Previously on Queen Sugar, “Caroling Dusk”
“I really am opening this mill to honor him. That’s the story.” – Charley Bordelon-West
Well, turns out there’s a bit more to the story than that. Charley’s drive for the mill to not only be successful, but to be perfect, lies it a bit deeper than her perfectionist ways. She remembers the last conversation she had with Ernest, and how he’d asked for her help, but she put him off to deal with Davis’ deal and, later, rape allegations. It also led to her not having a proper goodbye with her father.
A reporter doing a piece on the mill opening picks at the scabs of these wounds as he suspects there’s more to Charley’s commitment than she’s selling. The mill’s dedication and opening goes well, but at the first sign of a hiccup, Charley loses the control she fights so hard to project. This all leads to some of the most powerful scenes of the series, and certainly the most heart wrenching since Ernest passed away in the series premiere.
Charley tearfully admits to Nova the guilt she has carried for not being there when their father needed her. Nova, who lived just twenty miles away, couldn’t remember the last time she’d spoken to her father. Ralph Angel, fueled by a sudden desire to be a more honest man, chooses to tell his family about the letter he found after they have a memorial service at Ernest’s new headstone installation.
The news goes over about as well as we all knew it would. Old grievances are launched like weapons as Charley accuses Ralph Angel of using her for her money, Nova (newly aware of Ernest’s moonlighting as a janitor) takes issue with Ralph Angel being left the farm when their father worked himself to death to support Ra and Blue, and neither are happy that Vi, Hollywood, and Darla knew about the new will before them.
It’s hard to watch because everyone’s pain is so raw and authentic. It’s doubtful this will be resolved in a single episode, but we won’t have to wait weeks for the Bordelon siblings to hash it out either. When Nova tries to storm off, Aunt Vi insists that everyone stay and figure out a way through the mess. Next week can’t get here soon enough.
It appears Ralph Angel will not be paying for #Churrogate. His run in with the clerk he robbed prompts him to be honest with Blue about Kenya and to reveal Ernest’s other will. It did not, however, prompt him to admit his crime.
We gonna talk about how sharp everyone was in this episode or nah? The costuming was so on point. Hollywood and Aunt Vi were color coordinated at the mill opening and I was here for it.
Ralph Angel telling Darla how good she looked in Charley’s dress would have been sweet if it hadn’t been preceded by him trying to make her feel bad for wearing Charley’s dress and working for her. Speaking of Darla, she seems to be making a real connection with the family, especially Charley. It would be a shame to have all of that lost because of this will.
Considering the recent loss of my grandmother, those scenes of Charley and Nova sharing their regrets hit me hard and unexpectedly. This show, man. This show.
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 S2E6
"Line of Our Elders"
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