Martin Carr reviews the season finale of Lovecraft Country…
This tale of ancestral emancipation reaches its conclusion and comes ‘Full Circle’ in a finale peppered with poetic overtones. Deep rooted preconceptions which stretch back for generations, both real and imagined, get closure as Lovecraft Country leaves an indelible mark. Witchcraft and incantations gel with family moments of immeasurable meaning as the Freeman family come together. Dream state revelations, sacrificial resurrections and moments of genuine pathos combine with large scale set pieces without ever overshadowing character.
Lovecraft Country has countless themes, untold influences and pays homage with respect to those that have come before. It was never just about any one thing but set out to explore interpretations of what identity, race and gender meant without prejudice. Misha Green and company made sure that this show never felt constrained by limited scope, audience demographic or network expectations. HBO provided a platform for expression as it has done on countless other occasions so that audiences might become enlightened.
There are monsters, there is magic and people do come up against obstacles but Lovecraft Country concludes with no clear heroes. Tragedy does strike, fatalities do occur and ultimately there is sacrifice, but beyond that comes renewal. A sense that situations and circumstances are cyclical in there design and destiny somehow plays its part in our plans. It leans into religion, brings up questions of faith and dissects them without making judgements.
These writers know that such things are subjective, open to denial and shift according to public perceptions. If there are any academics who feel the need for dissertation inspiration this is the place to start, while those conjuring up doctorates should be equally enamoured by the depth on screen. Look beyond the solid ensemble performances, pertinent topical angles and savvy mix of contemporary soundtrack choices. This might come across like another hybrid of converging genres and tent pole programming, but beneath its bravado beats the heart of an intellectual. These are writers in love with their subject making things just palatable enough for them to fulfil another agenda.
Lovecraft Country comes with an inbuilt gravitas, an undeniable sense of nobility and clarity of purpose. It represents a televisual home run for which superlatives seems superfluous. There are no nods to an audience, no overly elaborate plot twists and ultimately everything boils down to family. A message which right now couldn’t be more on point.