Season 5 | Episode 2 – “Mid-March 2020”
It’s mid-March 2020, and it’s the calm before the storm. This will be the last episode where life is “normal” for the Bordelons (and us).
It’s a big day for Nova. Calvin is finally taking her to meet the fam. She is going through every alphet in her closet and is super nervous. When Charley calls, Nova asks for advice. What should she do? Calvin’s youngest kids will be there. The oldest is in college. Charley tells her to breathe and be thankful that the little kids will be there. They are easy to charm. She tells Nova to just be the queen that she is and stay calm.
The time has finally come. Nova and Calvin arrive at the granddaddy’s birthday party and it’s…really white. You can tell Nova feels uncomfortable there. She is trying really hard to be liked by these wypipo. They are immediately greeted by Calvin’s mama and she is very nice to Nova and is very complimentary. They go find granddaddy and he is…floored. But he plays it off when Nova gives him his gift – some scotch. Calvin’s daughter comes running and he gives her a necklace that Nova picked out for her. She thanks Nova for the necklace and Nova puts it on her. All seems to be going well…so you know it’s about to go left.
Calvin finds his other kid and introduces him to Nova. James is NOT happy to meet Nova. He says hi and walks away. He is not here for the home wrecker. Calvin says that he is still mad about the divorce, its cool. But then, Hailey (the ex-wife) arrives at the party! Whatttttt? It’s clear that the family still rocks with Hailey. She got the invite to granddaddy’s party and the mama KNEW that Calvin was bringing Nova so…yeah. It was a setup. LOL. Calvin asks if Nova wants to leave, but Nova says she’s good. Hailey was feeling froggy so she jumped. She came right on over and introduced herself. Nova tells her her kids are amazing and Hailey was like…yeah they are, despite your homewrecking behavior. Calvin tries to stop this and they attempt to walk away, but Hailey wasn’t done. Ayyyye, Nova. How does it feel to be the other woman? The one that broke up a happy home. Calvin tells Hailey she should be ashamed of herself. I guess Calvin forgot he was an adulterer. Hailey was like…yall gon head and leave. You are just here until the next one comes. You’re interchangeable. Well gahtdamb, Hailey. Now Calvin is .38 hot. Hailey started spilling the tea in front of the fam. Apparently, Calvin LOVES Black women. The dark ones with the big butts. The more exotic the better. You weren’t the only one, Nova. You are just ONE of them. Bayyyyyyybeeeeeeeee! The look on Nova’s face! Calvin has had enough of Karen disrespecting his Black queen. He tells his ex that he was only with her until he could be with Nova. And Nova is the only one he ever loved. I don’t even know if I believe or trust Calvin, but he had to save his relationship with Nova at the moment, so it is what it is. Hailey was left in shambles. They all made a scene in front of his family. Now the whole family knows that Calvin BEEN cheating on Hailey with all da Black girls and Nova found out that she wasn’t the only chocolate Calvin was liking. I don’t really care about this relationship, so let the chips fall where they may.
Hailey may have been left in tears, but she accomplished what she set out to accomplish. She got Nova wondering about Calvin and his fetish for Black women. So the next day, Nova questions Calvin about how many Black women he’s been with. Calvin was like…in my lifetime there have been a few. Nova wants to know why he didn’t mention it. Nova is concerned because if she is in a relationship with someone who objectifies Black women, it goes against her moral compass (now…we could talk all day long bout Nova’s morals, but that’s another story for another day.) Calvin was like…that ain’t it. I don’t have a fetish. I like all kinds of women and there were other women before you…just like there were other men before me. *insert deep sigh here* How is Nova really going to question what Calvin was doing when they were not together? And with all of the men AND women that Nova has been with, is this line of questioning even necessary? No. It’s not. Calvin is sticking to his story that she’s the only he has ever loved. He says all the right things and knows just how to get Nova to back down and fall back in love with him. Again…I don’t care. I just report the news.
RALPH ANGEL + DARLA
…they want us struggling. That’s what they want. They want us worried about harvest. Worried about eminent domain. But you know what? I ain’t worried. We get to choose how we deal with things. You hear me?Ralph Angel
Last week, RA and Darla got engaged and this week, they are in full wedding planning mode. Darla is planning her dream wedding and I am not mad. She deserves it. She envisions a “small, but stylish wedding.” RA is on board with it and since he is, Darla leaves the honeymoon destination up to RA. A million places popped into my head in the 10 seconds it took RA to respond and he came up with New York. *insert disappointed face here* Ain’t nothing wrong with New York, but I really wasn’t expecting it. RA says that he’s always wanted to go to a Broadway show in a fancy theater. Darla’s cool with it. New York it is. I guess for RA New York would be huge. I don’t think he has ever left Louisiana. There’s a lot of worry and tension in the air as they talk, but they are both resolute. This is their time, and they are going to take it. I had an overwhelming sense of sadness for them because we know COVID is coming to wreck everything. I hope they keep that spirit tho.
Things seem to be looking up for Darla in her professional life as well. She tells RA that her company is opening up a new division this month and her boss has put her up for a position. RA is so happy and congratulates her, even though she hasn’t gotten the job yet. Darla is nervous, but she is refusing to let her fear keep her from moving forward. So she’s going to try. Good for you, Darla. Good for you.
Darla did what they all do when they need advice or help — she called Charley. So Charley is over at the house giving Darla a pre-interview pep talk. Darla is taking notes and everything. And Charley came through with some boss advice. You aren’t on trial, sis. They are. You are there to help them. That should be your attitude. Even RA is listening in the background and agreeing with what Charley is saying. Charley goes on to say that the goal is to leave that manager thinking that they NEED you. And then RA interjects and says he would tell them to kiss his azz if they don’t hire him. Sir…please stay out of this. Darla is constantly thinking about her past. Charley reminds her that interviews are about the future. Be fierce out loud. Darla writes that one down. I am taking notes too.
In the car, RA and Darla hear more news about COVID on the radio. In true, RA fashion, he claims it’s the media tryna gas people up and make people scared. COVID sounds like it’s just a cold. How many of us thought that? Darla isn’t as sold. She is worried about the elders and Prosper…as she should be.
The next morning, Darla practices for her interview in the mirror. Darla has come so far, but my heart breaks because she doesn’t know how worthy and amazing she is. She practices smiling and shaking hands. She practices how she will introduce herself…while wiping away tears. She uses Charley’s advice – I have worked here for 3 years and I can probably do your job better than you. You would be lucky to have me. And when she said that, there was a sad familiarity that came with that. How many job interviews have we all been on when we have to sell ourselves, know we can do the job and also know that it will take twice as much effort for the interviewer to see us? I wanted to cry. RA shows up behind her and reminds her that they would be lucky to have her.
They can’t steal our joy, unless we let them.Darla
Charley and Parker are still at it, but this time Charley is meeting Parker at her office. She strolls in in a bomb blue jumpsuit ready to pounce on Parker. But guess what…Parker is nowhere to be found. The receptionist says that Parker cleared her whole schedule so she’s kinda confused too. She offers Charley a seat while she tries to clear everything up, but bosslady ain’t with the sh*its. No, sis. I will not have a seat while you figure it out. My appointment is for NOW. My time is valuable. It’s standard to provide a phone call regarding schedule changes. This…substandard and unacceptable. Please pass that along to yo boss. Ya heard? And with that, Charley is out. What you ain’t bouta do is waste my gahtdamb time.
Charley heads on out and calls Nova to tell her that Parker straight dipped and something is up but she’s gonna figure it out. Nova tells her to take that hour that just became available and engage in some self-care. I usually don’t agree with Nova, but that advice was spot on. If anybody needs a whole day at the spa it’s Charley Badazz Bordelon. And of course, Charley isn’t going to take that advice. She’s going back to the office to work. Back at the office, Charley got her people on the case to find out where the hell Parker went so fast. Charley has this dude named Tariq on the case and I guess he replaced Vicky with the Tea from last season. Remember Vicky? She was the white lady PI who got all of the deets on what the Landrys were doing except she wasn’t that discrete and they knew she was doing it? Yeah. So…I guess Vicky got fired and now we have Tariq. Ok. Back to the story at hand. Tariq found out that Parker left town on the last fight to New York. And only left with a carry on. He also tells Charley that the airport is getting really slow because of the news about the virus. And then Woke Micah calls. Charley is so delighted to hear from her long lost son. She only called him twice today and he actually called back. Of course he’s calling because he wants something. He has invited his parents to the yard for Homecoming…which is odd and a real no no. He wants to know if she has talked to his dad. Apparently he wants them both there. He tells her where to meet them when they get on campus and she tells him that she can’t wait to see him. Trust me, Charley…you can.
Davis, Keke and Charley arrive on campus to meet Micah. Davis is hype and folks recognize him immediately. He is off taking selfies. Keke recognizes a guy from her school that’s working the smoothie stand and heads over there to grab some smoothies for them. Charley and Davis look around for their kid and Davis asks if this is the right spot. Charley is sure it is. And then a show begins. There’s dancers and then the frat shows up and a probate show begins. Charley and Davis are enjoying the show, and Charley even mentions that she hates that Micah is missing this. And then, “Showtime” (that’s Micah’s line name) is revealed and it’s Woke Micah! Whew, Chile! They were enjoying the show until they weren’t. Davis asks Charley why she didn’t tell him Micah was pledging. Of course, she had no idea. After the show is over, Davis gets over his shock and seems to be ok. Charley is where she usually is when it comes to Micah. She’s speechless. Oh…and Keke got caught up at the smoothie place talking to the dude she knows and she missed the whole dayum thing. I cackled. Micah looked around for her and saw what she was doing. He took that as his cue to use his new fraternity status to dance with the ladies…and I am sure he hoped Keke saw him, too.
The next day, Charley showed up at the scene of the most recent crime – Micah’s school. Woke Micah is surprised that she came back. He was sure she had enough him yesterday. And she probably did. She’s actually there to talk to an epidemiologist at the school about COVID. She’s trying to get more information about the virus. Of course Micah dismisses Charley’s concern and says she doesn’t need to worry. But since she was there, she brought his azz a snack. She says it’s his favorite, but she questions whether it’s his favorite anymore. Micah takes that as his queue to pounce. He calls her passive aggressive and tells her there’s no big deal in him joining the frat. Charley points out that if it wasn’t a big deal he would have mentioned it. So he joined a frat that has a bad reputation for being thugs. She asks if he had considered his father’s frat, who has a better rep. He did. He talked to them. They rejected him. So…I guess Woke Micah just went with the next best thing…or the one that was the easiest for him to get into? Interesting. There’s a lot going on here. Micah could have used legacy, but he didn’t want to. He didn’t want to ask. He didn’t want to use his father’s name. He didn’t want to tell them. He just wanted to do. And he did. He tells Charley he doesn’t need to ask for permission or consult her about his decisions. Charley is surprised, but tells him that she will do a better job of honoring his boundaries. And then he pulls out his phone because he is done talking. Y’all. I got feelings about this. But the main issue I am having is that Micah continually makes adult decisions without following them up with adult actions. With the Harvard decision and with this, he had made up his mind, which is fine. He did what he was going to do without anyone knowing. Ok. But at what point will he be so secure in the decisions he is making to have the adult conversations he needs to have with his parental units? You did it. Be man enough to say you did. Why must everything play out as a public surprise? I am tired for Charley.
The next morning, Charley is enjoying a quiet moment with some tea. It’s peaceful, which made me immediately anxious. Charley doesn’t get peace. That’s not how Queen Sugar goes. As predicted, her peace is interrupted and her phone starts blowing up with texts from the Council. daRona is here and there’s a statewide conference call. *insert weary emoji here*. Charley gets on the call and it is stressful as hell. In order to slow the virus, society has to shut down. Spain and Canada have already done it. California and New York will soon follow. The states will decide because the clown in the White House (at the time) has made it that way. Charley asks how long. They say two weeks. Remember when we all thought our lives would get back to normal in two weeks?
VI + HOLLYWOOD
Hollywood is getting his place together. Prosper is helping it out and he tells Wood that it’s great that they will now have a spot to gather and talk. They need a place to go when things get rough. Prosper is worried about COVID, but Wood assures him that they will not let anything happen to him. Awwwww.
Vi brings over a sign for Wood’s spot and congratulates him on the opening of his place. She has decided that tomorrow they will celebrate their first date night, which was 18 years ago. Dayum. They been together for that long? I was all into Vi and Hollywood’s date because I knew it was the last time things would be normal. Hollywood brought out his alphet from 18 years ago. A tacky tangerine number. He turns on that good Alexander O’Neal and date night is about to commence. Vi comes strolling in in a mini skirt and I was like…Ok…Vi..I see you, sis! They reminisce about their first date and how happy they are. They look forward to many more good times…and then Vi’s phone rings. It’s Charley. She’s calling with bad news, but she wants to give Vi a heads up. The virus is here.
Charley narrates while we see the Bordelon family try to understand what is happening. There is so much conflicting news, it’s hard to know what to believe and how we should protect ourselves. Masks? We are not sure. One thing is certain. The state and local governments have to make the decisions because the President is not and will not. It all comes down to us. We have to look out for each other. No on else is looking out for us. States are starting to shut down. St Jo has decided to prepare and shut down, despite what the state of Louisiana says.
Nova and Calvin watch the news. The NBA has shutdown, which is huge. Calvin says that yall’s ex-President said it would disappear. And then he says that Trump is lacking in SOME areas. Nova corrects him. He’s lacking in ALL areas. But I wonder…is Calvin a low-key Trump supporter? I know his family dayum sure is. Nova goes on to say that if the NBA has shut down, with all of the money that it’s involved with that, this thing is way more serious than we are being led to believe.
RA and Darla watch the news. And RA is finally believing that his virus is real.
Mr. Prosper reads the paper and his early suspicions are true. This virus is real and it’s here. And it’s a threat.
Woke Micah reads the alerts on his phone. The virus he told his mama was nothing to worry about is now something to worry about.
Vi gets the news that she will have to shut down her restaurant for at least two weeks. Charley gave her a heads up before anyone else. She puts a sign on the door. They will be back when this is all over…on April 1. And I wanted to CRY! I didn’t expect to be triggered by reliving the beginning of COVID but I was. It was so chaotic and confusing and we had no idea that our lives would change forever. *le sigh*
Per the usual, I got observations, questions and concerns:
On Proser: I did not like the way Prosper looked in this episode. He is looking sickly again and he is so worried about COVID. It seems that he is thee only one at this point that has been keeping up with the virus’ whereabouts and it’s impact on the elderly. He’s scared and I am too. Because if Mr. Prosper gets daRona, I am flipping the table. We did not get through all of these other storms for this to take Prosper out. *in my M’Baku voice* I will not have it. I said, I will not have IT!
On Keke: Micah felt the need to ask Keke who she was talking to over at the smoothie stand. While he was supposed to be living it up after his probate show, he was high key worried about the smoothie dude. Keke told him that he’s just a nice guy from her school. And that she is not pressed about his shenanigans with his frat brothers. Micah is jealous. And this relationship is strained. You cannot tell me that part of the reason Micah stayed around was because he’s in love with Keke. But will they make it?
On Literature: Love that Wood has lots of books at the “Real Spot” and they mentioned one of my favorites!! Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills. It’s all about people who survived enslavement and became millionaires. It’s an inspiring read. I love that Queen Sugar drops the knowledge in every episode.
On Names: Who over at Queen Sugar came up with the name Parker. Making a Charley v Parker story? Charlie Parker is one of my favorite jazz folks. And it took me this long to put those two names together. This little paragraph has nothing to do with anything, but I was amused.
Whose Greek Life Are We Talking About?: Usually, the writing on Queen Sugar is flawless, but I am having some…upset *in my Iyanla voice* about the way the Greek thing went down. There was vacillation between the White Greek life and the D9 Greek life. Houses? We don’t have those. And you can try to go and “talk” to the members of a fraternity or sorority (which would be the equivalent to an interest meeting or rush in D9 life), but once you have done so, you are likely to be blackballed from the others. They could have just said he didnt want to use legacy and he wanted to piss Charley (and Davis) off. I am letting the other things slide – like how Micah is pledging as a freshman and his improper placement on the line. Also they didn’t have line numbers and a probate at homecoming is…interesting. Imma let it go, but…
On Charley and Micah: What is going to happen with these two? They live in the land of disconnect and miscommunication. I must say I am surprised that Charley has been so calm and measured with him. She heard what he said and recognized the boundaries that he has erected. I believe she will honor his boundaries, but it will be tested when they are both together during quarantine. In addition to Woke Micah’s aggravating ways, he’s in college AND he’s a neo. Coming back to his mama’s house after he has had so much freedom is going to have both of their emotions in shambles. And they have so many unresolved issues. Will their time together be useful in sorting all of that out? Or will they continue doing this same dance. I really want Micah to be with Davis and Tia because he’s works my last nerB. But I know he will be right there driving Charley mad.
On Parker: Where she at? Why New York? Why now? What’s up?
On the future: Yall…Is RA gonna be homeschooling Blue? Lawd. That’s gonna be a mess. Calvin and Nova gonna be all smiles for the first two weeks…then the weight of being quarantined gonna hit ’em. The weight of politics might, too. Hollywood’s mama has a cough that I know is daRona! I hope she makes it, but I don’t think she will. Yall thought Charey was carrying St. Jo before…now she is part of the government. Making COVID decisions with a board who is half Trump supporters is going to have her weary. Buckle up. It’s about to get crazy.
See yall next week…