With last night's sixth episode of the series, "Meet Me in Daegu," HBO's Lovecraft Country dialed the clock back and switched up the setting, depicting Atticus' time spent in Korea while serving in the Army in the years before the first five episodes. Despite a chance of scenery, the episode did not hold back on delivering a new monster to the mythos of the series though as we're introduced to the show's version of the Korean myth of the "Kumiho." Read on for the full details of the latest addition to the show's roster of monsters, but be warned there are spoilers ahead!
The episode's focus is primarily on the new character of Ji-ah (played by Gotham and Big Hero 6 star Jamie Chung), a nursing student in South Korea who is caught up in the war effort as she works to help wounded soldiers. She has a secret though which is that she's not just a young woman, but a young woman inhabited by the Kumiho. The traditional myth of the Kumiho in Korean folklore is that the fox-like monster has the ability to transform into a beautiful woman and seduces men to eat their hearts. Lovecraft Country does things a little differently.
For the series, the Kumiho has been summoned by a shaman and put in the body of Ji-Ah at the behest of her mother to protect her from her stepfather, who was abusing her. The Kumiho spirit however is required to absorb 100 men's souls before it will leave Ji-ah's body and return Soon Hee's actual daughter to her. As the series reveals, the Kumiho's plan of action against its victims is to lure them into having sex with it then have its very fox-like tentacles emerge from Ji-ah's body (specifically her mouth, ears, nose, and eye holes) to rip them apart and absorb their soul. Naturally this leaves a mess.
In true Lovecraft Country fashion though there is a major twist wherein the Kumiho finds itself with just one soul remaining to eat before it will be free and Ji-ah returned. The wrinkle however is that the person it sets it sights on to be the final victim is none other than Atticus (Jonathan Majors). Despite a willingness to swallow his soul after he kills one of her friends, the Kumiho begins to take a liking to Atticus before eventually falling in love with him and refusing to eat his soul (essentially meaning it will stay in Ji-ah's body forever).
This doesn't go exactly the way that it expected however as a night of passion between them reveals her tentacles to Atticus, though she's able to wrangle them back before they can consume him. In that struggle though, two of them attach themselves to Atticus and show her a vision of his future, including his potential death. In an effort to bypass the final part of the curse, Ji-ah and her mother visit the shaman once again who advises her that she can't just transfer the spirit of the Kumiho and that she hasn't seen the last of death. Likewise we've probably not seen the last of the Kumiho as five episodes remain in the first season.
Lovecraft Country airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and is available to stream on HBO Max.