Perviously on Queen Sugar, “All Good”
Queen Sugar - S1E12 - “Far Too Long” | 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, Marycarmen Lopez, Bianca Lawson
“Far Too Long” had the task of setting up the season finale of a pretty flawless premiere season. That’s why it pains me that a few aspects of it didn’t sit well with me.
Several who listen to our Queen Sugar podcast had speculated that there was more to Nova’s relationship with Too Sweet, even going so far as to wonder if he was her son. I highly doubt it, but I understand the suspicion that it’s more than just trying to help a boy caught up in the system. We’ve seen Nova ignore family business, break-up with her lover, and steal money from the family’s company for Too Sweet. She clearly cares for him. That’s why it was so frustrating to have the character be absent for much of the season. When we learned he was missing, it felt like a distraction from the storylines we were truly invested in. This week, Too Sweet suffers from night terrors, waking up screaming and crying on Nova’s floor. He’s free, but in many ways he’s still incarcerated. Nova appears on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show to talk about her work as a journalist and advocate for social justice. She spots Calvin in the audience, and later he calls to say he misses her, he got the charges dropped against Too Sweet, and he left his wife.
This would have been great news if 1) we’d seen Calvin this season to get an idea of how we’re supposed to feel about this or how Nova will feel and 2) this didn’t feel like a quick and easy way to wrap-up the Too Sweet storyline. Hopefully, Nova will continue to investigate and report on the corruption she uncovered, and I think that she will. But this latest development feels like a convenient way to usher out a character and storyline that didn’t get much attention to begin with.
The trouble in Vi and Hollywood’s relationship has been both satisfying and annoying. Hollywood was introduced as such a standup guy that we knew something had to happen, and it being a nighttime drama, we expected it. The reveal of his secret marriage and the reason for it was effective. The audience could side-eye him enough for being a lying liar who lies, but not be too conflicted in whether or not Vi should forgive him. Of course she should, especially since he has appeared to be genuinely sorry and his reasons were honorable - self-serving, sure - but not done with malice. It appeared the two were well on their way to reconciliation with the appropriate amount of time given to Vi to focus on herself and decide to forgive him on her own time. Now, the two are probably further apart emotionally - definitely physically - than they’ve ever been, and it’s due to a silly misunderstanding.
Hollywood has been back in town for nearly a week, but hasn’t gone to see Violet because he wants to have his divorce papers in hand when he does. Unfortunately for him, she already saw his car and assumed he was just getting home. Ralph Angel accidentally snitches and Vi doesn’t wait for an explanation before storming out. Later, Vi lets Roberta talk her into hitting up a local bar and Hollywood walks in just as she’s dancing with another man. He also doesn’t wait for an explanation - hell, she didn’t even see him - before leaving. And then he packs up his belongings and leaves town. Huh? Does anyone really think these two won’t get back together? Of course not. So these two misunderstandings feel like unnecessary filler to save the reunion for the finale. And Queen Sugar has been so much better than that.
Ralph Angel is genuinely trying. He’s coming up with mill alternatives, working, and taking care of Blue. Darla is spending more time at the house with the two of them, and things go to the next level when Darla listens as Ralph Angel goes on about how unappreciated he is; she then tells him all the things no one else will. Can he trust Darla? Hard to say. Like Too Sweet and Calvin, she’s not someone we’ve been allowed to see outside of interactions with Ralph Angel and the rest of the family. She certainly seems to be trying.
That said, the best part of “Far Too Long” also has the most deplorable turn of events. Charley is hard-headed; we know that. Leaking Goldie’s name to the press revealed Charley can also play dirty. But Charley also loves Micah more than anything in the world, and that’s why playing dirty at the expense of her son is so incredibly raggedy.
Without the loan, the Borderlons have to find a mill to process their cane. Ralph Angel has come up with a solution, but Charley isn’t taking his calls. Instead, she’s looking into purchasing her very own mill - despite Remy’s advice not to. Where might Charley expect to get the funds for such a purchase considering her assets are tied up due to her impending divorce? Well, Davis might be the answer. Frank Rovner, the owner of the Louisiana NBA team, is a possible investor if she can get Davis to sign with his team. To ensure that happens, Charley first blackmails one of the other wives in the Goldie case to convince her husband to go to the team as well. Then, she calls Davis and lies about Micah’s behavior and the company he keeps in order to get Davis on a plane.
It’s incredibly foolish, and disgusting, to do this to her child, but this has the most potential to make the finale unforgettable, and sets up so much drama for season two. Davis and Remy in the same town? Lawd.
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Queen Sugar S1E12 = 8.2/10