Queen Sugar: Feelings And Conflicting Wills In ‘I Know My Soul’ (Season 2, Episode 7)

by Rachel Bellwoar

 

“You don’t get to tell me how I feel.” That’s a quote from Ralph Angel, but it answers to the entire quarrel stirred by his inheritance announcement. The farm was left to him, not split evenly with his sisters. That ownership can be contested but it’s not the true problem, and Violet’s scene with Nova gets the gears turning for what’s really going on. Nova doesn’t generally have an interest in the farm but this stressful confrontation doesn’t exist for no reason. There’s something else the siblings are fighting over and “I Know My Soul” knows it’s enough to destroy them.

Blame is easy to cast but there’s a nagging argument that Ernest, leaving his revised will in limbo, is at the root of this mess. If he had enacted it there’d be no one to say what could have been. If he had forgotten it, the current course could stay intact, but adjusting to a changed arrangement has more to do with Ralph Angel than their father, and it’s not fair that it fell on him to decide.

Each sibling has a reason to be upset. Some reasons feel like a stretch, reading into things too much, but no one can say they’re invalid. Going back to Ralph Angel’s point (which he makes about himself, but applies to all three), they can’t confirm their father’s intentions but it’s how they feel, so there’s truth in it. Their dad can never say differently so they’ll always question his thinking.

The time to give Ralph Angel the property would’ve been at the beginning. Charley is in it now because of how the farm was left and, while Nova’s decisions are more subtle, and trickier to predict, Charley turned her life around and backed her actions with money. Cash will become tight, whatever her savings were at the start, and losing her stake in the farm is a blow to what she came to believe was her future.

Now Ralph Angel gets left in an awful position, where he has to resolve to let things be or take the property for himself. That’s what hurts–that things were working fairly well and he’s kicking his sisters out–and while it’s not as simple as that (Ralph Angel has to think about his son), that’s how it feels. The facts–who gets what–are inconsequential to the betrayal. It should’ve been Ernest’s decision but making it Ralph Angel’s, and timing it so late, means the Bordelon’s could lose each other and the farm.

To take up Ernest’s defense for a second, he didn’t believe he was dying, but that’s the butterfly effect that brings us into the midseason finale (and for some good news to counteract the tension–Queen Sugar‘s been renewed for a third season!).

A few more thoughts for this week:

  • From going through the items Ernest left at his janitor job, to going through the tin where the will was stored, more silent scenes of Nova handling objects, please.
  • Best Ongoing Storyline: Until now Darla has been pretty silent about Ralph Angel’s relationship tests but this week all of that culminates in a reckoning of his behavior. Ralph Angel keeps turning Darla’s career into a choice against him, when it’s a choice to support their family and commit to sobriety. That she’s able to articulate that is significant in her choosing to stand up for herself, as much as what she says. She’s nipping this in the bud, and it’s up to Ralph Angel to decide what happens next, but if he’s going to call people out for distrusting his past, he’s got to stop referencing hers.
  • In a surprise hit, Charley and Remy’s relationship takes a turn when he accuses her of being manipulative, for using her divorce and (possibly) him to succeed. Maybe he has a point if she was the one who blew up her marriage but she announced the divorce for herself, and if this is all because she asked a farmer to sign a contract, you don’t cut corners in business. That he framed his barb in her father’s words, too, doesn’t seem like him. She’s already insecure, and ends up freezing in her interview. The interview’s not what’s important, but he shouldn’t have made her feel that bad.

Do you think Remy was in the right, and where do you see the midseason finale leaving things?

Queen Sugar airs on OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network.