Queen Sugar Episode 8 Recap: A Storm's Comin'

Photo: Courtesy of OWN.
In Episode 8, a hurricane is coming to Southern Louisiana, and the writers of Queen Sugar do not tiptoe around the fact that this could be devastating to the Black communities in New Orleans and South LA that are still reeling from Katrina, more than a decade later. What's especially brilliant about this episode is that as the anticipation of the hurricane builds, so does the electricity of the story, right until the final scene.

Ralph Angel is getting ready to head over to Violet's house, which has been designated the family's storm safe house, when Blue's mom Darla shows up unexpectedly with a birthday gift. I shook my head here, because homegirl knew exactly what she was doing. She wanted to get stuck in the hurricane, forced to shack up with Blue and Ralph Angel, and I can't say I blame her; I wouldn't mind getting stuck with Ralph Angel in a storm, myself.

But we see Ralph Angel soften a little, and he invites Darla to come with them. Of course, when Violet sees her, she isn't happy. She's irked to have yet another unwelcome visitor, seeing as her estranged boyfriend Hollywood has also shown up uninvited to board up her windows.

Charley and Remy are back at the farm, preparing the house for the storm. She takes off her wedding ring as they get to work, and suddenly the rain hits. They run inside for shelter, and the chemistry is so dynamic, there might as well be physical sparks flying across the screen. But before they can kiss, a hurried Hollywood interrupts them on his way out the door. Damn it, Hollywood! But we still have hope, as Charley invites Remy to stay with the family at Violet's. Ah, sookie, sookie, now!

Once everyone arrives at Violet's house safely, Nova reveals that things are already pretty bad in the ninth ward, the same (mostly-Black) area that was hit hardest by Katrina. When Charley suggests that Nova just move out of the ninth, Nova snaps: "Everybody doesn't run from home and family just because shit gets tough." Damn, Nova. That was a low blow.

The tension between Nova and Charley only intensifies from here, especially as the showrunners make sure we get close-ups of the multiple glasses of alcohol each sister pours. We all know anger plus liquor is no bueno. When Nova offers that Micah stay with her during the week if he gets into the NOLA-based private school he's hoping for, Charley says she's not having it because Nova's lifestyle isn't exactly fit for a teenage boy. Uh oh.

"You live in the lower ninth. I'm not gonna put my son in a position to be killed, shot, or in need of a $10,000 bailout," Charley shouts. Goosebumps, here, both from the incredible acting, but also the realness of what Charley said. "I may be bougie," she adds, "but at least I'm not having an affair with a married man." Thunder claps. Hurricane Nova and Charley has arrived.

There's still one more confrontation to be had in episode 8: Violet and Hollywood. Hollywood walks in on Violet as she prepares for bed (In her scarf! Yas!), and Violet proceeds to compare Hollywood to her physically abusive ex-husband. "You never hit me, but you sure knocked the hell out of me," she tells Hollywood. He explains his side of things, saying that he simply decided to leave his past in the past. We see Violet's guard come down a little, but she walks away, still hurt.

In an episode of tense arguments, we do get a tender moment: Ralph watches over Darla as she tells Blue a bedtime story. It brings tears to his eyes, and gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, Darla can get it together long enough to actually be in Blue's life. (Maybe.) Violet warns Ralph about letting Darla back in, which Darla overhears. She pleads with Violet, tearfully thanking both her and Hollywood for everything they've done for her and Blue and explaining that she's been clean 18 months and wants to make amends. Violet walks away (again), but her body language tells us that like Ralph, she may have also softened to Darla a bit.

We end with everyone in the house sleeping quietly except for Charley, who is wrapping up the wedding rings she'd taken off earlier, tucking them away inside a drawer — a sign that in her mind, she's ready to move on. She then takes a lantern to Remy's room; he wastes no time making room for her in his bed. And then finally (finally!) the moment we've waited 8 episodes for: Charley and Remy kiss. Under a blanket, in a storm, lit by candlelight. This might be one of the most satisfying television kisses I've ever seen — so of course that's where this episode ends!

Will Remy and Charley do the do? Will Violet and Hollywood make up? Before we begin our week-long wait for answers, I'd like to shoutout the writers of this episode for bringing us two incredible moments of Blackness, the kind that remind us that not only is Queen Sugar damn good, but it was clearly made for us, by us.

Number one: For a family night that will potentially lack electricity, Hollywood shows up with three bottles of Hennessy and a deck of cards for Spades. No party at a Black household is complete without all of the above, so I appreciated that attention to detail.

Number two: When the family asks Nova how her trip through the storm was, she responds, "Let's just say a sista's happy to have locs. You know water is a black woman's kryptonite." Ha! Real talk, and one of the best lines of the season so far. Queen.
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