And we’re back. We’re now recapping a show, Queen Sugar, you all seem to like, if you have OWN, which is still an issue. (Note to Oprah: Please give us cable cutters a standalone app option, or for those who still have cable, a less expensive cable tier for your network. Thanks.) So we’re already at Episode 9, officially titled “Next To Nothing.” Let’s do a quick recap of the season thus far if you’re just now catching up.
Family patriarch Ernest Bordelon (Glynn Turman) raised his three kids Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), Nova (Rutina Wesley) and Charley (Dawn Lyen Gardner) on a family farm outside of New Orleans. When he dies, the farm is inherited by the three kids, all of whom have their issues. Charley’s NBA husband has been accused of rape, Ralph Angel has been to jail and has a son, Blue (Ethan Hutchinson), with his recovering drug addict ex, Darla (Bianca Lawson) and Nova is sleeping with a married man while selling weed and trying to help young Black males who’ve been unfairly incarcerated for minor crimes. Oh and sometimes she likes women, too.
Only Ralph Angel really wants the farm but after Charley’s problems, she’s willing to spend her considerable money to help make it work and Nova pitches in. Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) and her younger boyfriend, Hollywood (Omar J. Dorsey) hold the family down in Ernest’s absence. Sexy farmer Remy (Dondre Whitfield) rounds out the cast and has his cap set for Charley, although she’s still married. Charley’s son Micah (Nicholas Ashe) is adjusting to his new life as a farmer’s kid instead of his old one as the privileged son of a NBA star. So give or take a little, the family in Queen Sugar is just like almost every Black family you know.
OK, we’re kind of caught up. This episode is set after a tropical storm has hit the farm and everyone is trying to figure out how much damage has been done. Oh, we’re not just talking about the debris all over the place and Aunt Vi’s destroyed garden. We’re trying to figure out waaaay more than that.
While Aunt Vi laments the loss of her precious garden, we know she’s not just talking about the plants pulled up from the roots. She’s talking about how Hollywood betrayed her by not telling her he was still married to his bipolar wife. Can these two get things back to right? We’re so rooting for them. The good sign is that despite his hiding the truth, Hollywood hasn’t gone anywhere.
Charley and Nova had a bitter fight (are these two like the realest sisters ever on TV?) over whether or not Micah could live with bisexual, weed-smoking, married-man-loving Auntie Nova. Charley put the brakes on that quickly. Not because Nova’s bi, but because all of the above is just a little too damn much. Tension is always thick between them and when we found out last episode that Charley was an affair baby, it makes sense. It’s crazy how history can repeat itself, as Charley’s soon-to-be-ex-husband cheated on her.
Ralph Angel has to contend with baby mama Darla who rode out the storm with her family at Auntie Vi’s and gave a moving speech about how she was thankful she had been saved by Hollywood when she was out trickin’ for drugs. Aunt Vi still ain’t feeling her, though. Can you blame her? But Ralph Angel is a little open on her, and he’s agreeable to her request that she be allowed to see Blue a little more. (Let’s take a moment here to applaud Bianca Lawson’s amazing vampire powers of not aging, cause IRL she’s 37-years-old. That is not a typo.) One thing we can agree on, a sober Darla and Ralph Angel will do anything to keep that kid happy. We understand, Blue’s TV’s cutest child, right along with the black-ish kids.
Charley is still picking up the pieces of the fabulous life she left back in California with her cheating-ass hubby and Remy is trying to help. Not sure if they were totally intimate the night of the storm, but they definitely got closer. Remy lets Charley know that he’s willing to wait for her to get her life straightened out, but he ain’t tryna be friends. Girl, when a sexy/hot farmer who makes his own sugar cane seed tells you he wants you, you better handle that. But of course, Charley is still quite married and I suspect that hubby’s not completely gone from the show.
Nova – well, Nova’s still trying to get her life together but she spends most of this episode trying to soothe everyone from Aunt Vi to Charley to Micah. It’s kind of nice to see her in that role instead of the adversary she usually is.
Micah has found a new interest – the daughter of a Bordelon family friend who shows up at the farm to help out. Are all these Southern gals this sassy? They sure seem to be. This one flirts with a blushing Micah (who we find out is friendly with Jaden Smith, gotta love the real life references sprinkled along the fiction) and instead of the old school way of exchanging numbers, she tells him to follow her on IG. Micah needs to get a little game, shady daddy obviously kept his BS with women far away from his son.
The storm fallout doesn’t seem too bad – the seed cane will be OK, cause Remy’s seed is indestructible. Hmmm, see what I did there? However, we don’t know much about Remy yet. We know he’s a widow, but does he have kids or anything but sexy sincerity and farming advice? I don’t want to say he’s too perfect but every man, even the best ones, has some complexity.
However, there is one big problem. Two migrant workers are found dead. Because migrant workers are paid in cash, someone has shot and robbed them. Damn. This throws an unexpected wrench into the episode and makes the case that in some ways, Mexican immigrants are treated like…well, like the way Black folks were treated post-slavery. The workers are so expendable that no one on the farm even knows their names. While Queen Sugar occasionally tries to cram in way too many messages per episode, they do so here in a realistic, heart-wrenching way. Kudos to the actor who cried like those two were his real-life homies. I’m suing Ava Duvernay and Oprah for all the tissues I’ve used up watching this show.
Hollywood may be on the outs with Aunt Vi but he’s not afraid to speak up. When she expresses to him that she’s still reluctant to sign the papers to give Ralph Angel full custody of Blue, Hollywood basically tells her she needs to let the man grow up. I’m kinda with Aunt Vi, but on the other hand, Ralph Angel has been coddled by his father and then his auntie and maybe it’s time for him to take on responsibilities to keep him from straying off the straight and narrow.
Oh Bordelons, y’all are too much for one episode. They are just too daggone short, and there’s only four episodes left. What will I do without these guys? These networks need to work out a show scheduling system so we’re never without a binge-worthy Black show.
Did you watch? Will any of these folks figure it out by next episode? What do you think of Queen Sugar so far?