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Queen Sugar – S2E4 – My Soul’s High Song

Previously on Queen Sugar, “What Do I Care For Morning?”

As tends to be the case with Ralph Angel, success is followed by new obstacles. This week, after getting the loan check to plant his soybeans, and reaching an agreement with Darla to provide Blue with swimming lessons, Ra learns that a significant portion of their sugar cane has whiteflies, a potentially disastrous natural occurrence that could render their entire crop useless. Charley immediately pays the $5,000 necessary to air dust a treatment, but the affected crops still need to be washed down by hand. As usual, the black farming community comes together to help the Borderlons get it done. This is a testament to the legacy their father left behind and the faith the community has in the Bordelon siblings.

Images: OWN

This latest setback comes at a time when tensions between Charley and Ralph Angel are at their highest. Until she finds a new place, Charley and Micah have been staying at the farm with Ra and Blue. Micah snaps at Blue for going through his belongings and later accidentally hits Blue after Blue tries to get his attention. Charley has to stop comforting Blue to get between her brother and her son when Ra slams Micah against the wall. Already feeling like he’s under Charley’s thumb, it’s getting harder for Ralph Angel to keep his father’s letter a secret and he eventually shows it to Violet, who cautions that presenting it could create an irreparable fracture in his relationship with Charley. For now, Ralph Angel heeds this advice, but how long will that last?

To her credit, Charley seems to be sincere when she tells her brother she’ll always have his back and she proves it this week when the police arrive to serve Ralph Angel with a parole violation notice — for firing a firearm and having one in the house — and she claims the gun is hers.

Actually, Charley spends a lot of time trying to prove herself this episode; mainly affirming her “blackness,” which she feels is questioned by Remy when he takes issue with the rich neighborhood she plans to move to, by the black farmers who assumed she wouldn’t get her hands dirty to help clean the crops, and even by Nova when she remembers the “bougie bitch” insult her sister hurled at her last season. For Charley, having nice things and living well is the reward for hard work. White people already question whether she earned what she has, and it’s particularly grating when black people do it. In the end, she decides they’ll live at the mill, which is fine by Micah, but I’m not sure it’s a concession she needed to make. I predict it will turn out to be a good thing in the long run, but the fact that she felt pressured to do it doesn’t quite sit well with me.

One development that did resonate was Hollywood’s and Aunt Vi’s decision to think about what it is that makes them happy and how that might translate into work that nurtures their souls and not just their bank accounts. Seeing as how just last week I wondered where the writers could go with these two now that the drama is behind them, I’m excited to see how this plays out. Aunt Vi was on point when she talked about the American dream meaning you had to work yourself to death, and that if you don’t, you’re viewed as the problem. I’m here for them discovering black joy in whatever form that may be.

More Tea

Ralph Angel called Darla to ask that she leave work because he needed her. Why he needed her there when he had well over a dozen people show up to help clean the crops is beyond me. Still, she asked her boss if she could leave early and he said no. She did so anyway and lost her job. Darla is responsible for her own decisions, but the fact that Ra even asked annoys me. Then again, I think Ra is just annoying me lately.

Charley needs to hurry up and get Micah some therapy.

Did you notice the look on Nova’s face when Charley mentioned her mother? *sips tea*

Leave your 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 S2E4
  • 8.5/10
    Plot - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Dialogue - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances - 8.5/10
8.7/10

"My Soul's High Song"

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

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5 (1 vote)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on Amazon.com for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

10 Comments on Queen Sugar – S2E4 – My Soul’s High Song

  1. FOR THE PODCAST: I guess I’m gonna hate a different Bordelon every week. Well, this week is RA’s turn. He’s always annoyed me a bit–I’m not a fan of the young and foolish–but this week he was foolish, mean, dumb, clingy, and selfish and That’s not a good look. I wasn’t happy with what happened between Micah and Blue, but it was clearly and accident, and RA flipped way too fast and took it way too far on his NEPHEW. I get the feeling he was using Micah as a surrogate for Charley. Speaking of Charley, she better than me because I wouldn’t have lifted a finger to save his punk ass when the cops showed up. Maybe next time hell think a little clearer before running off half cocked. Do you think he’ll show Charley the letter at some point, when he gets mad again? Do you think she’d be wrong if she took her money out of the equation of he tries to push her out? Did y’all notice his reaction when he got the check? I thought he got a fine or something. Always looking mad.

  2. Micah soft”.

    No offense Ra but if we’re going to play that game, so is Blue. If it’s okay for Lil Boy Blue to play with Barbie dolls and get positive reinforcement for being sensitive, it’s okay for Micah to be “soft”. Neither of these boys are hard let’s be real, and it’s all right. And with the puppy dog eyes you pull every time you’re in trouble, neither are you Ra! And once again, it is all right.

    Field negroes”?

    Really Ra. Charley’s busting her butt finding solutions, getting the mill together, coming through for the spray, and I remember her rolling her sleeves and helping in the field all the way back in season 1.

    All Ra has on his plate is taking care of the farm, praying that the convenience store clerk doesn’t talk to a sketch artist, and standing there looking dumb while one of the women in his life perjures herself in front of the police to save his sorry self, or puts her job and recovery in jeopardy because he’s still unable to handle his business without her, even with a dozen men by his side to back him up. Keep it cute, goDiva.

    Side note if Ralph Angel tells his sisters he really owns the farm & Charley stops paying him wouldn’t he then have to go find a 40hr week job w/ benefits to meet his parole requirements so he better keep it cute and put it on mute about that letter until he is off parole or at least has his share of the profit from the first harvest.

  3. FOR THE PODCAST:
    RA has a lot of nerve calling Micah soft, Micah was raised by both of his parents, while RA was locked up for four years, half of his son’s life, so how dare he try to come at Charley like that! RA really irks my nerves!
    RA calling Darla was the reason why she left work. She knows her job is important, but she still desperately wants to prove to RA that she believes in him, and that she is on his side. It was selfish of RA to call her at work. We know how prideful RA is, he would have said some slick shit and had an attitude with her had she not shown up. RA is ridculous! It cost Darla, although working with Charley is a step up in my opinion.

  4. How Ralph Angel judging anybody’s parenting when he just started being one his damn self Blue is the child he is thanks to the combo Aunt vi Ernest and Darla’s parenting choices. Ralph Angel was in jail for 4 years which means Blue was 1 1/2 years old when he got locked up(Blue didn’t turn 6 years old until RA had been out for 6 months making him 5 1/2 when RA got out) I’m guessing Darla had Blue until he was 4 1/2 years old and then the motel incident happened , then Darla spent the next 18 months getting sober and came back into Blue life after he turned 6 (she probably stayed away until RA got out of jail knowing he would be her best chance at seeing Blue again Aunt vi was not feeling her most of last season)
    Which means Aunt Vi/Ernest had Blue for a year before Ralph Angel got out. This also explains why at the beginning of season 1 Blue was always asking about his mama she had been out his life as long as RA had been in it a year and a half . An in the first 1yr of being a parent again RA has left Blue unattended in a park to rob a store, stolen phones, pulled a gun on someone twice (violating his parole), and assaulted a man all of which could land him back in jail. So he is the last person to be judging someone else’s parenting skills/decisions. Not to mention he saying Charley and Davis screwed up Micah because he couldn’t handle 4hrs in a jail holding cell thus making him soft but last I checked ain’t know parent raising they child to be able to handle going to jail they trying to keep them from ever being arrested so his logic is flawed as fuck.

  5. Hey girl! FOR THE PODCAST:

    I’m gonna try and keep this short but fuck Ralph Angel. After this, he’s damn near irredeemable in my eyes. As someone who grew up away from the rest of my family (military brat), the way he treated Charley was an icy reminder of the bullshit I dealt with. Granted I wasn’t a controlling asshole like her, but being made to feel like you will never belong when you’re actually trying your best to do just that had me furious. Ralph Angel was peak bitch this week. The jokes at the end were fine, but everything else? Fuck him. He had a lot of nerve telling Charley she raised Micah wrong like you didn’t leave Blue alone in a park with some churros to go rob a store…AND keep a loaded rifle in the house. All while getting Darla fired. Fuck you, Ralph Angel. Fuck you.

    Love the podcast, sorry if it was too long!

  6. For the podcast

    RalphAngel is a self centered mess. It ain’t all about him! Darla needs to stay away from that idiot or she’ll be back on the drugs. After Charley covered for him with the cops, will he still pursue the found will business? While I understand that he wants to be able to have more control over his life, he’s an idiot who’s first reaction is violence. Charley didn’t annoy me as much as she usually does but why haven’t they gotten Micah some professional help? Clearly he’s suffering from PTSD. Should Hollywood work on the farm with RA? That man ain’t meant to be idle. He’s gotta stay busy. Do you think Vi is gonna quit the restaurant to open her own business?

    That’s it. One hopefully short paragraph.

  7. I’m conflicted about the where Charlie should stay argument. It seems to me to be similar to when Rod talks about how people don’t think activists are really down unless they are poor and making money makes them more akin to “the man”. Why does blackness always have to equal struggle? How can any of us make it out the hood if we disparage the ones that do? Charley is already giving back to her community by providing a place other than the horrible white people’s mill to go to. Also why does being a real black man= hard? If being soft means that my nephew will never go to jail or never shoot a gun then God damn I pray he turns out “soft”. Also what was Darla thinking? Of course you fired girl. Do y’all think this will cause her to relapse especially if Ralph Angel makes her feel guilty for getting a job with Charley? (He’s the worst for asking her to leave by the way).Finally, I need an ambitious and supportive man like Hollywood in my life. Love you guys and I hope you are feeling better Nina.

  8. Aunt Vi gave him his number, but he won’t listen. He’s letting his pride do the talking and override what little common sense he has left. Even if he managed to snag the farm out from under Charley, he’d be run out of business in under a day by the Landry’s. He’s a walking sack of liabilities, ranging from his record, to his girlfriend, to his son who he helicopter parents out of inadequacy. It’s telling that for all his boasting about being the one at the farm every day, he still needed Prosper to point out that 30% of their cane was infested with a common parasite. What is he doing everyday, exactly? If Charley was as messy about constructing this mill business as RA is at running the farm, she’d be bankrupt and living on Davis’ porch right now. Pathetic how she literally had to save him from jail in order for him to man up and apologize to Micah.

    Also, Davis & Charley raised Micah ‘soft’? Says the man ready to fight the world if anyone looks at Blue sideways, even when it’s for being an over-indulged spoiled brat (which he can be).

    I can see why Darla would be fired, but I can also see why she risked it. As she said at recovery, all she has wanted since she got clean was to be a part of that family. Any opportunity to appear useful and functional, she will take to try to prove herself to them and scrape out a place. RA is being really un-empathetic by placing all these requests on her time, as if she can make an objective yes/no decision. Darla is basically on parole with the Bordeleon family, one slip and she’s out, never to see her son again. RA needs to use his brain, but he’s too busy using what few brain cells he has to focus on how oppressed he is by everyone.

    Vi and Hollywood pie business? YASSSSSSSSS, do eet!! I love that they shot Vi lotioning up with a wrap on her head. Just these little moments of authentic blackness you almost never see on tv. It’s wonderful.

  9. FOR THE PODCAST I hope I made it.
    I see y’alls point about RA.
    HOWEVER he didn’t lie about charley acting “better than” most of the time. She’s bougie, saddity, and uppity AF. So now she slowly evolving into just bougie. She needed to deal with Micah instead of ignoring him. He didn’t talk so she let him shrink. She kept saying “he’s fine, he’ll be fine.” Deal with your son so he ain’t snapping at innocent Blue. She ignored the shit out of Micah’s rudeness at the breakfast table.
    Props to her for using that pretty light skinned privilege tho.
    RA is the other end of the spectrum and needs to get some act right just as Charley needs to chill.
    How far apart in age are these two? I imagine they are closer in age and that adds to the issue.
    Hollywood needs to find some business. He irked MY nerves.

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