn’t like this strange case very much, partly because of the qualities I usually admire for an hour of television. The links between the subgroup – although clearly intended – are alarming, as if they are confusing rather than clarifying the issue. The episode plays with different dualities – black and white, masculine and feminine, direct and homosexual, erotic and violent – but the way it contrasts and equates these dualities in different plots seemed to me at first sight more contradictory than harmonious. A few scenes struck me as recklessly sensational, and this is the second time in so many weeks that I wonder if Lovecraft Country will really be able to deal with all these dizzying issues in a responsible way. (I still doubt these aspects, for the record. There were even moments in Strange Case that I forgot I wasn’t watching the new season of American Horror Story, and my old readers will understand how worried I was about that thought).

Well, I don’t know: This one bothered me. The horror should be alarming, of course, but there is a difference between responsible provocation and irresponsible aggravation, and frankly, I wasn’t sure this was a strange case. However, I have always said that these assessments – for lack of a better term – are a process and not a product: I don’t write to tell you what I think, but to know what I think. And what I found, as soon as I started digging, was something much richer, cunning and more interesting than what I had initially attributed to it. I love it when that happens.

I still won’t say that I’m comfortable with everything that’s happening in this episode, and I certainly won’t say that I realize what will come out of it. But let’s go down this road together, shall we?

There was no pain. It was something else. As if it wasn’t done.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

The three classic monsters of the Hollywood cinema are Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman. However, the three great horror novels are Frankenstein Mary Shelley (1818), Dracula Bram Stoker (1897) and the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson (1886).

There’s a clear division, but it’s quite superficial: De Wolfman has no definitive literary sources comparable to those of Dracula and Frankenstein. But although Stevenson’s short, dark story does not literally speak of lycanthropy, it is about the same deep archetypal fear: the uncontrolled release of repressed primitive impulses. As in the werewolf stories, the story of Jekyll and Hyde is about man’s disturbing dualism and the struggle between the conscious constructions of civilization and the more primitive, fundamental instincts of the animal within itself. It was Henry Jekyll’s painful shame over his own moral flaws and depraved desires that inspired him to try to separate the two sides of his soul, so that the wicked might follow his path, freeing themselves from the aspirations and remorse of his more immediate twin; and so that the just might walk firmly and safely on his upward path, doing the good he gladly did, and no longer be subject to shame and remorse at the hands of this stranger’s evil.

In other words, Jekyll believed he could free himself from all his primal instincts and give the noble and stable lord the freedom to progress and improve the world without being burdened with animal desires. Of course it didn’t work: Jekyll’s attempt to free himself from his dark half has just created a monster. Despite the fact that Edward Hyde began life as scum, he became stronger the longer the experience lasted, while Henry Jekyll deteriorated physically and morally and even appreciated Hyde’s depraved immorality. Jekyll tried to suppress his own basic instincts and only made them stronger and more dangerous. Finally, Jekyll – a kind of spiritual suicide – admits that next time he will be the last to change: Jekyll’s gone. It’s just Hyde.

As a metaphor for the oppression in the Victorian era, Stevenson’s fable was very relevant and works both psychologically and politically. (I had never seen the story like this before, but if you look at it through the lens of Lovecraft’s land, you see Edward Hyde as a British colonialist sent out into the world to commit monstrous crimes, while Henry Jekyll of England abandons all his self-imposed illusions about his own morality).

But does the metaphor work in Weird Business? I’m not sure yet. What if I told you I could change your life forever? William told Ruby when he met her in History of Violence. As Ruby notes this week – after all, the devil tells me what deal I made with him – it was the first negotiation for the deal with Mephistopheles, and William spent several hours buying Ruby drinks and groping her for what he had to offer to seduce her. The key transfer apparently took place when Ruby discussed the fact that she would never get a job at Marshall Fields because she had already hired a black woman. For us it’s a crazy race to the finish, Ruby said. And I know if I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t even have to walk.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

So this week Ruby literally wakes up with white skin. Specifically – although Ruby doesn’t know it – she wakes up in the body of Dell (Jamie Neuman), a racist white woman who worked for Samuel Braithwaite in Ardham. (The question of why Ruby looks like Dell is overruled: I suspect there’s more to it than Country of Love’s decision to retrain an actress.)

There are many elements that are both intelligent and complex. From a simple point of view, it plays with a confusing waking experience after a night of drinking. And maybe it’s also a game about the potentially conflicting feelings of a black woman sleeping with a white man? A metaphor here would be the fear that, by entering into a relationship with this rich white man, Ruby would somehow endanger her black personality and become white.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

I admit that part of my discomfort with Strange Business is that it raises questions that I don’t think I’m a white straight person – really qualified to answer. The story of Jekyll and Hyde is above all a story of self-hatred: Henry Jekyll is not a man with particularly unusual or modest impulses, but in his quest to be a true Victorian gentleman, they torment his conscience and make him ashamed. (Many people would even shed light on the transgressions I was guilty of, but because of the pompous opinions I had, I examined them and hid them with an almost painful sense of shame). And I think we can consider the strange case as a study of the socially conditioned self-hatred of Ruby, Montrose and (to a lesser extent) Tick.

In previous articles, we have suggested that color and body image issues may affect Ruby’s stimulating attitude toward her lighter, thinner half-sister Fly, which brings a complex and emotionally charged connotation of her Hillary identity into Ruby’s arms. (As we shall see, the story of Montrose is based on a different but equally socially organized homophobia that hates itself) And of course, the whole story of Ruby is a long, magically satisfying metaphor for the transience and especially the experience of black women passing by as whites.

The passage was a very popular theme for literature and film at the time of Lovecraft Land. As Janine Bradbury wrote:

Hollywood loved watching movies in passing. The genre was popular in the 1940s and 1950s, when segregation and one-drop domination were widespread – it was believed that anyone with at least a trace of African descent was black. The box office hits are Pinky Elia Kazan (1949) and the musical The Boat Show of George Sydney (1951), with light-coloured hybrids that went on for white in the hope of white privilege. Secrecy, scandal and obvious sensationalism – all this has led to a great melodrama.

In many examples – Bradbury also talks about imitating the life of Douglas Sirk (1959) and my passage to the white Fred M. Wilcox (1960) – the path rooted in the tragic myth of the mulatto has never gone out of fashion. (In fact, in our recent podcast, my wife and I discussed the devil Carl Franklin in Blue Dress [1995], the neo-sound in which the whole plot is based on the mystery of a woman’s death). It is not surprising – and this is more directly related to the purpose of the Land of Love – that the paths have often been used by white creators to play on the fear of white creators that blacks would invade white culture out of revenge. Boris Vian’s novel, J’irai cracher sur vos tombes, published in 1946 and filmed in 1959, tells the grim and ultra-hard story of a black man who ran like a white man to avenge his brother’s lynching with blood. Half a century before the Spike Lee Black Clansman (2018), Ted W. Michael (1966), also known as I crossed the black line, portrayed a light-coloured black man who infiltrated the clan to avenge the murder of his daughter with a gunshot wound.

For example, there are many influences of pop culture that feed the individual cases, and there are many sensitive questions about cultural identity and internalized prejudices of marginalized groups. In the first case, I’m not an expert and I certainly don’t feel qualified to unpack the second, so I feel like I’m going to be a little more careful this week than usual.

But most of my struggle with this episode involves complex means of transmitting all this loaded subtext through the dichotomy of Jekyll and Hyde. Let’s go back to that cold discovery and see what I mean. A well-known trace from werewolf movies (and other transformation stories) is that after a wild and forgotten night in which he was a monster, a man wakes up naked and transforms himself again, often in a strange place like the forest. (In the film, for example, David Naughton, an American werewolf from London, wakes up naked in a wolf pen in a zoo). But everything’s upside down on this path: Ruby wakes up naked on the lap of luxury, in a mansion, on a round bed with silk sheets, and not – except spiritually – alone. This means she wakes up to transformation, not restoration.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

It’s a strange case that the relationship between Ruby and Hillary has been complicated from the beginning. Of course, we assume we have to read Hillary as Hyde. (We know Ruby’s true form is black after all, and it corresponds to the general framework of Lovecraft Land, where white or white, if you will – like the living monster of America – dominates). And indeed, we see that this lecture is supported in the next scene: When Ruby/Hillary disillusioned and disoriented returns to her familiar neighborhood, this (seemingly) white woman in a black neighborhood immediately becomes the most dangerous person in the world. She is misplaced, the residents look at her nervously and her presence alone makes the police almost kill a young black man (Joshua Mac). Without even wanting to, she already has her whiteness.

And later, in a strange case, Ruby is deliberately armed with her white man and enjoys freedoms and privileges that are nowhere to be found in her new body. (She tells William that I’ve enjoyed using the only currency I need all day: wisdom). In the white neighborhoods she gets free ice cream in her living room that she otherwise wouldn’t get, and feels the novelty of the police blocking traffic so she can cross the street. She walks around in her dream job at Marshall Fields, has fun with other white women in the pantry and laughs rather vehemently at Tamara when she realizes that she is less qualified than Ruby herself. One has the impression that one has an unknown, but not innocent, freedom of soul, from which Jekyll can learn from experiences such as that of Mr. Hyde, and all this is very relevant to the land of Lovecraft.

But it’s also disturbing. One of my problems with the Odd case is that I don’t trust its terms. The idea that blacks mainly want to be white is in itself a noisy and racist fantasy, usually invented by white writers. The episode, to be honest, is aware of this and carefully frames Ruby’s desire for freedom and not for white people. (I don’t know which is more difficult: to be of colour or to be a woman, Ruby says. Usually I’m happy to be both, but the world keeps interrupting me and I’m tired of being interrupted). And Ruby is obviously uncomfortable being white. You don’t want me to kiss you like Hillary, William, look: Ruby will use white money to achieve his goals, but he wants to be welcomed and appreciated as he is.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

But it is complicated, and it becomes much more complicated and much more disturbing when you realize that the episode depicts Ruby Zero Hillary as a monster. The transformation scenes are brilliantly done for protocol, both terribly and incredibly clumsy; in fact, there is a certain Kronenberg terror taking place on the physical plane. But if we follow the pattern established in cold and open space, every transformation we see is a ruby coming from Hillary, not the other way around. It is a powerful and monstrous reversal of an ordinary path of horror. (For example, I’m going back to the American werewolf in London. If you’ve seen it, you’ll certainly remember how David Naughton turned into a werewolf, but I don’t think the film bothered to show us how the wolf becomes a human form again). It is Ruby’s real face that threatens to come out in difficult times; it is her real face that turns out to be terribly bloody and covered up; it is her real face that appears when she is angry; it is her real face that finally spits on Hillary to rape voluptuous Paul (David Stanbra) with a heel on her heels. (I wanted to let you know the bitch n—– did this to you, she says, while Jekyll and Hyde were directing the series Climax! in the background in 1955) All this coded Ruby like a monster. Strange as it may seem, in general Lovecraft Country and the frame is as white as a sheet, it’s Ruby, not Hillary, who works Mr. Hyde.

And frankly, I don’t know what to do with it. This last scene with Paul’s attack seems undeservedly sensational. (For me, it was the worst American moment in Strange Case, an almost youthful condescension to sexualized violence in the name of shock and excitement.) Is this scene meant to parody those dark stories that played about the white fear of revenge and the reversal of traditional power dynamics? Or is he just using those fears and recreating those problematic stories? Should we see this as a legitimate and justified expression of the anger and resentment Ruby has had to swallow her entire life as a black woman? (Especially in light of the parallel history of Montrose, Ruby’s hypothesis of a dominant, masculine and penetrating role is interesting here). Where, as spectators, should we situate ourselves in relation to this devil ruby? Does it have to be an alienator or an identifier? Should we be afraid of her, or do we support her?

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

The butterfly lives a full life before it dies, says William Ruby. And the caterpillar comes from the same cells – the essence of a butterfly, but different. There’s more. The episode, which starts with the title card, plays with the image of a butterfly as a symbol of the transformation, or metamorphosis, of origin. But who or what appears? Which caterpillar and which butterfly? Who is the original ruby, Hillary or the monstrous ruby that represents the true essence of ruby? Are we supposed to believe she’s become something big now? Are we supposed to believe Ruby’s always been like this? Or do we fear that this experience of duality, like Henry Jekyll, has ruined, diminished or even destroyed it?

I’m afraid to see you from this side.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

And to get answers, no matter how cautious and insecure they may be, I think we need to see how Ruby’s fairy tale interacts with the rest of the strange thing. Because we understand that it is only one extreme example of the spectrum of stories about dualism, anger and metamorphosis.

For Montrose and (to a lesser extent) Tic, their history is reflected in their own stories. Let’s start with the tick, because it’s smaller and easier to spread – with a subgroup. When Tick finds out that Yahima is missing, he immediately realizes that Montrose has killed her and discards the pages of the Book of Names. And without missing a beat, Tick starts beating Montrose hard. Only the fly’s interference is stopping Tik from killing him.

Since you’re scaring me on that side, I’ll let Fly tell him later. And Tick explains how he once believed he didn’t have the capacity for violence like Montrose. I thought it wasn’t, can’t be in me, he said. But I found him during the war. Here, too, the Jekyll and Hyde theme is presented in a slightly different way: the appearance of the other side of Tick, the side he tried to suppress, the side that could burst in a monstrous way. And that’s a theme we’ve often talked about in Lovecraft land: the danger of becoming what you hate, what you fight against. (Note that Fly wears her baseball bat for fear of ticks: it’s her weapon of war for whites, and the fact that she thinks she needs it to protect herself from ticks is not a good sign).

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

However, the more I thought about this episode, the more I thought about the fact that a relatively smaller subgroup of Tica acts as a kind of mediator between the other two, more essential. Ruby’s story ends one way, Montrose’s story (as we’ll see later) the other. And Tic is at the crossroads between them, with the possibility of going in all directions. After this violent incident, he is reconciled to the plane, and it is the first time (as we know) that they have made love since their first contact with the Holy Spirit. In that first match Tick was completely dominant, even pretty cheeky, and it all ended in blood when he took her virginity pretty suddenly. Here, however, the sex is always passionate – softer and more egalitarian: He throws them on the hood of the car, but then they go to the bank, and Fly on top drives the experience. If Strange Case is a divide, then Tik and Fly at least reach a preliminary agreement between the man and the woman.

But after they make love, Tick falls asleep, and his dream seems to confirm that he’s still in danger of becoming the one he’s fighting against. In his dream Tic walks away from a burning house again and follows his ancestor Hannah, just like in Whitey on the Moon. But this time he doesn’t follow her safely, but hesitates, stops in the house and is quickly absorbed by the fire. Later, Fly talks about magic. She’s evil. He’s corrupting us all, which seems to be a very real danger. The kind of power Tik pursues – no matter how noble he thinks he is using it – is potentially destructive, even cursed. (Does this mean a real lesson from Ruby’s story?)

The wild African cicada is ready to conquer the world.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

But let’s talk again about Zeck’s anger at Montrose, which stems from many things. More importantly, Montrose abused him as a child. Recently Montrose killed Yahima and almost destroyed everything the three of them risked their lives to shoot the last episode. These are understandable motives. But this strange case also suggests that there is something else behind Zeck’s attack on his father: his aversion to Montrose’s sexuality, which he accidentally discovered last week. Was it a crime this time or n—–s? Sammy (John Hudson Odom) asks Montrose when he shows up at his door, beaten and bloodied. In other words: Were you beaten because you were black or gay? (And here we hear the echo of Ruby’s words: I don’t know which is more difficult: being colored or being a woman).

So this is where the episode connects these two stories – we have the Jekyll/Hyde dichotomy and the theme of the metamorphosis, which takes place on a different but parallel path. Montrose, as we already know, contains these different pages. You were full of love when you were a child, George told your brother shortly before he died. There’s nothing wrong with so much love. But Montrose, whom we have seen and heard, is a heavy, abandoned man, because all that love has literally been taken away from him by his father, partly because he is a woman, partly because he is gay. (Last week we heard memories of Father Montrose beating him for putting a flower in his hair). We don’t think we need much textual attention – how Montrose learned about this homophobia and tried to purify all his tenderness. (That’s how Montrose lived his whole life).

Finding a way out of this randomly imposed prison is the subject of this week’s story, which ends with Ruby in a strange palindromic way. After being knocked out by Tick Montrose, Sammy appears with a stupid word – he never says another word in that episode and actually starts having rough sex. Not to mention that, but this anal sex scene – though fairly consistent – should clearly coincide with Paul Ruby’s anal rape at the end of the episode. Montrose begins his journey in a strange way with the place where Ruby ends, in anger and self-hatred and a total absence of tenderness.

Strange Case constantly plays with the theme of transformation, metamorphosis, as something potentially good and bad, creative and destructive. A counterpart of a butterfly is a counterpart of a cicada or grasshopper. At the beginning of the episode – the first scene in Hillary’s metamorphosis – we hear a report about 16 billion species of Kenyan locusts on their way from North Africa to Great Britain, which emerge from nymphs during the moulting period and are destined to eat anything that stands in their way. So, like Jekyll and Hyde, these are two potential sides of the metamorphosis: From caterpillar to butterfly, from nymph to grasshopper, one turns into something beautiful, the other into something destructive.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

What is fascinating, however, is that the metamorphoses are not so clear or so rigidly linked to the meaning. William offers Ruby the image of a butterfly, and she becomes something scary scary. But Sammy offers a photo of the Montrose cicada, explaining that it has been torn from the headlines for the prom themes that his house will undergo that evening. Fresh from the destruction of British shores, the wild African cicada is ready to conquer the world. She leads a swarm of stragglers who tonight will ruin the most beautiful lightning in Chicago ever with a dance called Locusta Migratoria.

A wonderful moment. Montrose watches quietly and attentively as Sammy and his fellow dragon queens metamorphose, dress in their luxurious and well-considered clothes and merrily transform themselves into something completely different than the bodies in which they were born should have defined. (Montrose himself shirtless at the moment – man, but undressed, shapeless). And here Sammy restores and reconsiders the cicada metaphor – we don’t lose sight of the fact that these are African cicadas – from a symbol of fear and destruction to something beautiful and powerful.

Later, the ballroom scene of the episode was positioned as a direct counterbalance to Ruby’s terrible night with her white friends, in her white body as glorious and soothing as Lovecraft’s Land, which had been presented since the pilot’s block party. The participants are radiant, bright, festive, a community of joyful and thoughtful metamorphosis. And where Ruby’s experience ended with her ability to embody violence and horror, Montrose finally allows tenderness, even love. They hadn’t even seen lip shots, the drag queens of Sammy and Montrose we had seen before, and actually we hadn’t seen any real love between them yet, because Montrose had already beaten all the love out of him. But now Montrose gets carried away on the dance floor and kisses Sammy passionately: He is overflowing with love again, and on the day of self-acceptance he surrounds himself with glitter and glitter like butterflies.

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

What pleases me is the intelligence and ingenuity with which the story of Jekyll and Hyde is reworked, which in its own way is more interesting than the more literal story Ruby introduced. A long time ago Montrose, like Henry Jekyll, tried to deny his own instincts and desires by distancing himself from things he was ashamed of, even though he gave in to them. But – under the influence of internalized public pressure, he tilted and slowed down – he fundamentally misunderstood which aspects of his personality were good and which were bad: He suppressed love and accepted hate. Strangely enough, the result was the same: Like Jekyll, Montrose eventually lived like a monster: the cruel, pathetic, cruel man he had been all his adult life. But unlike Jekyll, who ends his story in the desperation of spiritual death and betrays Hyde’s personality forever, Montrose seems to be there to stop his departure, make peace with his ambiguity, find his better self and find salvation.

Who are you really?

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 1×05: “Strange Case”

More important, however, is whether Montrose earns a ransom with which we – and the land of Lovecraft – still have to compete. When we see Montrose seemingly happy in the gay and transgender community, we don’t forget or forgive the abuse he did to his child or his heartless murder in the last Yahima intersex episode. Is Montrose himself forgiving, trained in a life of cruelty and abuse, racism and homophobia? Is Ruby raping a man in a way that is cruel, as awful as it is, cute and justified by the racism and sexism she’s been a victim of all her life? Is Tick himself responsible for the violence, and does he have some kind of right to accept violence and possibly corrupt power as long as he does so to protect his loved ones? Jekyll is ultimately responsible for Hyde’s crime?

All these characters have been shaped, slowed down and distorted by the injustices of the society in which they live: the endless cycle of oppression and repression, self-hatred and self-hatred, the prejudices that feed them and the violence that breeds violence. Where is the result of the cycle? Is it a surrender to a monster like Ruby seems to do? It’s about seizing power and reorganizing, isn’t it, Tick? Or is it love and self-respect that Montrose seems to find in a community of equally marginalized people?

All the people they meet mingle with good and evil, says Henry Jekyll. You keep me between the devil and the deep blue sea, Ruby sings, in the bathtub, after her first day enjoying the power and the coin of the white man. I think I’ve seen so many bad things and I’m trying to find something good, Fly says, while she’s in the bathroom reading the Bible and looking for answers to the faith she doesn’t really believe in. I know I’ve brought a lot of bad things, Tik said. I was trying to do good, too. Tik admits his own ambivalence and starts talking about his relationship with Ji-Ah in Korea, and Fly talks about his mother, and both say they didn’t have good examples of love when they were growing up. Whether they are aware of it or not, they open up and unite, through the forces that have disrupted the natural course of their lives, through the forces that should use the term ruby that has interrupted them.

There are no easy answers, and I think the jury hasn’t picked all the characters in Lovecraft Country yet. But it is precisely here – more so than in the ball scene – that one finds, in my opinion, a sincere, if not slim, hope for a strange act. Questions about guilt and forgiveness may ultimately remain unanswered, because there is no way of knowing which of these people will not be disturbed. But in this simple and tender encounter of two very different people, recognizing their own duality and openly sharing their pain and fears, there can be healing opportunities, a potential for communication and a subtle hope for reconciliation of all these irreconcilable things. It may not be much, but it’s… as they admit here… special. I’m not confused anymore, Tik said.

Additional reflections and preferred elements

  • When I write about the television season, I usually imagine voices telling me that you think too much about it. But Lovecraft Country is a show that invites you to reconsider, even to insist: He is very aware of the use of incredibly charged alarms. (Even small details in the background are carefully selected. Note, for example, Wrigley’s ad in the background of the scene where William picks up Hillary for a job that offers different tastes – when William Ruby says he wants to kiss her in all her forms – and launches a long-running Doublemint Twins ad campaign that reflects the dualism of the episode itself. Notice another example – and don’t forget how we discussed it in the S-Boom pilot – we heard the quintessence of white singer Pat Boone on a cover of Tutti Frutti, when Hillary is in Marshall Fields with white women, but the original version of Little Richard, when Montrose is with Sammy and his drag and drop friends – everything in this show makes sense (which is one of the reasons I have such a hard time getting these reviews in time).
  • The only thing I regret in this strange case, without respect for Jamie Naman, is that it is a ruby episode without much Wunmi Mosaka. She is clearly incredible in her scenes, but I always wonder how this episode would have gone if we had seen Ruby while everyone was watching Hillary.
  • Pierced is a mystery in this exhibition, especially since the use of pronouns was not a subject of discussion in the 1950s. We also don’t know if Sammy and his friends have been identified as gay, disguised as drag queens or transsexuals. I tend to go back and forth depending on their presence in every scene I talk about, but it can be potentially confusing. So, apart from a few more pieces of information, I’ve failed with the male pronouns, but I’m quite willing to let that stop me.
  • Discussing plot details and inconsistencies is always my least favorite aspect of writing the series, but there are a few small points. On the one hand, although we all suspect it, the show did not play a fair role with the revelation of Christine/Williams. (Christina goes around the story of the violence and reappears after a few moments completely clean and dressed in William’s costume, where exactly all the blood and flesh has been dug up). I also don’t understand why they needed Ruby in the first place to do what turned out to be a very simple task, a task that anyone could literally do.
  • Speaking of Christ/William: Cristina tells Ruby that Captain Lancaster shot William in the back and left him for dead. This suggests that there was both a real William and a real Dell (Hillary’s model) who was beaten by the Lethie Club and left on the moon for dead. So these drinks are somehow made of real people? Is that the one in the basement that Christina keeps locked up?
  • Watch Ruby/Hillary enjoy her day of white privileges, get free ice cream, etc. – I can’t be the only one who recorded Eddie Murphy’s classic Eddie Murphy White Like Me live on Saturday night. (Little by little, I began to realize that whites, when left alone, give each other things for free. It’s the absolute truth. Don’t tell anyone.
  • White people are even more insane than you think, Ruby tells Tamara. (I’m afraid that’s also true.) Again, don’t tell anyone.)
  • I apologize, as always, for being late for this job. (I can only say it was a good time because in the end I got a completely different lecture from The Strange Thing than the uprising I started a week ago. If I had taken another week, I probably should have taken another week. I didn’t reach the end of this post as I finally left it 🙂 The next episode, Meet Me at Daegu, was already aired two days ago when I wrote this: Now I can’t wait to see him and I’m going to try to make up for it somewhere so I can follow him for a whole week before the end of the season.

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