Previously on Queen Sugar, “Line of Our Elders”
Voices were raised, accusations hurled, and when the dust cleared the Bordelon siblings were no closer to a solution than they were when Ralph Angel dropped his bomb. However, the audience now has deeper insight into what drives each of them to achieve the success they want and the mistakes they routinely make.
Nova wants receipts. While Ralph Angel drives to the farm to retrieve the letter, it gives everyone a chance to take a breath. Cooler heads prevail long enough for Aunt Vi to read the letter aloud. No one doubts the validity of the document, but it’s pretty clear that there’s a reason Ernest didn’t make it official: Ralph Angel was not yet ready to take on this responsibility. And Ralph Angel is so anxious to move past his mistakes, be the man his father wanted him to be, and prove everyone wrong that he’s willing to cut off his nose to spite his face. He can’t do it without his sister’s help, but he’s too proud to admit that.
It doesn’t appear Nova has a particular interest in the farm, but her father’s letter is another indication that there was a disconnect between them. When she goes through the lockbox that held the letter, she finds mementos that hold special meaning between Ernest and her siblings, but none with her. There’s a photo of her mother, pregnant with Ralph Angel, with a young Nova at her side, but that’s it. She later says Ernest didn’t make a commitment to her mother until she became pregnant with Ra. Between that and the fact that Ernest clearly strayed to conceive Charley, it’s understandable that Nova might have complicated feelings about him. So, while I don’t think she necessarily wants to the farm for herself, the letter feels like a slap in her face.
Ralph Angel makes it so hard to be on his side. When Charley gets a call from Remy saying that a farmer has shown up unexpectedly and wants to use the mill to grind his cane, she insists that the farmer wait until a contract can be drawn up so it’s official. Remy wants to vouch for the man, as he’s know him for years, but Charley — rightfully so — wants everything to be above board. She asks Darla to head to the office to get the contract ready and Ralph Angel balks. He needs Darla there with him, he says. Why? He accuses Charley of making up a crisis so that he’ll be left alone to be ganged up on by his sisters. If Ralph Angel wants anyone to believe he’s capable of running a business, he needs to stop acting like a whiny man-child. Of course, Darla does her job and he holds it against her the next day when she visits Blue. She can take him swimming, but she has to wait in the car until Blue is ready. *eye-roll*
All of this leaves Charley wondering what her father thought of her — he bragged about her a lot, and told his friends (including Remy) that she was thoughtful, but he left the farm to Ralph Angel. When the journalist working on her cover story asks what Ernest would think of her reinvention as an agricultural businesswoman, Charley has to admit she has no idea.
Nova’s discovery that Aunt Vi was once part owner of the farm leads to a poignant story about a time when she was estranged from her brother. He didn’t approve of her marriage and it kept them apart for years. When she finally divorced, she sold her half of the farm to Ernest and bought her home. She has relished her freedom ever since. With all the drama surrounding the land now, it’s easy to see why she’d be relieved to not have it on her plate.
I’m gonna need Remy to settle the hell down. When he learns that Charley agreed to the story about her divorce in order to control the narrative around the mill opening, he wonders if what Ernest really meant by thoughtful was “calculating” and that maybe she’s been “thoughtful” when it comes to him as well. She rightfully asks him to leave her damn office. I know he’s a Jack-of-all-Trades, but I’m tired of him knowing every damn thing Charley needs for her soul. She was a successful woman long before she met him, and public relations works differently than running a farm or a mill. How she chooses to handle her brand with the media is her business, and to imply that she’s using him is gross. Ugh. Boy, bye.
Nova packs a bag and makes plans to see Dr. DuBae in Atlanta. She deserves this break, but I still want the scoop on what happened with Calvin.
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Queen Sugar S2E7
"I Know My Soul"
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