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.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.
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
"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