Atticus just seems to attract trouble, doesn’t he?
We finally received the back story of Ji-Ah, Atticus’s lover from the Korean War, on Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 6.
This marks two straight episodes spotlighting secondary characters, following Ruby on Lovecraft Country Season 1 Episode 5.
At least other storylines advanced in that episode. This episode was pure flashback, answering the question of who was the woman that Atticus left behind.
Man, you thought Atticus had it bad, being pursued by self-important white supremacists.
Ji-Ah’s mother pimped her out to a fox demon. It’s hard to top that.
It’s a shame because Ji-Ah is a likable character. If you can get past the whole compulsion to seduce men and absorb their souls.
That’s all on her mother, though.
How could Umma possibly think it was a good idea to go to a shaman and have a kumiho (vindictive fox spirit) implanted in her daughter?
I mean, hadn’t Ji-Ah suffered enough after being repeatedly raped by her stepfather?
I get that Umma wanted him to pay for those despicable acts. But why make her revenge so complicated? Didn’t she have some sharp knives in her kitchen?
Instead, it was Ji-Ah who continued to suffer as she destroyed man after man after man, in order to reach 1,000 and be turned back into a human.
In this story, Ji-Ah was supposed to be the monster. But it was Umma, pushing her daughter to do unspeakable things in the name of revenge.
It was evident that Atticus and Ji-Ah were kindred spirits, both seeking escapist entertainment to briefly forget the horrible things they had done.
Atticus had his pulp fiction, while Ji-Ah wanted to be Judy Garland.
What a spirited opener as Ji-Ah imagined singing and dancing to “The Trolley Song” along with Judy Garland. Unfortunately, that lightheartedness just couldn’t last for someone housing a kumiho.
What wasn’t clear was who was in charge? Was it Ji-Ah or was it the kumiho?
My money was on Ji-Ah. Despite what was living inside her, she chose to become a nursing student so she could help those in need. She was trying to restore her family’s honor.
How realistic was it that Ji-Ah wasn’t attracting the attention of suitors at that weird-ass Korean speed dating session?
Tragically, Ji-Ah did manage to make friends with classmate Young-ja, who was hitting on Ji-Ah if she hadn’t been too naive to notice.
It’s a shame that friendship got cut short by Young-ja’s extracurricular activities. She taught Ji-Ah valuable lessons and they probably would have grown closer.
But unfortunately, Young-ja was on the wrong side of that conflict. As a result, Ji-Ah got to see the absolute worst of Atticus and it took a while for her to realize that side was an aberration.
It was heartbreaking how Young-ja gave herself up to save her love Ji-Ah from being shot by Atticus. That scene also took away the only friend that Ji-Ah had and much of the humanity that the kumiho experienced.
The way that Ji-Ah and Atticus reunited was more than a little meet-cute, as nurse met wounded soldier in a military hospital.
Ji-Ah really tried to hate Atticus so that his could be the soul that set her free.
But he wasn’t the monster which she had been envisioning for months but rather another person damaged by life just like her.
It became clear that Atticus made a dreadful mistake joining the Army to get away from Montrose, as there are all kinds of monsters in war.
Also, as Atticus and his Asian unit-mate attested, the military was just as racist as the nation from which it was drawn. And the way the Americans treated the Korean natives was not a pretty picture.
Ji-Ah and Atticus stimulated each other intellectually, something that’s hard to find in a war zone, as they debated Dumas and the value of movies.
A rare sweet scene came when Atticus arrange for that private showing of “Summer Stock” for Ji-Ah.
Most importantly, Atticus taught Ji-Ah that she could feel emotions despite the presence of the kumiho. That gave her the self-control necessary for them to make love his first time.
Unfortunately, Atticus asking Ji-Ah to return to America with him sent her over the edge emotionally, as she lost control of the kumiho’s tails.
That not only frightened the pre-Ardham Atticus out of his skulls, causing him to run away but also revealed his ultimate early death.
At least Umma was there to console her daughter after that.
Things weren’t looking up for Ji-Ah at the end, as the shaman promised her many more deaths in her future. Yeah, Ji-Ah must be happy that Umma took her there.
Still, Atticus calling Ji-Ah after he deciphered the word “DIE” in Titus’s pages makes a lot more sense now.
While learning Ji-Ah’s story was fascinating, a drawback of such a focused episode is little progress of other fronts, nothing about the rest of the characters — Leti, Montrose, Christina, Ruby, and whoever else might still be alive.
Hell, we’ve heard nothing about how Hippolyta and Diana made out on their trip to Ardham, which had to be enlightening.
To catch up on everyone else, watch Lovecraft Country online.
What did you think of Ji-Ah?
Was Atticus right to run?
What was Umma thinking?
Read more: tvfanatic.com