Previously on Queen Sugar, “Freedom’s Plow”
The Borderlons have taken a collective step back as Queen Sugar returns with the back half of season two. No firm decision has been made on what to do with the bombshell information that Ralph Angel is the sole inheritor to the Borderlon farm. Instead, each of the siblings focus on other familial and professional issues.
Perhaps it’s his impending nuptials to Darla, or maybe it’s the fact that the first harvest is almost ready and he’ll be able to see the fruits of his labor, but Ralph Angel starts “Yet I Do Marvel,” more level-headed, responsible, and happier than we’ve seen the character all series. He and Darla reveal their engagement to the family one by one, and with each announcement you can see the tension coiled inside Ralph Angel; he expected more pushback than he actually got. Aunt Vi was her usual cautious self and had questions, but she couldn’t deny the lengths both her nephew and Darla have gone to in order to turn their lives around.
Unfortunately, the petulant man-child Ralph Angel can sometimes (often times) be reared its head by the end of the second hour after an embarrassing run-in with a man who used to pay Darla for sex so she could score drugs. Considering how much Darla has endured — including the continued silence from her family despite calling them with her good news — it’s particularly frustrating to watch Ralph Angel be so stubborn and hypocritical. The man who spends nearly every episode whining about how no one will let go of his past mistakes can’t give the mother of his son and future wife a bit of compassion. Thankfully, Aunt Vi suggested pre-marriage counselor and it appears the couple will take her up on it.
Okay, look; I’m still not here for Dr. Robert Dubois. He’s just too… much. Too pushy. Too into Nova. Too… much. I know, I know. He’s handsome, successful, smart, and shares her passion for social justice, but… I kinda want him gone.
He encourages Nova to write a story about the possibility of the Zika virus affecting those in the ward. Nova’s ex and fellow activist Chantal (Reagan Gomez-Preston) isn’t feeling it and worries it will cause unnecessary panic when Nova could be using her platform to address more concrete and immediate concerns. With Nova’s help, Robert’s project receives necessary funding from the blowhard conservative from the mid-season finale. Even though Dr. Dubae looks good on paper — and they don’t seem to be having any problems in the bedroom — Nova is holding back. (Listen to your instincts, girl!) The big question is: Is this another case of Nova’s commitment issues keeping her from something great?
The introduction of Charley’s mother has been highly anticipated since it was first hinted that her relationship with Earnest (and Charley’s existence) was the cause of much upheaval in the Borderlon’s lives. Charley’s own stories — only trickling out in the first half of this season – painted a picture of someone hard to please and even harder to impress. Lorna Prescott’s (Sharon Lawrence) arrival comes just as news of Charley’s and Davis divorce breaks and as Charley is trying to find her place among St. Joe’s sugar mill community.
Those expecting their interracial make up (Lorna is White) to play into the mother-daughter friction were probably disappointed. Lorna’s judgment, critiques, and advice all felt like standard overbearing mother fare. It’s not until Charley tells her of the hard time she had trying to get White farmers to use her mill that we see Lorna’s perspective may be too limited for her to be of much help. Her solution is steeped in “you’re my daughter and you can do anything” and that’s fine, but pushing through racism in an industry with its origins in slavery — in the South — is going to require a bit more than a Can-Do spirit and elbow grease.
Lorna’s brief interaction with Aunt Vi is only the beginning. She hasn’t even seen Nova yet.
Aunt Vi’s keeping a health issue secret. She fainted earlier in the season, her hairdresser points out that she’s losing hair, and she’s experiencing moments of dizziness. Whatever it is, it better be curable. This family has been through enough and she just got an offer to sell her pies in a major supermarket.
Lorna and Earnest were married, y’all. *sips tea*
I understand Micah’s desire to move beyond the police brutality he experienced, but now that Charley and Nova know, I don’t think it’s going to be that simple… and I’m not sure it should be. Micah shouldn’t shoulder the burden, but the thought of the police officer getting away with it makes my stomach turn.
What are your thoughts on Queen Sugar’s return? Leave them below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on the podcast this weekend.