The Bordelon family’s return for their final season wasn’t as much of a bang as was expected, but more of a slow burn.
Something was missing from Queen Sugar Season 7 Episode 1, or should we say, someone.
Dawn-Lyen Gardner chose not to return as a regular cast member this season, and her absence was felt during this premiere.
Charley was such an integral part of this series that simply having her name mentioned or her face show up on the phone wasn’t good enough. Queen Sugar may follow the Bordelon family, but Charley’s journey led viewers into this world.
Charley struggled to feel a part of this family. Her determination, intelligence, and love helped save it from the brink. And with Sam Landry again trying to destroy the family farm, it feels like they need her now more than ever.
But Charley and Davis are offscreen, as Charley chose to pursue her political career in California, and none of that feels right.
I’m sure Charley will do good work anywhere, but wouldn’t she have more of an impact in a conservative, red state like Louisiana?
But with the actress choosing not to return, I suppose there’s nothing more to do than have this story go forward without her.
And there’s certainly no lack of talent amongst the rest of this cast.
For the first half of this premiere, it felt like they were torturing us by calling Ralph Angel and Darla’s daughter everything but her given name.
Tru Bordelon is the perfect way for Ralph Angel to honor his mother and connect this child with her family history.
Speaking of Ralph Angel, he’s trying to pull together the co-op and working on the fish trawler to make ends meet.
As Darla pointed out, perhaps that’s a good thing. Ralph Angel does better when he’s too busy to make poor choices.
This isn’t the end. We begin again. Like you did before, and they did before us.
And those very choices are what handed the Bordelon farm over to Sam Landry. It’s why Ralph Angel can’t even bare to drive by the farm now. It must be all the more painful knowing that this is his fault.
But he’s making up for it by putting his heart and soul into the black farmers’ co-op. As Mo pointed out, 80% of the people farming in Louisiana are black and brown, but only 3% are the owners.
It will be difficult to change that if these farmers default on their mortgages because the debt relief has stalled. It was a relief to hear Billie take that seriously, but I don’t have high hopes that they’ll get the answers they need from the bank.
It appears Billie has settled into St. Jo’s, but if she doesn’t pick up the phone and talk to her ex, it will be no surprise when he shows up on her doorstep to disrupt her new life.
Prosper asked Sandy on a date, and the fact that it took him six months to ask her has me waffling between whether I find it sweet or sad.
Billie: You look nice. Hot date?
Prosper: Oh, hush. Just heading over to Sandy’s. She needs help fixing her window.
Billie: You must have fixed her whole house by now, Daddy.
It was good to see that Micah and Isaiah are still friends and that there’s no awkwardness with Isaiah sending Micah pictures of the guy he finds cute.
But I have mixed feelings about Micah’s run-in with Keke.
Micah: Honestly, I was just surprised to see you.
Keke: I know. You looked like a deer at the start of hunting season. You never liked surprises.
Micah still comes across as insecure around Keke, and I wish he didn’t. I also didn’t appreciate Keke pushing Micah to get high even after he told her he had an important family function to attend. That felt adolescent and disprespectful.
I don’t enjoy seeing Micah as a player jumping from one bed to the next, but I’d also like to see him grow up and move on from Keke. This feels like Micah being pulled backward instead of moving forward.
Finally, we get to Nova.
Nova and Dominic have been working together and dating for six months. So why is it I’m still not sure about him?
Regarding the long-term sustainability of this relationship, I think Aunt Vi pulled on the right thread. Nova described their relationship as “nice,” with no drama. To which Vi replied, “If nice is enough for you, then God bless.”
Violet: What are you all gossiping about? Dominic? I want to hear. Spill it. It’s been six months. That’s almost a lifetime in Nova years.
Nova: Hey, that’s not fair. I’m not that bad. I was with Calvin for almost five years. I know. Four of those, he was still married. Nothing to tell. Dominic is great.
Violet: Well, we’re all glad. We like him, and we were worried. We didn’t want to lose him. You know, you can go through men like water.
Nova: Where is this coming from? And I haven’t only dated men.
Violet: And we never meet the ladies.
I think we all know that “nice” isn’t going to hold Nova’s attention for long. And the sparks were definitely flying when Nova met Mo.
This leads me to something interesting that Vi pointed out about Nova. She only introduces the men in her life to her family, not women.
Does that hesitance mean she’s not entirely comfortable with her bisexuality, or is it because she doesn’t believe her family will accept her with a woman? I’m hoping this is explored more in-depth during this final season.
But Nova has far more significant challenges than her love life. She’s being offered close to $1 million to turn Blessings and Blood into a movie.
That much money could be life-changing. Unfortunately, that book caused nothing but pain for her family. It reopened old wounds and unearthed buried traumas.
A movie would reach an even wider audience and bring more attention to the Bordelons. It’s hard to see how any good will come of it, yet how many of us could turn down that kind of money?
Finally, we learned that all of Nova’s good work in researching the living ancestors of the massacre was being turned against her family. The only upside of Sam Landry’s visit was that he didn’t have Parker in tow. If Charley isn’t there to keep Parker in check, I see no reason for the character to return.
Sam, and the secrets he and Violet still share, are more than enough to pique my interest and add plenty of intrigue.
Violet: Sam, you’re sure you want to go down this path? You know where it leads.
Sam: You didn’t leave us any choice, Vi.
So what did you think, Queen Sugar fans? Are you upset by Charley’s absence? Is Nova ashamed of her bisexuality? Will Nova and Dominic become a long-term couple? And are you already in love with little Tru Bordelon?
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.