It’s nearly time for “Queen Sugar” fans to “take flight” one last time, as we prepare to say goodbye to the Bordelon family.
OWN has released the official trailer for the seventh and final season of the critically acclaimed drama, created by Ava DuVernay and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey, which begins Tuesday, Sept. 6.
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“If we do not honor our past, we dishonor our future. Listen,” says Rutina Wesley’s Nova, the eldest Bordelon sibling, as the clip begins, previewing the tense and tender scenes that will play out over the next 13 episodes.
The first look, set to Al Green’s “Love and Happiness,” tees up the latest developments in the lives of Bordelons: Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Darla (Bianca Lawson) have welcomed their second child, a daughter, and they continue to fight for their family’s future by exorcising their personal demons — namely, his deal with the devil that jeopardized the Bordelon’s sugarcane farm and her continued recovery from addiction and overcoming her history of sexual assault..
“Lifting up the family legacy, that’s a lot of weight. After everything we’ve been through, I see everything I need right here in front of me,” Ralph Angel says early in the video, which tracks the status of the Queen Sugar Mill, reveals the Landry Enterprise logo on the Bordelon farmland and shows him speaking before the Black farmers’ coalition. “All the farmers who came before us, they disrupted the system. And now it’s our turn.”
Meanwhile, Nova (Wesley) seems to be at a crossroads — particularly where love is concerned — as her budding relationship with boyfriend Dominic (McKinley Freeman) looks to be tested by the return of her former partner Calvin (Greg Vaughan, a returning guest star), her ex-lover Chantal (Reagan Gomez, billed as recurring) and the reappearance of her long-lost high school love, played by Tracie Thoms, who joins the series as a guest star.
“Do you miss me?” Calvin asks. “Yes,” Nova admits.
Greater drama looms when Nova is offered the chance to adapt her memoir “Blessings and Blood” into a movie. The secrets she divulged in the controversial book threatened to sever family ties, so no one seems too pleased at the prospect.
“That book caused a whole lot of pain for all of us,” Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) cautions after Nova reveals the news.
Absent from the footage is Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) who at the end of season 6 decided to reconcile with her estranged husband Davis (Timon Kyle Durrett) and move back to Los Angeles. Variety has learned that Gardner will not be a series regular in the upcoming episodes, with the primary action taking place in the fictional Louisiana parish of St. Josephine, but her storyline will be tracked in a number of episodes across the season.
While Charley and Davis are MIA in the trailer, their son Micah (Nicholas L. Ashe) features heavily as the new episodes chronicle his continued journey into manhood. “I just don’t know where I fit in,” Micah laments as the video shows the young man navigating his identity crisis.
First, he shares a poignant moment with his grandmother Lorna (Sharon Lawrence, who returns as a guest star). “You have a gift, Micah. You see things other people don’t,” she says, alluding to his talent in photography. Then, he has a tense face-off with Aunt Vi. “I’m a grown man; respect that,” Micah yells, as she snaps back, “So, you think this is how grown men act?
The two-and-a-half minute clip previews what’s to come for everyone in the Bordelon’s orbit, including Aunt Vi and Hollywood’s (Omar J. Dorsey) love story, heartfelt moments with Ralph Angel and Darla’s son Blue (Ethan Hutchinson) and the latest with family friend Prosper Denton (Henry G. Sanders) and his daughter Billie (Tammy Townsend).
Among this season’s returning guest stars are Glynn Turman (the Bordelon siblings’ late father, Ernest, whose death predicated the “Queen Sugar” story); Amirah Vann (the family’s nemesis Parker Campbell); and Brian Michael (Ralph Angel’s high school friend, now police officer, Toine). Returning recurring cast members are Ann Nesby (Sandy, the at-home nurse who catches Prosper Denton’s eye); Tanyell Waivers (Micah’s ex-girlfriend, Keke); and Vivien Ngô (Ralph Angel’s ex-girlfriend, Trinh). New to the series are Kaci Walfall (“Naomi”), Lamman Rucker (“Greenleaf”) and guest star Vanessa Bell Calloway (“This Is Us,” “Shameless”).
The final season also marks the return of seven of the previous seasons’ directors, including Kat Candler, Stacey Muhammad, showrunner Shaz Bennett, Patricia Cardoso, Aurora Guerrero, DeMane Davis and DuVernay, who directs the series finale after having directed the pilot and second episode, in a full-circle moment. When “Queen Sugar” launched in 2016, DuVernay made a commitment to exclusively hire women as directors, ultimately employing 41 women on the show and giving 39 of them their first credit directing TV, despite their critically-acclaimed and award-winning films, music videos or art.
Based on the book by Natalie Baszile, the series is produced for OWN by DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producers are DuVernay, Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Bennett.
Season 7 of “Queen Sugar” begins on Tues., Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. All previous episodes are currently available to stream on Hulu. Watch the trailer below.
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