Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 11 Review: Fruit of the Flower

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The pieces of the puzzle began falling into place on Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 11, and it wasn't quite what I, or Nova, expected. 

When we first learned that Charley was Ernest's "other daughter" I'd always assumed that she was produced by an affair he'd had, but I was completely wrong. 

Lorna Meets KeKe - Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 11

It turned out that Ernest never cheated on Trudy, but that she'd broken up with him. 

On our first date he told me that the woman he loved did not love him enough to marry him. Trudy and Ernest were already broken up when I met him, and he came to California. He was away from his home and his land for the first time, and it was the love of his life that sent him away. He told me that Trudy was a free spirit. She wanted a more free, flowing relationship, but he didn't want that. He wanted tradition, so he came to California just to put some distance between them.

Lorna

Ernest met and married Lorna while he was in California, but Trudy remained the love of his life. I couldn't help but feel sympathy for Lorna because deep down she always knew she was his second choice. 

Even when Trudy knew she was pregnant with Ernest's child, she still sent him away, which was news to Nova.

Not all that long ago, Nova expressed her resentment that her mother and father didn't marry until Ralph Angel was born, as though she felt second best for not being enough for them to take that step. 

They Didn't Know We Were Seeds - Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 10

But I got the distinct feeling that she blamed her father for that decision, not her mother. 

All of this was a complete shock to Nova, who finally started to ask questions about everything she'd grown up hearing about the evil Lorna from Aunt Vi.

Nova: All these years I've been hating on her because everybody else did, but what did she do? Did she break them up?
Violet: It's complicated. No, she didn't break them up but she did stand in the way of them getting back together.
Nova: How?
Violet: She interrupted everything. Ernest was Trudy's and Trudy was Ernest's. Everybody knew that. I mean, okay, your mama wanted to explore and whatnot, but still, they had something unique, something everybody wanted, and they was meant to be together. Period. Then comes Lorna.
Nova: Did Mom break up with him before he left for California?
Violet: Yeah, but she didn't think he was going to go there and marry a white lady. Come on.
Nova: Fair enough, but did she deny him when he came back to ask about me, when she was pregnant with me?
Violet: Baby, she was young and she wanted things her way, so yeah, she turned him down. But she did not think it was permanent, I know that. Then comes Lorna and Charley; it just got, like I said, complicated.

So all of this time, Violet has blamed Lorna for not somehow magically knowing that Ernest and Trudy were meant to be together, even though Trudy refused to marry him and sent him away. 

One of the upsides to this revelations was that Nova was able to view not only Lorna, but her family history, and even herself through a brand new lens, and she made some changes. 

Nova has always identified with her mother's free-spirited nature, the downside of which is that she's looked at every relationship and seen an expiration date. 

When Robert gave her the key to his place, she began to freak out because she couldn't see how this relationship ended and it scared her. 

Hearing Lorna's side of this family history gave Nova a new perspective, as she explained to Robert in this Queen Sugar quote...

You go through your whole life knowing exactly why you are the way you are, and then you get one new piece of the puzzle and the whole picture changes.

Nova

With all of the revelations of this hour, my picture of Violet changed too. 

Violet Addresses Her Symptoms - Queen Sugar

First, because she was so set on her own narrative for Ernest and Trudy, that she couldn't deal with the reality that Trudy was flawed and Lorna wasn't the villain she made her out to be. 

Lorna is far from perfect, but she loves her daughter, and she loved Ernest. It's a shame that she was met with such disdain for so many years. 

The second moment came when Violet bristled at Hollywood inviting one of his friends from work into her home, simply because he was white. 

It was the type of irrational contempt we'd never seen from Violet, and Hollywood was quick to call her out on it. 

Not only did her attitude make me sad, but it also made me wonder how Charley would have been treated if she had been born white. Would she have been offered her room in Aunt Vi's home? 

I'm suddenly not so sure. 

I'm also curious to find out if Hollywood's aversion to working for Sam Landry has to do with his feelings for the despicable man, or if he fears Violet's reaction if she were to find out that Sam Landry is now an investor in the company. 

On the Gold Course - Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 11

Speaking of Sam Landry, I hope that Charley makes a deal to mill Martin Bennington's 20,000 acres of sugar cane.  Not only would it be good for her business, but it would be satisfying to see Landry's reaction when he learns the cousin he doesn't like is working with the competition and a black woman at that. 

Finally, we get to Ralph Angel, who was just a roller coaster of emotions. 

On the upside, he agreed to go to pre-marital counseling with Darla, and that was a huge step forward for this couple. Even better was that they realized that they need help learning how to communicate and argue without tearing one another apart. 

It was also great to see Ralph Angel try to better himself and learn as much as possible about running the farm by taking Remy's class. 

But that's where things quickly nosedived. 

Feeling Humilated - Queen Sugar

Ralph Angel was incredibly sensitive to being called upon and, as he saw it, being called out for not having the correct answer.  He felt that Remy, his friend, had humiliated him in front of a room of strangers. 

The truth was that Ralph Angel overreacted, but that came from his history, and Remy was smart and incredibly compassionate in recognizing that and handling it.

Ralph Angel: One class showed me what I already know. School ain't for me, never has been.
Remy: That's an excuse, Ralph Angel.
Ralph Angel: Only teacher ever paid me attention was the gym coach cause he wanted me to be on the track team. The rest of them treat me like I can't read or something.
Remy: So you thought that's the way I treated you last night.
Ralph Angel: Everybody do me like that. You ain't do nothing new.
Remy: I want to apologize for making you feel small, and I mean that sincerely, and I hope you hear that because you're not small, Ralph Angel. You've got a big heart, you've got a big spirit, you've got a big brain. But you've also got a big case of luggage that you're carrying around with you everywhere you go, and that makes everything feel heavier than it needs to be. Now we all got to carry it sometime, hell, most of the time, actually. But brother you should know that when you're with me you can put that down, cause I just want what's best for you, and I never mean you any harm. Look here, if you can't put it down, let me know that too and I'll carry it with you because I know you'd do the same thing for me.

With Lorna leaving town, I'm wondering if the next round of drama will come from Violet continuing to ignore her health issues...and if that and more will come to a head at the Queen Sugar Mill Harvest Festival?

We'll have to wait until Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 12 to find out.

Until then, you can watch Queen Sugar online anytime here at TV Fanatic. 

Fruit of the Flower Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

Ralph Angel: One class showed me what I already know. School ain't for me, never has been.
Remy: That's an excuse, Ralph Angel.
Ralph Angel: Only teacher ever paid me attention was the gym coach cause he wanted me to be on the track team. The rest of them treat me like I can't read or something.
Remy: So you thought that's the way I treated you last night.
Ralph Angel: Everybody do me like that. You ain't do nothing new.
Remy: I want to apologize for making you feel small, and I mean that sincerely, and I hope you hear that because you're not small, Ralph Angel. You've got a big heart, you've got a big spirit, you've got a big brain. But you've also got a big case of luggage that you're carrying around with you everywhere you go, and that makes everything feel heavier than it needs to be. Now we all got to carry it sometime, hell, most of the time, actually. But brother you should know that when you're with me you can put that down, cause I just want what's best for you, and I never mean you any harm. Look here, if you can't put it down, let me know that too and I'll carry it with you because I know you'd do the same thing for me.

On our first date he told me that the woman he loved did not love him enough to marry him. Trudy and Ernest were already broken up when I met him, and he came to California. He was away from his home and his land for the first time, and it was the love of his life that sent him away. He told me that Trudy was a free spirit. She wanted a more free, flowing relationship, but he didn't want that. He wanted tradition, so he came to California just to put some distance between them.

Lorna