If anyone misses the therapeutic cry sessions that Parenthood used to deliver, they should tune in to Queen Sugar. All the main characters have had their own emotional collapses, and in “In No Uncertain Terms,” Remy and Hollywood get their turn to be overwhelmed. You may not need a box of tissues, but it’s hard to not be moved by the heartache that circles the Bordelon family.
Charley is still reeling from the revelations about Davis and refuses to tell anyone what happened. Violet pushes her to tell Micah. He’s not a little boy anymore and deserves to know what’s going on with his father. When Charley tells him that Davis has been paying for prostitutes for three years, Micah declares he never wants to see his father again. It gets worse: Micah learns that they’ll be staying in St. Josephine Parish for at least another six months until the harvest, gets upset, and storms off.
When Charley first arrived in Louisiana, she wanted to throw money at everything, but now she feels like everyone treats her like an ATM. Nova had transferred $10,000 from the corporate account to post bail for Too Sweet and didn’t tell anyone. Charley discovers the missing money when she tries to pay for some farm equipment. Her confrontation with Nova is ugly, but more on that in a second. Ralph Angel still needs a pay stub to show his parole officer, so he asks Charley to sign the necessary paperwork. She thinks he’s being greedy and snarks about his inability to keep a job. Violet tells her that Ralph Angel quit the warehouse to avoid being caught up in the theft ring, reminding her that she needs to give Ralph Angel a break. If family can’t help him, no one else will.
When Charley confronts Nova about the missing money, Chantal is there, and it’s obvious they’re seeing each other now. Nova apologizes for taking the money without permission, then tries to shame Charley for paying off Davis’s accuser. She even calls Davis trifling. Charley tells Nova not to count her money and fires back that Nova can’t calling anyone trifling, with a scathing glance at Chantal. That bit of judgment is surprising since Charley seemed fine with acknowledging that Nova is queer. Charley is hurting and lashing out at everyone, but sneering at her sister for being involved with a woman seems a bit much. You would think Charley would be more progressive than that, having grown up in a place like Los Angeles, but throughout the season, it’s the people in small-town Louisiana who have to school her on being a more accepting person.
In the meantime, Hollywood is back and Violet is planning a crawfish boil to welcome him home. Micah overhears Hollywood on the phone with LeeAnne, telling her to stop calling. LeeAnne is having a bad episode and demands to see him, so he agrees. Micah is learning the hard way that everyone has secrets, even the people he most admires.
While tonight’s episode remains as visually stunning as usual, there is some meandering as everything moves into place for the eventual drama at the crawfish boil. Nova takes Micah to a museum exhibit to see the works of Brandan “B-Mike” Odums, where Chantal encourages the teenager to figure out who he is, separate from his father. Violet refuses to sign over custody of Blue back to Ralph Angel because she can’t trust he won’t go back to jail. Remy offers some comforting words to Charley, telling her she’s an incredible woman. He encourages her to acknowledge the grief she’s feeling over the loss of her marriage and shares how he struggled when his wife died. He gets choked up and walks away, yet another example of how Queen Sugar allows black men to be emotionally vulnerable and open.
It’s impossible to ignore the growing connection between Charley and Remy. Sometimes his wisdom leans a bit too fatherly, but then again, Charley frequently jumps to conclusions and throws tantrums like a child. Her life isn’t easy right now, and of course, she’s not the only one having issues. She made wrong assumptions about Melina, so you would think she’d give Ralph Angel a chance to explain why he needs to be paid a wage, but she’s too busy thinking everyone wants to use her. After discovering Nova was involved with Calvin, a married man, Charley distances herself from everyone at the party. She’s not unlike Micah, who can’t enjoy the festivities because he knows the truth about Hollywood and LeeAnne.
Soon, everyone finds out about Hollywood and LeeAnne. She shows up at the party in a frantic state, looking for their missing baby. Violet demands that Hollywood explain what happened — during their first year of marriage, LeeAnne miscarried. There is no living child. Nova, healer, offers her hands to LeeAnne and tries to soothe her as Hollywood haltingly tells Violet everything. He’s been tending to LeeAnne in Baton Rouge, lying to Vi about his whereabouts. Hollywood has to take LeeAnne back home and Violet tells him not to come back. Micah assures Hollywood he’ll take care of Violet and Hollywood turns to LeeAnne, tears streaking down his face. Hollywood and LeeAnne sob together, while Violet remains stunned, unable to comprehend what’s happened.
It’s so hard to see Aunt Vi, the backbone of the Bordelon family, devastated in such a way. Charley and Violet are living parallel lives, it seems. Still grieving the loss of Ernest Bordelon, now they must deal with the loves of their lives betraying them. There’s no way to escape death, but Davis and Hollywood repeatedly chose not to tell Charley and Violet the truth. Charley and Violet may grow closer because of these shared experiences, but it doesn’t look like Charley and Nova will be able to recover soon. Nova made disparaging remarks about Davis being a cheater, and now Charley sees her as a hypocrite. It will take something major to bring the sisters back together. With a storm on the horizon that may push the farm even further behind, it’s worth wondering: How much more grief can the Bordelon family handle?