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Family. Be it by bonds created by blood or choices we made, it gets complicated. But no matter the bond it always takes two or more to maintain that connection and keep it beneficial. Which can be hard when ego, our own inability to communicate, and distrust gets in the way.
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Every Child Needs the Nurturing of a Woman (Miss Velez, Aunt Vi, and Darla)
Blue is a lucky boy. Between his great-aunt Vi who guides his father and watches him, Ms. Velez who goes beyond her job description, and even his mom who is struggling to atone for lost time, so many people love him. However, when it comes to his mom, who Ralph Angel gives a chance, she also disappoints Blue again. For with her job decided to not give her the flexibility to leave to accommodate Ralph Angel and her child’s needs, she leaves Blue, who asks for a haircut to prep for her arrival, devastated. Yet, at his grandfather’s funeral, when he needs the nurturing of his great aunt and mother the most, she comes through.
Ms. Velez, I hope and fear may end up with Ralph Angel. In a way, I hope she does because I desire to learn more about the character. However, I fear the only way that may happen is for her to become close to Ralph Angel. Someone not in a place to really be as good to her as she can be to him. But, with her seeming nicer than required toward Ralph Angel, you never know what may happen.
Leading to the topic of Darla. You can’t help but yearn for her progress and even if we haven’t seen her at her worse like Ralph Angel, this desperate struggle to be a better person than he remembers is really some of Lawson’s best work. Which is saying something since she has played tons of memorable characters over the last two decades. To the point, I hope OWN breaks through the glass ceiling and can get their actors and productions nominated for major awards. For it is hard to not be upset when only fans, and a handful of critics, give actresses like Lawson the props they deserve.
Topic 2: When the Knot Comes Loose (Aunt Vi, Nova, and Charley)
With her brother gone and her nieces and nephews bound to leave, Aunt Vi is down for the count. She even decides to question when Hollywood is going to leave for what can she offer him? She can’t have kids, and sees how he is with Blue and assumes he wants one. But Hollywood, in the most touching way, reassures her and gives her so many reasons, in words and actions, that her insecurities are unfounded.
Things aren’t as quickly reconciled for Charley though. Being that she has a different mother than Nova, and assumingly Ralph Angel, on top of her seeming to forget local funeral and repast proceedings, she and Nova bicker and argue. But with their father being buried, it seems whatever underlying issues the two have are put to rest in respect of him. Likely to be picked up at a later time.
The state of the relationships on this show have to be explored. Be it Aunt Vi and Hollywood’s, or even Aunt Vi’s past relationships which may have given her reason to feel insecure. Much less, being how Aunt Vi is, you have to wonder if this pessimism is why she never had a child of her own.
Then with Nova and Charley, a part of me strongly wants to know how Ernest ended up having children with, at least, two different women. That and whether favoritism due to colorism and a slew of other things, maybe why Nova and Charley seemed so combative toward one another. Granted, Nova and Ralph Angel froze Charley out, but there seems to be more there than what we are being exposed to.
Topic 3: The Importance of a Father (Micah, Blue, Ralph Angel and Davis)
A highlight of this show to me is its focus on Black fathers and their kids. Especially the relationship between Ralph Angel and Blue (those Davis’ scene with Micah is worth mentioning). Thus far, Ralph Angel has tried his best to keep Blue from being around death, especially knowing there will come a time he won’t be able to, and it is little things like that which I love about their relationship. He has this kid with this bright smile and optimistic outlook, and he wants to protect him by any means. Be it hiding Blue’s doll Kenya so the other kids won’t make fun of him or even relying on Darla so Blue doesn’t have to go to the funeral. And being that it is established how Ralph Angel feels about Darla, you can see in that moment he was putting his ego aside for his kid in multiple ways.
Can’t we have more vulnerable Black men who seem like they would cry over the relationship they have with their kids? Can’t we see them fiercely protective of them? I’m not saying movies and shows don’t exist on the topic, but they are so few and far between that you can only hope this sets a trend, sparks some ideas, and isn’t a candle which soon will flicker out and leave us back in the dark.
Things To Note
It seems multiple people are looking into buying Ernest’s land and Charley meets one prospector as well as someone named Remy who worked with Ernest. Remy seems like a possible love interest for Charley, but a part of me wonders if he might be kin.
[…] you can’t be wasting time when you are where you want to be.
— “Evergreen.” Queen Sugar
The beauty of father and son relationships as well as the performance of Bianca Lawson thus far.
On The Fence
I am really iffy on where they plan to take Ms. Velez’s character as well as how Nova and Charley’s relationship develops. Especially as the topic of perhaps selling their father’s land comes up and both of their secrets becomes part of their conversations or acid to throw at one another.