Lovecraft Country excels at turning real-life racism and bigotry into powerful horror moments, and episode 3 "Holy Ghost" fired on all cylinders when it came to that task. The history of racism and segregation in the housing market was the main focus of the episode, but the cliffhanger ending to Lovecraft Country episode 3 really resonated with a more recent meme fascination: Karen. The term (and all related meme images) has blown up big in 2020, and like so many other elements of race in society, Lovecraft Country takes the idea of a "Karen Moment" to the next level!
Warning: Lovecraft Country SPOILERS Follow!
The "Holy Ghost" episode of Lovecraft Country sees Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smollet) purchase a big boarding house in the Uptown (read: all-White) neighborhood of Chicago. That house, "Winthrop House" turns out to be a site where nearly ten African-Americans had been brutally murdered by the crazy (and crazy racist) white scientist that lived in the house. As it turns out, that scientist died and became a vengeful spirit haunting Winthrop House's halls, in an attempt to scare away/murder its black inhabitants. Thanks to the power of exorcism (and a few vengeful black ghosts), Leti and Atticus are able to expel the evil spirit from the house and establish the first big foothold for black people in that segregated section of the city.
More: The True Story of Lovecraft Country's Winthrop Avenue Pioneers.
However, while Leti is happy in her victory, Atticus can't let go of one big question hanging over the entire incident: who supplied Leti with the means and permissions needed for her to get the Winthrop House in the first place?
Atticus' search takes him to a local black real estate office, where he happens upon a twisted discovery: Christina Braithwhite (Abbey Lee) was Leti's true benefactor. That one's a shocker, as Atticus and Leti were key players in the death of Christina's father and the destruction of his estate. However, Atticus knows a devil at work when he sees one, and looks to end the threat right then and there in the real estate office. However, when 'Tic pulls a gun and tries to shoot, he's totally paralyzed and unable to follow-through.
Christina hints that she is actually a much more powerful sorcerer than her father ever was - she's clearly created a spell that prevents anyone from trying to do her harm. While Atticus stands frozen, Christina explains her plan to finish her father's work and gain some incredible power. She ends "The Lesson" by throwing a pretty big Karen gut-punch to 'Tic, about his attempted murder:
"And Tic really, you have to be smarter than this," Christina whispers in the ear of a paralyzed Atticus. "You know you just can't go around killing white women."