Even though these episodes of Queen Sugar were likely written last year, the themes are timeless. That’s evident in this tenth episode of the show, “So Far.” The episode covers a lot of ground, but like much of Queen Sugar it does so in moving and nuanced ways.
Reporter Nova (Rutina Wesley) is going to be part of a panel discussion hosted by scholar/author Melissa Harris Perry. But that brings up some issues with Chantal (Reagan Gomez Preston) who sees this as a great opportunity to advance her activist causes.
But Nova just wants to enjoy the accolades her story has generated and isn’t so keen on being used in that way. This ultimately leads to a showdown between the two, when Chantal questions Nova’s relationship with the white cop. Nova is unapologetic. Looks like the end of Chantal and Nova’s relationship.
On to Micah (Nicholas Ashe) whose New Orleans school debut has been delayed when the pics that got him kicked out of his L.A. school become an issue again. Does it matter that it wasn’t his junk that was the subject of the pics? Nope. His mother reminds him that race is always prevalent but He doesn’t believe it.
When Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) suggests that he go to public school, Charley (Dawn Lyen Garnder) is adamant that she wants Micah to have the best education money can buy. When Aunt Vi finds out how much money, she’s astonished. But when Charley tells her that she spends $36,000 to basically ensure her child’s future isn’t limited to low-wage paying jobs, Aunt Vi realizes she’s including people like herself.
Since Micah has to wait until a meeting with the school is arranged, he’s got plenty of time to hang out with his Southern crush, who we’ve dubbed Miss Sassypants, although her name is Keke (Tanyelle Waivers). We love that she’s clear about herself, who she is and how she wants to be treated.
Although that kind of self-possession is a rarity in girls of that age, she’s a great foil to the shyer, more naive Micah. This looks like a lot of cuteness in the making and its kind of nice to see a teenage couple on TV that’s not just a slave to their hormones.
Charley’s conversation with Aunt Vi has gotten a little under her skin. When she finds out that the High Yellow has been closed, she heads over to find out what’s up. The owner says there’s a health inspection but doesn’t have any of the paperwork or details to answer any of their questions.
Well, Aunt Vi does, so she talks her way into a management position. Score one for Aunt Vi and workers everywhere who know more about the frontline workings of the business than the owners/CEO’s do.
Awww, it’s Blue (Ethan Hutchinson). Everytime we see that baby, we want to adopt him. His mother, Darla (Bianca Lawson) is dropping him off at school. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) has OK’ed this simple step to help Darla earn back the time and trust her drug-addicted past has cost them. Except taking Blue to school is usually Aunt Vi’s job and she’d like to know why Darla’s replacing her. Everyone else at the house, including Prosper Denton (Henry G. Sanders) just tries to act like they aren’t there although Charley is casting Ralph a little side eye for that one.
Blue is excited about an upcoming trip to the zoo, so Ralph has to sign a permission slip, something that’s a routine for any parent. Problem is, he’s not Blue’s legal guardian, and Blue’s sweet teacher, Ms. Velez (Marycarmen Lopez) informs him that Aunt Vi will have to sign the slip.
Neither Darla nor Ralph Angel can make any substantive decisions about their own child, which, despite their issues has to be hard to take. When Ralph Angel sees Aunt Vi going to Davis West’s defense with Charley he wonders why, tearfully, he can’t get the same consideration. Well, we knew what this was leading to – Aunt Vi finally signs the papers. But we can’t help but think that decision may come back to haunt all of them.
Though the sugar cane seed has been planted, they’ve got to get it ground into sugar and Charley is searching for a mill that can do it, only to find out the mills in the area are owned by the same folks that wanted to buy her land for 800K. Turns out the Landrys and Boudreaux family are connected and they basically are the only place to go to get your sugar ground. For that service, they take a whopping 40% of the sugar cane harvest. Word? While it seems unfair, it is what it is. Charley’s gotta pay up.