Don’t Change Nothin’: Queen Sugar Recap, Season 3, Ep. 1

S3, Ep 301 – A Rock, A River, A Tree

Queen Sugar is back on our screens and in our hearts, y’all! I feel like I haven’t seen my family in a couple years. This first episode gave me the where-are-they-now feels, and now the bigger question is: Where are they going?

Let’s run it back.

Don’t Air Your Dirty Landry

At the end of Season 2, Charley made a deal with the devil. Now, we much watch helplessly, hoping all hell doesn’t break loose. She cut a deal with Sam Landry and Jacob Boudreaux in an effort to save her mill. She remains the face of Queen Sugar for the culture, but has otherwise signed the company over. Two key negotiations stuck out for me: 1) the rates are locked in for the Black farmers 2) Charley is entitled to 1% of Landry’s company.  The only person who knows about the deal and Charley’s plans is Ralph Angel, and he supports her plan to take over Landry Enterprises.

Charley thinks she has things under control, but my fear is that in trying to play Jacob, she may play herself. Jacob looks at her like she’s his favorite snack, and she doesn’t seemed repulsed by him like I’d expect. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up sleeping with the enemy…literally. And poor Jacob. He’s been in the sugar industry for years, but I wonder if he’s ready for that brown sugar. Shoot, if it goes down between them, maybe he’ll be on #teamBordelon.

Oh! And no more living in the mill. Charley is nice and comfy in her huge house in the suburbs of New Orleans. It looks like she’s living her best life, but there’s something still haunting her. Remember the incident with Micah and the police officer? Charley has her own personal investigative reporter named Vicky who dug up information on the officer who arrested and assaulted Micah. His name is Officer Orson, and Charley coincidentally encountered him at a St. Joe’s basketball game. While standing in line at the concession stand, someone said his name, which caught Charley’s attention. He was with his grandson who was about Blue’s age, and he seemed to be a decent enough man. This clearly perplexed Charley. The older gentleman was like any other proud grandfather – pleasant when she spoke to him, and excited to see his high-school-aged grandson who was on the opposing team.

Ol’ Vicky came through, though. She sent Charley a video of Officer Orson kicking and beating another young Black male. Compared to the man she met at the game, the man in the video was the polar opposite. I, like Charley, flinched while watching each blow land, even turning away for a moment. Charley saw enough to give Vicky clear directive: “Leak it.”

“Rebellious Rugrat”

Queen Sugar Ep 301
Nova roots for the St. Jo basketball team. Photo by Skip Bolen © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Courtesy of OWN.

Nova  took a meeting with an editor and publisher in NYC. Why? They want to bundle her articles and publish a book. And they’ve got big plans for her: a six-figure advance, college tours, Rolling Stone articles…alladat. When she shared her reservations about taking the deal, little sis, Charley, shared some key advice: “Don’t lead with the fear of what might be. Lead with the strength of who you are.”


So, Micah is into photography now, and it seemed like everywhere he went, his camera was in-tow. Good thing it took it to the basketball game. Not only did he leave with some great stills, he left with a greater sense of pride in who he is.

While a young White girl from the other school sang the national anthem, four Black students walked onto the court and knelt in front of her. Nova was already seated in protest, but when some white men pulled out a huge confederate flag (Like, who just randomly carries that to a sporting event???), she stood and held her fist high. Even a couple of the Black boys from the opposing team had taken a knee for the cause. What cause? The countless murders of unarmed Black people in this country.

Micah has been opening his eyes to life as a young Black man, and he is almost “woke.” His experience at the private school in California, the altercation with Officer Orson, conversations and rallies with Aunt Nova and Keke, and witnessing the silent protest at the game have clearly affected him and I imagine will spring him into action.


Blue and Violet at Violet’s house. Photo by Patti Perret © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Courtesy of OWN.

Aunt Vi is doing her thing. She and Hollywood just got back from Italy, and she has returned with violet hair! Hollywood is burning through his settlement money and is ready to spend it all on his boo, baby!

I’m not convinced that Vi is feeling the greatest. Hollywood tried to take her hand and help her with different tasks, and she was quick to swat him away as if she wanted to prove her independence. I wish she would just let him love on her and support her; but I get it. She’s used to taking care of everyone else and still hasn’t mastered the art of sitting down somewhere sometimes and letting people assist.

The Blues

Meanwhile, Blue is acting up. Darla’s absence is affecting him, and he is giving Ralph Angel the blues. Pun intended. I’ve seen worse children, but the sweet boy we’ve all come to love has become very rebellious and has even gotten in trouble at school. He perked up when Darla facetimed him, and asked when she was coming home. Basically, we didn’t get an answer. If I don’t see Darla show up in St. Joe’s by Episode 4, I, too, may start acting out.

Don’t Change Nothin’

Well, the results are in. Ralph Angel is apparently not Blue’s father. With his sisters there to support, he read the DNA report silently. Tight-lipped. We didn’t see the results on paper, but we saw them on RA’s face and heard them when all he could mutter was “Don’t change nothin’.” Talk about heartbreak. A part of me was  holding on to hope that he was Blue’s biological father and had overreacted to Darla’s confession that he might not be. Me and these doggone fairytales.

While I applaud the fact that he intends to remain in Blue’s life, I wonder if he’s truly up for the task. Can he work through the pain that Darla’s secret caused? Will he ever be able to forgive her? Forgiving her allows him to love completely. I pray he can, because drinking and screwing random women is not going to heal a thing. I want him to realize those activities don’t change nothin’.

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