Sometimes when to deliver news is as important as the news itself.
Ralph Angel’s decision to tell his siblings that their father chose only him to run the family farm during the memorial dinner was perhaps the worst timing possible.
At the start of Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 6, I didn’t know if Ralph Angel was going to spring that news on his sisters, but there was something about the quietness of this installment that gave me a sense of foreboding.
At every turn I worried that some type of disaster was going to strike, and finally it did.
The opening of the Queen Sugar mill was going a little too perfectly and Sam Landry’s flowers were certainly a bad omen.
This day meant so much to Charley that when the least little thing went wrong, she snapped.
Micah: Is she okay? She just lost it.
Nova: This isn't just another business project for her. This is about you, and your grandpa, the farm, all of us. She put her heart in it, and you know your Mama. Failure is not an option. Well, she did it. The first black woman to own a mill in the state of Louisiana.
I love how proud Nova was of her sister. I don’t think Micah or Ralph Angel really understood what it meant to be the first black woman to own such a business, especially when the white men who have monopolized the industry have fought so hard to keep her out.
But for Charley, this meant even more and it was definitely personal…
Charley: Everything was supposed to be perfect for Daddy. You know how he didn't like to ask for help, but he did. The last time I talked to Daddy he asked me to come and I didn't come.
Nova: You were dealing with your own life crisis with Davis.
Charley: I was so stuck in the middle of his mess that I didn't even get to say goodbye to my own father.
Nova: You didn't know.
Charley: I thought if I could just put together this mill then maybe I could just, I could make it right.
Nova: I don't remember the last time Daddy and I spoke. When I got there he couldn't talk no more.
Most people harbor regrets when someone close to them dies. The things said or left unsaid. The missed opportunities.
Charley and Nova were no different but knowing that they were continuing their father’s legacy with the farm had given them a way to keep Ernest memory alive and feel closer to him.
Ralph Angel, effectively just took that away from them.
From their point of view, it must feel as though their father cut them out. How are they supposed to process the fact that the farm meant everything to their father, and he choose to only leave it to his son?
When Ernest died, Ralph Angel was still floundering, so he probably meant the farm to be a lifeline to his lost, wayward son and grandson because it was clear that Charley and Nova could take care of them selves.
But as there weren’t any letters to Charley or Nova explaining what Ernest was thinking, for the Bordelon sisters it must feel like a betrayal, made all the worse by the turmoil and hard work that it’s taken to keep the farm afloat.
Charley: I uprooted my life, my son, all because of a lie? And now with the mill, do you have an idea what I did to get that mill?
Ralph Angel: You act like I knew from the start, Charley, but I didn't.
Charley: But you were more than happy to use my money.
Ralph Angel: You see, there she goes.
Charley: Don't turn this around, you were using me.
Ralph Angel: I wasn't using you.
Darla: That's not fair. That's not what he's been doing.
Charley: You knew about this too?
Hollywood: It's best we stay out of this.
Nova: Daddy cleaning floors and scrubbing toilets to keep your son in clothes and food.
Nova: He was working as a janitor before he died.
Charley: What are you talking about?
Nova: I found out yesterday. I didn't tell you because I didn't want to rain on your day. He worked himself into the ground. Gave up farming to clean up after other folk, for you, Ralph Angel.
Ralph Angel: So you all just going to put this on me? You were living large in LA, and Nova, you was only 20 miles away, but you hardly ever passed by.
Nova: How would you know! Most of those years you weren't here neither.
Ralph Angel: Yeah, you fighting for every brother in prison except your own.
Nova: You're the one who put yourself in prison.
Charley: You can't blame Nova.
Ralph Angel: I know you all ashamed of me. The truth is out now. I'm trying to make this right.
I have no doubt that Ralph Angel believed he was trying to make things right, but in reality he made them so much worse.
The Bordelons are strongest when they’re working together. This news will only tear them apart, unless Aunt Vi can somehow get them to sit down, calm down, and come to an understanding.
I love Ralph Angel, but we’ve seen how he can make poor decisions when under stress. A prime example was when he robbed that convenience store in Queen Sugar Season 1 Episode 1, while leaving Blue alone at the park.
Will that fateful day come back to haunt him? Possibly, if the cashier calls the police and there’s video footage of Ralph Angel’s face.
And it was good to see the issues between Nova and Ralph Angel being addressed. She spends her life fighting to help black men who are incarcerated but never went to visit her own brother while he was in prison.
Was that because she believed he deserved to be there? Was she ashamed of Ralph Angel, as he believes.
Everyone has a stake in how this plays out. As much as Ralph Angel belittles Charley for bringing up the money, she uprooted her family and sunk millions of dollars into the farm and the mill because she thought it was what her Daddy wanted.
Now she’s left wondering if she made those decisions based on false information, and if her own brother took advantage.
Charley’s facing other problems too, as she scrambles to keep her divorce from Davis quiet until it’s finalized. I don’t blame her for that as a media storm can only slow things down and make them more complicated.
I didn’t trust that reporter, Ben, from the moment he walked in. He was way more interested in Charley and Davis’ relationship than he was about the mill, but I suppose that’s what sells magazines.
I think Charley made a good compromise offering him an exclusive on the divorce if he focuses this article on the mill. The story will come out eventually, hopefully this way she’ll be able to control the narrative.
And we all know how much Charley needs to be in control.
One of my favorite interactions came between Charley and Darla in this Queen Sugar quote…
Darla: Today was good.
Charley: I don't know. That choke threw me off. I really lost it.
Darla: Everyone does sometimes. It's okay.
Charley: You haven't met my mother.
Darla: You haven't met my dad.
It’s good to see Charley and Darla working together and boosting one another up. I hope this debacle over the will doesn’t derail that.
And once again we heard about Charley’s mother. It’s only a matter of time before she sweeps into St. Josephine and makes Charley’s life even more complicated.
I can’t wait.
Check back next week for my review of Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 7, and if you want more, you can watch Queen Sugar online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.