Previously on Queen Sugar, “Drums at Dusk”
Whenever folks would be gossiping about a couple’s relationship, I remember hearing my mother say, “No one knows what really goes on between a man and woman but that man and that woman.” As I got older, I understood what she meant. How many times have we shared only the positive parts of a romantic relationship because we either didn’t want to hear the commentary on the negative aspects or because we were embarrassed? Or perhaps you only tell a certain friend the negatives because she always has the best advice. Would anyone blame that friend for thinking the relationship isn’t healthy? Our relationships are often defined by another’s perspective whether it’s true or not and whether we like it or not. This is definitely the case with Ernest Bordelon’s two marriages. This week, with insight from his living widow Lorna Prescott (Charley’s mother), we finally get the full story from her perspective. Not sure how this changes the audience’s opinion of Ernest — most people had come to believe he was a adulterer from the bits and pieces we were given over the past season and a half — but it certainly had an effect on Nova in more ways than one.
An unexpected visit from Nova finally brings her face-to-face with Lorna. She’s cool and only slightly cordial, but Lorna stops Nova from leaving by revealing: “On our first date he told me the woman he loved didn’t love him enough to marry him.” The details of how their relationship began is clearly news to Nova and Charley. Trudy, like Nova, was a free spirit who didn’t want the traditional relationship Ernest desired. Unaware that she was pregnant when she broke up with him, Ernest joined the military and met Lorna in California. After they were together, he learned of Nova and confronted Trudy who still pushed him away. The part of him she fell in love with was not the man he was willing to be all the time. So, she let him go, and, in doing so, gave Lorna what she wanted: a life and family with Ernest. While we still don’t know why their marriage ended, it’s clear Lorna did not break up a happy home.
This causes Nova to do some serious soul-searching and question what she knew and what she thought she knew. She realizes she never heard Trudy talk ill of Lorna; it all came from Aunt Vi, who admits that what she felt about Ernest’s wives was based solely on her perspective. She also confirms Lorna’s version of events. None of this leads to some big hugs-and-tears-and-apologies for Nova, Lorna, and Vi; that would be too corny. It ends on just the right note with Vi admitting to Lorna that seeing her makes her think of Ernest at a time when she’d rather not — it’s too painful — and acknowledging Lorna didn’t intentionally cause their family pain and that it goes both ways. It also prompts Nova to commit to Robert which I’m less here for.
Vi has fibromyalgia, which isn’t fatal, but it will make it more difficult for her to run the restaurant and her pie business. Still, she did accept the contract to sell her pies in the supermarket and I’m happy that she told Hollywood and Nova about her condition without it being a “thing.”
Lorna’s brief visit provided much clarity on the past and Charley as a character. She arranged for Charley to meet a farmer with 10,000 acres (and a grudge against Landry) during an afternoon of golf. Now we see where Charley gets her business savvy. “Reel ’em in, baby girl. Reel ’em aaaall in.”
I’m going to stroke out from rolling my eyes so hard at Ralph Angel. I think the biggest thing I get from his storylines is that it would be way too easy for him to just screw up his entire life if he didn’t have so many people in his corner.
The marriage counselor looks like he’s going to make Ralph Angel and Darla put in the work and that should make for some interesting conversations. That is, if Ralph Angel doesn’t stomp out the first time it gets uncomfortable.
Kudos to this show for always handling delicate and dramatic family situations with a steady, adult hand. The resolution between Remy and Ralph Angel, and the conversations between Vi and Nova, Nova and Lorna, and Vi and Lorna is Queen Sugar at its finest. Also, for unapologetically addressing that some Black folks of a certain age just don’t want to be bothered with White folks in their personal lives. Speak your truth, Vi!
Leave your brief thoughts on the episode below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on the podcast this weekend.
Queen Sugar S2E11 Review Score
"Fruit of the Flower"
Starring: Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, Tina Lifford, Omar J. Dorsey, Dondre Whitfield, Timon Kyle Durrett, Nicholas L. Ashe, Greg Vaughan, Ethan Hutchison, Bianca Lawson