Lovecraft Country (2020) s01e05 Episode Script

Strange Case

[birds chirping]
[ominous music]
Wake up, Ruby.
Wake up.
[breathing heavily]
[bell dings]
You lost, ma'am?
I'm Ruby Baptiste.
Stop staring at me!
- [grunts]
- Ma'am, you okay?
[siren wailing]
[tense music]
What did you do to her, boy?
I was just trying to help.
It's okay, ma'am.
He can't hurt you anymore.
- You're safe now.
- Get over there.
Did you molest her? Huh?
Answer me, boy!
- What did you do to her?
- Wait, officer!
He didn't hurt me.
I just I got lost.
There's no need to
protect this animal, ma'am.
If he did something to you
I swear he didn't.
He was just trying to help me.
Let's get you somewhere safe, ma'am.
[whispering] You're all right.
What's happening over there?
You see that woman?
Right in here. Mm-hmm.
[radio tuning]
Your husband's been real
worried about you, ma'am.
You can't take me back there.
- It's okay, ma'am.
- You don't understand.
He's not my husband.
He did something to me.
And he told the operator
all about your condition.
You just need your pills.
- Let me out of here.
- [bones cracking, groaning]
- [gasps]
- Holy shit.
I think these are the fits
her husband mentioned.
[ominous music]
Stop fighting it.
You're only slowing the process.
[crying out]
Pickets and non-strikers
Wouldn't want to disturb the neighbors.
Cermak Road and Cicero Avenue.
-I don't want [panting]
[straining] I don't want to die.
He would say that
metamorphosis isn't death.
American-born Greek soprano Maria Callas
christened the stage
in Italian opera Norma.
Breaking news, a swarm
of 16 billion Kenyan locusts
are moving across North Africa,
with Great Britain in their crosshairs.
Scientists say locust
nymphs hatch from eggs,
and they will go through
five molting stages
where they will shed their skin
and develop their wings.
After seven days, they will reach
full sexual maturity as adult locusts,
destined to devour
everything in their path.
[children shouting]
[elevator clunking, elevator dings]
I'll go by the library and
get some children's books.
See if you can teach her enough English
to write up a protection spell.
Good idea.
Right? Think so.
Hey, Pop. What you doing here?
Where's Yahima?
You just let her walk out of here?
[foreboding music]
How long ago? Maybe we can find her.
Titus's pages?
- [grunting]
- [gasps]
Atticus, stop!
Somebody, help!
Somebody! He's gonna kill him!
Whoa, whoa, hey, hey, hey!
Get the fuck off me!
Montrose. Montrose, come on.
Go get some ice!
[frantic music]
Did you take photos of 'em?
- Of what?
- Titus's pages!
Tic, I need you to calm down.
God damn it, Leti!
If you took photos of
'em, give 'em to me!
[door slams]
A butterfly lives a
full life before it dies.
And a caterpillar emerges
from the same cells,
the essence of the butterfly,
yet different.
It's more.
I wanted to apply this process
of metamorphosis to humans.
But my research was all theoretical.
It was laughed at by
the academic community.
Until, by chance,
I met a disgraced professor
named Hiram Epstein.
He wanted nothing more
than to understand the universe,
but it was beyond his reach.
So he created doorways.
Not scientific, mind you,
but magical.
Though one could argue
they're one and the same.
[disquieting music]
[speaking Language of Adam]
I know that you're awake, Ruby.
[wings fluttering]
[mysterious music]
Did I die
to turn into that white woman?
The potion just mimics metamorphosis.
Wears off after a time.
Magic exists?
Does that scare you?
Scared the shit outta
me to wake up white.
when I was stumbling down the street,
crazed and disheveled
and screaming at everybody around me,
they weren't scared of me.
They were scared for me.
They all treated me like
A human being.
I know your transformation was painful.
That wasn't pain.
That was something else.
Like being unmade.
I promise, it'll be easier next time.
No, there won't be a next time.
I have some business to attend to.
Am I free to go?
You are free to do whatever you please.
[door clicks open]
[door clunks shut]
[foreboding music]
Somebody, anybody,
sing a Black girl's song.
Bring her out to know
herself, to know you,
but sing her rhythms
of caring and struggle
and hard times.
Sing her song of life.
She's been dead so long,
clothed in silence so long,
she doesn't know the
sound of her own voice,
her infinite beauty.
She's half notes,
scattered without rhythm,
no tune.
Sing her sighs.
Sing the song of her possibilities.
Sing a righteous gospel,
the making of a melody,
and let her be born.
Let her be born
and handled warmly.
I'm outside Chicago,
and this is for colored girls
who have considered suicide,
but are moving to the
ends of their own rainbows.
[bright jazz music]
[indistinct chatter]
[door squeaks]
I did take pictures of the pages.
I just didn't have a
chance to develop them yet.
Thank you.
For stopping me.
If I wasn't there, would
you have killed him?
I've imagined it enough.
When I was younger.
Mostly after he beat me.
That violence that's in
him, I thought wasn't
Could never be in me.
I found it in the war.
Seeing that side of you scares me.
Please don't be scared of me.
[Black Atlass' "Return to Love"]
You got me in between
the devil and the deep blue sea
Let's stop with the bullshit.
I don't believe for a second
that I am special enough
for you to share your
conjuring powers with.
There are a thousand colored girls
on the South Side.
Why share magic with me?
Why not you?
[soft mysterious music]
The first time I laid eyes on you
was the first time in a
while that I had felt magic
where there was none.
And I will need a favor
when the time comes.
What kind of favor?
There's a friend that I owe.
A woman friend.
Is that a problem?
Might be when I find
out what kind of favor it is.
It's small, really.
But until then, you do as you please.
Go as you please, in
whatever skin you like.
I am curious.
I saw the money I left
still on the nightstand.
Why didn't you use any of it?
Didn't have to.
I enjoyed my entire day
using the only currency that I needed,
I don't know what is more difficult,
being colored or being a woman.
Most days, I'm happy to be both,
but the world keeps interrupting,
and I am sick
of being interrupted.
So what's next for Ruby,
[knocks on door]
Come in, Miss Davenport.
Six typing seminars.
Five numbers courses.
Maybe I should be worried
about you taking my job.
Uh, your your résumé,
it speaks for itself.
Tell me what's not on there.
Who is Hillary Davenport?
I'm an imported good.
I grew up in a small town in Maine and
Really? What town?
I'm from Waterville.
Oh, it's a tiny town.
You've probably never heard of it.
Try me.
Well, we moved to
Chicago after my father died,
and my mother was
an unlucky fool for love.
After every breakup, she
would drag me and Leti
She would drive my
sister and I to Carson's
and march us up and down the aisles,
where the salesclerk
would greet us with smiles.
That was all my mother needed
to make her feel whole again.
And I always dreamed of being
on the other side of the counter,
to pass on that feeling
to a tired, overworked mother.
How do you feel about coloreds?
[tense music]
You know, working with them.
[laughing] Oh.
You're talking about
the colored gal out front?
Well, if she's qualified and hardworking,
I don't see a problem with
offering her the same opportunities
us white folks take advantage of.
A number of my employees quit
when corporate headquarters
ended our whites-only policy.
Oh, but they're
They're no race crusaders.
They're just chasing that mighty dollar.
[bones cracking]
Uh, how does
assistant manager sound to you?
Yes. Yes!
- [bones crack]
- [gasps]
Fourteen times over, yes.
Thank you so much,
but I don't wanna take
up any more of your time.
Oh, don't be silly.
It's my job to make sure
everyone feels right at home.
Welcome to the Marshall Field's family.
Uh, shall we take a tour of the store?
But first, the ladies' room.
Uh, Miss Davenport,
you dropped your, uh
[bones cracking]
[suspenseful music]
[elevator ringing]
- [bones crack]
- [grunts]
[door clunks]
- [whines]
- [squelching]
[distant shouting]
[distant baby crying]
[keys jingle]
[lock clicks]
Was it the ofays or
the niggers this time?
[Frank Ocean's "Bad Religion"]
[both grunting]
[refined piano music]
Miss Davenport, you look beautiful.
My lips may not be the Blarney Stone,
but here's hoping good
luck rubs off on you
your first day.
And where is she?
Made me wait.
Twelve minutes now,
I've been standing here.
Where's the perfume girl?
The service here is
- It's awful.
- I'm finished with her.
You can't uplift the
lives of our customers
if you're not at your counter, Tamara.
So sorry, Miss Davenport.
Was only supposed to be
gone a couple of minutes.
Madge needed some shoes re-shelved,
but then Barb needed her
dressing rooms wiped down.
- And Cathy
- Tamara?
Yes, ma'am.
You're not in any trouble.
I just like to get to
know all of my employees.
I remember you saying
you applied on a whim.
I'm sorry. Did I say that to you?
Mr. Hughes must have mentioned it.
He also told me that
your hiring caused
quite a stir.
I hope you're still feeling
a part of the Marshall Field's family.
I am, ma'am.
And just remember, no
matter what anybody says,
they can't take your
educational achievements
away from you.
I wouldn't call a seventh grade education
much of an achievement.
You didn't graduate from high school?
So you took some accounting courses
down at the Frederick Douglass Center?
I didn't even know they had those there.
Your hands are a bit ashy.
For how hard we work,
they should give all this to us for free.
Madge, you look like Marilyn Monroe
in How to Marry a Millionaire.
Barb, which way is the wind blowing?
That coat would close
if you stopped stuffing
your face with bonbons.
All right, it's been 30 minutes.
We really should get back on the floor.
Well, Hillary, you're the boss.
So we can either head back out there
to the salt mines, or
You can try on these naughty stilettos
and live a fuckin' little.
Come on.
[both laugh]
Oh, speaking of of bosses, has
has Paul ever gotten
fresh with any of you?
Paul, "I live in a Norman
Rockwell painting"
with my wife and two
kids," getting fresh?
[laughing] No way.
Like my father always says,
"Boy, is paranoia the price
of being a working girl in America."
Hillary, let's see you strut!
Oh, cut a rug!
You should sign up for Herb Mintz's show.
With the rhythm in those hips,
she's ready for the colored version.
Okay, can I just say what
we've all been thinking?
I hope we don't see any more Tamaras
coming through the front door.
Well, if there are,
let's hope they're
more qualified than her.
Course she's unqualified. She's a Negro.
I was polite enough not to
use the less civilized word.
Hillary, you were with Tamara earlier.
You seem comfortable with her.
I was giving her work advice.
You think you can convince her
to take us to a bar on the South Side?
It'll be like a safari.
And we need a guide.
Why would you want to go there?
There's nothing special
about the South Side,
trust me, I know.
- Oh, my God.
- You've been there?
Were you scared being
around all of those
- [laughter]
- We're going.
- Ooh.
- Oh, yes!
[bells ringing]
[The Charms' "My Baby Dearest Darling"]
What a hunk of man.
He's with you?
Only when he behaves.
Night-night, ladies.
He's so
Can't just be showing up here.
It doesn't look like I embarrassed you.
How was the first day
of your dream job, Miss Davenport?
Well, it's better than being
someone's damn charwoman.
You don't want me to kiss you as Hillary.
Do you want to kiss Hillary?
I wanna kiss
whatever you want me to kiss.
Hold off on that.
[mysterious music]
I'm gonna need that favor.
the devil tells me what
deal I've made with him.
I need you to attend a party.
Miss Braithwhite
will give you the rest of
the details when you arrive.
There's a box in the back seat.
It's got your name all over.
They were up north, is that correct?
Oh, right, right, right.
You could view the
captain's accomplishments
as a way to immortality.
We suffered a major loss
in the Ardham incident,
but initiation must remain exclusive.
Perhaps he's recovered
Horatio's stolen pages.
It was a unanimous
decision by the members
that I take the reins of our social club.
What of the rumors of defection
following Hiram's death?
Mr. Lowe was certainly unexpected.
There were some that abandoned us,
but look around.
It's only made our brotherhood stronger.
[door clacks]
The fuck is that bitch?
[foreboding music]
You were supposed to be here an hour ago.
William does like a demanding woman.
What you need me to do here?
Simple, really.
Just, uh, hide this in
the police captain's office.
William didn't say
anything about no cops.
You trying to get me killed.
Do you care for him at all?
Beyond the opportunity
he's providing you?
William is the rightful
heir to this lodge.
The captain tried to
kill him to take his seat.
Shot him in the back
and dumped his body in the river
like he was a piece of trash.
Lancaster believes that he succeeded.
But William survived with my help
And with yours, he'll have his revenge.
[intense music]
[breathing heavily]
You okay?
How long was I out?
[sighs] Not long.
I let you sleep.
You've been going nonstop.
This looks like the Little
Orphan Annie radio puzzles
I used to play with when I was younger.
I'm guessing it's a
little more complicated.
Well, I figured I'd start
with what's in my arsenal.
These are my initials in
the Language of Adam.
A and
S. For Sampson.
Grandfather on my mother's side.
And with the letters in
the word "protection"
Eleven out of 26? Not bad.
That's if the Language of
Adam is analogous to English.
This looks like some kinda symbol.
It shows up in the
body of the text as
well, which might suggest
it's similar to the
Chinese hieroglyphics.
This would've been a lot
easier with Yahima's help.
But honestly,
I understand why your father let her go.
Keeping her against
her will would've made us
no better than Titus.
[tense music]
[sighs] I'll make us some coffee.
My pop didn't let Yahima go.
Titus's pages isn't the
only thing he got rid of.
Oh, okay. He
Leti. Leti.
He look, he probably
thought he was protecting me
by destroying everybody's
access to more magic.
Oh, no, no, no, it's this.
This is evil. It's the devil's tools.
- It is corrupting all of us.
- No, no.
Leti, Leti, it's not. Look, it
It's not inherently evil, all right?
It's what we do with it that matters.
What we wanna do?
Protect ours.
How can that be bad?
Look at what your
father did to protect you.
[indistinct chatter]
- [knocks on wood]
- No.
[dramatic musical flourish]
I'm gonna go back there. Get the door.
I'm out there dancing
like a fucking monkey.
For what? A goddamn ring.
Get me a shirt from the closet.
I'm sweating like a stuck pig.
I can't smell it, but here you go, boss.
Dusty old farts would be lucky
to have someone who
has their wits about 'em
the way you do.
It's gonna take Horatio's
pages to get me in.
Where are we on Kentucky?
I convinced the county sheriff
that it'd be in their best interest
to protect the Winthrop Observatory
from possible vandals.
[sighs] Good.
Bleeding cunt Christina wants the orrery,
we'll let her bring it right to us.
- [groaning]
- [knocking on door]
Has Zenone dropped a dime
on the location of the loot he stole?
Not yet.
But he'll talk soon enough.
- [gags]
- The dead always do.
Tamara, what?
No, it's it's wrong.
You have to put the white heels
with the monochromatic dresses.
It's the way to appeal
to our upmarket clientele.
Don't mean to be disrespectful,
but I'm doing my best here, ma'am.
Oh, your best isn't good enough.
You wanna be a credit to your race,
you have to be better than mediocre,
and do you wanna know why?
Because white folks
are even more fucked up
than you think they are.
They have got shit
you can't even imagine.
That's why you gotta be
exponentially better than them,
so you don't end up in some closet,
half-dead, with your tongue cut out.
Miss Davenport.
Is everything okay over here?
We're fine.
In fact, Tamara was just promising
to take us all out to
the South Side tonight,
where we can let our hair down.
[chuckles] Right, Tamara?
Y'all need to stop.
Girl, you are crazy.
Sammy, girl, does your man speak?
He don't have to.
See, a quiet man will tell you
everything you need to know
with just his eyes.
Not just with his eyes,
but with something else too.
Ooh. [laughter]
Uh, y'all two finally together or what?
Girl, they haven't even smacked lips yet.
Shut the hell up.
Y'all hens wouldn't have
nothing to cluck about
if you had some
cock-a-doodle-doo's pecker
in your own coops.
Oh, mother beckons, you bitches.
Sassy Sarah Vaughn has
something in store for the masses.
Hopefully something good.
It's ripped from the headlines. Gravitas.
Fresh from ravaging the
shores of Great Britain,
a savage African-eyed cicada
is poised to take over the world.
Leading a drag swam
to lay waste to Chicago's
most lavish of balls,
a never-before-seen dance called
Locusta Migratoria.
- Child.
- [laughter]
[upbeat music]
What's up, y'all?
Whoo! [laughs]
Yeah, baby!
The band is just so groovy.
Come on, Tam.
Show us how to do the Bunny Hop Mambo.
Easy, tiger.
- Upsy-daisy.
- [giggles]
Are you coming, Hillary?
I'll be right behind.
Let's dance!
[disquieting music]
- [bones cracking]
- [grunting]
[cracking and squelching]
[breathing heavily]
- [door squeaks]
- Tamara, wait.
It's late, Mr. Hughes.
I really should get home.
The party's just started.
Mr. Hughes.
Please, sir!
I don't wanna do this!
Just let me smell it.
I heard you girls smell sweet down there.
You nigger bitch!
[Moses Sumney's "Lonely World"]
[melancholy ballad]
[music swells]
[keys jingle, door clicks]
You're not William.
That's the only door
in this house that locks?
What's in the basement?
Guess Ruby got interrupted again.
He told you about that?
I've been where you are.
Disillusioned and pissed.
Disgusted by a world not built
Please shut the fuck up.
You can't relate to who I am.
And I've spent enough time
on your side of the color line
to know that the only thing
that you white women
are disillusioned with
is yourselves.
You're right.
We want to be you and
you You wanna be us.
But you misunderstood
William's invitation.
It wasn't just to be white.
It was an invitation
to do whatever the fuck you want.
That's the currency of magic.
Unmitigated freedom.
Who are you really, uninterrupted?
[suspenseful music]
giving you my notice.
You're quitting?
Look, if this is about money
It's about you, Mr. Hughes.
From the moment we've met, I've been
attracted to you.
And as your subordinate, I would never
allow my licentious ways
to jeopardize your reputation
with the company.
quitting is the only option,
so I can finally fuck your brains out.
Oh, mm-mm-mm-mm.
Always in control,
aren't you, Mr. Manager?
You don't mind if I take control
for a little while?
Earlier, you mentioned
you also wanted to chat.
What about?
Important, um it wasn't.
I, uh oh.
I just thought it might be a
A good time to, uh, fire Tamara.
- She's
- Mm-hmm.
Not carrying her weight around here
[both laugh]
[both laugh]
On your knees, Mr. Manager.
Suck it.
- Oh.
- [both moaning]
Hillary, your eyes.
You like them?
Little piggy.
[gags, laughs] That hurts oh.
Sweet enough for you?
I wanted you to know
that a nigger bitch did this to you.
[knocks on door]
[door squeaks]
[door squeaks]
You okay?
I've been trying to say
a prayer for Yahima.
My mama's faith was real.
That's why she dragged me
and Ruby to church every Sunday.
But it never made me a true believer.
I just became
someone who could perform the part.
Hell, I don't even know
what it is I'm searching for,
coming back to this.
Guess I just seen so much bad
And I'm just trying to
find something good.
I know I brought a lot of that bad.
I've been trying to bring some good too.
What does that mean?
Last time I thought we
were going somewhere,
you were planning to go back to Florida.
There was a girl
when I was over in Korea.
It ended
in a strange way.
Did you love her?
I don't know if what I
had with Ji-ah was love.
I never had any good
examples of it growing up.
My parents' love was
enduring, but unknowable.
Growing up, I
Felt love wasn't special.
My mama fell into it every two seconds.
And Ruby was just like her.
I didn't wanna be with a man if I
if it didn't mean something.
This is special.
[romantic music]
And I'm not at all confused
about that anymore.
What's in the basement?
Just give me a moment.
You and your lady friend
go in and out of there
at all hours of the day,
and I wanna know why.
William, what's wrong?
- [grunting]
- [squelching]
God, what
[crying out]
[groaning shifts]
You've been William
this whole fucking time?
[tense music]
Operator. How may I direct your call?
[line ringing]
[line clicks]
How'd you know?
- You believe me now?
- How'd you know that, damn it?
You should've listened to me.
What are you?
[line droning]
[suspenseful music]
[Alice Smith's "Sinnerman" playing]
Oh, Sinnerman
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
All on that day
Well, I run to the rock
Please hide me
I run to the rock
Please hide me
I run to the rock
Please hide me
All on that day
But the rock cried out
"I can't hide you"
The rock cried out
"I can't hide you"
The rock cried out
"I ain't gonna hide you"
All on that day
"I said," Rock
"What's the matter with you, Rock?
Can't you see I need you, Rock?"
Devil was waiting
All on that day
I cried, "Power"
I cried, "Power"
I cried, "Power"
I cried, "Power"
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