5 Sweet Lessons in ‘Queen Sugar’ Season 2, Episode 4



By Sharee Silerio

I look forward to “Queen Sugar” every week, especially its wisdom, authenticity and relatable depictions of work, relationships, romance, family, hurt and healing.

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In this episode, like many of the others, Charley and Ralph Angel butt heads – this time over Micah accidentally pushing Blue – but we also get to see them make up, in their shortest conflict so far.

What’s refreshing in the fourth episode, titled “My Soul’s High Song”; is the real, raw love Hollywood and Aunt Vi have for each other. We also get to see Charley’s business savvy in action, while Nova contemplates her next career move.

Once again, “Queen Sugar” surprises, encourages, teaches and keeps us wanting more.

Here is this week’s “Reel Noire” recap, on the sweet lessons that stood out in Wednesday night’s episode:

1. Working is just as important as relaxing. Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to do for the sake of doing. Take care of yourself and rest, so you can live life fully.

Hollywood completes his “honey-do” list when he asks Violet if anything else needs to be done. She’s tells him that he’s completed all of the tasks and should sit on the couch, watch television, grab a beer and wait for her to get home from work so they can do the things couples do. It is clear that this will be difficult for him, based on the look on his face, but it’s his only option.



2. To be a boss, you must have a vision, and you need to know your business inside and out.

Charley and Remy are at the sugar mill with the black farmers collective, and Charley is offering an update on construction plans, equipment and expectations for performance. During the conversation, it’s clear that she has done her research as she’s speaking the farmer’s language with the technical terms she uses along with her descriptions of what’s going to happen. Her presentation was impressive, and a farmer or two even signed contracts to commit to using the Queen Sugar mill for harvest.



3. Don’t forget to see the beauty beyond the world’s brokenness. In the fight for racial justice, dignity, equality, and truth, always make room to acknowledge the good that exists. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the negative, so make sure you allow yourself to see the positive.

Nova has a new editor at the newspaper, and he wants her to find more positive stories so viewers don’t go elsewhere for good news. She tells him that she does some of the most in depth social and criminal justice reporting in the area, and he says that she does great work, but he wants her to “cast her net a little wider” and help them balance the coverage. She responds by saying that it’s difficult to find the good things because “a lot is broken” in New Orleans. He says that not everything is broken, and he wants her to profile success stories, because they’re currently only writing about “problems, not solutions.” She tries to go in a different direction by interviewing an official from the local District Attorney’s office, but hits a dead end when the interviewee doesn’t trust her motives and halts the interview.



4. Become one with the people you want to lead. Don’t forget who you really are – human.

Charley is looking for a new place for her and Micah to live, preferably one that will remind them of home. After her and Remy’s tour of a luxurious spot, they go to the High Yellow for lunch, where they discuss the property. Remy starts with how living in the home, which is near the Landrys, will impact the farmers’ perception of her, and the implications of “black success” looking or not looking like “white success”. Remy tells her that if she wants to lead the black farmers and gain their trust and respect, then she should live and invest in the neighborhood where the mill is located, especially since her purpose for the mill is to uplift the community.



5. You’re never too old to dream!

Aunt Vi and Hollywood are getting ready for bed when Hollywood says that he enjoyed helping on the farm and that he’s going to look for another job. She tells him that he’s just restless and shouldn’t rush into anything. He adds that he likes working and Vi says that she does too.

Auntie then dropped some gems, saying, “They got us thinking that we supposed to work until we die. Then if we don’t, we the problem. Well that ain’t my American Dream. Is that yours?” Hollywood replies in the negative then tells her that his dream is going to sleep and waking up beside her each day, and nothing else matters.

She says that other things do matter, so he tells her, “What, and you don’t think you’re wasting your time at the High Yellow? I see the look on your face when you’re running around. That ain’t a look of love.” She says it’s the “look of determination” and that she worked her butt off for the promotion. Hollywood says that he always sees her most happy when she’s working in her own kitchen, then asks her what her dream looks like.

Aunt Vi responds, “I guess, it looks like me making people happy with my food, my pies. I guess it’s me, having my own business,” with a puzzled expression. He says, “You saying that like it can’t happen. Look, let me figure out what to do next. But I want you to figure out the same thing. We ain’t too old to get ours, baby. We ain’t.”



Did you watch the fourth episode of “Queen Sugar”? What moments do you remember?
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Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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