Montrose Freeman wrestles with his past.
Lovecraft Country Season One Episode Nine “Rewind 1921” directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, occurs mainly on the night of the Tulsa race massacre. Lovecraft Country Season One and The Watchmen miniseries deal with the racial injustice baked into this country’s structure. Both television shows have scenes during the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. During ” Rewind 1921,” Atticus, Montrose, and Leti go back to the day of the “riot” to search Black Wall Street for The Book of Names. Atticus’s mother, Dora Freeman, had The Book of Names in her family for generations.
Christina casts a rest and restores spell on Diana to keep her alive a little longer, but she cannot cure the youngest Freeman. She would need The Book of Names to lift the curse off the teenager. Thankfully Hippolyta comes back with a plan to save Diana’s life. Since Hippolyta has become an enlightened being, she knows how to operate the multi-universe traveling machine. Before ” I am,” she didn’t know what was going on, but now she is universes ahead of everybody else. Christina Braithwaite and all of the Sons of Adam magicians don’t know how to operate this multi-universe traveling machine, but a middle-aged Black woman has mastered the device.
Hippolyta plans to send Montrose, Atticus, and Leti back to 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, to retrieve The Book of Names so they can restore Diana. She can dial to the right time, place, and keep the portal open until they find the book because she can plug herself into the machine. Hippolyta is the motherboard, which is poetic since she is a mother. I love how Lovecraft Country empowers Black middle-aged women. Hippolyta is beautiful, intelligent, and magical.
Montrose Freeman’s emotional journey in ” 1921 Rewind” is so compelling. George, Montrose, and Dora made their life in Chicago after escaping the Tulsa race massacre. They lived a prosperous middle-class existence before Racist Whites yanked away from their slice of the American pie. When Atticus and Leti first walk the streets of the Greenwood District, they are in heaven. They have never seen Black women wearing elegant dresses, Black businessmen, or large houses in Black neighborhoods. Back in the Southside of Chicago, they all live in small apartments. Leti had to move to a White community to live in a mansion. Montrose has PTSD the minute the portal opens. He sees the city where his father beat him for wearing flowers in his hair, and he lost his first love. Atticus is angry at Montrose since he just told him that George could be his father. Dora and George dated before she married him.
The trio witnesses Montrose’s father beating him up as a young boy for his femininity. When prom is canceled, George and Dora head out to find his brother. When Leti and Atticus talk about how they’re going to break into Dora’s family home to find The Book of Names, Montrose sneaks away. Atticus thinks his father left to tell George what will happen, which would be disastrous. Hippolyta warned them that they couldn’t do anything to change the timeline. Time-traveling 101. So, he steals a car to find his Montrose. Leti stays to track down The Book of Names before it burns down in the fire.
Atticus finds Montrose back in the alleyway across from the town square. We see young Montrose speaking to another young man named Thomas. It turns out that the father is not planning to tell George anything, but instead, he wants to save his first love’s life. White men shot Thomas in the head during the massacre. Atticus physically stops Montrose from running over to rescue Thomas. If Dora and Montrose don’t marry, then there is no Atticus or his unborn son. Montrose tells his son that saving Thomas won’t make a massive difference since right at that moment, he is breaking up with him. Atticus’ father tells Thomas that they can’t meet up anymore. Montrose wanted a family. Gay men couldn’t have children. Montrose sacrificed his happiness to become what society expects a man to be — a father and husband. Montrose drinks because he has been living a lie all these years. He can never be his true self. Montrose fortified his true nature, which sadly led him to abuse his son. Atticus reflects all of the emotional sensitivities that Montrose had to block out to be a “man.”
Uncle George’s story of a Black man swinging a baseball bat like Jackie Robison to save all their lives during the massacre comes back full circle. After Atticus and Montrose watch Thomas’s murder, White young men beat up young George, Dora, and Montrose. Nobody is coming to save them. Atticus and Montrose recount Uncle George’s story as they witness at the beating. Atticus thinks they distrubed the timeline when he steps on a baseball bat. At that moment, Atticus realizes that he is the “mysterious stranger.” Atticus picks up the bat and runs over to rescue them. He knocks out all the attackers with his bat. Atticus turns to the younger version of his father, Montrose, and says, ” I gotta kid.” Atticus was the Jackie Robison figure in his dreams. He metaphorically saved himself. I believe this means that in the end, only Atticus can stop Christina and the Sons of Adam from draining all of his blood to become gods.
Next week in the Lovecraft Country finale, we will find out if I’m correct.