Queen Sugar: Season 1/ Episode 4 "The Darker Sooner" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

Ralph Angel takes a back seat as the focus is on Charley’s business acumen and Nova’s journalism.

Main Plot (with Commentary)

Topic 1: All Work & Little Knowledge (Ralph Angel)

Like with his sisters, the focus on Ralph Angel is all about work. Whether it is his job moving boxes or him being a little overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of the farm. Of which includes getting sugar cane but with him not knowing how to spot good cane from bad cane, he ends up spending 15k on infected cane which won’t produce sugar.

To make matters worse, Charley is keeping tabs on him. Which, considering that mistake, perhaps wasn’t the worse idea. Luckily, though, Remy offers to help whenever he can. Something you can only hope Ralph Angel’s pride never screw up.

{Commentary}

After dominating the first 3 episodes, Ralph Angel takes a step back. Leading to us seeing where Blue got his optimism and glee from. For while wet behind the ears, the excitement Ralph Angel has about working the farm like his dad did is charming. Though it is becoming clear he can’t do this alone. On top of that, I must note his spat with Nova. Someone who can, and has, spent so much time with young black men, ex-cons who took bad plea deals, yet she visited him in jail only twice. Leading you to wonder, outside of his dad and likely Aunt Vi, how much were his sisters there for him before his prison sentence? What part did they play in his upbringing? Much less, what are, and were, their feelings about Ralph Angel ending up in jail?

Topic 2: Take the Deal (Nova)

Be it the kid from the last episode “Too Sweet” or a gentleman who took a plea deal because bail wasn’t an option, the episode strongly focuses on showing you what is Nova’s passion. She is a true journalist and does the footwork, argues with her editor, and makes passionate articles which affect people. Such as the one featured in this episode about how, since FEMA money has run out, the school to prison pipeline has been kicking up. All because local law enforcement needs money and thanks to DAs with excessive sentences, and for-profit prisons who give a healthy kickback, cops have been finding themselves with a lucrative opportunity.

{Commentary}

Unlike her siblings, while you recognized Nova is flawed, it doesn’t feel like her flaws and issues are the foundation of her character. She isn’t given a nearly instant sentimental story or one which seems inspired by tabloid headlines. She is presented, at least in this episode, as a character who is about the work that she loves and believes is important. Work which goes beyond her own needs, and likely ego, and is about her community being exposed to the treachery against them.

But I will admit, as much as her passion for journalism gets you ensnared, it is sometimes the little things she says. Like her speaking on her mom being a voodoo priestess. Between wondering how Ernest met her, as well as whether Nova may continue to dispel misconceptions about voodoo, Nova becomes such a force that you can kind of understand why the show doesn’t allow us to get overwhelmed or used to her. She is too special for either.

Topic 3: Trying to Salvage What’s Left (Charley and Micah)

Charley is more than some man’s wife. She is the woman who is running his business, her family’s farm remotely, and she is watching both fail. Ralph Angel’s innocent ignorance aside, with this rape allegation, comes losing sponsorships, potential deals evaporating, and even the managers of Davis’ basketball team distancing themselves. Not to mention his peers prepping to settle without him and leave him hanging. Yet, she is trying to salvage things and is showing that business acumen which makes her cheeky comment to Sam more so a warning than her ever trying to just be cute.

However, as all that happens, and her relationship with Davis worsens, especially upon news the girl is likely looking for justice more than a payout, there is Micah. Upon his return, his friends seem the same, but not necessarily Stella. It starts with her mother, then she begins acting funny, leading to us learning she may have been cheating on him. May being the key word for the accusation comes from someone sending her a picture of their penis. However, with her saying it was from Micah it makes it seem she may have been cheating on him. Thus putting him in the position his mom was just in a short while ago. Publicly embarrassed, shamed, and just wanting to escape.

{Commentary}

Charley and Micah, arguably, broke out of Davis’ shadow this episode. Charley proved herself to be a business woman who may be the only reason Davis isn’t a ball player who should feel threatened by the thought of retiring or losing his team. She built an empire, she is ferocious about keeping it alive, and you got to feel sorry for any incompetent person who doesn’t know their job or thinks they can stand in her way.

Then with Micah, granted his story does give ABC Family/ FreeForm vibes, but you have to feel for the kid. For while he is privileged, everything that gave him happiness and some sort of stability is being taken from. Much less, being taken away without him doing anything to say it was because of his actions. Which may seem like your usual teen melodrama but if you really sit and think about it, even with his privilege, you can imagine how heartbreaking his life is. After all, it mirrors Charley’s.

Highlights

I loved the fact Nova and Charley got to be focused on. Ralph Angel and Blue, as well as Darla, thoroughly dominated the first few episodes. To the point, they eclipsed the sisters. But in this episode they made things equal and showed this program isn’t Ralph Angel show featuring his sisters, it is an ensemble production.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?