First scene, and immediately this episode (the final one before the series break! Wah!) gave me all types of fuzzy feelings. Nova did indeed go to Atlanta, and as she's coming down the airport escalator, there's Dubois, standing amongst a bunch of drivers holding up name signs. Except his reads: QUEEN. Yas! Mad points for Dubois!
Ralph Angel calls his Aunt Violet asking if she's spoken to Charley, because he needs some money until he figures out what's going to happen next with the farm. Violet politely reminds him that he basically gave his sisters the middle finger when they suggested that this might happen, and tells him that she's done playing the middle man. I clapped for her here — finally! After Ralph hangs up the phone, Blue asks his dad why his mom doesn't hang out with them as a family anymore, asking if he's done something wrong. Later in the episode, Darla sits down with Blue to explain why she hasn't been around as much: She used to be sick, so she has to keep herself on a very strict schedule in order to keep herself healthy now. I was impressed by this answer; it was a really smart way of addressing her addiction with a child. Props to Queen Sugar for always dealing with this issue delicately — and beautifully.
Over at Charley's house, she tells Micah that instead of revealing her and his father's divorce in her Gallant Magazine interview, they've decided to wait and release a joint statement together. She then heads to her office — rocking her hair naturally curly, by the way, a sign that a new Charley is really here — where she sees Darla, who asks if they're okay. Charley admits that it's going to be hard to trust Darla knowing that she knew about Ralph and the letter, and Darla tells her that it wasn't her truth to tell. But she plans to still do her best work for Charley.
Charley then meets with the Black farmers that work with the mill; Remy organized the meeting after many of them expressed feeling skeptical about Charley's intentions after she talked about needing to find herself in her Gallant interview. She clarifies that she opened the mill because she finally found the pride that she'd never before let herself have in St. Josephine's as a kid, because it never felt like hers. Now, it is a part of her — home. Proctor adds that he believes Charley has been called to do this work, and that seems to satisfy the farmers. They say a prayer for this new start, and it looks like the Queen Sugar Mill is finally off to the positive start it needs.
As the farmers leave the High Yellow, a glass breaks, and we see Hollywood and Charley running to Aunt Violet's side. She's on the ground; did she pass out? Or something worse? She doesn't want to go to the hospital, of course. She says the only thing that's wrong with her is the Bordelon kids always stressing her out. Sigh. This is the first time we're really reminded of Violet's age and how all of the stress of this family situation could be affecting her. It makes me want to shake Charley, Ralph, and Nova and tell them to all get their shit together.
Over in Atlanta, Dubois takes Nova as his date to a fancy-schmancy mansion party full of...how do I put this delicately? Well, I'll be straight up with y'all: A whole bunch of rich looking white folk. Tensions are high immediately as Nova meets Tim, a writer whose work she very clearly often disagrees with. At dinner, he begins to talk about eliminating either illegal immigration or overpopulation in New Orleans' poor ninth ward, because the country can't afford to support both. Yikes. Before he even finishes talking, I already know Nova is going to come for his entire life. "People like you with power talking in rooms like this with hors d'oeuvres is how the world gets carved into little pieces, isn't it?" she says. Mic. Drop. But it annoyed me that as Nova read Mr. Tim for his life, Dubois just sat there quietly. And clearly, Nova was annoyed too, and she tells him so when they get alone. But Dubois says he won't apologize for "playing the game" when he has to. He also tells her that a CNN producer at the party wants to have her on the show and encourages her to consider the opportunity, and Nova is outraged that he would even suggest that.
She then heads back to her Aunt Violet's house, telling her about what went down with Dubois. But Violet being Violet (aka, full of amazing wisdom) warns Nova not to fall into her typical pattern of finding one thing wrong with someone and giving up on them entirely. "When you find something good in this world, you best hold on — with love, not desperation," Violet tells her. "Tomorrow ain't promised to none of us." YAS. I wish I could put a mini Aunt Violet in my phone to share advice with me when I have bad days.
Later that night, Dubois comes by Nova's house unexpectedly to tell her that their whole argument inspired him to come up with an idea: To use Tim's own writing against him and create a plan that will help those in need in the ninth ward. Nova tells him he didn't have to come all the way to Louisiana to tell her this, and Dubois is all uh, yes I did, then he plops her behind on top of her counter, scarf and all. FINALLY! I have been waiting for this! I can't wait to see what's next for these two.
Over near Micah's school, we finally see his girlfriend Keke for the first time in awhile, along with a friend of hers. They meet up near his school, where they see a few young Black boys being arrested nearby. The trio decides to stick around and watch to make sure everything is handled properly. As everything's going down, one of Micah's white classmates walks over to invite him to the movies, but Micah is clearly distracted. He has bigger things on his mind — as most Black high schoolers do. Message.
Meanwhile, Ol Fuckb — oops, I mean, Davis, is having a drink with Judith Tamar. Remember her? The singer he had his eye on at the Habitat for Humanity event? The one who looks like Tamera Mowry Lite? Looks like these two are on a date. Interesting. I guess Davis deserves a fresh start, too, but I'm having a hard time forgiving him (and Charley clearly still is, too). So when Micah calls to ask if he can bring Keke by the house, Davis agrees, but tells Micah he won't be home until later because he's in a "marketing meeting." Then on the way home, Micah and Keke walk by the window of a restaurant...that happens to be the restaurant where Davis is sitting with Tamar. Holding her hands. Micah confronts his dad, calls him a liar, then walks out warning Tamar that he'll lie to her, too. Hate to say it (well, not really) but he's probably right.
Back at home, Micah's got major attitude with his Dad, and when he quips "What are you, father knows best now?" Davis says maybe, but he's all he's got. I suppose Davis has got a point in that no matter what, he still deserves respect. (And I probably would've gotten smacked for speaking to my father like that). But Micah reminds Davis that everything that's happened is because of his father's actions — including him getting arrested, because he was driving the fancy car his dad gave him. Davis isn't buying it, and asks Micah what really happened to him the night he got arrested. Micah admits through tears that the cop kept saying he had issues with "niggers who grew up with spoons in their mouths," and then drove him into an alleyway and put a gun in his mouth – and pulled the trigger. This scene was really, truly so heartbreaking, made even more moving by some outstanding acting from Nicholas Ashe. I'm so glad we got more of him this season, especially to take on the tough but all-too-real topic of police brutality against young Black men that's happening in our country every. single. day.
Toward the end of the episode, Charley asks Remy to stop by, saying she can sense he's been distant with her. He admits he didn't like the fact that she left her divorce out of the Gallant Magazine article (that thing sure is causing a lot of trouble, huh?), and she reassures him that she does still want to be with him — when the time is right. With some tears and lip quivering, she finally breaks Remy down, and he kisses her. Here's hoping the love story between these two will blossom some more in the second half of this season, because I'm kind of over this will-they-or-won't-they. Yes, Remy, she's technically still married, but just on paper! Claim that love, boo!
At Darla's two-year sobriety celebration, Ralph Angel meets her sponsor. Privately, she tells him that she hopes he's really truly able to support her on her journey to sobriety, because it will never end. Charley showed up to support Darla, too, and while Darla's taking pictures, she and Ralph are forced to actually speak to one another. He asks if he's still on the mill's payroll, and Charley tells him of course; at the end of the day, that's her brother. Phew. They may not be back to normal, but at least these two are still able to conduct business together.
Back at the house after the ceremony, while Darla puts Blue to bed, Ralph Angel sets up some flowers and candles. Okay, RA! I see you! But just when we think it's just a sweet romantic gesture to congratulate her on her two years of sobriety, Ralph shocks us by bringing on the waterworks, getting down on one knee, and proposing with a gold ring. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but could that be the same ring Nova found in Ernest's box last week?) Darla hesitates, and I was so nervous she might say no, but then she says yes with a sweet kiss, and I basically melt, and ohnodamnitthatstheend.
REALLY QUEEN SUGAR?! Y'all are just gonna spring a surprise engagement on us and then end the season for awhile? All in the name of suspense, I suppose. So guess that's all for now. I'll keep y'all posted when I have official news on when Queen Sugar will be returning. Until then: Stay sweet, QS lovers. And when times get tough, remember: You can always hit up Ralph aka Kofi's Instagram. I heard from a friend that this is a great way to cope. Not that I know personally. I swear!