In this universe, black identities are complex and not binary


The intersection of darkness and personal identity is a major theme of Episode 5 of HBO’s Lovecraft Country. The crew are back in Chicago, trying to move forward with the pages of the “Book of Names” they salvaged on their trip to Boston in Episode 4. However, in an unexpected change of focus from the intriguing, the episode spends a lot of time focusing on Leti’s sister Rubi and the developments in her life.

Rubi now finds herself able to transform into a white woman, thanks to a special potion given to her by William. Her new identity gives her the freedom to navigate spaces she could only dream of before, but she learns that may not be all she is meant to be. Meanwhile, Tic and Leti grow closer during their process of deciphering the lost pages of the “Book of Names”, and Montrose reveals his true desires.

Rubi’s transracial evolution gives her new life

RELATED: ‘Lovecraft Country’ Episode 4 Review: Museum Confirms You Need To Know Where You Have Been To Know Where You Are Heading

Rubi’s romance with William has given her new benefits, including a magic potion that allows her to change races upon consumption. She is initially shocked by the revelation but quickly realizes that the transformation allows her to enjoy a finer side of the life she has long dreamed of.

She quickly returns to the department store she previously decided not to apply for, but easily gets the job in her new skin. She was offered a deputy principal position with the same credentials that probably would have turned her down if she had always been black. After approaching the only other black employee in the store, she realizes that she is much more skilled than Tamra, the girl who fills the job she originally wanted. It is also triggered by the offhand racist remarks of her white colleagues.

To reimburse William for the potion, she has to have an exclusive party where a body is hidden in a closet. Later, she takes her white colleagues to a bar in South Chicago, where they dance and have fun at Rubi’s expense. It comes full circle when she savagely attacks Mr. Hughes, her boss, for trying to rape Tamra while they are partying. To complete the confusion, viewers even find out that William was actually Christina in disguise the entire time.

Montrose shamelessly explores his sexuality

In a shocking twist, it is revealed that Montrose, Tic’s father, is actually attracted to men after showing up to an unknown lover and engaging him on a wild date. Earlier in the season, Uncle George hinted that Montrose isn’t Tic’s real father, so it makes sense for him to have some secret romantic endeavors that catch viewers off guard.

Montrose later hangs out with the same stranger in a locker room for what appears to be a drag show, alongside several other men. Eventually, they enter the party, with Montrose dancing in pure bliss. He finally seems to be in a safe space where he can be himself.

Tic and Leti get closer as they make discoveries

Tic and Leti

The relationship between Tic and Leti continues to develop as they delve deeper into the secrets of the “Book of Names”. They have a steamy encounter in a garage, and later they work together to learn more about the mysterious alphabet used to write on the lost pages.

However, in Leti’s absence, Tic makes a disturbing discovery that viewers will have to wait until later to find out.

Rubi’s new identity represents a dream shared by many black Americans

Rubi’s new identity as “Hilary” gives her the freedom to walk the streets and earn an income she has never had access to before. The smile on her face as she licks an ice cream cone as a white woman embodies the joy she feels at finally having the opportunity to live a righteous life. She couldn’t have said it better when she regrets that being black and a woman has “interrupted” her life.

His sentiment is far too understandable to black people living in America. Too often, black Americans are arrested by the police, questioned by their neighbors and denied the opportunities they have won just because they are black. Their lives and lifestyles are constantly marginalized due to the systemic inequalities that serve to maintain white supremacy. And all too often, members of the black community seek to escape this truth by assimilating into white culture.

Black identities are fluid and constantly changing

In fact, Rubi and Montrose’s experiences in Episode 4 personify the reality that black identities are complex and not binary. Black beings can be that and that, both, without having to identify as such. Black identities are not limited to titles imposed on them, and black Americans have the freedom to choose how they identify themselves at any time. Rubi doesn’t have to get stuck within the confines of her ethnicity, and Montrose has the right to explore the sexual spectrum at will.

“Strange Case” reveals the intricacies of Lovecraft’s crew and the magic that surrounds them

Things have only gotten stranger since the premiere of Lovecraft Country. Just when viewers think they understand how magic works, an unexpected discovery presents itself. Apparently, there are spells that allow people to transform into another race, gender, or whatever they want. We’re also shown that every character on the show has a hidden truth to them (be it their abilities, desires, or identity) that it’s time to reveal. Sure Lovecraft Country, only one thing is certain: nothing is certain.


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