Spoilers follow for Lovecraft Country’s sixth episode “Meet Me in Daegu”
This week’s Lovecraft Country takes viewers a few years back for some major revelations about Tic’s life. “Meet Me in Daegu” shows him following deadly orders, falling in love, and having an otherworldly experience with someone who has been a mystery thus far. It also sets up some intrigue about what will happen to Tic in the future.
Throughout this season, Tic talks to a woman in Korea via telephone. This isn’t surprising considering he fought in the Korean War. She tells him that he should not have come home and hints that doom is coming his way. She later appears to him while he’s under a spell at the Ardham House. They engage in a battle and she stabs him before he snaps back to reality. In the last episode, he calls her after decoding a message hinting at death and asks her how she knew the truth beforehand. The show never clearly establishes how she connects with Tic—until now.
In the episode, we formally meet Ji-Ah (Jamie Chung) a socially awkward nursing student living with her mom in Daegu, South Korea. She initially seems harmless as a starry-eyed movie lover who wants to bring honor to her family by earning her degree. But, a dark family secret reveals that Ji-Ah’s deceased stepfather sexually abused her over several years.
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Her mother took her to a mudang (read: shaman) to place a kumiho/gumiho (a mythical fox creature in Korean folklore) spirit in her daughter to kill her husband. However, Ji-Ah must seduce 100 men into her home, absorb their memories, and kill them in order to become fully human again. She does this with no regrets until she meets the hundredth man: Atticus Freeman.
Tic crosses paths with Ji-Ah after his military group takes her best friend, a Communist spy, away to torture and kill her. Things get interesting when Tic is badly injured and ends up under Ji-Ah’s care. He doesn’t remember their first encounter but she certainly cannot forget it. She wants to lure him in for the kill but they end up falling in love—much to the chagrin of Ji-Ah’s mother.
Ji-Ah spares Tic but not before the kumiho spirit taps into his memories and future. There’s no explanation given for why she can see Tic’s future. But we can assume the magic within his blood plays a role in these visions. Tic is understandably terrified and goes back to the United States. No wonder he isn’t too incredibly shocked when he later sees shoggoths in a forest.
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Ji-Ah’s vision of the future includes Tic buying a bus ticket to Chicago and Leti’s face. Those images make sense based on what we have seen so far. Tic took a bus home to Chicago after hearing about Montrose’s disappearance and Leti is part of his life now. However, Ji-Ah also sees Tic being submerged under water in a baptismal way, him naked in bed with a woman who is not Leti, and his apparent death in a torturous (and possibly electric) chair.
It’s not clear when these things take place within Tic’s timeline. Tic spent some time in Florida before coming back to Chicago, which we didn’t see onscreen. But he says Ji-Ah is his first sexual relationship. So, maybe the woman is someone from his time in Florida. He also could have gone through some kind of baptism there as well.
If that’s true, then it doesn’t explain why the show thought those images were pertinent for viewers. They don’t have any real stake in the story at this point. Surely this means they are a part of a future we haven’t seen yet. If so, it will be interesting to see how this unidentified woman comes into play considering Leti and Tic are currently an item. And maybe Tic will need to be baptized after all of this is over to cleanse his sins.
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Of course, the most interesting flash forward is of Tic apparently dying. Ji-Ah thinks this ending is inevitable for Tic. It’s undoubtedly the reason why she pleads with him to not go home. But, if Tic figures out how to use magic, perhaps he can change his fate. Maybe Tic will go the Jesus Christ (or Dracula) route and die only to live again.
Tic and Ji-Ah will likely continue their communications as the series progresses. She obviously has seen what his future can hold and cares about him. But, does she know how to help him? Is there more information that she’s withholding? Between her and Montrose, it seems Tic’s efforts are being thwarted or delayed from multiple angles.
At the end of this episode, the mudang warns Ji-Ah about becoming one with darkness and seeing a lot of deaths. It’s also implied that Ji-Ah’s mother will make a certain sacrifice for her daughter to be completely free. This means her story is far from over. Perhaps she will even make an appearance in Chicago at some point. If this happens, hopefully it will not be at the expense of Leti’s impact on the story as well as her relationship with Atticus.
Ji-Ah just replaced Montrose as one of the show’s most intriguing characters. We can’t wait to see how she will show up and impact the remainder of the series. And now it’s even more clear why the stakes are so high for Tic to uncover and learn magic so he can take down the Sons of Adam.
Featured Image: Eli Joshua Ade/HBO