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LOVECRAFT COUNTRY’s Finale Leans Away from Its Magic
Spoilers ahead for Lovecraft Country’s season one finale

The Lovecraft Country finale brought Tic, Leti, Montrose, Hippolyta, Dee, and Ji-Ah together for one mission: to keep Christina from succeeding with her immortality spell. The show’s entire season indicated that this final showdown would be magical, epic, and presumably a winning moment for Tic and company. However, the finale doesn’t fully capitalize on some magical, imaginative elements and leads our protagonists to even more trauma.

Each main player, including Christina, went through their own sets of ordeals and comeuppance in this episode. And, even though the future is changed according to Leti, no one really wins in the end. There’s also no firm indication at this point if Lovecraft Country is a limited series of if the show will come back for another season. So, it may be a while before we know if it’s truly over or just the beginning of expanding this world.

Here’s what happens to each character and what their future might look like either on TV or in some fans’ imaginations.

Tic
Atticus Freeman Lovecraft Country stands in dark woods with Black shirt

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

The chances of Tic surviving the Autumnal Equinox ritual with Christina were quite slim. Ji-Ah told Tic he would die. His future son wrote about him dying in his Lovecraft Country novel. And Tic himself seemed ready to die to keep his family safe. Still, a glimmer of hope that he could somehow come out victorious kept fans going. It didn’t seem to be too much of a stretch considering his magical bloodline, Leti’s invulnerability, Hippolyta’s time-traveling capabilities, and the Book of Names.

Tic calls upon his ancestors, specifically Hannah, Hattie, and his mom Dora, to help him get a piece of Titus for a reverse spell. But it’s not enough. Tic realizes early in the episode that he’s destined to die in order to liberate future generations from white people with magical powers. And he indeed dies in Christina’s ritual while Leti, Ji-Ah, and Hippolyta watch.

It’s always a bold and rather risky decision to kill off a primary protagonist. Sometimes, their death pays off in terms of bringing the story to a natural conclusion. However, Tic’s death doesn’t feel that way. We have watched this bold and brave character go up against so many villains throughout this season: murderous cops, ghosts, and actual monsters. But, when it comes to the final fight with the big bad, he has virtually no power.

Tic doesn’t evoke the words of the Book of Names nor his ancestral power to try to put up a bigger fight. Yes, he seems to believe that he has Christina’s blood to do a reversal spell. It makes sense to throw some curveballs and challenges in there but it was far too simple. Not having Christina’s blood automatically meant Tic had to die. There was this expectation from many fans of Tic vs. Christina being this otherworldly magical battle and it didn’t happen at all. We get some fighting with Hippolyta, Leti, and Montrose against white people but that’s about the peak of action in Ardham.

Leti says that the final spell she cast will give Black people literal magic and take it away from white people. The spell uses Tic’s body as he takes on this Christlike role where he dies so people can have a more abundant life. It seems like a good move considering how white people have abused magic thus far but, in the grand scheme of life, does it really help future Black people? What, exactly, is life more abundantly for a Black person in America?

Leti and Tic stand face to face in hallway

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White people don’t need magic to keep their foot (literally and figuratively) on Black people’s necks. They can just lean even deeper into their racist toolbox to make Black people’s lives miserable. Things would be much worse if terrible white people had magic as well but they are quite harmful enough without it, too. The better spell, if it exists in that world, would be to get rid of racism all together. But, it’s art imitating life so Leti, Montrose, and Hippolyta will still have to deal with racism despite having magic at their fingertips.

Or, maybe Lovecraft Country is leaning further into our reality. Black people still have joy, laughter, love, and our own versions of magic despite the many attempts to bring us down. But, in their world with fantastical magic, it adds on a layer of sadness because the writers can let their imaginations go completely wild.

In the context of the show, Tic made the decision that he felt was his proper destiny. He is willing to give his life in hopes that no more Black people will die at the hands of white people who want to use them for their own magical gain. It’s a controversial decision that might have went over better if Tic was given the agency to actually go down with a fight.

If Lovecraft Country returns, the show could bring Tic back. Hippolyta has the ability to travel to different Earths and through time. Yes, it’s kind of a time-traveling rule break to revive this Tic, but what about the alternate Tics out in different dimensions? Maybe they can take the Doctor Who route and put a parallel universe Tic who lost his Leti with our Leti. It’s a long shot, but anything is possible.

Or, the show could do more anthology type stories and explore exactly what happened when Tic went through the portal. What year did he go through to talk to his son? Assuming his son is an adult when they meet, it would be around 20 years later in the 1970s. Or, maybe George encounters his father when he’s much older—let’s say 95 years old.

George will be born in 1956 (assuming he is born on this Earth in this timeline) so this puts them in 2051. What is the world like then? How does Tic feel about what Black people still had to go through even after white people didn’t have magic anymore? It could be a great story to explore.

Leti
a woman with a white floral shirt stands in front of 1950s refrigerator

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

The finale takes Leti on quite the ride as she also realizes that Tic apparently must die to save the future. She has to carry that in her heart as they get baptized together. She shields Montrose from the inevitable truth that he will indeed lose his son.

Leti not only loses the love of her life but her sister too. Leti and Ruby’s last conversation ends on a somewhat contentious and nebulous note. Ruby refuses to help Leti with her plan to fight against Christina but Leti tells her something else offscreen. Christina takes away Leti’s invulnerability but Leti regains it again in a way that’s not completely clear. It appears that Christina (as Ruby) or Ruby channeling through her own body restores Leti’s invulnerability.

Leti shows up right when Tic is about to die but she doesn’t intervene until after Tic is passed out or possibly dead. It’s likely the only way that she can continue with her spell to save the future. Leti, Montrose, Hippolyta, and Ji-Ah carry Tic’s body across the bridge and back towards Woody as poor Leti cries in complete devastation. Her invulnerability saves people who don’t even exist yet Leti cannot save those who mean the most to her. She doesn’t get a resolution with Ruby and now she likely blames herself for being duped by Christina as well as Ruby’s death.

Jurnee Smollett as Leti Lewis leans on a table in a library

Elizabeth Morris/HBO

If Lovecraft Country continues, then it could follow Leti as she gives birth to George. She’s going to also have to find a way to explain Ruby’s death to so many in their community as well as her estranged brother. He’s her only remaining family. And there are ways to fight monsters and against people who use magic for evil. White people are not the only ones with access to magic nor are they the only group who cause harm to Black people.

Leti could decide to go through the portal and continue to liberate people somewhere else. This would make sense considering she’s always been a wanderer and a person who fights for social justice. This is also a great way for George to get all the experiences he needs to make his version of Lovecraft Country even better. Or she might stay right here on this Earth and use her invulnerability, which she presumably passes on to her son, and fight against whatever evil comes next. There are still monsters, ghosts, and many other dark things lurking in the shadows.

Ruby

Ruby’s ending is perhaps the most problematic of all. Ruby’s character has been focused on one thing throughout her arc: bettering her own life. At first it was through getting a “good job” but it soon became through access to magic. She repeatedly said she did not want to get involved in Tic and his “crazy” father’s business with Christina.

It made sense from her perspective because she was getting easier access to learn about magic via Christina. It’s debatable if Christina and Ruby were in love but they certainly developed a close, albeit strange, connection. However, Ruby suddenly decides to help Leti by attempting to take a part of Christina’s body to help with Tic’s spell.

Later on in Ardham, Leti later finds out that Christina killed Ruby and is using her body as a skin suit. It’s a really messed up conclusion for someone who was the least involved. Her death didn’t even change anything because, well, Tic and Christina died. While Ruby deciding to help Leti seems like the “right” thing to do, it also goes against everything the show has established about her as a character. Ruby cares about Leti but she believes her sister is an irresponsible and selfish user. She feels like she has a good thing going with Christina and doesn’t want to mess that up over Tic and Montrose.

Wunmi Mosaku stands in front of open area

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

If anything, Ruby would have stayed out of the way and let the Christina vs. Tic and company play out on its own. Ruby didn’t have magic in her blood like Tic, invulnerability like Leti, nor powers like Hippolyta. Why would she want to risk her life and possibly die at Christina’s hands? She could have stayed in Chicago and offered to look after Dee while everyone else went to Ardham. Also, no matter who triumphed, she still would have gotten what she wanted if she removed herself from between everyone.

Christina seemed to honor her promise for Leti to survive and was already starting to share the secrets of her magic. And, even if Tic lived and Christina died, it wouldn’t have changed anything for Ruby. She would still be able to go back to Christina’s house and have access to all of her books. It is certainly a frustrating ending and frankly unnecessary death for a character with so much potential.

Like Tic, the main way to bring Ruby back is if they ran into Ruby from another dimension or went back in time. Maybe there is a slim chance they can revive her comatose body in the basement if someone can get to her. But it’s more likely that Ruby’s story ends with her senseless sacrifice.

Montrose
Michael K Williams as Montrose stands in white T shirt in front of window

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

Montrose’s worst fear came to fruition in this episode. He was afraid of their actions literally leading to Tic’s death and that’s exactly what happened. We see Montrose weeping over his son’s body as Hippolyta shares a letter that Tic wrote for him before dying. This, along with Ji-Ah’s visions, confirms that Tic prepared for his demise before Ardham.

In a voiceover, Tic ties everything together by quoting none other than Alexandre Dumas. He pulls a quote from their beloved The Count of Monte Cristo which speaks about grief.

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.”

He then says he wants Montrose to have that happiness. Atticus also tells Montrose that his future grandson is his second chance to get fatherhood right. He asks his father to be there for little George and apologizes for having to die in Ardham. Montrose is slowly working through his trauma but he still has such a long way to go. Honestly, Montrose needs to go through a lot of healing and therapy before he tries to be a key figure in little George’s life. He is grappling with his own childhood, seeing Tulsa all over again, and losing both his brother and his son.

The future for Montrose can possibly be bright. With a lot of self-work, he can be a better person for his family’s sake. We don’t get to see any resolution with him and Sammy, but perhaps he can also work on that relationship as well. He might even carry on George’s legacy and continue to travel and add to the Safe Negro Travel Guide.

Christina
a woman sits a desk in a dark room

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

Christina certainly causes a lot of harm in her quest to be immortal. She kills both Ruby and Tic, however, her immortality quickly bites her in the butt. Leti binds her at Ardham Lodge to essentially stay stuck until she dies, however, Dee and Tic’s shoggoth come along to kill her.

Dee even points out that Christina hasn’t learned anything from the harm she’s caused their family. Christina is a terrible person right down to the end, which is a good thing. The last story we need is a murderous magical white woman somehow becoming a “good” person.

Dee

Dee is saved from turning into a Tospy entity. However, they are not able to fully restore her injured arm. She’s rightfully upset about a lot of things: Emmitt Till’s killers being acquitted, her mother leaving for a while, and her artistic arm being destroyed. However, Hippolyta fits her with a robotic arm. Yes, Dee Freeman is a cyborg.

The adults inexplicably leave Dee in Woody… alone… in the woods…with shoggoths roaming about. She’s reading future George Freeman’s Lovecraft Country when a shoggoth nearly kills her before Tic’s shoggoth comes in to save the day. Dee guides it towards the Ardham Lodge where she then uses her robotic arm to choke Christina to death. It’s quite surprising considering that Dee barely even knows Christina at all.

a girl stands in a white dress on street in Lovecraft Country tv show

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

If this girl were going to kill anyone, it would be Lancaster considering he’s the culprit behind her losing her arm. It can be argued that Dee’s anger over Emmitt’s death will set her on a path of revenge against white people in general. Perhaps this is why she seeks out Christina and kills her. The final scene ends with Tic’s shoggoth growling at the moon while Dee stands stoically nearby.

This sets up a lot of questions for Dee. Will she simply walk back to Woody and pretend like it’s all good? Will she tell anyone about killing Christina? Or, is Dee going to wander off and go rogue in the world? It’s pretty obvious that Dee cannot return back to her normal life. It’s 1955 and her arm would get attention to say the least.

Maybe Dee and Hippolyta will go back to the observatory and leave this Earth for good. Hippolyta is literally a superhero now. They could be free to travel to different dimensions and have incredible experiences together. They love Montrose and Leti but there’s really nothing else tying them to this planet anymore.

Hippolyta

I imagined Hippolyta playing a much bigger role in the finale. Perhaps she would be able to utilize all her knowledge about dimensions, time travel, and space to somehow put Christina into a time lock. Maybe Hippolyta could travel elsewhere to gather more information from other magical people about alternate ways to defeat Christina. Or, if they could subdue her, Hippolyta could toss her on some abandoned planet. Lovecraft Country is a fictional story… the writers are literally making it up! But, instead, she didn’t have much agency outside of making a robot arm for Dee.

She didn’t get to show off any of her sheer power. Ji-Ah gets to play more of an active role in the final moments than Hippolyta does despite being Tic’s aunt. It’s another example of these characters having so much magical potential that doesn’t show up in the finale. It was more thrilling to watch them battle other things than the so-called “big bad” Christina.

Hippolyta stands near Woody I Am episode Lovecraft Country

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

Hippolyta is undoubtedly one of the most interesting characters on the show. Another seasonal arc or offshoot story would be a great way to explore her traveling life. We only got to experience a piece of it through her solo episode when she was still trying to name herself. Now, she knows who she is and what she wants to do with her future.

It would be a complete waste for her to simply stay in Chicago in 1955 and continue a normal life. Again, there is nothing holding her and Dee back from going to other places and exploring the universe.

Ji-Ah
Ji-Ah Lovecraft Country stands in front of room with lit candles

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

Ji-Ah’s powers ended up being the crucial key to help Leti’s spell work. But, it felt like Ji-Ah was simply thrown into the mix solely for her abilities. Tic did apologize to her for treating her terribly a few episodes ago. But it’s mainly because he needs her help.

She had to go through the pain of seeing someone she loves die. His entire life flashes in her mind and stays with her forever as she connects with her tails. Ji-Ah is alone in the world after her mother’s death but now has Tic’s family. Yes, it’s a bit awkward to think of Ji-Ah and Leti being close to each other. However, they have the connection of loving (and losing) Tic. Ji-Ah needs family and perhaps there is something in the Book of Names that can liberate her.

Lovecraft Country’s finale ended on a terribly sad note with Ruby’s and Tic’s deaths. It’s quite likely that this is the end of the story considering that white people don’t have magic anymore. But, maybe the show will keep going to explore many other ways that Black people can now use their inner magic to survive and thrive in this complex world – and beyond.

Featured Image: Eli Joshua Ade/HBO