Queen Sugar: Season 2/ Episode 2 “To Usward” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Grieving isn’t something just for the dead. A loss of innocence, relationships, these are worth mourning over. But from the dead, the richness of once was life, blooms something new. Something we see quite a bit of in “To Usward.”

Lean On Me: Remy, Ralph Angel, Charley, Davis

After Ralph Angel making another decision without Charley, she changes the bank’s policy. For now on, Ralph Angel would need Charley’s signature for anything. Which of course is upsetting. For while he has had the support of his family, he hasn’t really proven himself beyond a doubt. Something Charley shows with every time she questions him or doesn’t pat him on the head saying “Good job!”

Which makes Remy heaven sent, for both Charley and Ralph Angel. For Ralph Angel, he is someone who is mostly neutral. He does look out for Charley, but he is very committed to seeing the farm succeed period. So with Ralph Angel doing most of the work, he reminds him of the FSA and how they will overlook his history. Thus giving Ralph Angel some autonomy since he can now not only be the worker but bring money to the table.

As for Charley? Well, with Davis wanting joint custody, after the jail thing, and Micah supporting it, she is hurt. For, like Davis said, her not being in control, her not being all-knowing, it doesn’t work for her. In fact, the situation rocks her to the point of calling her mom – who doesn’t pick up[note]You think we may actually meet her mom this season? It would be cool to get to know one of these folks mother.[/note]. So she goes to Remy.

Thing is, that night was a bad night. It was the 4th anniversary of Shauna, his wife’s, death after her vehicle rolled over an IED. In that night, he needed someone to lean on. But, being that he is a good guy, he said his piece and then became what Charley needed. For that was what Ernest did. When Remy was at his lowest, Ernest took it upon himself to set aside his own issues and help a brother in need.

Commentary

I don’t think enough props are given to Remy. The man has went to bat for this family and got involved in so much of their drama. Now, granted, it is seemingly to repay back a debt he’ll never pay in full to Ernest, but it seems to go beyond that. I mean, all things considered, he has invested so much time and energy, much less advisement, into running that farm that he should be a minority owner. Perhaps for the mill too. Yet, at most, it just seems he wants a thank you and for the family to do right by local farmers. Well, and maybe Charley once Davis is no longer clouding her thoughts.

Which was something wasn’t it? Him and Micah, so he claims, agreeing he should have shared custody. Now, being that I’ve lucky never been arrested, or done more than visit a jail, I can’t attest to what is going through Micah’s mind. However, I find it weird how that brought him and his dad closer. Yet, at the same time, maybe that is what both needed to secure their relationship? Micah needed to see his dad make an effort and Davis needed his son to know, despite his own relationship with Charley, that has nothing to do with Micah.

But before we move on, can we also note how Ernest’s influence becomes more and more clear on these kids? With Charley, it is his work effort and always finding a way. Nova? It is caring about your community, blood relation or not, especially when they are at their lowest. Then with Ralph Angel? It is about protecting and providing for your children and doing what is necessary so that the burden of parenting is never known to them. They just see you at your best and as a beacon in a sometimes dark world.

Love Sometimes Is Just About Showing Up: Micah, Nova, Aunt Vi, Hollywood

Micah is clearly affected by what happened to him. He has been eating less and even skipped summer school. But when you live in such a loving and watchful home, how else would you get alone time? Time to process, you know? But while he was looking to grieve his loss of innocence, he finds Nova.

As has been established, Nova is a community organizer full-time and journalist part-time. At least, that’s the way it seems since there has been no talk about an article yet. But during her latest effort, it sort of becomes clear that outside Aunt Vi, no one really supports her. Charley got her own thing going on, and now so does Ralph Angel. Which, while we know Nova is strong, it probably hurts a bit. She always offers to be there for them, support them, praise them, but where are they for her? Thus making Micah showing up probably a teary-eyed moment. A family member she invests her heart in showing her love.

Speaking of family, though not blood relation, Aunt Vi learns Hollywood’s rig had an explosion. Something which, of course, racks her nerves. Even to the point, she can’t watch Blue. It’s that bad. But, luckily, Hollywood is safe and sound.

Commentary

You know, it wasn’t until this episode that I firmly realized that Nova doesn’t have anyone consistently in her corner. Aunt Vi is around, will make food and such, but she isn’t much for rallies and all that. And you got to wonder how strange that feels. You are there for other people’s stuff, but they don’t show up for yours. And it isn’t like Nova is asking for money or anything, just time and a little effort. So when Micah showed up, I don’t think she was just happy that he maybe supporting the cause, but simply supporting her. 2 out of 4, ain’t a bad number. Surely more than she had before.

But, flipping things a bit, I think it meant a lot to Micah too. If only because, as I think I mentioned in the last episode, Micah has lost his ability to be color blind. Which isn’t to say he didn’t know he was Black before. However, living in affluence allowed him to avoid what poorer Black people experience more often. So being arrested and put in jail was a wake-up call. Something Nova is more equipped to help him with that Charley, and maybe even his dad. Plus, they have been building up a relationship for awhile which we are seeing bloom.

I’d even argue that, while watching Nova, he may have gotten inspired about what to do with his life. For, if I recall right, formerly he was just thinking of following in his father’s footsteps. However, now maybe he might want to be a community organizer, a lawyer, a cop, or someone that can make a change. For just that moment of him trying to get on a bus and realizing he doesn’t know how payment works shows he is out of touch. Something it seems he wants to change.

Date Night: Darla, Ralph Angel, Blue

With Darla wanting to take things slow, Ralph Angel decides to go back to basics: Have a date. Something which went well, for the most part, even with Blue there. However, when a waiter references Kenya in a judgmental way, this upsets Ralph Angel.

Commentary

I could never grow tired of how Ralph Angel is protective over Blue. Much less how accepting he is that his son plays with a doll. One which I thought was supposed to be a psychological replacement for his mom, but she is here now. He has no need for a substitute. So whether he is just a boy playing with dolls or this means something more, who knows.

What is clear though is that with Darla more involved, Ralph Angel and she may clash. For just when Darla chastised Blue, Ralph Angel swoops in to coo the boy. Making you wonder, as she becomes more of a full-time mom, what challenges may that bring? For while Blue is a sweet kid, there still needs to be boundaries set. Something Ralph Angel doesn’t do a lot since, from what Nova, Charley, and Aunt Vi say, Ernest didn’t do that much for him. But with Darla, being that her family is the way it is, I expect there to be a distinct difference in rearing.

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