For the amount of story threads Queen Sugar weaves, the episodes don’t feel erratic nor do they drag. In fact, I had to hard blink at the end of the last two episodes “Wait, that’s it!?” The hour seems to race by.
If there is a running theme this episode, it’s toxic masculinity. It shows up in the first scene during Nova’s radio interview. Nova puts her reputation and possibly her life on the line to uncover the injustices suffered by Black children, but these men quickly segue from highlighting that to a lewd glorification of rape culture, using her sister’s family drama as the center.
This leads to Nova defending women accusers in general, but Charley listening back at the house, hears it as a ringing endorsement for Melina and a condemnation of Davis.
All is not lost; Nova sparks up a connection with Chantal, an activist she shared the segment with. After the less-than ideal interview, Chantal gives Nova her Ganesh amulet and a whole lot of coquettish smiles.
Ralph Angel has to go to work even though he desperately wants to spend time with Blue. To make up for it, he gives Vi some money for them to get some brunch after church. Not missing a trick, she wonders where the surplus money came from (a callback to the pilot) and RA waves it off reminding her he has a job now.
The real reason he’s so flush with cash is because he impulsively joined the phone stealing club at work. When he tries to quit however, it doesn’t go over so well. Apparently, half the workers are in this club, so they jump RA on the packing floor. These criminals are bold! Also, the obvious emptiness of the boxes is at an all time high as RA is thrown into them.
The proprietor fires RA, but RA threatens to reveal to his PO how they have been stiffing him a whole day’s pay every week. He demands to be laid off instead. The boss grudgingly complies. This is the first non-Blue related decision RA has made that I can actually get behind!
As Nova is going about her day, she gets a collect call from Too Sweet who is back in general population after his stint in the hospital. Their conversation highlights just how bleak his situation is and he heartbreakingly says that he’s not going to make it. Nova looks as helpless as we all feel.
The farm. Such amazing potential. Such a monument to their family name. It still sits with nothing growing on it. Remy might have the solution. He has a special seed he’s been working on in the lab that he’ll give to Charley for free because he just wants someone to give him a chance. He’s also set up a dinner with Prosper so that Charley can woo him back to being Farm Manager.
Just before the dinner, Charley confronts Nova about the radio show while Remy and RA make awkward small talk and Vi suggest they start drinking immediately. I love how naturally this show integrates humor into the dramatic bits because that’s truly how life is. The dinner goes well, and Prosper signs onto the Bordelon farm.
Later that night, the police show up with a warrant to search the property for stolen merchandise from the distribution center. Thankfully, Vi chucked the stolen phones RA was hoarding into the bayou. He hugs her and cries, insisting that he’s trying. We see that he’s trying, but I think it’s about time for more of Vi’s tough love from the pilot.
The following day it’s planting time. This is another family occasion, which is as practical as it is symbolic. After they head back from the fields to more of Vi’s home cooking, Davis and Micah arrive. Charley is overjoyed to see her son, and less enthused to see Davis. Davis doesn’t seem too thrilled to meet Remy. It’s as if he can see in their eyes all of the flirtgotiating they’ve been doing for weeks.
A while later, Nova is on the porch and Davis joins her. Even before he opens his mouth, her face says she’d rather he evaporate. He compliments her article and likens his situation to Too Sweet’s predicament. That’s the wrong thing to say because then Nova gives him an earful about how his enormous class privilege makes them nothing alike even if his narcissism deludes him into thinking so.
Afterward, Nova marches to her car and takes funds from the farm’s bank account to bail out Too Sweet. This resonates more strongly when you think about how enraged Nova got when Charley tried to use her money during their dad’s funeral.
Davis and Charley travel to the mediation with Melina. As anticipated, Davis’s was not at all honest about his relationship with her. For starters, he’s been her client for 3 years. It all goes downhill from there because Melina recorded the conversation she had with Davis the day after the rape allegations broke.
In the conversation Davis reveals himself to be aggressively misogynistic and disrespectful not only toward Melina but toward women in general. As the call goes on, Charley starts to see the full picture of her husband. These two women share a powerful moment when Charley drowns out Davis’s mealy mouthed apology with her own heartfelt one, and Melina really seems to appreciate it through her tears.
There’s a lot of layers to this because Davis is ,no doubt, a cretin, but I’m also not quite sure why Melina would drop her criminal case against the actual men who raped her just to get back at him. The phone call proves he’s an asshole but it actually disproves any rape charges they could levy against him. He doesn’t even explicitly admit to setting her up.
Rape cases are notoriously stressful and awful for the victim so maybe she decided $3mil plus the chance to make Davis confront his betrayal was a better deal. Either way, this storyline and end scene are definitely going to be a water cooler discussion for a while to come.