Queen Sugar – “Your Passages Have Been Paid” (Ep. 311 review)

I thought the climax of this season would be the revelation of Remy and Nova’s relationship but evidently, I was wrong. Micah stole the show last night when confronted by Charley about the tip she received from her Private Investigator about his involvement in the plantation fire. I hate that he is so loyal to these kids, but I also understand that he was moved from the only friends he knew and and the only life he knew on the West coast and in his eyes these kids understand him better than his parents, communicate with him better than his parents and respect his opinion more than his own parents. The conversation that he had with Nova is a conversation that should have been had before he and his friends burned the slave house but Nova lives in a different city and is dealing with her own issues. She likely hasn’t had the opportunity to check on him to make sure he is ok, because SHE is not okay. What I really appreciate about their conversation was Nova explaining to him why she wishes he had burned down the main house instead of the slave house. Micah was confused about why one house was more important than the other. This scene was important because I have heard many Black Americans bash other Black Americans who choose to visit plantations. The opposers of visiting the plantations feel those who visit are glamorizing former slave plantations and putting money into the hands of current land owners which could possibly be the descendants of slave owners. Those, like myself, who have no qualms about visiting CERTAIN plantations do so as a reminder of how far my people have come. It inspires me. It humbles me. And it sparks a fire in me that makes me passionate about children and literacy, in fact I look forward to visiting Whitney Plantation before the end of this year. I have heard so many great things about it from the passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, to the artifacts, to the stories told. Unlike some other plantations, they don’t pussyfoot around the horrible stories, but I digress.
Charley seems to believe that sending Micah to public school is the cause of his current behavior, but I believe lack of effective parenting (non-intentional) is why Micah is in his current position. His talk with Nova clearly had an effect on him because we see him lying in bed in heavy thought towards the end of the episode. Charley walks in and lies in bed next to him and he begins to cry and whispers, “I messed up”. That broke my heart!!!

Watching Sam Landry and the sheriff boast about the amenities of the new prison that will keep the prisoners in check made me squirm. They were so jolly about it. I felt like I was listening to two slave owners share ideas about how to tame their human property. Ugh! The conversation likely made Charley feel some type of way as well because as they spoke she constantly readjusted herself in her chair. I believe the only thing that kept her calm was knowing that she would curtail the vote for the prison, little did she know that the vote had already taken place and her absence caused her vote not to count. Mama Boudreaux smirked at Charley when Sam Landry revealed that the vote to build the jail had been unanimous. WITCH! Charley has been played yet again by the Landry family. I imagine that her mental health at this point must be a whirlwind. She is failing at parenting and marriage, but it seems as though career wise she could always pull herself up by her own boot straps until now. And now Micah is literally awaiting his fate while those STUPID paint stained shoes sit in his closet waiting to be found by way of a search warrant.

Now let’s discuss this heated, messy mediation scene between Darla and Ralph Angel, actually, let’s take it back a step further. Darla’s mother is too involved in Darla’s life and now we see that she is likely kicking up all of this mess between Ralph Angel and Darla. She is why Darla is likely so timid; she doesn’t give the girl a minute to even think for herself. I can’t imagine what it must have been like living with a mother like her and a weird, pervy father. Darla’s mom inserted her 2, 3 and 4 cents throughout the mediation as if Blue were her child and as if she had a hand in raising him all these years! Ma’am!


She played herself and Darla when she stated that Ralph Angel doesn’t deserve custody because he may not be Blue’s father. Ralph Angel immediately went into Gap Band mode and dropped the bomb on both her and Darla when he revealed that he did a paternity test and found out that he wasn’t Blue’s father. Notice the look on Darla’s mom’s face. It wasn’t a look of shock. It was a look of either “what do we do now?” or “I should have kept my mouth shut out the gate!” or “did you tell him who the father is?”. Darla later reveals to her mother that she still loves Ralph Angel and would rather handle the situation her way. Her mother reveals that a good parent will do whatever it takes to protect their child. Funny she should say that when clearly Ralph Angel is doing the same thing and she has been giving him push back. Her statement to Darla can also be aligned with Charley and Micah’s situation. Will Charley find “the shoes”? If so, will she dispose of them to save Micah?

The episode is titled “Your Passages Have Been Paid” from the poem by Maya Angelou read at the inauguration of President Clinton. The phrase can mean many things to many people, but I believe in this case it means “your dues have been paid, you have suffered long enough, yet you endured and for that I will take care of you”. In other words, the family will be okay. They are living off the prayers of their ancestors that Nova often calls on. They are being protected and although “it” hurts right now, and “it” may be confusing right now, EVERYTHING will be okay…afterwhile…

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