No one can say that Queen Sugar doesn't know how to get to its characters' core. The series doesn't shy away from exploring their heart or their flaws, and that's what we saw with Charley Bordelon on Queen Sugar Season 5 Episode 4.
Many fans have criticized Charley's relationship with Micah; she's too controlling and doesn't treat him like the adult he's become.
Some of that may be true, but there's another side to that story, and it was advantageous that viewers and Micah got to hear it.
Charley was a college student when she got pregnant. It's unclear to me whether she and Davis were dating or already married at the time, but either way, it was clearly Charley who took the flack for the unplanned pregnancy.
And it was Charley who took control, making sure the college put them into graduate housing so that she could continue her studies and get her degree.
Micah was shocked to learn that there were people who tried to shame his mother for getting pregnant. It's not difficult to imagine how her peers would have viewed a young woman dating a rising basketball star.
Telling her family wasn't any easier.
Charley: Telling Daddy was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Micah: What did he say?
Charley: Not much. He listened, and then he said, "You are my amazing daughter. I was proud of you yesterday. I'm proud of you today, and I'm sure you'll make me proud tomorrow."
Micah: Yeah, that sounds like Grandad. I miss him.
Charley: Me too.
Charley worked her tail off to be a success because she didn't want to fail herself, her family, or Micah, and in some ways, she's never let up. She's never allowed herself to enjoy all that she's achieved.
Charley: I don't want to fail you.
Micah: You didn't. Thank you.
But her marriage to Davis and his years of betrayal and infidelity had left Charley with emotional scars, which became clear when she lashed out at Micah.
In Charley's defense, she wasn't purposefully spying on Micah; she picked up the phone to hand it to him and saw the text.
And despite the pandemic, it sounded as though Micah was considering going to the party to see his new girl.
We're living in the most dangerous time in this country in a hundred years, and you decide to put me and you at risk for some rebound girl. For sex! Like father, like son.Charley
"Like father, like son" was a horrible thing to say, but I will admit that I could imagine thinking it if I were in Charley's shoes. Micah hasn't exactly had the best male role model for being a responsible adult who considers the consequences of his actions.
Charley felt horrible the moment the words left her mouth, and her apology to Micah was sincere.
I was wrong in every way in that exchange. Can you forgive me?Charley
Charley's atonement and Micah's acceptance of it were proof of how much these two have grown.
Both Charley and Micah have reached a new level of maturity. Charley can now look back and see that happiness doesn't necessarily come from money or success and that it's important to appreciate this time with her son.
Micah could have chosen to stay in his room talking to his friends, but instead, he was helping his mother do tedious research to combat Parker and the Landrys. They've both come a long way.
Elsewhere, Nova was thrown for a loop when Calvin asked if his college-age daughter, Courtney, could move in with them.
Look, I can't say no to your kid. I'm not comfortable with it, but I'm not going to say no to your children.Nova
Nova's answer was the only appropriate one to give. The last thing she wants is to wedge between Calvin and his kids; that will be a death knell to this relationship.
It's appalling to think that someone would use their child to wreck their ex's new relationship, but it happens, and Nova was worried. Given Hailey's tirade and Calvin's son's reaction upon meeting Nova, she certainly had a reason for concern.
Nova's harsh reaction to Calvin's assurances showed just how on edge she was about Courtney.
Calvin: I'm a little embarrassed to say I don't know what she's into these days, but I'm eager to find out. I know she's going to love you.
Nova: That's nice of you to say, but no offense, we're not even sure she loves you.
Courtney couldn't have been happier to see her father and meet Nova.
Maybe that's because she hasn't gotten along with her mother in years. Perhaps she was sincere when she shared how nice it was to see her father happy finally.
Even taking all of that into account, I still feel uneasy about Courtney, and I can't quite put my finger on why.
Despite all of the other drama, Hollywood experienced the first major loss due to Covid-19 when his mother died.
That Willa Mae died alone in the hospital while her son spent days sitting outside in the parking lot praying for her was tragic. It was also all too reminiscent of what so many have gone through in this country over the last year.
Hollywood, a man who cares so openly for those he loves, wasn't allowed to sit by his mother's bedside and say goodbye. He didn't even have Violet by his side to offer him comfort.
He had to endure the loss alone and probably even now may have to quarantine before he goes back home.
That Violet invited Prosper to stay with her and Hollywood seemed like a positive step. With Prosper's age and Violet having Lupus, they are probably at equal risk, so they can quarantine together, avoid some of the loneliness, and be there as Hollywood mourns his mother.
Out on the farm, Darla was beginning to feel isolated after losing her job and trying to keep up with Blue's school work.
Some kids were falling behind, the work was too easy for Blue, and Darla had to combat his boredom.
Listening to Blue teach his parents about how body temperature can change, it was easy to picture a future where Dr. Blue Bordelon exists.
What made me the most nervous was Darla saying that she missed her Narcotics Anonymous meeting. I hope she doesn't backslide due to the stress of the pandemic.
Hopefully, Ralph Angel's decision to choose to be happy will rub off on everyone. Even with the farm shut down and working as a janitor, he knows how much he has to be thankful.
And he's taken that attitude and made things better for the people he meets at the care facility.
Ralph Angel reminds me of what Mr. Fred Rogers said. His mother would tell him that when he saw something scary to look for the helpers.
Ralph Angel has become a helper, someone willing to go out of their way to make things better for their neighbors.
And he and Darla aren't willing to wait to be happy. They're going to get married now.
Will that mean just the two of them and Blue at the ceremony? Can they even get someone to marry them during the pandemic? We'll find out soon.
So tell me, TV Fanatics...
- Am I right to be worried about Courtney, or am I paranoid?
- Is Calvin naive about the challenges he and Nova will face in the real world?
- Was this a huge milestone for Charley and Micah's relationship?
- Would you like to see Micah and Charley become partners in future projects?
- Will you be satisfied with a small, intimate wedding for Ralph Angel and Darla?
- And will we lose other characters to Covid-19, and if so, who?
Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below and tell us what you thought of this installment of Queen Sugar. Then check back for our review of Queen Sugar Season 5 Episode 5!
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.