We are not quite at the halfway point of the second season of Queen Sugar, but we’re getting close as this season lasts for 16 episodes, up from last season’s 13. In the last episode, things seemed to be going well.
The mill was opening. Nova (Rutina Wesley) had a promising new love interest. Micah (Nicholas Ashe) was healing with the help of his father. Darla (Bianca Lawson) had a new job with Charley (Dawn Lyen Gardner). In Episode 6, ‘Line of the The Elders,’ well, things fall apart.
Coincidentally, I’d watched the first episode of the series before seeing this one. That proved to be wise, as many things introduced in that episode come full circle. In Ep 6, the Bordelon family is celebrating the opening of the historic mill, but also missing the family’s patriarch, Ernest Bordelon (Glynn Turman.)
While going through some old papers, Nova discovers a paycheck. In Queen Sugar’s first episode, we seen Ernest at his custodial job that the family knew nothing about. When Nova finds out, she’s understandably saddened to realize that while living her best life as a free Black woman in New Orleans, she had no idea how much her father was struggling.
Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) comes literally face to face with his past in this episode and that sets up the night’s dramatic finale. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, he has to explain to his son why the cashier in the convenience store they go to confronts him. Yes, the very same cashier he robbed at another convenience store in Ep 1, while making (Ethan Hutchinson) Blue wait on a playground. Ralph Angel acts as though he’s never seen her before and hustles Blue out of there.
Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) doesn’t want to go to her brother’s memorial, but Hollywood (Omar Dorsey) thinks that’s ridiculous. She says she’s not the kids’ mother but Hollywood checks that real quick by reminding her that she is Ernest’s sister. And come on Vi, you know you’re the emotional core of this family.
Charley and Darla are getting along; so well, in fact, that when Darla spills coffee on her work clothes, Charley offers up options from her wardrobe as a replacement. While choosing a fancy dress, she runs up on Micah and helps him tie his tie. Guess what? Darla knows a little something about the moneyed life. She tells Micah she learned the skill when she tied one for a cotillion date. Wait, did I hear right? Yup. How Darla went from privileged daughter to RA’s drug addicted baby mama is the backstory we’ve been waiting for.
Speaking of backstories, Remy’s (Dondre Whitfield) is around this week, helping Charley open the mill. Charley tells him that her delayed divorce will happen, but he looks skeptical. Lawd, if they don’t get those two in a bed sometime soon….even though Charley admits that she knows she needs some time to heal.
At the mill, Charlie’s got a (fine-ass white boy) reporter on her hands. He’s digging deep, asking questions about why Charley fled the good life for rural Louisiana. She did it for her father is her answer, but this reporter is probing for more.
The mill opening is a triumph for her, until a choke in the sugar cane processors sets off alarms. Remy and Prosper Denton (Henry G. Sanders) says it’s nothing to worry about – a common occurrence in processing cane, but all of a sudden, buttoned-up businesswoman Charley has a meltdown. She rushes forward to try to clear the clog herself while everyone stands around helplessly until Nova manages to calm her down. Mr. Reporter has seen it, though, so Charley has to promise him an exclusive on her divorce to get him not to write about it. Dang, this guy!
Just before a celebratory family dinner, Blue realizes that his new doll is not Kenya. He asks his father what happened to the doll. Man, these two have the sweetest scenes together. He’s reassured but then Blue hits Ralph Angel with the unanswerable question: ‘Why did the woman in the convenience story call him a liar?’
Oh, Ralph Angel. He’s consumed with guilt over a few things and still struggling with his journey to manhood. He’s the only son and the youngest, so when his father left, he was left without an anchor. Now he’s trying to navigate the stormy waters of adulthood on his own. So when the family sits down to dinner, just when all is going good, he finally drops the bombshell we knew was coming – that there’s a letter saying that he’s the sole owner of the farm.
Well, you can imagine how that went over. While Vi tries to play peacemaker Charley, Ralph Angel and Nova sift through their hurt feelings. Charley is incensed that after all the sacrifices she’s made and money’s she’s spent that RA has the nerve to bring up this BS. Nova is angry that Ernest was working a menial job to keep Blue straight while Ralph Angel was locked up. And Darla, predictably is siding with her man. (Girl, you should have left when they sent out Micah and Blue, cause how are you going to keep a job with Charley now?)
This is a mess. So what’s next? I guess we’ll see next week.
Sugar babies, will RA’s revelation break up the family? Will Nova forgive Ralph Angel? How is Darla going to stay sober with no gig?
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