This episode “Fruit of the Flower” picks up pretty quickly from the last one. Nova (Rutina Wesley) is preparing for her upcoming television appearance with Doc Sexy, I mean Dr. Robert Dubois. (Alimi Ballard).
She’s more flustered than we’re used to seeing her and thinking a lot about what that key he offered means for their relationship. She blows him off during a phone call, while Charley (Dawn Lyen Gardner) teases her about the relationship.
After last week’s debacle with Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) taking issue with Darla’s (Bianca Lawson) past turning tricks for drugs, this week they start out on a good note. Darla and Ralph Angel are in church, taking advantage of that premarital counseling Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) suggested in the first place.
Ralph Angel wants to marry Darla and he’s going to do what it takes. Finally, he’s showing some signs of actually being a man. For the moment. The counselor asks some interesting questions and we learn a lot more about both Darla and Ralph. We can’t wait to meet Darla’s parents and yes, they are on the way, but not yet. Who’s ready for Roger Guenveur Smith, though?
Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) is supposed to slow down but who can do that with 50K on the table. She’s fine, she tells Hollywood (Omar Dorsey) who still seems worried. To prove it, Aunt Vi drops the pie batter and leads him into the bedroom. That’s one way to prove everything’s working fine.
Remy (Dondre Whitfield) – when is he ever going to get some –and Charley are planning for Charley’s version of the Harvest Festival with Charley’s mother, Lorna (Sharon Lawrence). Gotta love that her festival is called the Brown Sugar Festival. But Lorna is giving Charley some tough love by telling her that a festival is a waste because it’s not bringing in money. In order for the mill to be successful, Charley needs more than low acre Black farmers.
Give it to Lorna, though. Five minutes in town and she’s making deals on the golf course. She’s met a guy with 20,000 acres looking to leave the Landrys behind and find someone else to grind his sugar. Oh, and he’s a member of an exclusive country club with no Black members that might be open to Charley’s application. The truth is, it helps to have a white parent and the show is giving that reality a subtle nod with Lorna’s character.
If you remember from some episodes ago, Remy is not just a good-looking farmer that’s sweet on Charley, he’s also an agriculture professor. Ralph Angel is taking classes to better prepare for his role as a farm owner. At first, it’s all good in Remy’s class but when Ralph Angel provides an incomplete answer to a question, Remy has to explain the answer more completely.
Seems like a simple clarification, but this is Ralph Angel we’re talking about. He’s upset and feels that Remy called him out. When Remy runs into Darla at the High Yellow, he explains it to her. When Ralph Angel walks in, he tells Remy that he’s not coming back to class and that school’s not for him.
I have to give it to Remy here. He resisted all impulses that everyone else has to throttle Ralph Angel but instead apologized and then told him in the most compassionate way that Ralph needed to break that chip off his shoulder. Charley, it’s about time you gave this guy some.
Over at Charley’s, Nova has come by to show Charley her dress choices for her big TV interview. But ooops, Lorna is there. Nova doesn’t want to see her because of the pain she caused her family. But guess what – Lorna has her own story to tell and it doesn’t fit with what Nova thought she knew about her parents.
Lorna says that Ernest Bordelon (Glynn Turman) moved to California because Trudy, his true love and Nova and Ralph Angel’s mother, didn’t want to be tied down. Hmmm, does that sound like anyone we know? He and Lorna were together but even Lorna knows Trudy was his real love. But, we can figure, Lorna loved Ernest, too. By the time they’d hooked up, Ernest found out that Trudy was pregnant but she still didn’t want to get married.
This comes as news to Nova, who’s been told her whole life, that Lorna stole her father away from her mother. We’re not sure why her parents let this lie stand, but they did. When she talks to Aunt Vi about it, Aunt Vi pretty much confirms Lorna’s story. It was Trudy who resisted marriage – until, apparently, Ernest married someone else. And maybe Aunt Vi just didn’t like that her brother hooked up with…and married…a white woman. She tells Lorna later that seeing her just triggers a lot of pain. Lorna, to her credit, understood.
— M.C.Walker (@writermcwalker) October 12, 2017
Aunt Vi is OK with Hollywood bringing a friend to the house – his new friend from work. Except she’s not so happy about it when she finds out that Will is white. She’s not feeling that. As she tells Hollywood, she doesn’t like white people up in her personal space. She’s from a different generation. It might seem like racism to some, but this is something that some of our parents and grandparents felt keenly and let’s face it, for good reason.
What will Hollywood do now thought that he’s been asked to stay on a job that the Landry’s are mixed up in? A man’s gotta work, but wait until the family finds out.
After hearing the truth of her past, Nova decides to use that key Dr. Dubois gave her and shows up at his apartment, looking like the gorgeous melanin queen she is. After hearing the truth about her mother, she’s ready to stop pushing Sexy Doc away.
— Queen Sugar (@QueenSugarOWN) October 12, 2017
It seems like everyone’s showing some growth on the show, even Ralph Angel. Because by episode’s end, he’s decided to participate in the homework assigned by the church counselor. Awww. As much as you want to kill this guy, he comes through sometimes. He’s beautiful and beautifully complex, which can be said about most characters on the show.
This episode of Queen Sugar, in all its layers, was one of this season’s standouts. What did you think?
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