We definitely come full circle in the season finale episode of Lovecraft Country — final secrets are revealed, trusts are betrayed, wills are tested, sacrifices are made, and power is reclaimed. The episode opens up right where we left off last week, with the crews in a frantic rush to save Dee now that they have the Book of Names. As Leti, Tic, Montrose, and Hippolyta start to spell to unbind the Book, Leti and Tic faint and are both taken back to burning houses to learn what was lost — Tic to the house with Hanna (Joaquina Kalukango) and Leti to the burning house in Tulsa with Hattie (Regina Taylor). While both in their respective pasts, they are told that they both have vital missions that they are being entrusted with — Leti must protect the Book of Names while Tic must save not only his family but his people — they both have huge burdens to bear. We are also given more of a glimpse of why Hanna bound the Book and the significance of the recurring burning nightmare.
The Hanna tells us that the fire was her rage made manifest, and eventually, she learned that it could be contained and that magic should not be feared but should be passed on. While under, Tic even gets a chance to see his mother (Erica Tazel) again in a very tender moment between the two. There’s a heartbreaking moment when Tic tells his mother that he doesn’t want to die before laying his head in his mother’s lap. She then tells him that “we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves for something important…we don’t have a choice” — wise words for us all. But she encourages and comforts him by saying that he is the best of both Montrose and George — a fierce heart plus integrity. He wants to stay with her longer, but she reminds him that there is still work to do, and this is just a beginning, not an end — a set up for a second season?
Meanwhile, Hattie imparts the history of the Book and teaches Leti how to read the spells. The two different worlds (or pasts rather) then merge as Leti, Tic, Hanna, and Dora join forces to chant the spell that will reverse Dee’s spell. It works — at least partially, Dee’s arm is still in necrosis — as Leti and Tic come back to the present. With Dee out of immediate danger, the crew must now change their sights on stopping Christina in her quest for immortality. Tic is hesitant, but Leti reminds him, “Look at what we’ve been through to get here…we can’t stop now” (yet another message for the current real-life movement and quest for equality). You have to be ready to die for life is the message we get at Leti and Tic again venture out on some real “Indiana Jones”/”The Mummy” type vibes (and don’t forget we’ve still got a monster in the basement).
To beat Christina at her own game, the crew must merge the three bodies — Tic, Christina, and Titus — so they conjure up Titus. As the bigoted Titus faces off against Hanna, he momentarily escapes the circle and can tip Christina off to the fact that they have gotten their hands on the Book. Unaware of this fact, the crew continues on as Tic kills Titus (again) and carves out a piece of heart, thus releasing the ancestors now that their work is done — showing that the fight can only be won with the help of those who came before us, we are building on their legacy.
Meanwhile, back at the Freeman household, Dee is depressed and angry — she’s lost the use of her drawing arm, and she’s mad at the fact that her mother has left her — both of her parents left her. But Hippolyta tells her that she was always coming back — she could never leave her — she just needed to leave momentarily so that she “could become what [Dee] imagined [her] to be” in her comics so she could name herself ‘Mother.” Eventually, Hippolyta gives Dee an updated version of her comic book that she drew (a skill she learned in the future from modern-day illustrator Afua Richardson) in which the two appear together and tells her that this moment will pass. But for them to stop Christina (even though she says it’s nothing personal and that their families are not at war), they’re going to need all hands on deck — that includes Ruby. But will they be able to get her on their side since she’s been closer to Christina? Christina, aware of their holding of the Book, tries to make a trade, but Tic refuses to lead Christina to take the invulnerability spell from Leti, ratcheting up the stakes and risk factor.
Leti asks Ruby to help them by securing some of Christina’s blood because they are family — she even finally shares with Ruby why she was not at their mother’s funeral. But Ruby says no because Leti still doesn’t really understand what family means — it’s not an obligation but acceptance and sacrificing everything to protect it. But Ruby ultimately has a change of heart after having an intimate moment with Christina for the first time (the sexual tension has been building for a while), but this ultimately leads to her demise. Meanwhile, Tic meets up with Ji-ah to ask for her help and apologize for the way he treated her as he tells her that they will always be connected because they are family — their destinies are intertwined (this can be seen as the intertwining of all minorities groups in the fight equality — we are in the same fight and can only win when we work together). She is hesitant to say that she is destined to enter the darkness, but Tic reminders her of something that she once told him — “we can be monsters or heroes” — we always have a choice.
In “Full Circle,” Leti also comes full circle in her relationship with Christianity and God and asks Tic to get baptized with her. In a thought-provoking moment, she explains her journey to Tic by saying, “I’ve been chasing faith, but I should’ve been discovering it in myself because that’s where he is.” As the team comes together for the cause and road trip to Ardham, there is an adorable fleeting moment of joy in the car when they sing along with the radio in a much-needed respite after all the trials and tribulations they have faced. Once in Ardham, we find out that Ruby is not really Ruby and Ruby (or Christina rather), and Leti get into an all-out brawl do disastrous results. Meanwhile, Tic and Montrose have a moment of levity as Tic combines the three bodies (or thinks that he is). Then in come the white townsfolk (in a moment reminiscent of “Children of the Corn”) to stop the crew. As Tic willingly gets strapped to the contraption (eerily similar to Jesus’s crucifixion scene — he is sacrificing himself to save his people after all), he is shocked to see Christina walk up with the Book in hand.
While this is happening, Dee has been left alone in the car in the woods as a creature comes out of the darkness to attack her. It is at that moment when Tic’s monster comes to the rescue. Back at the brutal blood-draining scene, it is an all-out battle of magics when Leti returns — the invulnerability spell came back. But Leti’s magic is not enough — Ji-Ha realizes that she must sacrifice herself and enter the darkness to bind the Tic and Christina. It is here where we get a beautiful and powerful montage. In the end, Christina loses out the Leti, who binds all white folk from magic — she reclaims it for Black people. At that moment, they realize that Tic is really dead. As they start grieving, Hippolyta gives Montrose a letter from Tic that reveals his final secret — he knew all along that he would die, and it was unavoidable. Still, now Montrose has a second chance to be the father that he always wanted. Elsewhere, Dee reveals her bionic arm and the fact that she can control the monster just like Tic as she chokes the life out of Christina as she begs for help — so much for immortality.
In the end, “Full Circle” was a satisfying culmination of the season. It tied up loose ends and connected the dots while giving us the ending that we mostly expected while also setting up the path for a second season — I want a season all about Dee and Hippolyta and their exploits. It’s been a fun and crazy ride (with a message) that transported us back in time (with the spot-on soundtrack, set design, and costuming) but also gives us a glimpse of the future — giving us a taste of afro-futurism and genre television at its finest.