Queen Sugar’s third episode, “Your Distant Destiny,” concerns itself with trust and epiphanies — the good and the bad.
“I’m putting a lot of trust in you,” Charley tells Micah as he prepares for his first day at the local public high school. This transition seems to be the best option for Micah, but it’s clear that Charley still has reservations. For what it’s worth, Micah takes to his new surroundings with barely a hiccup. At nearly 17, he seems determined to craft his own existence outside of the confines of his parents’ expectations.
At Violet’s home, the settlement money is burning Hollywood’s hands so much that he humors questionable business investments. But business plans aren’t the only thing Hollywood has been spending money on. He presents Vi with a large, diamond fleur-de-lis shaped ring. I suspect that Hollywood’s rushed desire to spend his money may have unexpected consequences in the future, but for now, I’m glad to see him and Vi enjoy their financial windfall. Speaking of the consequences that follow coming into new money, Hollywood and Vi are the stars of Hollywood’s high school reunion. Additionally, Hollywood’s monetary fortunes has put Vi directly in the crosshairs of Hollywood’s catty old (and brief) high school flame. The ex-flame throws snide daggers about Vi’s age, but in the end, Hollywood makes it clear that he only has eyes for Vi.
Nova is dealing with an unexpected fallout from her resignation. On a video conference with her agent, she learns that she’ll have to write a new proposal for her book because all of her articles are considered the intellectual property of the newspaper. What will she focus on now that all of her past material is off the table? At her drawing board, Nova takes down all of her clips from the newspaper, making way for new ideas.
Back at the Bordelon farm, Ralph Angel is still processing his feelings about Darla through casual flings. It is no surprise that Ralph Angel is not doing the heavy lifting of sorting through his emotions. His character is known for being stoic and not necessarily introspective, but I wish we could have seen him not take the easy way out. The aftermath of his and Darla’s ending seems too colossal to only be dealt with on the surface level. Perhaps we’ll see him deal with his emotions head-on in the coming episodes because if he doesn’t deal with them now, they will eventually deal with him. More importantly, how Ralph Angel handles his emotions has an impact on how he shows up for Blue. Blue is wetting the bed and Ralph Angel misses the first instance because he is with one of his flings. By the end of the episode, Ralph Angel takes a break from his latest fling to focus his full attention on Blue.
At the diner with Ralph Angel, Nova is seeking truth about Charley. What Ralph Angel lacks in introspection, he makes up for in loyalty. He guards Charley’s secret about the mill for as long as he can, but Nova’s determined questioning is enough to bring any truth to the forefront. Now that all the cards are out on the table, Nova will most certainly ask Charley all the hard questions.
At Vi’s home, Nova has planned a confrontation and wastes no time calling Charley out in front of the family. Nova sees Charley’s move as a betrayal to the family and to their father’s legacy. “They killed him,” Nova reminds Charley. The game the Landrys are playing is inherently rigged, says Nova — there’s no way to win. With that, Charley says she’s not interested in game, “I don’t plan on winning the game Nova, I plan on eliminating it.” This debate is just as much about the mill as it is about the Bordelon family’s honor. With her back against the wall, Charley says, “I am the only person at this table doing anything for Daddy.” Those heavy words hang in the balance as Charley leaves alone; Micah shows his disapproval by deciding to stay at Vi’s. In the end, Nova is right: the game Charley is playing is hardly foolproof. The Landrys have proven themselves to be no stranger to devious deeds. Lying down with these proverbial dogs will certainly result in fleas.
It’s Micah, in a conversation parsing through what he thinks of his mother’s secrecy, that gives Nova the inspiration she needs to go forth with her book proposal. The topic has been underneath her nose the entire time: the plight of black farmers and the Bordelon family history. Why not write about what she knows best?
Back on the farm, Darla makes her return. What it means for Ralph Angel and Blue is yet to be seen.
• The episode draws it title (as does previous episodes in this season) from Maya Angelou’s poem, “On the Pulse of the Morning.”