A blank slate.
Many characters on Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 5 were contemplating how to start over and what they wanted from their lives, as though they were given a blank slate from which to begin again.
Much like a writer staring at a blank page with a blinking cursor or a painter sitting in front of an empty canvas, simply picking a direction and getting started can feel incredibly daunting.
Even ever confident Nova balked at moving forward with the handsome, thoughtful, intelligent Dr. Robert Dubois.
I hope I'm not being too forward, but I like you, Nova.Robert
When Nova left him sitting at the table after he put his feelings out there, I just wanted to go hug him. Being honest and saying what you feel takes guts, and watching Nova walk away without any acknowledgement of what he’d said had to sting.
Especially after the two had spent the day together.
Nova: Do you know they actually have bus tours rolling through here now? Four or five times a week. Bunch of curious folk pay like $45 a pop to come by and look, then go back to their regularly scheduled lives. That's why I carry this city with me, always. I never want to forget what happened here.
Robert: I know how much strength that takes; I couldn't do it.
I love how Queen Sugar manages to weave a social message and important information into its characters' stories.
I’ll admit, I live far from New Orleans and the Gulf coast, and I had no idea that that many people had died due to Hurricane Katrina.
Whether I’d missed the numbers due to lack of proximity or I'd heard them but forgotten because, as Nova put it, they weren't a part of my “regularly scheduled” life, I don’t know, but seeing over 1,600 dead painted on that sign definitely caught my attention.
The discussion was made all the more poignant because Nova was having it with Robert. He brings a quietness to their conversations that draws me in and keeps me listening.
I don’t know where Nova Bordelon’s story goes from here, but I’ll be happy if Dr. Robert Dubois continues to be a part of it.
Elsewhere, Micah blew off his therapy session, which seemed pretty realistic for a teenager, even one as good as Micah.
I was somewhat impressed with how Davis got his son to open up about what had happened the night he was arrested. He offered to answer some difficult questions himself…
I just think something's wrong with me. You know as long as I could put a ball over that rim, everybody gave me what I wanted, when I wanted it, and I got used to that. But I'm trying to be somebody else now and it's hard. I had a lot of years practicing being me, you know.Davis
Is Davis West redeemable? I don’t know. As far as being Charley’s husband, I’d say no; too much damage has been done, but I still believe he can be a good father to Micah.
Charley was doing her best for Micah as well, and even though he didn’t show up for therapy, Charley’s discussion with the therapist may just end up helping them both.
Every week, I wait for Charley’s mother to show up. It’s bound to happen eventually and she will, no doubt, bring her own drama.
What will Charley’s mother think of her running a sugar mill? Or her divorcing Davis? What will she think of Remy? And it doesn’t sound like she’ll get a particularly warm welcome from the rest of the Bordelons…
Nova: Micah is a beautiful person and you made him that way.
Charley: And then I dragged him across the country, never took the time to figure out if it was what was best for him. Now he's not the same.
Nova: You're having growing pains. You all have just got to lean on one another.
Charley: Remember when we used to play piano?
Nova: I remember you banging on some keys.
Charley: No, I was good. I was. I practiced every day for years, but then when I had to play recitals I couldn't do it. My hands would shake so badly. Then one day I just stopped playing right in the middle of it. Got up, left the auditorium and my mother suggested that I find a new activity. We never talked about it again.
Nova: Charley, I say this out of love, but your momma made you a control freak. She did, but you have a blank slate with yourself and with Micah. Color it how you want.
Charley: You make it sound so easy.
Nova: It ain't easy, ever.
Charley: Well your slate is blank now too, and I am not the only control freak in this family, this I know.
Nova: You must be talking about Aunt Vi.
Speaking of Aunt Vi, thank goodness she has Hollywood.
Perhaps it’s something about the way Vi was raised, because her default setting is to put others’ needs before her own and second guess anything that’s just for her.
Maybe that’s why she was devastated by one day of failure in her new pie baking venture; since she wanted it for herself, they’re seemed to be a little voice inside telling her she was meant to fail.
And that’s when Hollywood rousted her out of bed and delivered my favorite Queen Sugar quote…
It was one day. One very hard, bad day but you don't need to let it turn to two.Hollywood
Finally, Darla had one of her hardest days, and Blue suffered for it.
Darla: I thought that Blue needed Kenya for when I wasn't good, but now I am and he still wants her.
Ralph Angel: That's what you thought? You and Kenya ain't got nothing to do with each other.
Darla: The one thing that I am good at is being his mother, even if everything else is upside down, but yesterday was a really long day, and I…
Ralph Angel: Darla…
Darla: I started blaming Kenya and I just…
Ralph Angel: Darla, he knows you his mom. You know that?
Throwing Kenya away was wrong, but I still ached for Darla. She’s searching for her place and her purpose. She’s trying to be a good mother, a good partner to Ralph Angel, and she’s struggling to stay clean.
The most surprising moment of this story was when Ralph Angel met his old high school friend while dumpster diving for Kenya.
On a side note, I couldn’t understand why Ralph Angel didn’t immediately tell the police that he was searching for his son’s lost toy. Maybe the police wouldn’t have believed him. Maybe they wouldn’t have cared, but if either of them were a parent, they just might have understood.
But back to his conversation with Antwon, formerly Antoinette.
I can’t even imagine the stress of trying to hide such a huge part of yourself and your past from your friends and colleagues. To live with that fear of what might happen if you’re outed must take a toll on someone both mentally and physically.
Ralph Angel’s only concern was for his son. No matter who Blue is or turns out to be, his father will support him no matter what. No matter what mistakes Ralph Angel has made or will make, that’s an amazing gift to give his son.
The only question I have now is why Darla working for Charley seemed to upset Ralph Angel so much, but I suppose we’ll learn more about that on Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 6.
If you’re as addicted to the Bordelons as I am, then you’ll want to watch Queen Sugar online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.