Finally, Ralph Angel and Charley began working together as a team on Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 3.
But it certainly didn’t look as though it was headed that way from the start.
Watching Charley wage wars on every front was exhausting for both the audience and Charley.
She wouldn’t give Ralph Angel an inch. Much like Ralph Angel’s idea about the refrigeration trucks in Queen Sugar Season 1, it was as though Charley was incapable of seeing the value in any strategy that wasn’t her own.
I was truly afraid that it would be her undoing.
Worse yet, she insisted on taking her fight with Davis to a new level of combativeness, but I’ll give her this much. She wasn’t wrong when she called Davis out on his past behavior during their marriage…
You weren't thinking about our son when you were messing around with those hookers, or when you publicly humiliated us.Charley
Obviously, Charley and Micah were far down on Davis’ list of concerns, before he got caught. And even afterward, it felt as though his career still took priority over his family.
But with Micah struggling after his arrest, Davis realizes that he needs to be there for his son and his case to Charley told us as much about her as it did about him…
Davis: Charley, you know my background, okay. I didn't have what you had. There was no father figure in my life, not until I met you and then Ernest became my father too, okay. And look, even though Ernest had Nova and Ralph Angel, even though he was with True and not Lorna, even though he lived in Louisiana and you were all the way in California, he was there for you while you grew up. You know why? He had access to you. He was allowed and without drama. That's one thing Lorna got right and you know it. I need that. I need that if I'm going to be what you say you want me to be for Micah.
Charley: You almost convinced me that you're sincere. I actually have to remind myself who you are every time you speak. I'm not sharing custody, and if Micah doesn't say he wants it, there's no way you're getting it. And don't ever compare yourself to my father again. You don't even deserve to be in the same sentence as him.
Davis: I know you signed my name to get your loan, Charley.
It’s only a matter of time before we meet Lorna and I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping it will shed some light on Charley’s issues with maintaining control over all aspects of her life.
Back to the argument over joint custody, Charley could have shown more grace, if not for herself or Davis, then definitely for Micah.
Davis: Just let me be in my son's life, Charley, or I swear, I'll tell the bank. See if you get your mill up and running in time without that money.
Charley: I may have forged your name, but you were the team pimp. You want to go to court? I’ll bring a new suit every day. Let's see who wins when it's all out in the open.
Charley’s assertion that Davis could only have joint custody if Micah specifically requested it put their son right in the middle of their fight, and the poor kid doesn’t deserve to be there. The parents need to be adults and work this out because Micah has enough to handle right now.
Surprisingly, it was Davis who showed more understanding when he let Charley’s loan go through without a fight and with no promise of custody. I still don’t trust the man, but I’ll give him credit for that moment of generosity because it would have been easy to take Charley’s bait and continue the fight.
In the end, it was good to see Charley give Micah the chance to have his father in his life, and that was in no small part due to Ralph Angel.
Charley had to actually see how good Ralph Angel was for his own son to understand the value of a second chance, but it took her a long time to get there.
The truth is that Charley has never known what it’s like to be truly desperate. She’s always had resources and options, so it was good to hear Ralph Angel try to explain what a sense of hopelessness and fear could drive a person to do in this Queen Sugar quote:
Charley: This is how we shame the Landrys, in public. Let everybody know what they're doing and let Landry and Jacob know they're going to be watched just like they're watching us.
Ralph Angel: You're right, but I…
Charley: Don't tell me you're falling this? I know a sob story when I hear one.
Ralph Angel: And I know what it feels like to have to look in your kid's face and say you can't do right by 'em. To need help and can't even think of where to get it from. It will make a man do bad things, Charley, believe me.
Charley: If somebody just came on to your land, to your home in the middle of the night, while your son was sleeping, to steal from you, and you just, you're just going to let him walk away?
Ralph Angel: I just think sometimes people deserve a second chance.
Second chances were all around.
Just when we thought that Hollywood’s homecoming would be short lived, he decided to quit the rig to be with Violet full time.
What kind of work can he find in St. Josephine? Does he have a plan beyond loving Vi?
I have no idea, and I’m sure there will be obstacles in their future, but things are always better with Vi and Hollywood together than apart.
And then there was Nova.
I had a love/hate relationship with the romance of Calvin and Nova. I thought they had amazing chemistry and I loved the actor, Greg Vaughan, who played Calvin, but Calvin was a married man and that always bugged me.
Even after he left his wife, I thought that jumping right back into a relationship with Nova happened way too soon. And the social aspect of the cop dating the activist, although intriguing, meant their lives would be filled with nothing but drama.
Just when I was mourning the loss of Calvin on my screen, in walked Dr. Robert Dubois and he challenged Nova in a way that no one else has.
Nova: It's not semantics. Saying it plain keeps us from normalizing genocide.
Robert: Respectfully, I think genocide is a bit much. Our Jewish, Rwandan, our Syrian brothers and sisters, they might beg to differ.
I think I could have listened to Nova and Robert debate at the Mass Incarceration symposium for the entire hour. Their conversation was intelligent, brave, and fascinating.
You're rescuing babies from burning buildings. I want to stop those buildings from being set on fire in the first place.Robert
Suddenly I can’t wait for Robert to show up in Louisiana to spar with Nova both personally and professionally. They could make a powerful team.
Coming back around to team Bordelon…
Nova may have been away but it was wonderful to see Ralph Angel and Charley realize how much stronger they are together.
Sam: Gal, we've been in the sugar cane business over a hundred years. You've been in it what, three months? Do you really think you can beat us at this game?
Charley: Boys, that's the question you should be asking yourself.
One of Charley’s most appealing traits is how she can stand toe to toe with anyone, no matter how big, no matter how powerful, and never flinch.
But this family must band together if they have any hope of fighting and surviving the wrath of the Boudreauxs and Landrys, because no one gives up 100 years of power and control without a war.
It’s just a matter of which side is going to go down swinging.
Check back later in the week for our Queen Sugar round table.
And if you missed a moment, you’ll want to watch Queen Sugar online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.