|Life is more complicated than ever for the Bordelon clan.|
Now award-winning Queen Sugar’s back. After the Winter (episode one directed by Kat Candler) and To Usward (episode two directed by Cheryl Dunye) provide graceful followup to continued commitment of offering television at finest authenticity. Stories are richly formed thanks to several components successfully operating together. Beautiful, focused camera lights dance around brown and black skin tones, singing harmonies in accentuating contrasts between radiance and shadows, illustrating tender portraits rarely seen. Shot exterior vignettes among succulent backdrops are as visually stunning as lush, colorful paintings hung in the walls of various interior settings. Meshell Ndegeocello's solid musical choices behind gorgeous scenes set appropriate tone for facets of emotional range. Lastly, the perfectly cast ensemble is a dream unlike any other, embodying exceptional notes of deeply manifested scripts that present the current world that we live in, especially complex histories of gritty American South.
|Nova (Rutina Wesley) wants women to support the community bail fund-- a source that helps young brothers who cannot afford the outlandish bail fees.|
Last season, Ralph Angel received news (a handwritten letter from Papa Bordelon) that he is the sole heir to the farm. He has kept this huge secret from his sisters and is focused on growing soybeans. Once again, he is clashing with headstrong Charley who still has trouble taking him seriously. Charley and Ralph Angel are each other's biggest obstacles when it comes to this significant inherited land. They each have ideas, but have yet to sit down together and have a civilized discussion. Both sides have valid support from the family and the local black farmers. Remy, especially, is an asset.
|Nova (Rutina Wesley), in an amazing "Unheard Voices of Louisiana" t-shirt, advocates for justice in her community.|
"These brothers and sisters find themselves caught up in a system meant to destroy them. Falling into an abyss that has swallowed too many of our people for too long. These police officers, they're trying to intimidate us. They want us to fear them. But we're not afraid. They want us to fade away, but we won't. They want to erase our humanity. To act as if we don't exist. But these black bodies are real. We cannot allow black bodies to be simply disposed of like trash."
|Charley (Dawn Lyen-Gardner) doesn't like to lose.|
Dawn Lyen-Gardner portrays Charley as a multifaceted character whose faulty ambition overrides greater good. Charley sees positive endgame of becoming a black woman sugar cane farmer. Before reaching goals, however, she sacrifices moral ethics and a burgeoning new relationship. She's not evil or vindictive, but she can come across as selfish. Her "needs" are the rights for her family. It is their right to own that property and see it thrive. Charley wants that. We want that for her too. Although her methods are at times eyebrow raising, Charley's inner struggles are tested. When she needs Davis' signature on a loan he didn't authorize (much less know about), there is a beat or two, a silence mirrored in Charley's thinking, a singular pause. She quickly scrawls his name and rests a hand on her chin, defiant in an empty room. In her eyes, rests a tiny flicker of regret.
|Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is holding strong as an ex-convict single father finding his purpose and retaining love.|
|Most precious family unit: Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), Blue (Young Artist Award winning Ethan Hutchison), and Darla (Bianca Lawson).|
|Micah (Nicholas Ashe) finds himself in a most horrific situation.|
To Usward relays aftermaths and consequences. Micah is withdrawn, bereft, robbed of security, left with broken shards that Charley sweeps underneath the rug. Ready to finally become divorced from Davis, she is pretending everything is fine, that she would come out victorious. When she finds out Micah wants to spend more time with Davis, which means rearranging custody, her calm demeanor flips the script, crashing into itty bitty pieces. Interestingly enough, she leaves a message for her mother and turns to Remy. In a poignant outburst of pain, Remy reveals that it is the anniversary of his wife's death.
|Hollywood (Omar Dorsey) and Violet (Tina Lifford) have much to overcome.|
In a shocking twist, Nova has had relations with a tantalizing black barber, but of course, it "was just for fun." Heck, she even flinches away from him. Hopefully, this is building blocks for new territory, an awakened sensory for a woman who campaigns for brothers, but not necessarily forms any other kind of other intimacy with them.
The auntie/nephew hug was a beautiful tear jerker alongside that wonderful song.
What is next for Charley and Micah now that Davis will have a bigger role in his son's life? How will these flawed couples (Ralph Angel/Darla and Hollywood/Vi) strive in the midst of family turmoil? Will Charley and Remy stay professional? Will Nova let someone in? Or has Calvin ruined her heart for other men? Most importantly, will the farming succeed? Only time will tell.
Queen Sugar is telling intriguing narratives that we need to see. As the talented writers and directors keep venturing down the road to the healing of the Bordelons' clan, we are holding on tightly, treasuring each part (good and bad) of the gold paved journey.