Queen Sugar: Season 3 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Queen Sugar Title Card
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Season 3 of Queen Sugar feels like a transition season as it wraps up the trials and tribulations of the first two seasons and preps for the show’s future.


Network
OWN
Creator Ava DuVernay
Noted Cast
Charley Dawn-Lyen Gardner
Davis Timon Kyle Durrett
Remy Dondre Whitfield
Romero Walter Perez
Micah Nicholas L. Ashe
Sam David Jensen
Aunt Vi Tina Lifford
Hollywood Omar J. Dorsey
Nova Rutina Wesley
Ant Myles Truitt
Ralph Angel Kofi Siriboe
Blue Ethan Hutchison
Darla Bianca Lawson
KJ Stevonte Hart
Asha Nikko Austen Smith
Too Sweet Isaac White
Trinh Vivien Ngô
Toine Brian Michael
Prosper Henry G. Sanders
Sierra Deja Dee
Benny Jaren Mitchell
Jacob Lea Coco
Frances Annalee Jefferies

Summary

Charley

Charley telling Sam she isn't afraid of him nor his sister.
Charley: I’ll conquer them all.

A lot of things pay off for Charley this season. Her fully letting go of whatever hurt Davis can cause her, Remy can cause her, even her family making her feel like an outsider leads to both love and resolve. Love in the form of letting a man, named Romero, help her and make her laugh. Which may not seem like a big deal but with Charley constantly misunderstood and even Micah turning his back on her, at one time, her still being open to a stranger is really a testament to Charley’s strength and faith in humanity. Alongside herself. For she knows what she is doing is for her community, people who she may not have grown up with, but now mean so much to her.

Which taps into the resolve. Since the beginning of this crusade, Charley hasn’t had a whole lot of wins against the Landry family. In fact, it seemed her getting a win over them would be a series finale kind of treat. Yet, working with Frances, even if she burned Charley multiple times, got her some kind of win. Sam was taken down. Now, yeah, Frances, who is more formidable is in charge, but all it takes is one win to reenergize your base. Be it your base as in core, or base as in people who support you or who you have been fighting for.

Aunt Vi

Aunt Vi revealing to her family that she has Lupus.
Aunt Vi: Um, I have Lupus.

At 60, Aunt Vi has lived a whole life. She has been a wife before, a mother to her nieces and nephews, and has found lived a handful of lives. Things are different now, however. Now she is doing more than surviving and existing, she is truly living. Hollywood is more of a man than most will ever find or even fathom to wish for. On her own, for the most part, she has started a pie business that got local media attention. One which leads to so many orders she doesn’t know what to do with herself, and even with Lupus forcing her to take a breather sometimes, she perseveres.

Nova

But, of course, while Aunt Vi’s relationship and professional life flourishes, there I always one or two members of her family complicating things. For this season, it begins with Charley’s plan to take down the Landry family but then Vi’s sights get set on Nova. Someone who still hasn’t found much stability in her life and continues to be one of the characters who attaches to others and causes drama in their life than really stands on their own.

Case in point, Nova gets with Remy this season. Thus making it where both, as cute as they sometimes are, seem doomed for it feels like this is made to cause drama between Nova and Charley. Which, because of their already established history, seems almost like overkill. For Nova already makes a point of coming after Charley for working with the Landry family. But to add on Remy, who is one of those characters who needs to pull a Lawrence and be written off, just seemed unnecessary.

But, Nova messing with Remy isn’t the big to do for Aunt Vi as much as it is Nova, for a lack of a better term, exploiting Ernest, if not the family, for her book deal. For in season 3, that is what consumes Nova – she has a publisher’s attention but how can she keep it? With quitting her job, she loses access to her old articles, at this point in her career, it is clear she has to go bigger with her platform, yet how to reintroduce herself, without her ex, is the question.

So, it seems Ernest having suicidal thoughts is part of the equation. Something she doesn’t run by anyone so it comes as a shock to them and a betrayal to Aunt Vi who is old school. Meaning, putting a family secret out there, making her brother look “weak” is a big issue. Add on Nova creates a whole book which goes even further, and it really leads you to believe Nova, as a character, may never have her own thing. She’ll just be a character who pinches another, runs away, and concocts the next thing for someone in her family to get mad about.

Micah

Charley supporting Micah after he gives a speech.
Crowd: No new prisons!

From dealing with a white girl getting him in trouble to being part of a young Black empowerment group, at a public school, Micah has come a long way. Problem is, a lot of what he has done has been by following Nova about or thinking what Nova would do. Which becomes a problem for Nova is idolized in Micah’s mind and sort of seen as the polar opposite to his mother Charley. Yet, with breaking down how she, Nova, got Too Sweet in jail and basically saying you can’t be a rebel without a cause, it is a wakeup call for Micah. Especially since his friend, Ant, is about to go to jail for something he and his group of friends did.

However, taking note of Nova, he turned a bad situation into a movement. One which aligned with his mother’s goal of stopping a private prison from opening up. Which began as a struggle, for Micah didn’t have his voice yet. However, once he put down a prepared speech and spoke from the heart, things gained traction. Making it where, using his privilege, it seems he may not stop MTC, but definitely will slow them down.

Ralph Angel

Ralph Angel telling Blue about him being locked up.
Ralph Angel: I did something I shouldn’t have.

Ralph Angel takes back his narrative this season and becomes more than Darla’s ex. He becomes a man who, while not working in his community like his sisters’, does contribute. By taking on Benny, a fellow ex-con, as a worker, he provides him stable employment and Kevin, Ralph Angel’s PO, he talks about Ralph Angel using the farm, which gave him purpose and a second chance, as something which could provide that to many. After all, Ralph Angel has long been shorthanded and while he has used a lot of migrant workers, and they’ve done good jobs, helping guys like Benny get back on their feet could be Ralph Angel truly paying his debt to society.

But, of course, you can’t speak of Ralph Angel without bringing up Darla and Blue. Which, in this season, the main issue is Darla’s absence causing Blue to act out and this being followed by Darla returning and talking about gaining custody. Which leads to this big hullabaloo that Darlene seems to have pushed, that thankfully fizzles out. For, at the end of the day, Ralph Angel, Blue, and Darla love each other and while Darla and Ralph Angel may not be in love with each other, they are family for life.

Queen Sugar - Episode List

Season/ EpisodeSynopsis

Season 1/ Episode 4 "The Darker Sooner"

Ralph Angel takes a back seat as the focus is on Charley’s business acumen and Nova’s journalism.

Season 1/ Episode 5 "By Any Means"

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.

Season 1/ Episode 6 "As Promised"

Perception is everything. It is what allows a person to trust another and it determines how we are going to handle another person. Especially when it comes to our secrets, as well as our time. Yet looks can be deceiving so even at our best mistakes can be made. As seen in this episode.

Season 1/ Episode 3 "Thy Will Be Done"

Everyone grieves differently and the pain isn’t consistent. There are good days and bad days, but it is the things left behind which matter most. So when those things are being ravaged through or taken from you, naturally it can lead to you being left a bit messed up. Which with what everyone is grieving, be it Ernest or their marriage, it seems there is always but one straw before the camel’s back ends up broke.

Season 1/ Episode 2 “Evergreen”

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.

Season 1/ Episode 1 “First Things First”

OWN is a slept on channel. Granted, starting things off with a slew of Tyler Perry productions didn’t begin its scripted foray with the best reputation. However, since branching out to different visionaries OWN arguably has gained the type of programming you’d have expected the decades old BET to have had years ago. So with their newest addition, Queen Sugar, arguably Oprah Winfrey and her team have created a solid launch pad for new talent, seasoned talent who deserve steady work, and those in between who may be familiar faces but never got the roles they deserved.

Season 1/ Episode 7 "In No Uncertain Terms"

Freedom lies across the field of the difficult conversation. And the more difficult the conversation, the greater the freedom.
—  “Chapter 11: Yes to No, Yes to Difficult Conversations.” Year of Yes

Season 1/ Episode 8 "Where With All"

A storm comes to the area and forces everyone to Aunt Vi’s house, included some people Aunt Vi would never willingly invite in. No matter how strong the storm is.

Season 1/ Episode 9 "Next to Nothing"

The storm has passed and with that comes a calm. Not a calm before the storm because this show isn’t about such things. It’s the type of calm which is healing. For while there are uprooted trees and fallen branches, yeah there maybe some tears. But in rebuilding, you are reminded of who is there for you through thick and thin, and not just family either.

Season 1/ Episode 10 "So Far"

There are quite a few setbacks, for everyone, in this episode, but there is always one person who creates some sort of silver lining. In that person, there is hope.

Season 1/ Episode 11 "All Good"

The importance of a connection with another human being, especially one which is dependable and trying to do right by you, is such a beautiful and strengthening thing. Though it isn’t always stable and with that comes fear.

Season 1/ Episode 12 "Far Too Long"

Almost everyone is trying to prove something to themselves or others. Either proving they can move on, triumph over adversity, or that they deserve to be loved.

Season 1/ Episode 13 "Give Us This Day"

Charley’s various manipulations are tested, as Nova learns of the complications which will come dating Calvin again and Ralph Angel looks for some respect from Charley.

Season 2/ Episode 1 “After The Winter”

One of the hardly arguable highlights of Black media returns. And, as always, you find yourself smiling because of the family dynamics, crying tears over certain struggles they have, and end up triggered as well. To say the least, Queen Sugar remains an emotional roller coaster ride that as soon as it is over, you want to get right back on.

Season 2/ Episode 2 “To Usward”

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.”

Season 2/ Episode 3 “What Do I Care For Morning”

“What Do I Care For Morning” is an episode of growth and recognizing the needs of another person. Be it Charley recognizing the needs of Davis or Ralph Angel to be a role model in their son’s lives. Perhaps recognizing the greatness and intellect in another person as Nova does. If not something as simple as Hollywood recognizing the type of woman he has in Aunt Vi and that he needs more of the loving she gives.

Season 2/ Episode 4 “My Soul’s High Song”

What is the dream? Who or what inspired it? How can you obtain it? In “My Soul’s High Song” the focus is on what makes a person feel happy or whole. Especially in times when you aren’t necessarily thriving but surviving. Sometimes due to compromise.

Season 2/ Episode 5 “Caroling Dusk”

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.

Season 2/ Episode 6 “Line of our Elders”

If I may sort of rant, I really don’t understand how and why this show doesn’t get major accolade notoriety. For while, I get, as a Black person, we should uphold the NAACP awards, maybe BET awards, and all that, it isn’t like all of your peers recognizing you, you know? Plus, with this argument amongst entertainers, and something I bring up in reviews at times, where they don’t want to be pigeonholed because of their race/culture, it makes our award shows nice but still limited.

But, in the long run, all that truly matters is that whenever this show wraps for a season, or as a series, everyone doesn’t have a gap in employment. For that is truly what matters in the long run.

So, with that said, let’s talk about Episode 6 “Line of our Elders” and how this show consistently makes you cry.

Season 2/ Episode 7 “I Know My Soul”

With the rich characters we have been given on Queen Sugar, naturally, there is this desire to know of their past. To maybe get an episode featuring them as kids, teens, young adults. Get to see their interactions with their parents at those ages, and perhaps even Aunt Vi. However, that may not be as necessary as it once was. For in “I Know My Soul,” the complicated relationship both Nova and Charley have with Ernest and Ra is dug into, alongside how Aunt Vi has played, at least for Charley, a role in it. Thus helping us understand the complexities of this family.

Season 2/ Episode 8 “Freedom’s Plow”

The midseason finale deals with all the fallout for what has happened since the season began. Be it where Remy and Charley stand, with what happened to Micah, alongside Ralph Angel’s big reveal and how he handled it.

Season 2/ Episode 9 “Yet Do I Marvel”

Based off what was seen, and the little synopsis on Wikipedia, it seems the focus for 2B is going to primarily be family. For this episode, it is Charley’s mother Lorna joining the series and us being prepped for Darla’s parents.

Season 2/ Episode 10 “Drums at Dusk”

Love is in the air for Nova and Micah but sadly, as sweet as things are going for them, the opposite is true for Ralph Angel and Darla.

Season 2/ Episode 11 “Fruit of the Flower”

Everything you knew about Lorna and Ernest’s relationship seemingly is completely wrong and that seems to change everything for Nova. Alongside that, Remy playing a paternal figure changes things for Ralph Angel and Darla.

Season 2/ Episode 12 “Live in the All Along”

As one door closes, and another gets locked, it makes the few happy relationships that remain a welcome focus.

Season 2/ Episode 13 “Heritage”

Darla’s parents come about and like when Lorna came to Louisiana, we are led to believe everything we were told is not true.

Director(s) Liesl Tommy
Writer(s) Monica Macer & Davita Scarlett
Notable Guest Stars
Darlene Michael Michele
Quincy Roger Guenveur Smith

Season 2/ Episode 14 “On These I Stand”

As Darla and Aunt Vi deal with the revealing of their secrets, Nova and Charley find themselves having to really think about the next step of their careers.

Director(s) Christina Voros
Writer(s) Jason Wilborn & Anthony Sparks
Characters Introduced
Mother Brown Beverly Todd
Mia Naomi Mack
Rid Dominic “Tax” Alexander
Martin Shawn Parsons

Season 2/ Episode 15 “Copper Sun”

Nearly everything goes to hell. The Mill is in trouble, due to slander, the Blue paternity situation rocks everyone and, even Micah is in trouble.

Director(s) DeMane Davis
Writer(s) Monica Macer & Dana Greenblatt
Characters Introduced
Lizy Danielle Lyn

Season 2/ Episode 16 “Dream Variations”

Do not expect resolutions to any of your pressing questions in the season 2 finale of Queen Sugar. Hold onto them until season 3, unfortunately.

Director(s) Kat Candler
Writer(s) Ava Duverney

Season 3/ Episode 1 “A Rock, A River, A Tree”

Queen Sugar returns with Charley laying out her plan, Blue’s paternity results in, Nova making major moves, and Blue starting to act up a little bit.

Season 3/ Episode 2 “Of Their Sojourn Here”

Nova and Aunt Vi find strength and inspiration through each other as Charley takes note of Micah’s personal needs than she wants for him.

Season 3/ Episode 3 “Your Distant Destiny”

As Nova reminds us how tactless she can sometimes be, Ralph Angel decides to put his son before tryst and Micah adjusts to the changes in his life.

Season 3/ Episode 4 “No Haven in My Shadow”

As we come up on a year since we joined the story of the Bordelon family, as much as there is growth there remains secrets to reveal.

Season 3/ Episode 5 “A Little Lower Than Angels”

The writers of Queen Sugar have seemingly decided to provide many gifts with a few poisoned apples in a slightly polarizing episode.

Season 3/ Episode 6 “Delicate and Strangely Made”

Giving yourself permission to be happy is the first step and then asking, or taking it the second, as seen in this episode.

Season 3/ Episode 7 “Study War No More”

The focus of the episode is figuring out what you want and what compromises you may have to make to get it. If not tough conversation so people understand why you want something.

Season 3/ Episode 8 “Come, Clad in Peace”

After long struggling on their own, many begin accepting and asking for help. Thus showing how far some characters have come.

Season 3/ Episode 9 “The Tree and the Stone Were One”

Trust is a major focus as many become shocked by what is asked of them, whether understandable or just a Grade-A insult.

Season 3/ Episode 10 “Here Beside the River”

The nuclear button gets tapped a few times and while it’s mostly by Vi, it isn’t like she wasn’t provoked.

Season 3/ Episode 11 “Your Passages Have Been Paid”

As Micah’s decision makes the pending jail vote all the much more pertinent, Darla and Nova are forced to also be accountable for their actions.

Season 3/ Episode 12 “The Horizon Leans Forward”

While we get some semblance of a silver lining, Queen Sugar remains unrelenting. No matter how hopeful each episode’s title is. 

Season 3/ Episode 13 “From On The Pulse Of Morning”

The season finale of Queen Sugar gives you all you could want and more, making it seem like the clouds are gone and the storm might be over – for now.

Collected Quotes & .Gifs

Highlights

Community & Justifying Your Presence

Though community and belonging have long been one of the central themes of Queen Sugar, it hasn’t necessarily been something nearly the entire family participated in. Aunt Vi had a sense of community through the parties she threw, making sure folks like Prosper, who were alone, were looked out for, and things like that. Then there was Nova’s activism. However, with Ralph Angel, Charley, and Micah, they didn’t really do that much. They’d attend Aunt Vi’s parties and be social, but that was it.

Charley reassuring Prosper about her plans.
“I am going to take care of this community.”

In this season, that changed drastically. Charley went beyond just trying to own a mill to present an alternative, she became a chosen voice for the people. Not someone who just asserted herself into a problem but because of how often she has spoken with farmers and presented herself as one of the people, she was chosen. Which was a big thing for, with her being bi-racial, as seen in season 2, she never felt like she belonged. She didn’t belong in LA, which didn’t have the same sense of community, and because of Nova and other factors, she formerly didn’t belong in St. Jo either. Yet, in her adult years, she has found what she has long strived for. To not be a guest visiting but have a home, a family, a community, and being able to contribute in a productive way.

Same goes for Micah. Until St. Jo, while he may not have had to deal with the same bi-racial issues his mom did, he did have to deal with that outsider feeling. Yet, through moving to St. Jo and experiencing both the good and bad of being a Black male in America, he gained a sense of community. Through Nova, he got to see the many ways he could contribute and with meeting KJ, Ant, Asha, and the others, he found a group of similar minded people to foster him. Which, yeah, led to some trouble, but who doesn’t stumble?

I mean, take Nova, her noting how she messed up bad with Too Sweet was so important towards Micah’s journey for it made her less of a saint. Which was the core issue that perhaps drove a wedge between what Charley was doing for the community, by trying to work within the system, and Nova working from out. It’s easy to judge someone when you don’t know all the details, or put someone on a pedestal when you don’t know their full journey. Yet, with seeing what his mom has gone through, hearing it as well, alongside hearing Nova has faults, he gets the full picture. We get the full picture.

For it shows how both sides have a place in addressing St. Jo’s issues. Nova, being the outsider, who can rally a community, she becomes a voice which gets media attention. Meanwhile, those like Charley, who have business acumen, negotiation skills, things like that, they are the ones who go into the lion’s den, who wrestle with demons and monsters, and make it so the attention outsiders bring doesn’t die once the news becomes bored. They bring something to light as people like Charley, in for the long haul, infiltrate and expose the beast’s heart from the inside out.

Frances looking at Charley.

Which isn’t to downplay Ralph Angel’s part since it isn’t as dramatic. While his sisters get more props, and we even hear Nova take note that she respects Charley but just doesn’t get her method, you can’t discount what Ralph Angel is trying to do. Getting hired, with a record, is difficult. Especially for a decent job which will make it so, even if you don’t make as much as you used to, you can survive. Plus, with a lot of people having conditions, like Ralph Angel, that they have to work in order to fulfill the conditions of their parole, even probation, Ralph Angel is providing a service. He is teaching these young men, work ethic, about farming, and giving them a trade which, in their area, is quite valuable. Add in many come from farms so they can bring something to the table and it is a fair deal for all parties involved.

Aunt Vi’s Journey

While the diversity movement has produced a lot of different looking faces, primarily those faces belong to those 35 and younger. It is rare to see a character noted as 60 or beyond with as big of a role as Aunt Vi. Then, on top of that, being more than a matriarch, but having a full life. I’m talking about love, sex, and a career. All while showing that aging isn’t a pending death sentence. Like anything in life, it is something you figure out a way to deal with so that it doesn’t stop you from truly enjoying your life.

And showing that boosts the most significant part of diversity which is representation. Not just being seen but feeling you are actually on screen. That, as a Black woman of a certain age, you aren’t forgotten about. That you don’t have to live vicariously through young ladies because someone like you is experiencing love, laughter, and all the things you want. That make your life worth living. With, of course, some trials and tribulations, be it health or family, but nonetheless giving you media representation which doesn’t make it seem your life, after a certain age, means just yelling at kids, focusing on retirement and dealing with the side effects of aging.

Blue Expressing Feelings

Blue in the car, slowly realizing his parents may not end up together.

When it comes to kids, as stated countless times, rarely are they ever more than a prop. Something to fight over or prove two people once loved each other and had sex. With Blue this season, while he remains a source of contention, his feelings about his parents also get explored. Whether it is the devastating realization they won’t get together or dealing with his mom not being around, Blue’s feelings may not play a huge role but how often does an actor at Hutchinson’s age really get to have these moments? To command a scene and have actors far older than him play off what he is doing?

Heck, just him taking control of that vigil for Ernest puts you on notice a little bit. For how often do you really see a kid step forward and direct another character?

Low Points

Still, No One Communicates Much With People Who Aren’t Family or Significant Others – Outside of Micah

As much as this show is about community, it is weird to me only Micah is actively in contact with people he considers friends. Yes, Nova has a friend as well, Sierra, but she comes along maybe once or twice a season. Heck, if it wasn’t for IMDB, I wouldn’t even be able to fathom her name. And yeah, Ralph Angel has Toine but, again, once or twice a season and their name is only remembered due to the notoriety of the actor being trans. Not because they have decided to invest in this character and develop their story past the anecdote.

Davis and His 13-Year-Old, Tia, We Don’t Meet Once

Davis talking about all Ernest did for him as a father figure.
Davis: You know, Ernest meant more to me than most anybody realizes.

Davis, like Remy, seems like a character that no one knows what to do with but either because of their contract or wanting to hold onto the actors, just in case, they are given something minor to justify them sticking around. For Davis, it was him having a 13-year-old while married to Charley. A kid we never meet, just hear about, and no sooner is she talked about does Davis disappear. At least until Charley needs him to help her present a united front as Micah considers turning himself in for arson.

On The Fence

Ralph Angel and Trinh Relationship, Remy and Nova

It isn’t clear what was really going to happen with these two relationships. With Remy and Nova, there was a whole lot of chemistry, but then there is Charley being Remy’s ex, him wanting kids, and things beyond the Landry family drama that led to him breaking up with Charley. Then, on the flip side, Nova always finds a way to mess up her own relationships. As if she can’t deal with being held accountable or dealing with someone’s expectations. Yet, despite each one’s issues, I must admit it seemed like a troublesome road they’d have to travel on, but one worth checking out.

But when it came to Trinh and Ralph Angel, things were a little bit more complicated. On one hand, Ralph Angel was going through yet another ho phase before Trinh and considering he chose to date this Vietnamese woman when all these Black women were trying to win him, came with a side eye. But, it was interesting to see Trinh, like Charley’s Romero, present how other ethnicities in the south maintain their sense of culture.

Unfortunately, with the custody drama, among other things, Ralph Angel ended it. Yet, who knows, maybe Trinh might comeback in season 4. That is, unless Darla and Ralph Angel go for another round.

Nova’s Journey

Nova being told she is playing with fire considering the contents of her book.
Sierra: You’re playing with fire

Nova consistently seems like a top bill character who more so works best as a supporting character. A s*** kicker, or stirrer, if you will. For it is really only when she is causing unnecessary drama do you really take note of her. This season isn’t really much different for it is when she upsets Aunt Vi, making it the first time those two aren’t tag team partners, you take note of Nova this season. That is, alongside what she contributes to Micah’s story. But, as for Nova having her own thing? Being presented on the same level as Ralph Angel and Charley? That remains to be seen.

However, with this explosive book, while it may just mean more drama, considering how Blue’s paternity took over half a season, Davis’ affair, Charley taking on the Landry family, and so many stories which barely dealt with, or featured, Nova, maybe it is about time she is put front and center with people coming to her instead of her to them.

The Custody Battle Over Blue

When it comes to Darla and Ralph Angel’s relationship, I think we can all agree that it is usually one unnecessary drama after another. Last season it was the paternity test and this season it was a custody battle. One which was seemingly all Darlene’s idea and was immediately stopped once Darla took back control over her life. Thankfully keeping it from involving Blue and becoming a nasty, dragged out fight.

Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)

Hollywood and Aunt Vi getting married.
Preacher: Embrace the future!

Recently, on The Breakfast Club, Lena Waithe noted there isn’t any real Black prestigious productions in the likes of Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale, or Game of Thrones. Now, considering Queen Sugar and Greenleaf, unless she means productions which sweep mainstream awards shows, then that isn’t true. However, one of the issues with Queen Sugar may have had is that it was made to become what Waithe thinks Black entertainment currently lacks.

Yet, one can argue season 3 threw that out the window and thus became a transitionary season. One that decides to stop hunting for the awards with over the top and dramatic storylines but get back to basics. Hence Charley’s first win against the Landry family, the Darla, and Ralph Angel saga being made peaceful, Aunt Vi having nearly all she could ever want, and Nova have perhaps her biggest story of the series.

It seems Queen Sugar is ready to stop trying to prove itself and just be. Which may have meant some awkwardly writing, like for Remy and Davis, but in its growing pains Queen Sugar can potentially become, once more, a stand out from what is often delivered and a forbearer for a new generation to Black dramas. Especially those not rooted in taking things in a soap opera direction.

Hence the mixed label. While Season 3 didn’t necessarily reach the emotional highs of past seasons, perhaps it was because it stopped trying to up the ante and just wanted to tell a story. One which was real, presented lives we don’t often see, and not make it so those lives are rooted in struggle as so many Black dramas are. Instead, it will celebrate wins, culture, and growth. Thus taking it back to what made Queen Sugar worthy of being put on a pedestal vs. just another Black show benefiting from this diversity wave.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What happened to Jacob after his mother, Frances, was introduced?

Has Another Season Been Confirmed?: Yes


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About Amari Sali 3332 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all.

17 Comments

    • A part of me feels, with Darla, they decided to spend this season to let the dust settle and have her make just enough moves to setup her future. Rather than really go full speed as they did in the past and have her actively compete with the leads for prominence.

      • Hey Amari, sorry for the late response. I agree they definitely pumped the breaks on Darla and they let the poor girl breath for a bit. I loved that we got a couple of things that we predicted before the season started. Like Darla going back to school, having a place of her own, having a new car, and somewhat having a decent, more accepting relationship with her parents again. How back on track the three of them really are is still questionable though. Condersing papa Sutton was in one episode and then bounced, and mama Sutton came back only to push herself into a situation that wasn’t about her, which could have caused an even bigger rif between RA and Darla, thankfully everything worked out. I hope we see them again as some point next season. Your thoughts?

        • I think, at this point, Darla and her mom have truly healed their relationship. Hence her going to bat for her so hard. However, I think her father is a bit more cautious about thinking his daughter is fine and dandy so he still is keeping his distance a bit. Trying to see if it truly sticks this time before he truly believes he has his daughter back. After all, he knows her mom struggles, but that’s with alcohol. Darla was into drugs and he might even know about her doing sex work.

          So, in my mind, I think the main reason he was barely featured was because, well he works, and what I said above.

  1. Yeah, Nova’s book is going to bite her in the ass. She won’t talk or open up to any of her family members but she will write a whole book…disgusting.

    Aunt Vi is another one. Some many things Aunt Vi does just gets swept under the rug. Pretty much trying to break up a marriage, and treat her niece’s mother like trash, all because what…she doesn’t like the fact that her brother got with a white woman, even though the woman that he was with previously didn’t want him. Again, disgusting. Treating your baby boy (Blue) mother’s like trash, and like she ain’t shit, yet proudly, taking money from that girls mother, for YEARS!?!?!? Aunt Vi is foul. All her crying that she does every episode because Hollywood is younger than her is getting annoying, like seriously. Also the Lupus story line is not interesting at all. There is only so many episodes, I can watch with Aunt Vi and her pies. Like that scene where the B family goes to the store to see Vi’s pies, and there like in the back of the counter space or whatever, it was soooooo melodramatic, like wow, I laughed at that part honestly. Like I get it, Aunt Vi is an older character so there is only so much they can do with her character, but, yeah her and Nova are not my faves. Your thoughts? Who’s next? ( RA or Darla)

    • I feel like, with Aunt Vi, they are trying to show that she isn’t limited by her age. Also, they want to show a life lived which holds a lot of mistakes, bias, accidents, and her being at the point where she isn’t apologetic about it. While annoying while watching, after separated from the show for a few weeks, I’ve learned to appreciate it. Because we just don’t get a huge amount of older characters who get to be more than a mom, aunt, or family friend. Especially with a full-on storyline rather than being some kind of accessory the way kids often are. That’s sort of the thing I am learning to like about Nova. While growth is important, not everyone grows at the same rate and gets better with age. Nova is still messy as hell but seems more firm about it. Which does bite her in the ass but that’s what makes her real.

      Let’s save Darla for last. How about RA? I’m hoping him and Thinh (I believe that’s her name) become a thing. If we are going to get some interracial romance, I want something beyond white/Black.

      • I guess, but it still really makes me mad, knowing that her actions, her unapologetic attitude came at the cost, of a girl and her relationship with her father, how two sisters would go on to interact with each other, and the lies that were place onto a woman, who just fell in love with a man, and had a child with. Like that is some other unworldly actions, in my opinion.

        Oh RA. I honestly don’t know where to begin. I don’t about RA and Thinh, like I guess they could work it out, but who knows. I mean I’m all down for interracial couples as well, but those two….IDK I guess, I just need to see more of them. But again, I would like for RA to be single just for a bit. Also what happened to those classes he was taken? It was like one episode of him in a classroom (face all angry and twisted), a scene of him with a book in his hand, than nothing. Like I can’t.

        I know that we tend to differ on certain things when it comes to RA, and I tend to be more critical of him, but like he can be very frustrating for me. Like he is going to be, or at least has to be 30 by now, I feel like the kid gloves have to taken off of him at some point. Like I know the baby blue bombshell was hard for him, but just let’s his ignorance, ego, and pride blind him so much. They overtake him 99% of the time. Like in season 2, that gas station scene with that guy, and “Star”. RA being so caught up in his own feelings, he could’t see how sad, and hurt Darla was. Or when he didn’t want Darla to go to work, during the whole letter gate situation during season 2. SELFISH. Again, I know that he is, like you said a bit better with Blue in terms of that, but we all have seen how quick RA would turn to the bottle if he got upset about something, or someone said something that he didn’t like. (Like for all of the talk of Darla and her addiction, I recall seeing a beer in RA’s hand on many occasions, along with us seeing him flat out drunk. All of which were because someone either said something he didn’t like, or they didn’t do what he wanted.) And, I honestly can’t agree, with treating the mother of your child like shit, then turn around and try to keep the child at arms length from her. Again, season 1 was warranted. But Darla, has been clean for 3 years, basically these full 3 seasons. Like RA keeps saying Blue ain’t ready to be with Darla full time, over and over again, and it’s like know YOUR not ready to let him go. Again, I get it but it still irks. Especially, knowing the full extent of how Blue was conceived in the first place. But like usual Darla was cut off by RA, and not able to tell him what really happened. Like there are great father, son moments between Blue and RA, and I know that there are tons of “RA’s” out there in real life, still doesn’t mean that we can’t be critical of his actions and behavior. I want to see REAL growth from him in all aspects, away from Blue. School, the farm, being a better brother, and perpetually down the line, a decent boyfriend. Where he isn’t so stuck on himself, in terms of how not being able to see the hurt and pain that other people maybe going through, just like he is.

        Your thoughts? Who’s next?

        • With RA it is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation, in terms of dating. If he is single, he is going to be a ho. If he is with someone, I sadly feel like that would be one of the main things to encourage him to grow. To me, RA is the kind of dude who needs a carrot dangling in front of him to do right. Otherwise, he will be stuck in his ways and think it is appropriate. Especially since, while he does get called out by Nova from time to time, he has been enabled so long he thinks he can do as he sees fit.

          In terms of his relationship with Darla, I think they are going to have a long period of struggling to work things out because their foundation is whack. However, in order to fix it, he has to talk to his family about not disrespecting her (Darla) and be firm about it.

          And I think we did get some growth out of him in the form of him interacting with the guys in prison. Maybe setting up the farm to be a potential job when people get out. It may not be much, but it is something.

          • Nice post I agree. Although, I will say I don’t think that things have to be so black and white when it comes to RA. Like dude, just because you are single it doesn’t mean that you have to be a ho and give your D to every thirsty girl that makes eye contact with you. That is really my only issue like the guy is incapable of being single. His whole relationship and almost marriage was not even done for a full week yet and he was already getting drunk and giving it away you know. Although I will say he has grown a bit. But it’s like you said, he’s been enabled and coddled for so long he doesn’t know any different. That’s why see moments of him acting immature or throwing a tantrum.

            “In terms of his relationship with Darla, I think they are going to have a long period of struggling to work things out because their foundation is whack. However, in order to fix it, he has to talk to his family about not disrespecting her (Darla) and be firm about it.”
            -YES TO ALL OF THIS!!! . We will be going into season 4 now, I’m sorry but the disrespect has got to stop honestly. Blue love his mama, she’s been clean for 3 years now going on 4, she ain’t the same person she once was, the girl should be able to move on.

            I do like the prison storyline though, I too hope that it will lead to something positive for RA.

  2. Sorry, for the late response. Yeah Charley, needs to get it together, from all sides really. Charley and politics definitely go well together. Charley has Mayor….. yeah that would be a laugh. Not saying she couldn’t do it, one of the B families, getting into office is kind of unexpected really. Still can’t believe that the writers had Charley actually lose the Mill, all of the hard work for the past two seasons just gone. Great job writers….not really. So, yeah who’s next?

    • Micah.

      I love how you can see he is the product of being raised by Charley but influenced by Nova and made the kind of mistakes you could expect from both when they were less experienced. Like his passion being followed without a plan, nearly destroying good relationships over it, but also having things they do not. For example, as much as Nova and Charley say they are working for the people, I feel that they don’t really interact with them if they don’t have to. If it isn’t over business, we don’t see them mingle with no one outside of family and lovers. Micah, on the other hand, he seems far more social.

      • Yeah, Micah’s character development over these last 3 seasons has been something. Micah has definitely been influenced by Nova, but not for the better in my opinion. In terms of him committing crimes and losing relationships and friendships over. I definitely like that Micah is standing in his truth, and fighting back so to speak. He certainly had a wake up call after he was pulled over by that cop. It’s sad though, that many people think that Charley and Davis failed Micah as parents because they didn’t teach Micah about being black, and stuff like that. But for me it is sort of understandable, Charley was raised by her white mother, and we know that when she would go with her dad during the summer that he wasn’t as welcoming and there for her like he should of been, considering she didn’t even have a room at the house, remember Aunt Vi gave her a room. Then you have Davis who, we can assume, didn’t have much growing up, hence like many pro basketball players once, they sign that contract, they get more of an advantage when it comes to certain things. So, Davis very much so believed that he was above the law, and he was given special treatment. Along with the fact that many parents, probably just don’t want to instill fear into the kids. You hear stories of kids as young as nine being told that cops are bad people, cops are always going to be out to get them because they are black, that they have to be careful about where they go because they are black, all of these things, that may seem helpful, can very much case a child to have a mentality that yes, cops are bad, and that them be black is something that could possibly cause them harm.

        With everything that Charley and Davis had, they probably didn’t believe that talking to Micah in that way with cops was necessary. Although, in RA’s eyes Micah is seen as weak and soft. Again, RA not understanding that Micah’s background was different. Makes me wonder if in do time will RA have one of those conversations with Blue when he gets older. I hope you understand what I was trying to say.

        • I do get what you’re saying. However, I don’t get the impression that Davis or Charley didn’t see race, or anything like that. More so, I think they didn’t dwell on the fears which come with being Black and, like you said, didn’t want to mold Micah to fear certain individuals based solely on his skin color. Much less feel limited on what he can and should do because he thought something might not have been Black enough or due to a sense of feeling other.

          When it comes to Nova though, I think the crimes and losing relationships thing can’t be blamed on her. All she really did was present the idea of community to him in a way Charley couldn’t. For, as she said towards the end of the season, in LA there isn’t the same sense of community as is presented in St. Jo. And unfortunately for Charley, it wasn’t until her adult years she got to integrate. Nova, on the other hand, maybe to atone for what she did to Charley, ushered Micah in, as well as Aunt Vi, into their world. Thus leading to him meeting Keke, and eventually his group.

          Now, as for the crime and losing friendships? That was all Micah. He needed an outlet for dealing with his dad’s screw ups, him being harassed by that cop, as well as his mom doing things which he couldn’t agree with. So he found a radical crew and sort of pushed them beyond what they usually did. Making him seem selfish and quite destructive.

          Yet, when it comes to characters under 18 on shows like this, I feel he is one of the rare ones to show real growth besides height.

          Making me hope, as Blue gets older, we may see moments like you mention and maybe him expressing this fear at school or with his mom. Maybe even confronting his parents’ past as well.

          Let’s switch to Nova next. I find it funny everything she tried to avoid doing and saying when her ex was involved, now she seems willing to do. Maybe not argue on TV, but considering how she is airing out family business for success, what’s worse between the two?

          • Ugh, you already know how I feel about Nova. I just don’t get her, its season 3, going on season 4 and I still have no idea what her character is about other than the fact that she is bisexual, she smokes weed, she is an activist, and that she likes to push people away despite those people have feelings for her. She did the doctor soooooo dirty. Her tantrum at the tv station was disgusting. Talking about RA being immature, she was immature at that moment. Selling the necklace the doctor gave her. After the married man, who has kids, finally left his wife for her, she curves him. Then doing God knows what with Remy, I’m so over it. All the bullshit she was pulling with Darla, standing on her high horse, please. THAT DAMN CHARGER!!! Only decent thing I have liked is the Nova/Micah friendship/relationship, but even that story line was muddy and messy. I know that this wasn’t much of a character analysis but more of rant, but like I said, I feel nothing for her character really. Your thoughts? Who’s next?

          • I feel that Nova’s purpose is stirring the pot. She is the one who calls out other people, while often leading us to avoid what she has going on. Hence her bringing up what RA did, coming after the doctor, going after Remy, and etc. Her main job seems to remind us about what other characters haven’t truly gotten past and really just have been suppressing. Which often makes her a hypocrite, yes, but let’s not forget the person she is closest to is Aunt Vi. Someone who may not have a selective memory but sure knows how to justify her actions when necessary.

            Leading to Aunt Vi. She’s next.

  3. Hey Amari, I know its been a while, and we didn’t discuss every episode of QS season 3 like we usually do, that’s mostly my fault, but after some time has passed, and bomb ass Greenleaf is now back I was thinking that we could discuss season 3 of QS in full now. You can go first.

    • It has only been a few weeks but I barely remember what happened.

      Um, let’s begin with Charley. I enjoyed she took down Sam but her becoming this show’s Olivia Pope, minus dodging Sam getting some, has me sort of iffy about the character. For while her battle with Sam was getting tired, I can’t say I necessarily want this to be the core of her story. I really would love for Charley to instead get into politics. She clearly has the knack for it. Also, it doesn’t have to be governor or something big. Mayor would be good enough for me.

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