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Queen Sugar - S2E1/S2E2 - After the Winter/To Usward

Previously, on Queen Sugar

Usually when someone refers to a television show as a guilty pleasure, the implication is that the show is terrible and they feel bad about enjoying it so much. When I say Queen Sugar is my guilty pleasure it’s not because it’s terrible — far from it — I mean that I feel bad that I enjoy it as much I do; surely feeling this good about a TV show isn’t healthy, right? I’m over the moon that this excellent, black-ass show is back for a second season. Just like real-life family, the Borderlons drive me crazy, but I love them and I root for them.

Images: OWN

The two-night season premiere addressed a few of the issues I had leaving the season one finale. First, after Nova had a physical altercation with one of Calvin’s police buddies, she was shown at home, crying into a shirt. It wasn’t clear if she’d broken up with Calvin, who had just left his wife for her. Well, the number of men who rotated out of her bed in just two episodes would suggest that they are not together. And the way she treats the men the next morning implies she’s not trying to get attached. Do you, boo. Do you. However, still no mention of her paying back that $10,000 she took from the farm.

Nova’s latest cause is drawing attention to the predatory bail practices that keep poor people in jail and ruin their lives before they’re even tried for their crimes. Micah’s recent experience of being arrested for “driving while black” connects him to this as he was only released because of his father’s celebrity. He’s no doubt wondering what happens to young black men with little finances and fathers who aren’t NBA stars. As I mentioned in my season one reviews and podcast, it would be easy to make Micah an entitled rich kid, but Queen Sugar has instead gone a better route and uses Micah to address important topics. I hope this — and Nova’s influence on him — continues.

Charley manipulated Davis and his teammate Felix so that Davis would sign with the NBA team in Louisiana, which also secured her an investor in her mill. “After the Winter” kicks off with her being turned down for a loan unless Davis is involved with the business. This serves to remind Remy that Charley isn’t completely free, and he puts the brakes on their relationship until she is. By the second hour (“To Usward”), Charley finds herself on Remy’s doorstep after Micah shuts her out. He shares with her the story of losing his wife four years ago, and maintains that she needs to mourn the end of her marriage before beginning a commitment with him. They really are making Remy the perfect man, y’all.

Speaking of raggedy-ass Davis, just when their divorce mediations were set to end and the papers were to be signed, he decides he wants joint custody of Micah. Seeing as how Charley forged his signature on the loan paperwork, she might be forced to go along with this to stay on Davis’ good side. It’s gross that this is a possibility, but Charley has only herself to blame for Davis’ presence in their lives and Louisiana.

Meanwhile, Ralph Angel hasn’t told anyone about finding his father’s amended will. Where I thought Darla might be a voice in his ear pushing him to fight his sisters for the farm, she instead encourages him to work with them and suggests they might surprise him. Ralph Angel’s reservations aren’t without cause. While Aunt Vi and Nova are supportive and commend him on his executive decisions with the farm, Charley is still micro-managing him.

Ralph Angel is the character I struggle with the most. It pains me that Charley doesn’t see what everyone else does, and Kofi Siriboe competently conveys Ralph Angel’s frustration with a world that insists on pushing him a step back whenever he has forward movement, but when he questions Darla’s need to continue seeing her sponsor and attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, it makes my teeth itch. I cheered when she suggested they slow things down and stop playing house. Drastic changes are a threat to her sobriety and I love that, once again, Queen Sugar isn’t going the easy route with these characters.

Aunt Vi and Hollywood’s separation felt contrived when season one came to an end, so I was happy to see them reconciled by the end of the second hour. It’s not clear if he was ignoring her earlier calls, but he finally answers his cell aboard the rig he’s been working on when she calls about Micah. He calms her as only he can and they both admit they want to see each other; the way they parted was rubbish. When Vi learns there was an explosion on the rig, I don’t think anyone truly believed Hollywood would be killed or injured; it was still satisfying to see him step off the bus and rush into Vi’s arms. The only downside to this reunion? No more drunk Vi in the club showing her entire black ass when someone (in this case, Davis) pisses her off.

Leave your thoughts on the premiere below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on the podcast this weekend. 

Queen Sugar S2E1/S2E2
  • 8.5/10
    Plot - 8.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances - 8.5/10

"After the Winter" and "To Usward"

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, Bianca Lawson

User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

8 Comments on Queen Sugar - S2E1/S2E2 - After the Winter/To Usward

  1. For the Podcast
    I missed this show and The PF crew recaps SO MUCH! Hello Beautiful Black folks on screen and off.
    Nova - She was teetering on the edge of woker-than-thou at the baby shower but she spit hot fiya on the Black Girl Magic at that table. However I noticed she suggested Latino men and not white ones (Deflection? Denial? Or both?) Plus she played Black Barber Bae to the left. Also Nova speaks in Spoken Word. Other than that I love that she’s Micah’s advocate.
    Charley- She is getting on my last Black Ass Nerve with her foolishness. As much as I hate Davis I understand why he tapdanced for the cops. Use what you got to get what you want (s/o to The Player’s Club). She’s messy as all hell w her business, Remy and Ralph Angel. LET THAT MAN WORK! She is controlling and when she called her mama she said “you always know what to say when I don’t get my way”. She’s dumb as hell bell for forging that contract ESPECIALLY before the divorce was final.
    Also who will play her white mama? I feel like she’s be a slightly younger white actress that could’ve enticed Pop back in the day.
    Ralph Angel- Blue is the cutest little bit to ever pick up a baby chick. I like RA and his newfound self confidence. I was sad that even his own loan had to be connected to Charley as his employer. He’s trying to do right and get right. He’s still unsure self centered regarding Darla but he accepted her boundaries after a bit. I worry about them because they are doing fairly well. Something is gonna happen. Maybe…. just maybe Churro Robbery will come back to bite them or one of Darla’s former customers.
    Aunt Vi was FB stalkin, thotting it up in a crop top, threatening ain’t shit Davis and ain’t shit Becky, laying across the bed caking it up on the phone with Hollywood. I love her character.
    When do you think RA will drop the will on the girls? Will Barber Bae return? Will Davis be an ass about the mill (though he’s not quite wrong about joint custody)?
    Love y’all can’t wait to listen!

  2. I’m trying to keep this short. I swear. And I can see now before I post it that it’s too long ass! Damn!

    For the podcast

    So glad this show is back & you and your black ass cohosts will podcast it.

    Nova: so where’s Calvin and where are these random white dudes coming from? Why did she do Barber Bae like that? If she don’t want him, I’ll take him.

    RalphAngel: I HATED his reaction to Darla needing NA! Unless he wants her selling herself for drugs again, he better let her do her 12 step program! He still hot af tho.

    Charley: Ugh! She continues to do too damn much! Why she gotta control everything? How much did her mama spoil her that she feels this way? She is getting on my last damn nerve with this business shit! I want to root for her but then she does too damn much.

    Micah: I was so scared for him. Money don’t mean shit when you’re driving while black. It will be interesting to see how he continues to react to the experience.

    Davis: still ain’t shit & someone told him that to his face! Loved it!

    Vi: She needs to drunkenly tell Davis off on a regular basis. Plus I wasn’t sure if Hollywood was gonna make it or not. Could’ve had her dealing with that loss after how they left things.

    Sorry for the length. Cut what you need to. Can’t wait to hear the podcast! And Blue remains the cutest little boy on tv.

  3. Charley: I get why she felt the need to add that Ralph-Angel and Nova need her signature for any money they want from the farm account since they both blew $25,000 of the farm money already. Also her not acknowledging any of the growth Ralph is showing when it comes to managing the farm is because she hasn’t seen any and that’s because she isn’t around to see between her dealing with the mill, divorcing Davis and Micah she hasn’t been able to see what us as the viewers have seen. I think the only time they were together was at Aunt Vi’s talking about the tractor and her finding out about Ralph planting Soy beans. Charley and Ralph both make decisions about the farm with out talking to their siblings first Charley with the mill deal and Ralph with the soy beans (although i think he told Nova about the beans) and buying sugar cane from an unreliable source. I think their issues stem from the fact that they don’t really know each other between the age gap and Charley only being around for the summer and winter they probably never really got to develop a bond like they each have with Nova. I hope they dig into whatever resentment Ralph has for Charley because some of the stuff he says to her is really out of pocket like the this isn’t really your home ,this is just some place you had to come for the summer comment like its her fault that they daddy and her mama came up with that custody arrangement and the you like money charley comment he made just because she questioned if it was a good idea to be planting the soybeans. She sees him as immature because anytime he is challenged by her he has a immature ass response even when they had that argument about the mill last season when he just stormed out because everyone wasn’t on his side. Charley is also way too damn controlling and tunnel visioned she only sees her on goals and blocks out everything else. I can’t wait until her mama (who is white and being play by Sharon Lawrence) pops up because i have a filling her controlling ways have a lot to do with how she was raised.

  4. my full feedback didn’t post for some reason here is the rest hope this isn’t too long. Nova: Is more like Olivia Pope than Charley is the fixer who doesn’t ever fix her own shit. Ernest done messed up each of his kids in someway because I have a feeling that Nova’s commitment issues have a lot to due with fact that he cheated on her mama with Charley’s mama. I think she is probably going to be the one who helps Micah the most when it comes to dealing w/ his arrest. Davis: he still aint shit and seems like he aint ever going to be shit. why would he discuss custody with Micah before bringing it up to charley and why did it take his son being arrested for him to realize his son needed him. Didn’t Charley tell his ass that when he wanted to sign with New York. He only want joint custody now because Micah talking to his ass again if Micah had walked outta that jail still mad and ready to cuss his ass out he wouldn’t have even brought up joint custody. Ralph-Angel: I hope he hurry up and give that letter to his sister because I’m already tired of that they(Charley) don’t listen to him shit from last season. He needs to sink or swim on his own when it comes to the farm. Aunt Vi said that Ernest babied him last season but I think she is the one who babies him she is always getting on his sisters about ganging up on him or telling charley to cut him some slack. All while ignoring the fact that she the reason he is not in jail right now. Also why doesn’t he just talk to Charley about his issues with her not listening to him,he goes to everybody else (Nova,Remy) instead of talking to her, maybe he is just used to other people (Aunt Vi) fighting his battles. He does good when they have spontaneous arguments (i.e. when they were packing up the daddy’s house and when they found out Charley was buying the mill, until he stormed out when it didn’t go his way) but he has yet to confront Charley like he did Aunt Vi about Blues, custody. As far as his relationship with Darla i don’t see that lasting and surprisingly not because of anything Darla might do. I think Ralph is going to expect too much support from her with out offering any in return he already doesn’t understand the steps she has to take to remain sober. An in the previews he is upset that she takes on a job as Charley’s personal assistant all because she supposed to be in his side.

  5. For the podcast
    First & foremost Queen Sugar is back 👏🏾👏🏾
    Some highlights
    Micah-welcome to the world of DWB & the reality being a young black man. Scary moment of the cop’s reaction when Micah went for his registration-I had a flashback to that Castile video.
    Ralph angel-that beautiful piece of dark chocolate is clueless. Darla, probably for the 1st time, was honest about her life, whether she’s ready 2 to be a family unit yet he questions it….I’m like Boy, what’s wrong with u?!?!
    Nova-who’s the new guy/where’s Calvin?
    Charley-to me this woman can go from being a badass to a screaming shrew. It’s all about me/I know what’s best/no time for u
    I’m visiting family so I wasn’t able to really watch both episodes yet I’m extremely happy the podcast is back.

    Sup fam nina you know your(😏) my favorite, Shanna please respond to my DM’s, and juwan what it do my nigga!! I’m so glad this show/podcast is byke!!!

    Couple of thots from the premiere

    1.Remy should stay away from charley and her wack sex game

    2. Tara still outchea snatching whyte men’s souls with them talons she calls hands

    3. Ralph Angel still outchea whispering at Dawla!! Speaking of her please stop showing hey shoulders I can’t 😭😭😭

    4. Aunt vi ain’t 💩 and don’t deserve that faithful blyke man Hollywood!!

    That’s all I got can’t wait to hear the podcast oh and hey ho… I mean Roberta!!!

  7. For the podcast:

    Ava is killing me! She knows black folks have high blood pressure and she wants to have us wait to see if Hollywood made it?! I bout died waiting to see if he was ok but I was happy as hell when he and Vi hugged.

    I loved it when Charley thought the divorce proceedings would be easy, she must’ve forgot she married a lightskin man. Davis had those tricks ready! I know Davis isn’t great, but Micah is getting more attention from Nova and his girlfriend instead of his mother. Do you guys think Davis should get joint custody of Micah? Do y’all think Micah and Davis really spoke about that topic?

    Last comment, everybody’s hair looks good as hell!

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