Sometimes, living apart can make a family come together.
Let's hope that ends up being the case for Charley and Ralph Angel!
On Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 4, Ralph Angel's home seems to be shrinking. At least, it's no longer big enough to house Ralph Angel, Blue, Charley, and Micah.
Charley and Micah are used to a very different type of lifestyle living in the lap of luxury in Los Angeles. Sharing a tiny house on a farm with one's brother and his adorable yet somewhat eccentric son is a whole new world.
And while Charley is capable of rolling with the punches and adapting to her surroundings – something she manages to do in the face of every adversity that lands in her path – Micah is having a much harder time.
Charley: What do you see here?
Being arrested for doing nothing wrong didn't help. Not even having a room of his own to recover from a traumatic experience compounded the anxiety. And let's not forget everything his ex-girlfriend's family put him through before he left Los Angeles.
With all of that on his mind, it's no wonder Micah ended up lashing out at Blue, first over his missing binder and later when the boy appeared at his elbow unexpectedly.
My heart hurt for poor Blue as he sobbed frightfully near the wall after Micah accidentally flung him against it. He's so sweet; how can you not just want to kiss that little boy's boo-boos better?
Story's important. No one writes about social and criminal justice as in-depth as this paper does. As I do.Nova [to her editor]
But, I also had incredibly sympathy for Micah – especially after his fiery uncle nearly choked him in retribution.
I can relate to Micah's situation in some ways. I grew up with a mentally disabled sister who was always getting into my stuff, stealing my books and drawing in them and just generally being a pain. But at least I had my own room to hide in and close the door when I needed it.
Hollywood: What do I do now, just sit around waiting for stuff to break?
Vi: Some people call it relaxing. You should try it sometime. What, you don't know how? Here's how. You take your behind, and you put it on that seat out there, you put your feet up on that table, and you watch that TV.
For Micah to be subjected to Blue and his somewhat invasive shenanigans all the time is a lot. Charley and Ralph Angel aren't exactly getting along like a house on fire as they butt heads over how to run the farm.
So, it makes sense that Charley would be looking for a place to rent so that she and Micah could have a home of their own in Louisiana.
I thought that the conversation between Charley and Remy about her house hunt was the best part of the episode. It touched on an issue that seems to frequently come up when people of color are successful: is it your responsibility to stay in the community and lead or to climb the ladder and inspire by example?
My motto for the mill is another old saw -- time is money.Charley
One reason I loved this scene so much is that neither side of the debate was treated as though it was entirely in the wrong. Both Remy and Charley had good points about their duty to the community and the perception of others versus what one wants for oneself.
Charley believes she has earned the right to define success the way she chooses, and if that happens to be a way deemed too "white" by other people, then so be it.
May your life not be ordinary but filled with flavor, happiness, and substance. Like salt, it will preserve all that is good.Nova
Remy, on the other hand, thinks Charley should live more modestly and present a more relatable image of herself to the community.
Personally, I think that if Charley wants to reward herself for all of her hard work by living in a beautiful house, she should do so without worrying about what other people think. But as Remy points out, that's not reality.
The reality is the community was making bets about whether Charley would be willing to get her manicured hands dirty in the fields. Its farmers were unwilling to trust her and her newfangled equipment because, despite being Ernest's daughter, she isn't one of them.
What if he calls my bluff? I lose my paycheck and my platform.Nova
In the end, Charley not only acquiesced to Remy's arguments, but she also went a step further – she moved herself and Micah directly into the mill. This girl does not do anything halfway, that's for sure.
Hopefully, Charley and Ralph Angel will be able to get along better now that they are no longer under the same roof. However, that's only likely to happen if Ralph Angel continues to keep quiet about the revised will.
If this doesn't work I'm about to lose a million and a half dollars worth of cane.Charley [to Remy]
I was so glad that Ralph Angel showed the will to Vi; that secret was just growing too heavy for one person to carry on his shoulders even if those shoulders are as strong and sexy (swoon!) as Ralph Angel's.
I agree with Vi that no good will come from revealing the revised will, but come on, the secret is bound to be spilled some way or another eventually. Someone will find the letter, Ralph Angel will blurt out the secret in a fit of rage, Blue will use it for drawing paper, you name it.
I just don't think there is a single right way to approach this situation. And because this is Queen Sugar, one knows that it will only get more dramatic from here.
If you want to lead the people, you've got to show that you love the people. Fair or not, that's what's always been required of black role models.Remy [to Charley]
Possibly the most dramatic moment was when Darla got fired from her job at the parking garage after leaving to help Ralph Angel wash the cane because it was treated for a whitefly infestation.
As Darla tearfully reminded her boss, the stability of her job is one of the main things helping her get through recovery. As her boss so harshly but accurately pointed out, taking responsibility is also part of recovery. And leaving her post after he told her not to was irresponsible.
Now I know you're not a bougie bitch. That's a straight-up hood attitude, right there.Nova [to Charley]
I have a lot of problems with Darla and Ralph Angel's relationship, but the thing that really makes me angry is the way Ralph Angel glosses over Darla's problems and responsibilities as though they don't matter.
He belittles her recovery support group; he pushes back when she contributes financially despite that being as much of a point of pride for her as it is for him; he demands that she drop everything and come running when he asks, without stopping to consider what she might be doing.
Ralph Angel knew Darla was at work when he called about the cane, yet he called and asked anyway. I don't think that was fair of him. True, Darla could have refused to go, but she shouldn't have been given the option in the first place. Ralph Angel should have known better.
No matter what you think of me, Ra, I will always have your back.Charley [to Ralph Angel]
Now, an already fragile Darla has lost her source of income and stability. I don't want her to succumb to her addiction. It feels too easy, too predictable, too soap opera-like of a subplot. Like Ralph Angel, Queen Sugar can do better.
Nova had her own stuff going on, too. She has a new editor who wants her to focus on more positive stories. But, as usual, Nova's problems pale in comparison and in interest to the drama of Ralph Angel and Charley's lives.
What did you think of "My Soul's High Song"? Do you think Darla will relapse without a job to hold her down? Will Charley be able to survive "roughing it" at the mill? And how much longer will Ralph Angel be able to keep the revised will from his sisters?
Remember, you can satisfy your sweet tooth by watching Queen Sugar online via TV Fanatic.
Lee Jutton was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She went into retirement in July of 2017. Follow her on Twitter.