Queen Sugar: Season 2/ Episode 5 “Caroling Dusk” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Investing in something bigger than yourself is the main focus in episode 5 “Caroling Dusk.” Be it investing in your kids and making sure they know you, know that you will consistently be there, or investing in someone else. Trying to make it so, in the long run, you can say you did more than became a success and can show it through property or a bank account. For the true success is perhaps the people you lifted up as you were climbing to the top and reached it.

Having Someone To Lean On: Nova, Robert, Aunt Vi, Hollywood

During a Habitat for Humanity event that Nova is doing, she finds Micah right by her side again [note]She asks about Keke and it seems her and Micah are still together. [/note]. For, so it seems, he is identifying more and more with Nova’s advocacy. But, to Nova’s surprise, Robert DuBois shows up too. He even puts some work in. Which is quickly followed by a lunch date [note]In which we are told Too Sweet is thriving[/note] and a confession of liking Nova. Something which throws her off guard a bit, but she eventually returns the sentiment.

As for Aunt Vi? Well, she is trying to get that pie business started. Problem is, between Ernest’s letter and her trying to keep her hopes low, she creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. One in which, for one whole day, no matter who she talked to, she got rejected. Yet, as always, Hollywood is there to wash away the self-doubt and help Aunt Vi rebuild. He even takes a more hands-on approach and comes with her as she solicits her pies. Which, with him fixing a gentleman’s AC, it gives that man’s full attention and Aunt Vi the chance to really win him over.

Commentary

When you finally get support for what you are passionate about.

You know, I didn’t realize till now how alike Nova and Aunt Vi are. They are the type always down for the family, even if there is beef, and give so much back when possible. Yet, you can see how weary it leaves them at times. For they seemingly are the type who can invest and believe in someone else so heavily, but when it comes to them? Something is shook. For while not lacking confidence, or initiative, as strong as they mentally are, emotions sometimes present a weakness. For while nothing is handed to them, I think there is this certain fear. Not of rejection but more so that maybe all their value comes from helping others. Meanwhile, there is no one who would approach them to help as they have done most of their lives.

Reaffirming Micah: Davis, Micah, Charley

With the way Charley was talking, maybe Micah isn’t the only one who needs therapy. Though, really, who doesn’t?

With it being two weeks from the last episode, that means it has been almost 2 months since Micah was arrested. Something which, Charley feels, he still hasn’t really recovered from so she tries to get him into therapy. However, he bypasses that to be with Nova. Seeming to do something for his people. So, Charley ends up taking up the time of his session and it is kind of revealing. If only because, you learn her relationship with her mom was very much about perfection. Thus, as Nova notes, turning her into a control freak.

Yet, as we have seen, she is learning to let go. It, of course, is hard, but she is really making an effort in trying. For, in the long run, she doesn’t want the same type of relationship with Micah as she has with her mom. Hence why her focus is excellence and not perfection.

As for Davis? He is just trying to peel the layers back a bit. For with this sense he is the perfect guy, some Stephen Curry type, gone, he has to rediscover himself. Also, he has to allow Micah to see this journey and understand it. For Micah isn’t a kid anymore. He can’t just pretend daddy made a mistake and gloss over things. He has to be real, direct, and find a way to make sure the distance that has grown between him and his son isn’t permanent. Which, through a game of basketball where getting a 3 point means asking a question with an honest answer, we see the real healing begin.

Commentary

Said after Micah presents the question: Are you a sex addict?

What I really love about this show is that there honestly are no small players. It is a true ensemble cast and even though it is kind of large, everyone gets their due. Everyone has something they are working on, be it a task or themselves, and we get to see that journey. Hell, sometimes we feel it to the point of crying.

And while Charley’s has been a clear focus, I like how Micah’s is being handled too. For while I can’t say how Afro-centric his upbringing was, with the way Micah is talking about “helping our people,” you can see any sort of exceptionalism he had is dissipating. He seems to realize his privilege more than ever and through Nova is learning what it means to be part of a real community. Not an association of rich or affluent kids, but people who actually do something which can help another person.

Which, I gotta admit, I like seeing. For outside of The Fosters, you don’t really see a lot of genuine, non-goody two shoes, young people who are into giving back. Much less reinvesting in their community.

Now, as for Davis? Well, his journey has just begun. But like with Nova, it seems he too may find someone who may challenge him a bit. For while picking up Micah he accidentally crashes a singer named Tamar’s (Margot Bingham) moment. One in which she is highlighting the importance of Habitat for Humanity. So here is hoping that, like Darla, he grows on his own, but also can learn from his mistakes to be a better partner too.

For The Love of Blue: Ralph Angel, Blue, Darla

Ralph Angel and Toine (Brian Michael).
Ralph Angel and Toine (Brian Michael)

Despite calling Micah soft, it must be remembered that Ralph Angel isn’t all machismo. After all, he is very protective of Blue’s relationship with his doll Kenya and we sort of learn why this episode. You see while growing up, Ralph Angel was exposed to the LGBT community. Specifically the T through a friend formerly known as Antoinette, now just knows as Toine (Brian Michael). He is a trans man and back in the day, Ralph Angel looked out for him. Seemingly they even hung out. Not to the point of Toine being able to keep Ralph Angel out of trouble, but you know the man is hard headed and stubborn.

But, with that being noted, so comes Darla’s part in all this. Without a job for two weeks now, she is trying to hang on. And while it is nice Ralph Angel wants to be supportive and all that, like she said before, she needs to be able to stand on her own. Yet, currently, she is not. So, her only fallback is that she is a good mom. May not have been in the beginning, but she feels like one now.

So, with that in mind, she feels like Kenya isn’t needed anymore. For, in her head, Kenya was there as a sort of step in. Yet, Ralph Angel sees it differently. With his experience with Toine, and who knows how many other LGBT folk, he sees it as perhaps Blue’s way of expressing himself. To what end? Who knows, he is a baby. But with Darla throwing him out, it becomes a major issue. One that leads Ralph Angel to dumpster dive and, if it wasn’t for Toine, who is a cop now, he may have ended up in jail over this.

Leading to, to try to atone, Darla buying a doll and trying to make her look like Kenya. Which Ralph Angel isn’t so sure will work, but it isn’t like he is willing to risk a jail sentence over dumpster diving again. But, while times may have been hard they may be looking up. For Darla asked of Charley if maybe she could help her and Charley decides to give Darla a chance. She needs an assistant, Darla did do one year in college for that, so she has the job. Something which it should be interesting to see Ralph Angel’s full reaction to.

Commentary

Unlike most shows, I don’t take Queen Sugar to just bring characters like Toine on for the sake of showing Trans people exists and then they exit. So I’m really hoping we get to hear and see more of him. If only because I’d love for a non-family, or Darla, perspective on Ralph Angel. Especially from someone who knew him before he went in.

As Blue? I honestly can’t wait to see Blue back in school again. For I sort of feel like the character is a little stunted right now. Like everyone is doing the heavy lifting in terms of laying the foundation down. Yet, at school, I feel like Ralph Angel’s fears we’ll see become realized once more. Especially if there isn’t a him for Blue in school like he was for Toine.

Lastly, with Darla, I gotta say, I don’t know if she is ready for Charley. Mainly because, be it you are her eventual sister in law/ mother to her nephew or not, she is gonna be on that ass. There won’t be placating and I feel that will be the trigger for Charley and Ralph Angel’s next fight. Much less the reveal of that will to get Charley to back off. But, who knows, lest we forget, Ralph Angel and Charley have sort of reconciled. So it maybe Darla that decides to act brand new and pull that will out of a box. For while Darla potentially may be a hard worker, as Charley said about Micah, she expects excellence. Which, the way she looked at Darla’s resume, it seems there may be potential but it hasn’t been really pushed in a while.

Collected Quote(s)

God did not mold you to be no peacekeeper.

[…] I’m trying to be somebody else now and it’s hard. I had a lot of years practicing being me.

Fear is a rite of passage for us […]. Question is, how do you use it to make yourself smarter and better.

 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. When it comes to the Bordelon family, Earnest was the first person that popped into my head regarding Darla. With Earnest having such a great reputation around St Jo’s it definitely had me question what exactly happened after RA went to jail. I can understand the family feeling the way that they felt in regards to Darla, after she got on drugs, but before that? The only idea that I can come up with is that, the family was so caught up in their own sense of guilt and brokenness with RA getting locked up, that Darla just fell to the wayside. We know Aunt VI didn’t really care for Darla as a whole, so it wouldn’t that big of stretch that she would just forget that Darla even existed, but I can’t say that I believe that Earnest would be so careless, and dismissive of Darla considering everything that we have heard about him.

    • Nevermind Nova. Despite her not having much alone time with Blue, and just being cordial to Darla, you’d think she would have tried to step in back in the day. I’m not sure how established she was at the time, with her advocacy, but I feel like she would at least have tried to help Darla.

      • Along with Darla herself, already being used to having people abandon her (Parents), she maybe didn’t want to push herself into a family that clearly didn’t want her around at that time. She ( like many young women ) who have to deal with their significant others in jail, decided to just put all of her feelings, emotions, and needs to the side for a period of time, and just raised Blue the best that she could, until it just got too much for her and she needed to shut herself down, and numb all of the pain away. Of course Darla, (along with many people who deal with addiction, and recovery) didn’t plan on becoming drug addicts. Darla didn’t wake up one day decide to put Blue in harms way, she was just at such a low point emotionally, everything and everyone became secondary to her needs for drugs, that would allow for her to escape and to numb herself from all of the pain she was feeling. I don’t think that RA getting locked up was the only reason she turned to drugs, he was a big part, but I feel like their are a whole slew of things that Darla has went through, having RA in jail, was probably the thing that just completely broke her.

        • Which makes me wonder did the family really know and interact with Darla? Like, did she come to Aunt Vi’s for cookouts and all that before RA went in? Or was she someone just known about who Hollywood walked in on and saved while something shady was going down?

          Flashbacks haven’t been used in this show yet, but damn if I wouldn’t love to see some featuring Darla.

          • Yeah flashbacks would be cool. I mean I understand the family being a bit lost themselves after RA got himself locked up, and granted they didn’t owe Darla anything, but I figured that making sure she was ok would have been something that the family would have done, checked up on Darla from time to time. I mean for her to get so strung out, that Blue was point in harms way, I mean I would definitely be asking questions. Like where exactly were they at?
            What do you think of RA and Darla’s relationship? I think that it is good that Darla made the choice to take a step back from the relationship for a bit. She understands where she is at mentally and emotionally, she knows what is best for her at the moment. I just hope RA allows her to make way with her new job with Charley, and doesn’t get all in his feelings.

          • Especially considering how much Aunt Vi helped raised Blue, I was surprised she wasn’t baby sitting or asking about him after Darla gave birth. But I guess she heard enough around the parish to get the gist.

            To be honest, at first I figured RA was going to dog out Darla. Especially with the way he was treating her but then he goes to her trailer for some ass. Yet, they have evolved since then I think. He is learning to depend on her and she is learning how to stand on her own. Which, I think both recognize, was a problem in their relationship. For, in my mind, Ralph Angel robbed that store because he wasn’t willing to let anyone, even Darla, help him. And being that she probably gave up her former life for him, she was entirely dependent on him. Maybe to the point he was her everything, past the romantic sense of the relationship.

            As for modern times, I don’t think she is necessarily stepping back from the relationship as much as trying to not fall back into old patterns. She wants autonomy and to be RA’s partner and not his dependent girlfriend. That way, if something happens to him, she isn’t SOL. For while Blue will have Aunt Vi to depend on, what about her? Yeah, old wounds are scarring over but that doesn’t mean Aunt Vi will allow Darla to live in her house. Especially without picking on her. Though, of course, part of it also deals with wanting to contribute more to Blue’s upbringing.

            Which, once her job situation is normal, I foresee becoming a problem. For RA lets Blue run wild and just that restaurant scene, when Darla chastised him, showed me their parenting methods are likely different. RA seemingly wants to coddle him and while Darla will be affectionate, I can foresee her asking him to do chore and stuff while RA argues that he is just a kid. “Let him enjoy his childhood” or something like that.

          • Exactly. Their parenting styles are way different. As much as I understand Blue getting upset about Kenya, there was no reason for RA to allow Blue to not only throw a tantrum, but to tear up the house on top of that. we all know our parents wouldn’t have stood for us tearing up the house, especially for no damn doll lol. I also can see why RA is bit more cautious when it comes disciplining Blue, but RA has to understand that whatever Blue may grow up to be, at the end of the day he is still a child, and disciplining him is necessary. This is the third or fourth time where we have seen Blue act out, and RA either coddles him, or doesn’t punish him at all and that is not ok. Blue is getting older, and if he doesn’t get taught and disciplined now RA and Darla are going to have major issues with his behavior later on.

            Along with RA’s own sense of guilt. Everyone seems to be so fixed on Darla’s guilt and her huge mistake with Blue (not defending her, that was a HUGE mistake) that they seem to forget that RA was locked up for four years, he maybe had about a year with Blue after he was born, then got locked up, and got out by the time Blue was about to turn five. So, all of that time lost. So, when it comes to RA having to step up and be a parent, and discipline Blue, he just can’t do it, which I understand, But RA has to know that you can’t parent based on guilt. Despite everything Darla has gone through, and is going through she at least seems to understand that.

          • I never took RA not being a disciplinarian out of guilt. I more so saw it as him following his father’s example. Based off the way Aunt Vi talks about how he raised RA, he wasn’t on RA that much. He, like Ra does Blue, coddled him. So, I think, like with how Davis looks to Ernest for how to parent, RA is doing the same. Which, with Aunt Vi seemingly no longer having a role in parenting Blue, maybe setting Blue up to maybe follow in his dad’s footsteps.

            For while Blue, at this point, I can’t imagine being a troublemaker, that’s because he is 5 and the kid who plays him looks so innocent.

            And I think Aunt Vi did dig into RA about Blue in season 1, especially when he wanted custody. It is just, for some reason, she has just calmed down trying to advise RA at this point. Maybe because she knows he might be petty and just not let Blue see Vi if she gives him too much trouble. Especially since he is starting to be able to rely on Darla more.

            Plus, while I’m sure Aunt Vi played a role in Ernest’s kids upbringing, Blue was probably the closest thing she’ll ever have to raising her own kid. So, at this point, I think she tries to stay on RA’s good side so she can, occasionally, still get to live vicariously.

          • I agree, Aunt Vi did a lot for both RA and Darla. I agree on Blue not being a trouble maker, he doesn’t have to get yelled at a whole lot, but he does need boundaries to be set. I just hope RA realizes that you can only coddle so much before, the child ends up not listening to him altogether or taking him seriously. Although, I think Darla would step in before things got that far concerning Blue, Darla is definitely a lot more stern with her parenting then RA is. They might end up having a good cop, bad cop type of thing going on, if they don’t learn to come together as parents.

          • Which makes me hope this season will have us see Blue back in school. At least in its second half. For I’m strangely craving to see Blue interact with his peers. Maybe even for Ms. Velez to comeback. Even though she has 0 chance of being RA’s love interest anymore.

  2. What are your thoughts on Darla working for Charley? Hearing a bit more about Darla’s backstory was interesting. Although it makes me question why did her parents cut her off? Darla started hanging around the wrong crowd and doing drugs after RA went to jail, so did her parents not like RA, and when she fell pregnant, didn’t like her decision to keep the baby or the fact that this affected her education at college, so they just left her to her own devices? She said, how she lost her way after he went to jail. Her parents seeing her totally strung out on drugs, probably cemented the ending of their relationship. She had to have been no more than 19 when all of that stuff went down, along with RA’s family dipping out on her after RA got locked up, so that probably didn’t help either.

    • “What are your thoughts on Darla working for Charley?”

      I think Charley is either going to bring the best out of Darla or the worse. Maybe the best since, when was the last time Darla was truly challenged by someone? When did someone believe she was capable of doing complex tasks and things of that nature? Yet, at the same time, I can imagine Charley maybe triggering some unresolved issue for Darla. For I can fully imagine Darla having parents like Charley but us seeing what happens when all that pressure breaks someone. That is, rather than refine them into a diamond.

      “why did her parents cut her off?”

      Bringing up the Charley comparison, I figure Darla’s parents gave her an ultimatum. One in which, she is either did as they said, which may have included aborting Blue, or else she is cut off. A sort of, stick to the plan we laid out for you or the highway. Which, as shown, she picked the highway.

      But what gets me is that between Ernest and Aunt Vi, neither one took pity on her. Now, granted, she was a junkie, but I don’t recall them saying she was a thief or nothing like that. Just desperate. Much less struggling to survive and as bad as the job market is in the city, imagine in that area. She is a girl with a high school diploma, was pregnant at the time, and nowhere to go.

      You know, the more I think about it the more I question why ole’ lovable Ernest, who seemingly looked out for everyone, didn’t do more, try more, and what have you. Especially since it seems any hate there was for Darla stems from when she was strung out or maybe doing sex work with Blue right next to her.

      Though, who knows, maybe when Ralph Angel went away they lost access to her. It is all hard to say.

  3. I think Darla throwing out Kenya wasn’t about feeling threatened or feeling jealous about the doll, I think it had to do with the fact that Kenya represents Darla’s past as a drug addict, and her being absent in Blue’s life. I was taken back at how Darla just threw Kenya out, because Blue was so devastated, but I can also understand why she did it. I could also see Darla throwing Kenya out as her saying, “I’m here now, and I’m not going anywhere”. It was a bit rash on Darla’s part, but I get it. Blue trotting around a doll that basically reminds her of all the bad things that she has done, she wanted to get rid of the reminder, even though it hurt Blue. I do think that RA and Darla allowing Blue to keep Kenya shows that neither RA and Darla point directly towards Blue and his sexuality. They just let him be himself. Darla is still finding her footing, but Blue and RA still love her.

    • I agree. Though, like you, I was taken back by how she did it. Hence the idea she was jealous of it for she didn’t even talk to Blue or Ralph Angel. She, in a way which makes envy perhaps the better term, just took it and toss it into a dumpster.

      Yet, a part of me wonders if Blue may have truly imprinted on Kenya. For it could just be that toy for him is like a stuffed animal or blanket. It isn’t necessarily a replacement but just something which makes him feel safe. Someone to talk to since he doesn’t have any friends.

      Leading me to ask, since I feel like I forgot, who got him that doll in the first place?

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