Lovecraft Country Visits the Tulsa Race Massacre

One history lesson that's been showcased in a couple of recent HBO series, including Watchmen, is the Tulsa Race Massacre, which occurred in Oklahoma in 1921. Also known as the Tulsa Race Riots and Black Wall Street Massacre, the tragic event happened on June 1st, 1921 when a white mob began setting businesses on fire and shooting people in the thriving Black neighborhood of Greenwood. Roughly 16 hours of violence and terror caused by white citizens left the entire district destroyed. While Watchmen's opening sequence touched on tragedy, tonight's episode of Lovecraft Country, "Rewind 1921," actually saw some of the main characters traveling back in time to the day it all happened.

The family attempts to save Dee (Jada Harris) after the police put a curse on her in the previous episode. They learn that the only way to save her is to retrieve the Book of Names, which was lost in the massacre back in 1921. Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis) finally returns after her time travel adventure and reveals she can fix Hiram's Orrery and use it to send Atticus (Jonathan Majors), Leti (Jurnee Smollett), and Montrose (Michael K. Williams) back to 1921 to retrieve the book.

We learn that Montrose, his brother Goerge, and Dora (Atticus' mother) were children on the day of the riots and that Dora's family were all murdered in a fire. Montrose struggles with returning to the darkest day of his life, seeing his own father beat him and later rewatching his childhood friend die. In fact, the day really sets Montrose's tragic life into motion. His younger self breaks up with the other boy in an attempt to hide his sexuality. Moments later, they're attacked by the rioters and the other boy is murdered. George and Dora show up to help Montrose but are soon outnumbered. As adult Montrose and Tic watch from the shadows, Montrose waits for a mysterious man with a bat to show up and save their younger selves. That's when Tic picks up a bat and saves them himself, proving that this moment was always meant to happen.

Meanwhile, Leti finds herself in Dora's family home as they fend off the killers outside. While searching for the Book of Names, she's confronted by Dora's grandmother, who ultimately gives the book to Leti once she realizes who she is. She accepts that she must die in order for Atticus and Leti's unborn baby to live, and Leti (who is currently unable to be harmed) watches as her baby's great-great-grandmother burns alive.

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With the book in hand, they make it back to their time. Hippolyta is in rough shape for holding the portal open for so long and we're eager to see how next week's season finale will play out. Especially since Christina (Abbey Lee) offered to help Dee in exchange for Tic to come willing with her on the autumnal equinox. Will he survive?!

Lovecraft Country airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and is available to stream on HBO Max.