My initial reaction after the season premiere of Queen Sugar…….to see Nova dragged through the dirty swamp her and Remy kissed at. I wanted to see Chantal, her former lover expose Nova’s hypocrisy on the radio and interview Calvin, Nova’s ex-boyfriend.
During the season trailer, it showed a younger Nova backing away from a man in a field at night. I hope the writers show flashbacks of True Bordelon, Nova and Ralph Angel’s mother. None of the characters mentioned how True died throughout the series. It’s clear True’s death is a sore subject too painful for the family to discuss. However, I think it plays a part in Nova’s unaddressed trauma.
Remember the episode when the siblings argued about Ernest’s will? Nova spazzed out. She verbally attacked Ralph Angel and projected her feelings of being overlooked by Ernest during their childhood onto her brother. Prior to storming out Aunt Vi’s house, Nova retreated to a bedroom, opened a box and retrieved a picture of her adolescent self standing next to True. After a conversation with Aunt Vi, she boards a plane to Atlanta and meets Dr. DuBois. She never dealt with whatever feelings she had.
Over the course of Queen Sugar’s three seasons, all siblings except Nova have had a major transformation. Ralph Angel has become more mentally and emotionally mature. He’s helping parolees, consistently tending to his family’s land, and providing a successful co-parenting environment for Blue. Despite the attacks on his character by Darla’s mother, Ralph Angel handled Blue’s custody battle with Darla and Darlene graciously. Most importantly, he continues to love Blue as his biological son.
Charley has also undergone a major transformation. Initially, she migrated from Los Angeles to St. Josephine to revive her father’s sugar cane business in the wake of Ernest’s untimely death. However, Charley has proven her commitment to the economic empowerment of black farmers and the celebration of local black-owned businesses. Charley has used her sharp business acumen to uplift St. Josephine’s black community. She has built a new life for herself – it’s no longer about money, power and image but change within St. Josephine’s sugar cane business landscape, advocating for the rights of African-Americans and fighting against St. Josephine’s racist law enforcement and economic system controlled by the Landrys and Boudreaus.
Unfortunately, Nova has not changed. Viewers have not seen the protagonist-turned-antagonist fully process being spat in the face. We have seen Nova repeatedly assault Charley and Ralph Angel verbally with little apology and soft, empathetic and compassionate talks from Aunt Vi. Once again, we watched her disrespect Charley by dating Remy. Consequently, she dealt with Charley’s physical and emotional distance from her briefly. Overall, Nova has never truly experienced the consequences of her actions. This season, I predict she will.
Dawn-Lyen Gardner aka Charley Bordelon said during a 2016 SAG-AFTRA conversation, “Her [Charley] life has to crumble to make contact with herself.”
I believe the same for Nova. I believe ostracizing herself from the family unintentionally will force Nova to confront her trauma. I believe this is a good thing. Nova’s passion for change and uplifting her community is evident. It’s one of the reasons viewers love her character. However, I do not think Nova can be the true agent of change she desires until she heals from her trauma.
Writers, Please Address Darla is a Sexual Assault Survivor
I understand why some people view Darla as trifling due to her drug addiction, prostitution, child negligence, and hiding her uncertainty regarding Blue’s paternity. But Darla deserves respect. During the episode when her parents visit, she stated, “It just kept happening,” when describing to her mother what happened to her in DC years ago. I think she was repeatedly raped thus not knowing Blue’s biological father. I believe Darla continued her drug addiction to cope. Darla has been drug-free for over two years, maintains a stable job, present in Blue’s life and successfully co-parenting with Ralph Angel. Therefore, I suggest viewers identify Darla as a survivor and a changed woman.
No Character Better Not Die
I don’t believe the writers will because the series is family-driven and demonstrates the intersection of their individual journeys. Though Aunt Vi has lupus, she’s the anchor. It is unlikely the writers will kill Micah. It would ruin Charley beyond repair and the show would be over. Ralph Angel just got off parole. If Ralph Angel gets involved in illegal activity or an arrest resulting in his death, Queen Sugar’s direction would become adjacent to Good Times. When Thelma’s fiancé Keith was drafted to the NFL, Thelma and the Evans clan were excited to finally get out of the ghetto. As the happy newlyweds walk down the aisle, his ass tumbles thanks to JJ. Consequently, Keith’s NFL career ended before it started. If that wasn’t one of the series’ most depressing episodes, I don’t know what is.
Let me know what you think below.