Season 5 | Episode 7 – “June 1, 2020″
Well, family…here we are again. Left to deal with our feelings and hearts that are in shambles. Last week was a lot. This week was a lot x 2. The murder of George Floyd is still very fresh and the Bordelons, like many of us, grapple with how to make their voices heard and make a difference. This episode of Queen Sugar was also a bit different because it included flashbacks for every major character.
Over at Nova X’s house, Rid is helping her get t-shirts together for the children’s march for St Jo’s that she has planned. And here’s reason number 10,497 why I love Queen Sugar. We always get some history if we pay attention. Children’s marches aren’t new. And the most infamous was in 1963 in Birmingham. As Nova says, we can always look to history for ideas to move us forward. Nova is a bit on edge and wants to make sure everything is perfect for tomorrow. They need this march. We need to keep fighting. What Trump has unleashed will take time to fight against, and we may not see the end. Perhaps it will be better for Blue and his generation.
Later, at Novin’s love nest, Courtney is packing her stuff. She has a funky lil attitude and I am guessing she is still in her feelings about (a) Nova telling her to put some respecK on James Baldwin’s name and (2) finding out that her father sat by silently and watched as a Black boy got beaten up by the police for sport. SN: As it relates to Nova outing Calvin in front of his daughter – not the move. But that’s a pattern for Nova, ain’t it? She has no respect for the parent/child relationship as evidenced by her interactions with Micah AND the fact that Micah and Charley were able to actually work on their relationship ONLY because daRona kept Nova away. Anywho…Courtney thinks that Nova is ready to get rid of her, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, she brought Courtney a gift. A rare copy of Vision and Justice. Courtney is pleased to receive it. Nova gets a call that breaks up their little bonding moment. It seems that there’s a problem with her permit. No surprises there. But my first thought was if Charley could fix it. Then I remembered that I don’t want Charley to fix everything because it be stressing her out. So…oh well. No permit. No march. I am sure Landrys folks had something to do with it.
Nova and Courtney are in the car waiting for Calvin to finish a work call. Courtney apologizes to Nova about the march being called off but says it’s probably for the best because kids don’t need to be exposed to all that negativity. Lawd. Nova doesn’t agree with that AT ALL, but she lets it slide. At a gas station stop, Nova and Courtney talk. She’s concerned that she’s not as good of a person as she thought she was. She wants to be a good ally, but doesn’t know how. Instead, she keeps saying the wrong things. Nova tells her she’s feeling what she’s supposed to be feeling. Never feel satisfied. Never feel that you know it all. Stay uncomfortable. Stay trying. That’s how you can be a good ally and a good person. Courtney receives that.
Nova makes it back home. While she’s home alone, she has flashbacks of her time with Calvin. We go all the way back to the very first scene of Queen Sugar when we met Nova and Calvin, to them standing on the balcony, to Calvin showing up at Ernest’s funeral, to all the times they reconnected in the past, to their breakups, to protesting with Calvin, to all of the conversations they have had about how hard it would be for them to be in a relationship together, to the laughter. I am really wondering what’s going to happen with these two. Does she want him or not? Can she be with him and be happy? Or not? I think I am confused because Nova is confused. Yall know I don’t stan for this relationship, but I really want Nova to make a decision so we can all move on. Dayum.
RALPH ANGEL + DARLA
The newlyweds are looking happy and determined to find joy wherever they can. Some mail came today. It’s Blue’s IQ results. And guess what? He’s a genius. We kinda knew that that was the setup all along tho, didn’t we? The season began with RA reading about how to raise a gifted kid, and now we know for sure that Blue is gifted. Blue is a brainiac and it’s great. But this is the setup for the next bout of drama. What will they do with this gifted kid? Darlene already said he needs to come to DC and go to school there. It’s finna be a problem.
At the farm, Blue and the fam make signs for the children’s march. Blue doesn’t understand why one of the signs talks about George Floyd’s mother. Darla explains it to him. People call for their mothers when they are scared because moms make you feel safe and protected. They are marching so that what happened doesn’t happen to anyone else – especially Black people. Blue says he understands. Darla is in tears. RA assures her that she handled the conversation well. They promise to fight to make Blue’s world different. And I am sad again.
RA breaks the news about the march being canceled because of permit issues. Which leads them to have to educate Blue about why you have to have permits to have a march. But Blue the Brainiac was like…why do we need permission to walk down the street? That’s dumb. RA was like…shole is. And we gonna take our signs and we gonna protest anyway. Blue is like yeahhhhhhh! Darla is like…the hell? And that’s when I knew it was gonna be some problems.
The family took their signs out to the road and had their own mini rally. They all have on Black Lives Matter tees and people are honking in agreement. They are actually kinda cute. But then, the popo rolls up. Of course. Blue asks if they did something wrong and his parents assure him they have not. Somebody called about some folks obstructing traffic and Ra was like…that ain’t us. We are just standing here on the side of the road, minding our business and holding up these signs. That really could have been the end of it, but it wasn’t. The police tells RA that he’s not minding his business because he’s on public property. But that ain’t true. RA points out that where they are standing is private property and they own ALLLL of the land behind them. Where the police is standing? That’s public. But since RA said he owns the land, the police wants proof of his ownership. WTF? RA rightly pointed out that people don’t walk around with their deeds in their back pockets. TRUUUUUUE. As a matter of fact, when this was happening, I had to ask myself where my dayum deed was! Anyway, now the police wants ID, which RA doesn’t have on him because he was standing on his own gahtdamb land and his wallet is at the house. Darla tells RA she’s going back to the house to get what the officer needs and runs to the truck. As she does that, the police officer has the nerve to say “mmmmm.” And at this point, I am scared because I am not sure if RA has all of his anger management issues completely squared away. Then the officer turns his attention to Blue. RA asks him if he doesn’t have anything better to do than harass them. RA and the officer go back and forth and then Mr. Officer puts his hand on his gun. And little Blue is there holding on to his dad’s arm and visibly scared. RA has to calm himself down. Thank God, the officer gets a call and has to go. But before he does, he addresses Blue. Catch you later little man. I was totally disgusted. After the officer leaves. RA apologizes to Blue, who is crying. They pick up their signs and try to move on, but they are both crying. It’s just too much.
Later RA and Hollywood talk and RA is struggling with their earlier encounter with the police. Blue is scared for his dad and that’s not his job. His job is to be a kid. That’s it. This world will not let him be a kid. And RA breaks down. Hollywood encourages him to let it out.
That night, RA watches Blue sleep. He has flashbacks too. Back to the first episode, where he left Blue on the bench to go rob a store. Back to Blue and RA in the hospital room with Pop. Back to the funeral. Back to RA giving Blue “Blue’s Corner.” Remember that? And to all the times with the push and pull of Kenya the doll. RA eyes a white action figure with a cape on in Blue’s room. He throws it in the trash. I think this action had two purposes. First, he’s white and white people aren’t coming to save us. Second, it’s a toy and represents innocence. But Blue is no longer innocent and no longer a child. 💔
VI + HOLLYWOOD
Aunt Vi and ‘nem don’t usually get their own section, but they got one today because there’s lot of drama brewing over at the house. Vi is leaving a message for Laila. You remember Laila? She’s the girl that Vi encountered when she went to go tell Jimmy Dale off. Vi helped her out and helped her escape and they are still in touch. I love it and I love that the writers didn’t forget her. Anyway, it’s morning, and Hollywood is in the struggle and drinking beer at the crack of dawn. Of course Vi is concerned, but with Hollywood’s mood, she lets it slide.
Later, Prosper and Hollywood are looking at a replay of a game because ain’t no new games on because…COVID. Vi comes in and ask the men what they want for dinner. Neither of them have any ideas. Wood ain’t really paying attention to her, but Prosper notices she looks a little off and asks what’s wrong. She just got off the phone with Darla and she’s not happy. She told them that they don’t need to be letting Blue see all of this news about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor because he’s too young. She can’t believe Darla pushed back. Hollywood was like…did she tell you to mind yo business? Yep. She sure did. Hollywood’s next move was to say, “mmmmhmmmm” and Vi was like…what does THAT mean. Prosper could feel the chill in the air so he got his popcorn and beer and headed on out like SpongeBob2020. Hollywood told Vi that he does not have the capacity to make Vi feel better about being all up in people’s business. He went on a whole tirade and basically ended with telling Vi to chill TF out and mind her business. Vi tells him that he doesn’t sound like himself at all. And then she brings up the Real Spot. That’s another bad idea. It’s open and sitting there empty. He’s still paying for it and it’s draining all the money from his settlement and there’s nothing he can do about it. *SN: I thought Hollywood’s settlement was LARGE. He proclaimed they were rich. Also, remember when Charley told Wood that he needed to invest his money and make it work for him and he told Charley to fall back? Looks like he should have listened.* So now Wood just wanna look at the game, drink his 10th beer of the day, and wait for his dinner. I was mad at how Wood went off, but then I had a flashback to all of the times Vi was on one with him. I guess he owed her some bad behavior. I still hate where this is going tho.
Later, Hollywood apologizes to Prosper for acting up. Prosper is understanding. And then Hollywood has flashbacks to their wedding day and their wedding vows, to him taking care of Vi when she first got the lupus diagnosis, to Vi comforting him and to the good times. Hopefully Wood realizes that Vi is on this team and he will get through this.
Charley is not having a peaceful sleep. In fact, she is having nightmares. But this dream is a reel of all the things she probably wants to forget. Charley’s flashbacks include her fights with Micah, comforting Micah, conversations with Parker, run-ins with Sam, the aftermath of the mill burning, the phone call with the state where she learned how big of a risk COVID was going to be, the night Davis told her about Tia, and the parish turning on her at the banquet. I was surprised it didn’t include her blowup with Nova after the book because that was pretty dramatic, too. Anyway, Charlie wakes up in pain and is a bit unstable at first. It’s clear that her neck and shoulders are a problem this morning and this is when all of the red flags started going up for me. SN: Charley doesn’t wear a scarf. And I don’t think she’s sleeping on satin pillowcases either. But, sis be waking up with her hair laidT.
Like all Black mamas do, Charley pushed through and got breakfast on the table for Micah X. I am seriously impressed that Charley is in the kitchen. I really thought she couldn’t cook AT ALL. Anyway, she is still nursing her neck pain. She tells Micah she think she slept wrong and Micah offers a quick massage to help her out. That was nice of him. But it was a setup. Micah X is up to his revolutionary ways, per the usual. He tells Charley that the pain is probably from all the marching they did and he’s proud of her. Charley tells Micah she’s proud of him too. Micah says that this feels like another civil rights movement and it’s their time. And that there’s so much more he can do besides make social media posts. What if his followers saw him organizing and protesting? That would be more impactful. And with that, MicahX announces that he’s going to Minnesota. Ground zero for the George Floyd murder and protests. In true Micah fashion, he tells Charley that he’s not asking for permission (because he gonna do what the hell he wants to do anyway) but he would like her support. Of course, the look on Charley’s face is of shock and possible fear, but she pushes through that and gives Micah her blessing. Bless her soul. She gives it. And tells him that she’s proud of the man he’s becoming. I know that was hard. Yall lift Charley up in prayer.
So Woke Micah had all of his stuff in order and before Charley could even take a shower and get out of her jammies, he was gone. *le sigh* Charley is on the phone with Nova, but all the while, she’s struggling with leg and neck pain. More red flags, yall. Anyway, Nova is impressed with Micah’s courage. She wishes it could be simple like that for her again. To be a young activist and to be able to pick up and go. Charley can’t relate to that because she was never in that position. Nova tells her that her time is now and to embrace it. Nova is planning to come over and give Charley a hug after the children’s march and after she drives to Austin with Courtney and Calvin to drop Courtney off. Then, she’s going to fly back because she’s working on a story about how the TSA is treating Black passengers in light of all of the new COVID travel restrictions. Charley doesn’t approve of what Nova has to do for the story but she knows that Nova will be happy to say buh-bye to Courtney. Nova acknowledges that she’s been rough on Courtney and Calvin, but the time for making yt people feel comfy is over. PeriodT. And we get another history lesson. Charley tells Nova that she is scared for Micah all the time. He’s out there in the fight, but he’s so young. Nova reminds Charley that he’s really not. King, Malcolm X, Ella Baker, Assata Shakur, John Lewis – were ALL young. They started the fight at a young age. One day soon, Charley will be known for being the mother to the great Micah X West. I added the X, but you get the point. While this call was taking place, Charley was rubbing athlete’s cream on her aching leg and had a bottle of ibuprofen on the table. Sis is still struggling. And her symptoms aren’t getting better.
Vi and her zebra print mask came by Charley’s abode to drop off some pie. Charley is happy to eat it. Vi asks about Micah X and I bout died because that’s what I call him too. Charley had to drop the bomb on Vi. He went to Minneapolis. Vi was like…Minni-what? I cackled. All of the old Black auntie came outta Vi. Charley was like…he felt strongly about protesting so he left. And then Vi went off on Charley like she likes to do. You let that boy go gallivanting out of state in the middle of a gahtdamb panini and a race crisis? Charley had to remind Vi that she said Micah would be different once he came home from college and he is indeed different. Actually, MicahX is the same, it’s just that now he’s bold with his ish. But I digress. Charley told Vi its hard for her but she’s dealing with it. Po Charley. Now Charley wants to check in with Vi, who isn’t doing too well herself. She is over all of these folks and their takeout orders and she feels like she needs to be home because there’s a whole storm at her house. At least Prosper is doing well now and she’s happy that he’s there. His trifling azz daughter aint even checked on him. What’s her deal?She didn’t come when he was in the hospital and when Charley was fighting like mad for him. I need some backstory on Billie Ann (I think that’s her name but I could be wrong). Anyway, Vi shares that Hollywood is not doing well and she feels like she needs to be there for him more. She got a lot on her plate. Po Vi.
Remember when Charley and Micah were going through old files to try to find a solution to the highway problem? Well, they did. Micah found a box labeled trash and the original St. Jo charter was in that box. And that charter says that if there’s a federal state of emergency, all public works projects have to cease for at least 2 years. There have been no laws to overturn it. She is relaying this information to someone via phone. During this phone call, she starts to struggle again though. Now she’s having back pain, and finding it hard to catch her breath. She reaches for her phone to call someone and my mind immediately went back to the last time she needed help and reached out. Same cast of characters, and basically the same outcome. She clicks on Nova’s name but remembers Nova is out of town. She then goes to Vi, but remembers that Vi is stressed out. That leaves RA. She dials and gets his voicemail. Here we go. Again. Charley puts the phone down and reaches for water but she’s still in distress. Now she’s grabbing for her stomach and it’s just scary. She grabs her phone and gets up.
Charley managed to make it to the sofa where she is still in distress and it’s not getting better. It’s taking everything she has in her to get to her phone that’s on the table. This is round 2 of her trying to figure out who to call. Again, she remembers Nova is gone. And Micah is gone. And Vi is stressed out. And then she decides who she’s going to call. It’s Davis! In the middle of a medical emergency, she calls Davis and apologizes to him for calling. She tells him that she doesn’t feel well and she needs help. She thanks him before she hangs up and my heart was absolutely broken for many reasons. Let’s go down the list, shall we? First, Charley never has anyone to call on for help. Never. That’s why when she was going through it after the mill burned, she drove herself to a bar to escape the best way she could. Without making any calls to anyone – because why bother? Second, the amount of mental negotiation she had to do in two rounds of deciding who to call was agonizing. She certainly should have called Vi, but even in the middle of her own emergency, she didn’t want to be a burden. Third, if anybody should answer Charley’s calls on the first gahtdamb ring, is Ralph Angel Bordelon. Charley has certainly been there for him. Fourth, I didn’t want it to be Davis, either. But as I sat with Charley’s decision, I became fine with it. She tried to go down her list and he was the absolute last resort. But one thing we know about Davis is that he cares for Charley and he will move the heavens and Earth to get to her. Also, if Charley has to make a trip to the hospital, Davis would know her medical history better than any of the Bordelons. And although Davis is pure trash, I know he will take care of her. God knows he owes it to her. Fifth, I think Charley is having a heart attack. I know it looked a lot like anxiety or a panic attack, but Charley was having all of the the symptoms that most of us don’t know are symptoms of a heart attack. Neck pain, shoulder pain, leg pain, back pain, unable to catch her breath. She had been experiencing them all day. There’s something to be said for listening to your body. I hope I’m wrong, but sometimes #ibeknowin.
Per the usual, I got comments, questions and concerns:
Blue: *insert deep sigh here* This is so hard. Personally, I have one child who has reached the “threshold” and I have had to break it to him that he’s MY baby, but to the world he’s a man and has to conduct himself as such. I feel RA’s pain and I wonder how they will move forward. The preview for next week looks heated. Blue the Brainiac got into a private school in DC. Darlene works fast. But will Blue go? RA seems like he’s given up on being able to protect Blue. Vi is having a whole conniption about the idea of her Blue leaving. Who will win in the end?
On Nova: Nova and Courtney reached a peaceful end. Nova gifted Courtney a book that in my opinion should have gone to Micah, but whatever. And what does Nova want? She’s always so conflicted. If a relationship causes you to have so many second thoughts, is that the relationship for you? Yall know I don’t care how it ends for them, but Nova is exhausting.
On Hollywood: If there was ever a time for the Real Spot, it’s now. I hope Hollywood finds a way to open in a COVID safe manner, because he needs it more than anything right now. I am concerned about his alcohol intake, his moods and his overall attitude. I wonder if therapy will be in his future because he needs it asaptually.
On Charley: Charley, Charley, Charley. My girl is going through it! I think Micah leaving was the final straw for her. This summer, I told a friend that I believed that Ava kept Davis around because in the end, Davis and Charley would find their way back to each other. And looka here. Here’s a way for them to reconnect. I have no doubt that Davis is gonna Superman his way back into Charley’s life. First by breaking in her house to save her, and then by possibly nursing her back to health or at least helping in whatever recovery she will need. I don’t like it. But I also don’t like Charley being alone. This episode highlights that even more. I will be mad at reconciliation. However, when I look back over the Bordelon Book of Love, a pattern is that the Bordelons always drift back to their first loves. Darla betrayed RA in the worsT way, but now they married. Nova has broken up with Calvin no less than a million times AND he’s a cheater, but…they talking about marriage. Hollywood had a whole wife while he was dating Vi, but now they married, too. So…yeah. That’s the pattern – #nonewlove. Oh…and I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they learn that Charley called Davis to help her. I can feel the attitude brewing already, but can they really be mad? Nope.
That’a all I got for now. I’m finna go grab my prayer beads for Charley. See yall next week.