Lovecraft Country Preview: HBO Releases Episodes 1-5 Overviews

With less than three weeks to go before HBO's upcoming supernatural drama Lovecraft Country begins its journey into the heart of darkness, viewers were treated to episode overviews for the first half of the season. Adapted from Matt Ruff's best-selling 2016 novel of the same name by showrunner/EP Misha Green (Underground), EP Jordan Peele (Get Out), and EP J.J. Abrams, Lovecraft Country introduces us to Koren war vet Atticus Black (Jonathan Majors), who joins up with his friend Letitia "Leti" Dandridge (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip to find his missing father and claim a family legacy.

A look at Lovecraft Country (Image: HBO)
A look at Lovecraft Country (Image: HBO)

Atticus is known for two things: always having a pulp novel in his back pocket and wearing his heart on his sleeve despite the daily injustice of living in the 1950s Jim Crow America. The trio must survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.

Season 1, Episode 1: "Sundown": Veteran and pulp-fiction aficionado Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) travels from the Jim Crow South to his South Side of Chicago hometown in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams). After recruiting his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) to join him, the trio sets out for "Ardham," MA, where they think Montrose may have gone looking for insight into Atticus' late mother's ancestry. As they journey across the Midwest, Tic, Leti, and George encounter dangers lurking at every turn, especially after sundown. Teleplay by Misha Green; directed by Yann Demange.

Season 1, Episode 2: "Whitey's on the Moon": Inexplicably recovered from their terrifying night, Leti and George luxuriate in their new surroundings, while Atticus grows suspicious of their Ardham Lodge hosts – Christina Braithwhite (Abbey Lee) and her elusive father Samuel (Tony Goldwyn) – who unveil cryptic plans for Atticus' role in their upcoming "Sons of Adam" ceremony. Later, after Tic, Leti, and George stumble upon a clue that could lead them to Montrose, each takes an unwelcome walk down memory lane. Teleplay by Misha Green; directed by Daniel Sackheim.

Season 1, Episode 3: "Holy Ghost": Hoping to mend her relationship with her sister Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku), Leti turns a ramshackle Victorian on Chicago's North Side into a boarding house – an endeavor that stokes neighborhood racism and awakens dormant spirits stuck in the house. Meanwhile, Atticus remains burdened by a guilty conscience as George's wife Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis) presses him for the full story of what happened in Ardham. Teleplay by Misha Green; directed by Daniel Sackheim.

New key art and poster for Lovecraft Country (Image: HBO)
New key art and poster for Lovecraft Country (Image: HBO)

Season 1, Episode 4: "A History of Violence": After Christina mysteriously shows up at her doorstep, Leti confronts Atticus about his plan to surreptitiously return to Florida. Later, in search of missing pages to a crucial text, Leti, Tic, and Montrose head to Boston, with Hippolyta and Diana (Jada Harris) along for the ride. Back in Chicago, a handsome stranger nurses Ruby's disappointment over a squandered job opportunity. Teleplay by Misha Green; Story by Wes Taylor; directed by Victoria Mahoney.

Season 1, Episode 5 "Strange Case": After making a devil's bargain with William, Ruby steps into the charmed shoes of a white woman, but her transformation only fortifies her resentment of the racial divide. A betrayal by Montrose unleashes Atticus' pent up rage, leaving Leti deeply disturbed and sending Montrose into the comforting arms of his secret lover. Teleplay by Misha Green and Jonathan Kidd & Sonya Winton; directed by Cheryl Dunye.

Joining Vance, Majors, and Smollett-Bell are Aunjanue Ellis, Elizabeth DebickiWunmi Mosaku, Michael K. Williams, Jamie Harris, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung, Jordan Patrick Smith, Jamie Neumann, Erica Tazel, and Mac Brandt, and Tony Goldwyn. Adapted from Matt Ruff's novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country stems from Academy Award winner Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions, J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot, and WBTV. Yann Demange (Top Boy) directs and executive produces the series opener; with Misha Green writing the pilot and serving as showrunner, as well as executive-producing alongside Peele, Abrams, and Ben Stephenson. Daniel Sackheim (The Americans, True Detective) is directing the second and third episodes of the series, and will also serve as executive producer.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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