Sure, Ruby has probably woken up with a nasty hangover before.
But she’s never woken up like this –
– looking like a white woman.
Robert Lewis Stevenson could never have imagined a more twisted take on his classic “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” than this week’s episode of “Lovecraft Country,” (Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO).
Warning! Minor spoilers follow! Keep your evil alter ego in check!
In “Strange Case,” teleplay by Misha Green and Jonathan Kidd & Sonya Winton, directed by Cheryl Dunne, Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku) awakens from her night of debauchery with William (Jordan Patrick Smith) a changed woman.
When she runs out into her South Side neighborhood seeking help, her neighbors don’t know what to make of this crazy white woman.
Ruby bumps into a teenage boy, then the police pull up. Everyone throws their hands up – Ruby included.
The cops are ready to beat that boy into a pulp until Ruby intervenes.
As a white woman, Ruby discovers, she is listened to. She has power, of a sort.
She can walk back into that department store and get hired on the spot – as assistant manager.
She can dig into the background of the Black woman who took the clerk job she wanted.
She can hear how white people behave when Black people aren’t around.
But what price this power?
Ruby is smart enough to realize William wants something in return.
And what of Christina (Abbey Lee)?
She shares a perspective that leads Ruby to seek revenge.
Elsewhere, Tic (Jonathan Majors) realizes the extent of Montrose’s (Michael K. Williams) betrayal and unleashes his fury on him. Leti (Jurnee Smollett) is frightened by his rage.
Tic makes a discovery about those stolen journal pages, and it terrifies him.