by Nichole Perkins | via Vulture
I love it when a television show is so in tune with its audience it can immediately address criticism as it develops. In last week’s episode, Charley said some awfully narrow-minded things about sex workers when she confronted Melina, but in “As Promised,” she acknowledges how terribly she acted.
We also get more follow-up with the reveal of Nova’s sexuality. And Ralph Angel gets reassurance that his family will always have his back, even as he keeps making terrible decisions.
Nova joins Chantal Williams (Reagan Gomez), a Black Lives Matter activist, on a shock-jock radio show that quickly moves from discussing police corruption to the Davis West scandal. The DJs want Nova to spill the details, but she and Chantal keep trying to bring the focus back to her article. Eventually, Nova asks why people have such a hard time believing rape victims when they speak up. Hearing Nova’s statement on the radio, Charley thinks her sister is defending Melina, and therefore calling Davis a rapist. Charley still has a hard time thinking of Melina as a victim, but we’ll come back to that shortly.
After the radio program is over, Nova admires Chantal’s necklace, which is of the Hindu god Ganesh. Chantal makes a big production of telling Nova that Ganesh is the god of removing obstacles while she takes off the necklace and ties it around Nova’s neck. The scene is filled with downcast lashes as Chantal tells her the necklace is a loan. Nova promises to give it back — and based on the heavy pauses between them, maybe the necklace will not be all she gives to Chantal. I had a feeling we’d see a woman arrive as a possible love interest for Nova, but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. And judging by the surprised look on her face after Chantal leaves, neither did Nova. Nevertheless, it seems the Calvin obstacle has already been removed, freeing Nova up to pursue whatever happens next with Chantal.
Romance aside, Chantal’s presence in Queen Sugar honors the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement was founded by black queer women, something that’s frequently overlooked. It’s also a reminder that black women often lead the way when it comes to pushing for justice within black communities, but rarely get the credit as charismatic male leaders rise to the forefront. Continuing that tradition of fighting for the community, Nova tries to make things right with Too Sweet (who’s out of the hospital and back in jail), just as Violet looks out for Ralph Angel after he gets caught up in a scam with his co-worker Melvin.
Melvin offers Ralph Angel an opportunity to make some quick cash by selling stolen goods boosted from the warehouse. At first Ralph Angel agrees to hide merchandise at the farm, but when he tries to back out, Melvin attacks him. Ralph Angel warns his supervisor that if he fires him instead of laying him off, Ralph Angel will prove that he cheats the parolees of time and money earned. (I’m not exactly sure how, but maybe being laid off as opposed to being fired allows him to meet the conditions of his parole.) Later that night, the police show up with a warrant to look for stolen property. Their search turns up empty, surprising Ralph Angel, until he realizes Violet removed everything. She’d been suspicious of his recent influx of money and the lock on the shed, and sure enough, she reveals that the boosted goods are at the bottom of the bayou. Ralph Angel cries as he hugs his aunt, as he swears that he’s trying.
Ralph Angel is certainly trying, but his impulsive nature keeps getting the best of him. Now that he no longer has to work at the warehouse, hopefully he can devote himself to the farm and stay out of trouble. He’s safest when he’s surrounded by family, especially Blue and Violet.
To read the rest of the recap, “As Promised,” click HERE!!!