Nova going through a book her aunt MArtha left behind
"Nova going through a book her aunt MArtha left behind," Queen Sugar, "We Can Be," directed by DeMane Davis, 2022, (OWN)

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As we approach the end of “Queen Sugar,” it increasingly becomes clear that the happy ending long promised may no longer be a dangled carrot in front of our faces.

Aired (OWN) 11/15/2022
Episode Title We Can Be
Director(s) DeMane Davis
Writer(s) Karen Corneille, Ava DuVernay
Introduced This Episode
Rae Kaci Walfall
Betty Vanessa Bell Calloway

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Bringing The NO To NYC – Micah, Rae

Rae (Kaci Walfall) noting the way things have been, isn't how they have to be
“Rae (Kaci Walfall) noting the way things have been, isn’t how they have to be,” Queen Sugar, “We Can Be,” directed by DeMane Davis, 2022, (OWN)

Thanks to his grandmother’s financial connections, Micah meets someone named Rae, a fund manager in NYC, and his pitch and portfolio intrigue her. To the point their chemistry almost makes you think Keke may need to move aside until she brings Micah to what seems to be a queer lounge. With that, while that idea may be pushed aside, you can see Micah finding a community away from home with Rae ushering him in as she shares her network.

Money Over Love – Betty, Aunt Vi

So what’s Betty’s story, and why does it seem Aunt Vi was so worried about finding her? Well, it is hard to say regarding Aunt Vi making it seem her seeing Betty could be complicated. But what is clear is that Betty was very much in love with Sam at one time, but the racism of the years back then led to her and Sam getting married but not being able to be together. In fact, Sam abandoned Betty after a black eye from his dad and the threat of being cut off. Thus leading to Betty, with Parker, then Imani, following her off, with Aunt Vi and Ernest helping them find a new home and freedom.

Secrets Eat Away At The Possibility Of Lasting Love – Betty, Sam, Parker, Billie, Nova, Aunt Vi, Ralph Angel, Darla

For Ralph Angel, the whole Chase thing continues to eat at him. Not doing more harm, not getting some public sense of justice, and then with Blue, keeping this secret of who his daddy is. Darla, right now, gets there are some hard or ill feelings, but being that Chase is paying what he owes and doesn’t want to be involved with Blue, she’d rather not have him involved with Blue’s life whatsoever. But, for Ralph Angel, the topic of Chase isn’t something that can be seen as swept under the rug and considered handled. It’s a gnat that just won’t die.

Speaking of gnats that won’t die, Parker returns, and when confronted by her mom and challenged about her role in Sam’s dealings, it seems to put a pause on what Sam was planning. In fact, Betty overwhelms Sam to the point of being surprised by Vi’s latest tactic and being taken aback by his old feelings. While he probably hasn’t talked to Betty in decades, her sway over him remains and leaves him a little shook to the point of seemingly abandoning selling her land and allowing her and the Bordelon family a victory.

Parker and Betty leaning on one another
“Parker and Betty leaning on one another,” Queen Sugar, “We Can Be,” directed by DeMane Davis, 2022, (OWN)

But that doesn’t mean Parker will just be left in the wind. She came from Atlanta to make some money and damn her mother’s land or anyone that could get in her way, right? Wrong. Like Billie and Betty, Parker was wounded from lacking community; specifically, that of the one she at one time could have seen as home. Thankfully, when Nova and Billie are celebrating Billie proposing to Vince, Billie is more willing to approach and bring Parker into the fold than Nova. Thus leading to Parker having the come to Jesus moment, which allows her to understand life beyond whatever money can be made, and seemingly old wounds finally beginning to heal. Specifically due to her understanding her mother’s wounds.

Things To Note

  1. Ralph Angel speaks before the USDA and while Roy’s buddy on the board makes it seem like Ralph Angel and Darla wasted their time, a member of the State’s agricultural committee, a Black woman, not only keenly pays attention but seems ready to take up the cause. Which angers Roy’s buddy but seemingly will be part of the multi-prong attack on Sam that could end his tyranny once and for all.
  2. Nova’s Aunt Martha died

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where is the rest of Sam’s family? Between his sister, her kids, and all the rest we’ve seen come and go, shouldn’t they be around talking smack?
  2. While Micah isn’t gay, as far as we know, is him being drawn to queer people and the community due to the actor being gay and wanting representation on “Queen Sugar?”
  3. Did I miss something? Was it Sam’s dad that led to Betty leaving or the town’s general take on an interracial couple? It seems like certain details were missing, or rushed, regarding Betty feeling run out, especially considering we have Billie being run out as precedent.

What Could Happen Next

  1. By all signs from the next episode preview, it seems after being on the ropes for nearly the entire season, a monstrous “Dragon Ball Z” level comeback is about to happen.

Collected Quote(s)

It’s what we’re used to, but it doesn’t have to be what it is.
— Rae



Micah Drawn To Queer Communities

“Queen Sugar” has never shied away from queer characters. However, even with Nova, who is very much on the spectrum, it hasn’t really been consistent. Even with Micah, whose best friend is someone queer, like Ralph Angel’s only friend not involved with farming, we haven’t really seen the community at large. It has always felt like they were testing the waters. As if Ava DuVernay wanted to see, when it comes to viewers of OWN, whether, in the future, they could accept a show starring Black queer men, women, young adults, or even teens.

And I think at this point, with “Queen Sugar” ending and surely DuVernay, who owns Tuesdays currently, likely coming up with something new, we may finally get something on OWN which doesn’t feature a gay best friend, but a queer person front and center – beyond what Nova has given us.

A Victory A Long Time Coming

Betty (Vanessa Bell Calloway)
“Betty (Vanessa Bell Calloway),” Queen Sugar, “We Can Be,” directed by DeMane Davis, 2022, (OWN)

You could look at the sudden victory thanks to Betty in one of two ways. Either you can see it as part of chipping away Sam, over all these seasons, and Aunt Vi finding a way to hit the devil in the heart. Or you could see this as pulling something out of nowhere, Sam showing that he is a weak little man, and this is all just making sure “Queen Sugar” ends on a happy note. Either way, I’m not against a victory, no matter how it is gotten.

Also, I’m not against Parker being brought into the fold. From what it seems, Parker solely sided with her father because she wasn’t welcomed into the community. She rejected her name, her people, and whether it was, as Betty said, just to assimilate at school, or something deeper, who knows, and it is hard to say whether Parker may go into the pains of being bi-racial or if Charley’s story, from earlier in the series, is supposed to suffice. A part of me just cares about how Billie showed that Parker wasn’t a villain as she has long seemed. Rather, Parker was a vulnerable person who found a warm embrace in the arms of the devil and may only now realize that the warm embrace was purely to have a human shield rather than convey love.

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Nova going through a book her aunt MArtha left behind
Queen Sugar: Season 7/ Episode 11 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
As “Queen Sugar” builds up to its series finale, the only thing left to wonder is how grand of a victory the Bordelon will have? For at this point, it seems they have incurred all the losses they ever will.
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Micah Drawn To Queer Communities
A Victory A Long Time Coming

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