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This week’s edition of Queen Sugar had its good moments, but unfortunately tonight’s episode felt more like filler than a significant episode. Every relationship is being challenged in some way, but things slowed down this week.

Sex has definitely slowed down for Hollywood and Vi. Apparently Auntie Vi (Tina Lifford) is a world-class lover and lately, she’s not into it like she has been. Score one for Aunt Vi and for Queen Sugar for recognizing that mature women need – and want – to make love, too.

When she goes to her doctor, Vi finds out that it’s not her lupus but when her doctor asks if she’s experienced any recent trauma, her interaction with Jimmy Dale (David Alan Grier) comes to mind. It may be that the stress of seeing him again after so many years has triggered a reaction Vi wasn’t anticipating.

Nova (Rutina Wesley) is still being ostracized from the family as her book continues to get accolades. She finds out that she’s on the short list of National Book Award nominees and she’s excited, but the triumph seems a little empty without family. Her former professor Octavia (Cree Summer) is enjoying her success as much as Nova is. In fact, she’s enjoying it a little too much. Nova has started to realize that maybe Octavia’s trying to steal a little bit of her shine.

Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Darla (Bianca Lawson) are working together to make sure that Blue (Ethan Hutchinson) has the support he needs to process that Ralph Angel is not his biological father. He’s so young that although he’s trying to understand, he’s still confused. So Darla and Ralph Angel are forced to spend some time together. We have no idea what happened to Ralph Angel’s potential new boo, but it seems for the time being that his priorities are his son and his ex.

As for Charley, she’s decided to run for City Council to stop the progress of a highway in St. Josephine’s. She has powerful enemies beyond the Landrys but that doesn’t stop her. She’s neva scared. But once she opens her campaign office, someone tries to discourage her by throwing a brick through her new campaign office window. Fortunately Romero (Walter Perez, Jr.) is there to support her and tell her that the resistance she’s facing should only make her more determined.

Micah is trying to get a conversation out of KeKe (Tanyell Waivers) but she’s really not feeling the new “Killmonger” Micah look or attitude. So he hits a dead-end there, but at least he’s not completely blocked. Let’s hope these two work it out.

Queen Sugar sometimes hits its stride and sometimes it’s just a little too precious with its characters. While we can appreciate the positive imagery of the show, there are times when the storyline needs to expand beyond its sometimes facile characterizations of relationships. People are messy and Queen Sugar seems afraid to explore it for fear of making its characters unsympathetic.

Interesting storylines – like Davis’s no longer secret daughter and  Darla’s new man  – have been introduced and then dropped. Nova’s separation from the family means that she’s been outside the storylines involving them this season instead of being forced to deal directly with their anger about her book.

As much as Romero is a great guy,  delving into Black/Latino issues are a distraction from the main theme of the Bordelons vs. the Landrys and the struggles of Black farmers to retain their land in the face of legal and financial challenges. And let’s be clear, Charley and Romero as a couple just have limited chemistry.

As messy as Remy (Dondre Whitfield) could be, he had more chemistry with both sisters. His departure from the show might not have been the best idea. And focusing on Charley’s campaign means that less time is spent on her role as the owner of Queen Sugar, which seems a little premature as there was so much more to explore there.

Hopefully, Queen Sugar will speed up the action in the next episodes since there are only 13 this season. It would be nice if we saw the more intriguing storylines expanded on and had more room to examine the characters on the show a little more deeply.  While we do enjoy seeing beautiful Black people looking good and saying sweet words to each other, these storylines – and this family – deserve a little more life.

PHOTO: Skip Bolen/OWN




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