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So it seems, the past familiarity of storylines was just to draw you in, get you comfortable and settled, and while there isn’t some huge surprise or shock in “By Any Chance”, there are veers to paths perhaps not surely expected.
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Someone To Rely On (Violet)
Violet’s new manager Vance (Dijon Talton), some young high yellow dude, is trying to tell her how to deal with her customers and his persistence leads her to quit. Otherwise, she would have assaulted him. Luckily, though, Nova always has some weed on her and that calms her down. That and talking about her love, and sex life, with Hollywood.
Speaking of Hollywood, we learn he is separated from a woman named Leann (Erika Alexander). Someone he is married to still solely so she has insurance for her severe bipolarism. Something which leads her to hurt herself. Partly because of the illness but likely to check if Hollywood still cares. For, so it seems, the sole reason he has, or is trying to, move on is because she refuses to adhere to her pill regimen. Something he couldn’t deal with anymore so now he is with Violet.
The beauty of Tina Lifford’s performance this episode was her showing she got to show off her, in a show which she is a supporting role, that she has acting chops too. Don’t be fooled to think it is just these young things. But I must admit Hollywood’s storyline got my attention more than hers. Be it because I haven’t seen Erika Alexander in ages or because it feels rare to see Black folk shown with mental illness and not in a comedic way. Granted, it isn’t clear if this was a one-time appearance or not, but with her being a secret to likely trouble Aunt Vi and Hollywood’s relationship, here is hoping Leann brings more than love triangle drama. We need her to be more than that. Especially since her struggle mirrors Darla and its hard to not hope we get to see her manage her ailment (if that is the right word).
Topic 2: “You never wanted a relationship, you just wanted company” (Nova)
Nova’s article has gone viral and with that Calvin is pissed. He feels used, misrepresented, and on top of that he finds Nova to be a hypocrite. Which, with us learning the reason Too Sweet is in this predicament is because he bought weed from Grenade who solely uses Nova’s supply, he is undoubtedly right. Making any excuses of “it’s just weed” or talks of the system naught. But with these two having such strong feelings it is decided enough is enough. Leading Calvin to wonder and outright ask why she chose the type of person she is usually fighting. Leaving him with the only answer being that Nova never wanted a relationship, all she wanted is company.
That one sentence from Calvin hit hard. If only because Nova doesn’t have the excuses her siblings have. Ralph Angel has no friends for he is on parole and his old friends are likely why he went to jail and with Charley, infamy has poisoned most of her relationships. So with Nova, you have to wonder if her sole social interactions are when people want or need something from her?
Leading to the question of why she let Calvin become romantically involved with her? Curiosity perhaps? Calvin gives his perception but we aren’t given Nova’s truth. Leaving us to wonder if she’ll be ok after losing access to someone who didn’t just provide her intimacy, but didn’t make their relationship so one sided.
Topic 3: “Either you don’t understand or you don’t trust” (Charley & Ralph Angel)
To keep two long stories short, Ralph Angel learns that his employer may hire ex-cons, but he isn’t a saint for he lowballs their pay. Which, as ex-cons, what can they say for alternatives are scarce (Sounds like a good article for Nova)? Leading to the man who introduced his cousin, who screwed Ralph Angel over, to communicate about how he, and others, are stealing from the company. Which Ralph Angel seems to have no interest in, but with a brand new iPad in his bag, who knows if that was a taste to tempt Ralph Angel or if Ralph Angel stole that to get even.
As for Charley, and Micah, it seems a move to St. Josephine may be needed. Micah can’t deal with the Stella and Davis fallout anymore, and Charley can’t run the farm’s finances part-time. Yes, Remy is helping, but he can’t do everything. On top of that, the girl who accused Davis, Melena (Estrella Nouri), she wants 3 million and a confession from Davis to keep quiet.
I foresee Charley divorcing Davis just to salvage not Davis’ empire, but her chances to move on comfortable and easily. For while she may not get everything, she will get enough to justify her loss of dignity and respect. Making it seem her journey will become about proving her business acumen when her trump card isn’t business with Davis. Which, based off this episode, and her flaunting her money at a local auction, maybe an uphill battle.
As for Ralph Angel? We know the boy is simple and emotional, but between the robbery in episode one, pointing his gun at someone, and now stealing from work, you got to wonder what will be the thing which ultimately sends him back to jail?
You never wanted a relationship you just wanted company.
— “By Any Means.” Queen Sugar
Either you don’t understand or you don’t trust.
— “By Any Means.” Queen Sugar
Mental illness being featured in a character, even if just a guest star, as well as how Nova and Charley’s characters are evolving. Plus, Aunt Violet is a hoot.
On The Fence
I got to admit I’m getting Blue and Darla withdrawals.