9.4

Living in the Storm in Queen Sugar’s “Copper Sun”

(Episode 2.15)

TV Reviews Queen Sugar
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Living in the Storm in <i>Queen Sugar</i>&#8217;s &#8220;Copper Sun&#8221;

I’m sure by now, since you’re reading this, you’ve cried it out (and had to take a Tylenol for your headache, like I did). “Copper Sun,” written by Monica Macer and Dana Greenblatt and directed by DeMane Davis (who directed the explosive “Line of Our Elder”), continues to open the wound regarding Ralph Angel’s (Kofi Siriboe) relationship with Blue (Ethan Hutchinson).

Awakening from his drunken binge, Ralph Angel feels murky as he tells a concerned Hollywood (Omar J. Dorsey) that everything is falling apart. He has a request: to gather Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford), Nova (Rutina Wesley) and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) together. Later, Ralph Angel’s pain radiates around him like a storm cloud as he stands before them, struggling to find the courage to tell the truth. He declares that he won’t marry Darla (Bianca Lawson), and the mention of Blue leaves everyone on edge until he shatters them with the news.

“It’s Blue… He ain’t mine. That’s what she said, he ain’t mine. That ain’t my son.” — Ralph Angel

The shock and hurt hit the entire room: Hollywood sits with his face in his hands and Aunt Vi consoles him with hugs and “I’m sorry.” I marveled at Davis’ thoughtful attention to detail—placing the Bordelon family in the blue living room with a framed picture of Blue sitting in the background.

The ladies prepare to feed the farmers as the High Yellow restaurant in honor of the first harvest on the Bordelon land in nearly three years. Still processing the news, worrying about Ralph Angel’s well-being on what was supposed to be a glorious day, Aunt Vi dispels the notion that the family no longer loves Blue by declaring that Blue is still theirs despite not being related to them—which is understandable, since she raised him. Because she can’t have children with Hollywood, Blue became the child she never had; her ties to him are harder to dismiss. Ralph Angel, somber, arrives with Hollywood and talks about the pride he hopes his parents would have had in him, since he’s made his father’s vision come true.

“I only wanted two things, Wood. Be a good father and a good farmer. I’m gone try to be at least one today.” —Ralph Angel

Enduring the consequences of her secret, the fallout for Darla starts with Hollywood, who questions why she chose to wait until now to tell it. When she sits at her desk, assuming things will be back to normal because “nothing has to change,” the sight of her makes Charley stop in her tracks. She’s astonished by her presence and the lie that has hurt the family. She immediately fires her, which she tells Nova over the phone—to which Nova hilariously responds, “Literally would’ve taken everything I had not to stir up a potion.”
When Nova, Hollywood and Aunt Vi are reunited with Blue again, they love on him regardless, but their hidden expressions to one another speak volumes about what they now know.

“Blue made up for all the wrong Ralph Angel did in the past. To know that he could make such goodness.” —Aunt Vi

Outside of the family drama, Charley continues to deal with the sabotaging antics of Sam Landry and family. Landry’s nephew, Jacob Boudreaux, arrives unannounced to talk about how they’ve lost 40% of their farmers in West St. Josephine. “It’s actually 50%, but who’s counting?” she replies, saying she’s secured Martin Bennington’s 20,000 acres of sugarcane to mill. “I’ve never known a woman like you before. You intrigue me,” he says. Boudreaux reaches a new low by suggesting that she come to her senses and unite with the Landrys despite their family’s ugly past—a past, I might add, which involved the Landrys owning the Bordelonss as slaves. For Charley, it’d be too much like signing a deal with the devil.

When a fellow reporter brings the rumors spreading about internal issues at the Queen Sugar mill to Nova’s attention, she faces a choice: Either let the reporter write the story—and give balance to the narrative by seeking Charley’s perspective—or risk having another reporter to write it. Prosper (Henry G. Sanders) is even concerned about Charley’s ability to carry the load, as the Bordelons’ sugarcane sits in trucks.

“Charley, fight back,” Remy (Dondre Whitfield) advises, and when he and Charley learn of the mudslinging from Nova—who encourages her to shine a light on the systematic racism towards her and the black farmers—Charley agrees. She decides to confront Sam Landry, showing the she’s down but not out. But how will it end for her?



Ashley G. Terrell is a freelance entertainment writer based in Michigan. Her work has appeared in Ebony Magazine, The Huffington Post, Black Girl Nerds, and more. She is currently working on her first novel and is the creator of the blog, The Carefree Black Girl Chronicles of ASHLEMONADE. You can follow her on Twitter.

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