01x10 - So Far

(upbeat pop music plays)

(music stops)

All right, I'll see y'all in the morning at 7:00.

Make sure y'all bring it back like you mean it.

Girl: All right, girl.

Girl #2: See you tomorrow, Keke.

Hey.

You done started rumors now.

What?

Micah West taking time out of his busy day to watch me do what I do?

Yeah, they gonna be talking.

Is that a problem?

You tell me.

That's not a problem for me.

Plus, I'm not that busy anymore, so...

Well, you should work on that.

Get yourself in somebody's school, because I see your SAT scores dropping by the day.

I start Gardini Prep next week.

Yeah, well, let me know how that goes.

If you ain't clapping for somebody else.

I'm going to let you go.

I guess I'll see you soon?

Why guess when you can know?

Micah, you are long overdue for some company.

Yeah.

I'm going to stop by Miss Violet's house after school.

Cool.

But this ain't going to be no "Netflix and chill" kind of situation.

No, no, no, no, of course not.

(both laugh)

(clears throat)

Thank you.

Of course.

(sizzling)

(blues music plays over radio)

(chuckles)

This is going to be good.

Better than this morning?

(both laugh)

So, my queen, where shall we dine?

In the bed or at the table?

Table's fine. Just needs setting, though.

All right.

"NOLA NOW: A Televised Discussion on Police Violence in the Ninth Ward. With Melissa Harris-Perry and celebrated NOLA journalist Nova Bordelon."

(laughs)

Well, excuse me, celebrated NOLA journalist Nova Bordelon.

Why aren't we celebrating this?

Finally, somebody who deserves the props is getting it.

It's just a Q&A.

No, no, no, no.

You're not doing that.

Doing what?

You're not going to deny the praise that I'm giving you.

Listen, obviously the articles you're doing on Too Sweet and the migrant workers, they're working.

They're turning the right heads.

Melissa Harris-Perry?

Well, I'm honored to be her guest.

Here, taste this.

Get in there.

Mm.

That's so delicious. Oh, my God.

And, finally, this will give us a platform.

You cannot deny when you put pen to paper, our BLM actions, they have more traction.

Well, it's been a while since we've had a dialogue of talking to somebody from the community instead of just at the community.

Well, MHP and you, that's worth a front-row seat to see.

You know, anybody who's anybody in NOLA, they're going to be watching this.

So, you have your talking points together?

Still haven't worked that out.

But I imagine she's going to start by asking me about my two articles.

No, no, no, no. You got to be prepared.

Look, don't worry. I'll help you, all right?

This is an incredible opportunity.

I think we should eat this while it's still hot.

(phone beeps)

(phone line ringing)

(phone beeps off)

(phone chiming)

Ralph Angel?

Ralph over phone: Hey, Charley. You almost here?

I'm on my way. What's up?

We got a problem. We need to put our heads into it.

Blue!

Come on, you're going to be late!

Darla: Oh, my God, is this how he is every morning?

He's just excited because you're picking him up.

(laughs)

Blue: Mommy, come back!

Darla: Okay.

Well, if you ask me, if they ain't shown by now, they ain't gonna.

We had two workers murdered on our land.

I wouldn't come back neither.

The storm already threw off the harvest schedule.

We got to get someone in here quick.

This ain't no one-man job, y'all.

Okay...

Blue!

Come on, get ready!

Morning, y'all.

What's wrong?

Y'all looking like somebody stole your Halloween candy.

We ain't got no workers.

But we will.

I'll round up some new men somehow.

But you get back to that mill deal.

Don't make sense to harvest cane if you can't grind it.

I know, I know, I know.

Been missing that face, Prosper.

I don't know why you say that now.

You're the one quit the High Yellow.

Now it's closed down.

Closed?

Yeah.

What you talking about?

Blue it's almost time to leave for school.

Darla, you done wasted your gas.

He rides with me.

Um, Ralph Angel told me to pick him up at 7:00.

I'm taking him on Mondays and Wednesdays now.

Aunt Vi, this is all on me.

I forgot to tell you that Darla was taking Blue to school today.

Hi, Aunt Vi!

Violet: Hey, you!

(Violet laughs)

Oh, you looking good.

Boy, come on, you're gonna be late.

Have a Blue day today, okay?

Yup.

All right.

(music plays)

♪ Dreams never die ♪
♪ Take flight as the world turns ♪
♪ Dreams never die ♪
♪ Take flight as the world turns ♪
♪ Keep the colors in the lines ♪
♪ Take flight ♪
♪ Dreams never die ♪

♪ Keep the colors in the lines ♪
♪ Keep the colors in the lines, take flight ♪

Hollywood: Hey, now.

What's that?

I know you're doing some replanting.

I figured I'd bring you some African violets.

Well, you can take those right on back to Africa.

Come on, Vi.

No, I'm doing something new.

Moving on from the same old, same old.

Look, baby, I ain't asking you to forget about what happened between us.

But you know I had a good reason for doing what I had to do.

You know that.

So why can't you just let things go?

Baby, we wasting our days.

I'd rather be spending mine with you.

♪ It's gonna take a bit of work ♪
♪ Oh, work ♪
♪ Now that you're here ♪
♪ Whoa, work ♪

(knocks)

Hey, buddy.

Pop.

What's up?

Pop, we're gonna see lions, gorillas, and kangaroos.

All of them? Really?

We're going to the zoo.

What? Going to the zoo?

That's exciting.

Hey.

How's it going?

Good.

So we're planning a trip to the zoo.

You got to sign my permission slip, Pop.

Oh, man, no problem.

Where do you want me to sign? Right here?

Right there.

Okay. I'll sign right...

All right.

That's right.

Thank you.

Blue's a lucky young man, you know that?

Just trying to do what my dad did for me.

That's all.

Come on, man.

Bye, Miss Velez.

Reyna: Bye!

Bye, Miss Velez.

See you.

Okay, you got all that information?

Our talking points have to be tight.

Woman: Okay, I got it.

Chantal?

Zina's water heater broke and flooded her living room.

Sorry, I thought we were going to be done by now.

What's going on?

Well, folks are starting to fall back to sleep.

You planning on doing something at my interview?

No, just working on your talking points.

Thanks, but I got this. I don't need you to do that.

Nova, this is a great stage, and I'm just trying to help.

And we got to get the word out about police violence in the Ninth.

Look, I know you mean well, but this is a big platform for me.

I don't want anybody putting words in my mouth.

I don't want the conversation to end before it even starts.

Nova, the work we're doing is about more than any one person.

Now is the time to get folks woke.

By any means necessary.

Yeah. I agree.

But I mean to do that my way.

Not yours.

(sighs)

All right, y'all, let's call it for the day.

Okay? Go ahead and pack it up.

We'll be bringing in roughly 300 acres this harvest.

Yes, my father was Ernest Bordelon.

Thank you.

I appreciate that.

Yeah, yeah, tomorrow at 3:00 sounds good.

Okay. Uh-huh.

(phone beeps off)

Woman over phone: Good afternoon, Mrs. West, Jill Whitaker at Gardini Prep calling.

This is regarding Micah and his application for admission.

We would like to schedule a meeting with you and your husband to discuss an incident that's been brought to our attention by Micah's previous school.

I just reached out to Mr. Davis...

(call ends)

That don't sound good.

Hey!

Hey, baby.

I thought I'd handled it when we were back home.

Why do they have to contact Davis?

Because he's the boy's daddy, Charley.

Well, Micah's down here with me now, while Davis is doing whatever he's doing.

Honey, you know Davis ain't my favorite person, but he still has a right to be in his son's life.

Hey, you.

(laughs)

Nova: I can help you get everybody back to Zina's place.

Uh, no, we got it.

I don't want to inconvenience you.

You're not.

Nova: Hey, Rid.

What's up, Nova?

You got company?

No, no, it's okay.

Look, I ain't going to keep you, but you heard about Too Sweet and his family getting evicted?

Well, they got him a spot at the shelter.

But they say when Too Sweet went up in there, wardy flipped the hell out.

He... He said it's too much like jail.

That man mind still locked up, you hear me?

sh1t. Where he at?

I don't know. Nobody don't know.

I mean, I'm just trying to spread the word.

But everybody need to keep their eyes open for real, though.

Yeah. I got it. Good looking out, Rid.

Rid: No problem.

Good morning.

Overslept a little bit.

I'm going to be a little late to Gardini Prep.

I know it's just the new student thing, but I am pretty excited.

We're not going to be late.

Why aren't you dressed?

I have an appointment at a mill.

And I got a call from Gardini.

They want to discuss the incident at your previous school.

I thought you said that picture wouldn't follow me.

And it shouldn't have, but private schools talk.

Don't worry, I have reached out to our lawyer...

Why does everybody want to believe the worst about me?

You know why.

Not everything is because I'm black.

No, but you're black and you're the son of a superstar.

And that was great when Davis was seen as one of the good ones.

But between your father, and that picture, and the paparazzi showing up, everything changed.

Baby, Gardini's just scared we'll bring a circus to their campus.

But I'll work it out. Promise.

I'll just go to public school then.

You're not giving up that easily, Micah.

We worked hard for you to have certain choices in life.

Well, now, St. Jo High is a very good choice.

I mean, it's a blue ribbon school.

Look at Nova. She went to Tulane.

I know, but we have slightly different expectations of Micah.

Violet: You mean you want him to be one of them privileged kids.

It's not a dirty word, Aunt Vi.

White folks pass down privilege to their kids every day.

The same system that pushes some folks down lifts others up.

Aren't I supposed to help my son?

Of course. I was just saying...

Well, staying in the private school system here will only help us when we get back to L.A. and reapply for schools there. It will look like we came down here for personal reasons and he's still in the system, not like he got kicked out of it.

But I was kicked out of the system.

And I will handle that.

I promise you.

Violet: I don't understand why you want to spend $10,000 to go to a school that don't want you there.

Try $36,000.

Thirty-six thousand dollars?

That's how you spend your money?

Folks don't make that in a year.

Lord knows I don't.

And that's why we send Micah to private school.

We don't want him to be like...

Aunt Vi, I didn't mean it like that.

Don't bother, baby. I understand.

You got perfectly good money to throw away.

None of my business.

Jacob: Have a seat.

Charley: Thank you.

The basic deal... the farmer and the mill split what we get from the refinery.

We're the middleman in all this, but we don't grind if the refinery's not paying us.

And what's your cut?

40/60 split, in favor of the farmer.

Forty percent is pretty steep.

I mean, I'm a sports manager, and we only take five percent.

I know all about you.

You're quite the celebrity around here, you and your husband.

I've been a fan.

Forty percent is high, was my point.

Any mill in any parish going to give you the same deal.

Just grow good cane.

You'll see plenty of profit from that 60 percent.

Yeah, that's good.

I mean, all this is just to sell the land.

We're just trying to prove it's good land by bringing in a good harvest or two.

Well, it sounds like you got it all figured out.

Charley: This place is amazing.

Sure is.

Me and my family, we live and breathe sugar.

Always have, always will.

So, this is what it takes to get a 5-pound bag of sweetness on the grocery store shelf, huh?

Most folks think sugar comes from the sugar fairy or something.

(both laugh)

Charley: How old is this mill?

Jacob: Well, let's just say, at least from the look of things, longer than you and me been on God's green Earth.

Charley: Well, thank you.

Which is a good thing, because we'll all be pulling some hefty hours come grinding season.

You'll be on the phone with me and my brother Paul more than you talk to your mama.

That won't be hard.

I'll ask about that when I know you better.

So, why so many calls?

Well, we don't want you cutting your cane unless we can grind it right away.

Every hour that cane sits, you lose more sugar.

And the purer the sugar, the bigger you bump you get from the refinery.

Bump?

Clean, pure sugar.

The refineries give the farmer a direct bonus.

Not to us, to you.

And how much would that be?

You say you got 300 acres this year, 800 when up and going?

Yeah.

If it's a good harvest, you're looking at around $400,000 bonus this year alone.

You ready to go in and talk business?

Lead the way.

Come on.


(voices speaking indistinctly)

What's going on here, Clive?

It's bad, Vi. Real bad.

Why are you whispering?

Health inspector's here. He's asking all these questions.

When the smoke detector batteries got replaced?

When new hoses and filters come in?

Don't nobody know all that.

Oh, so you calling me a nobody.

Because I know all that.

The hoses and filters were replaced in January.

You sure? Can't get caught lying.

Lying? I do it every three months.

On the 15th, to be exact.

What else do they want to know?

When we replaced the exhaust fans over the stoves?

Last July. They good for another two years.

Where the paperwork?

I don't work here anymore, or have you forgotten that?

Come on, Vi.

I looked through the filing cabinets.

Why won't you help me?

You can have your old job back.

I don't want my old job back.

Been there. Done all that.

Hire me as manager.

A manager with a salary, benefits and year-end...

I don't...

Year-end bonus.

I don't give my own kin benefits.

Well, that's between you and the Lord on Judgment Day.

Have a good day, Clive.

Okay, deal.

How are you today, Mister...?

Lafayette. I'm good, ma'am.

So I am the new manager, Violet Bordelon.

And I've got that paperwork you've asked for back in my office.

I can get it for you.

Okay.

Now, I can tell you from around here, so you know that after a Louisiana storm, anything that don't swim comes right on in.

So, we might find some guests back there, but not normally.

Not under my watch.

Afternoon.

Is Blue ready?

Actually, I sent him outside for a bit.

Is everything all right?

He's real excited about that zoo trip.

Ralph Angel, the front office wants your aunt, Violet Bordelon, to sign Blue's permission slip for the field trip.

But I'm his daddy...

I know. I know.

But she's listed as his legal guardian, and the school's saying that they can't accept the liability.

Liability?

If I say it's okay then it's okay for him to go.

I agree, but we don't make the rules here.

I'm so sorry.

No, it's... it's no problem.

All right?

I'm going to work it out, all right?

(knocks)

Which one?

This one, or this one?

Well, I think the one you have on really shows off your legs.

Mm-hmm. What's the occasion?

Well, you are looking at the new manager of the High Yellow.

(gasps)

All right, Aunt Vi! Congratulations!

(both laughing)

Oh!

And if you hadn't said what you said, I wouldn't have done it.

You know I didn't mean that.

Yeah, you did.

And it's good that you got dreams for Micah.

And it just reminded me that I still got a few of my own.

So, there.

What's all this?

Oh, mill stuff.

Let me ask you something.

How long have the mills been gouging at this 40/60 split?

(chuckles)

For as long as anyone can remember.

For years, your daddy and every farmer in this parish come into the High Yellow complaining about how the mills got them by the balls.

Why don't some farmers just band together?

Because ain't nobody got that kind of clout.

Not even together.

Nobody around here but Landry, and Landry got his own.

His own what?

Wait, Landry has a mill?

He got all the mills, baby.

Landry and the Boudreauxs are part owners of every mill in this parish.

Huh. That's who I met with today.

Jacob Boudreaux.

The Boudreaux brothers are Landrys.

Married in generations ago.

And between them, they own 15,000 acres and control all the mills.

So, the Landrys are the ones who have everyone by the balls.

Mm-hmm.

And your daddy spent his last years trying to figure out a way to get out from under them, just the way you're doing right now.

I can see the wheels turning.

But when you consider that they control all the mills and the refineries and own all the best land, it's clear it's their world, and we just surviving in it.

Mommy!

Blue! Mwah!

Kenya wants a morning kiss, too.

Blue, get your backpack so your mama can take you to school.

Okay.

Blue's going to the zoo?

If Aunt Vi sees fit.

What do you mean?

She's still Blue's legal guardian.

I was locked up. You was... in your situation.

I don't even want to think about what would have happened to him if it wasn't for her.

But things are changed now.

I take care of Blue.

I give him everything he needs.

He's all I got, all I care about.

But I still need permission for my son to go to a damn zoo.

A zoo.

I'm sorry.

I know how you feel.

(footsteps rushing)

I'm ready.

Darla: Okay. Give him a kiss.

Have a good day, buddy.

Come on.

(door opens)

Darla.

You have a good day too, okay?

Thank you.

(door closes)

(laughs)

Hell no, Vi ain't gonna start seeing nobody.

She know I got a little crazy in me.

Can't nobody control Aunt Vi.

She stay doing whatever she wants.

She still ain't signed over Blue, has she?

No.

I don't know how much more I can take of this, Wood.

Hey, look, she love you, she love that boy.

She just can't stand Darla.

Really can't blame her either.

And Darla ain't even like that no more.

And after all we've been through?

We ain't ever going back to that.

I hear you, man.

I filed papers.

About to divorce Leanne.

For real?

Yeah. Got to.

I got to show Vi I'm serious.

Think that'll work?

I don't know.

Just got to show her that I'm all in, man.

She worth it.

(clicks electric razor off)

(blows)

(music plays over headphones)

(laughs) You always dancing.

(laughs)

Oh, that's cool. I like that.

Everybody was talking about you today.

Like, "Micah's so cute. Do y'all go together?"

What'd you tell them?

To mind their business.

(laughs)

So, what you do today?

Nothing.

I was supposed to go to this new student orientation thing at Gardini Prep, but I might not be going there anymore.

What happened? They found out you was black?

(both laugh)

No.

It's this stupid thing that happened at my old school.

I got expelled.

For what?

Okay, so... my ex had these pictures in her phone, and her mom told the head of the school I sent them to her.

So she had some dude's...

Yeah.

On her phone.

It wasn't mine.

Was she white?

Yes.

Hm...

(laughs) Shut up!

(both laugh)

Why you want to go to Gardini Prep anyway?

Well, I never had much of a choice.

And you're cool with that?

I guess.

Well... the Micah that I'm trying to get to know seems like the type of dude that makes his own decisions.

If you're gonna do it, just do it.

(laughs)

Life's short, and I got to get home.

Seems like the 40/60 split with the Landry mills is the only option on the table.

So I'd be open to bringing my cane here.

You ever seen one of these before?

Can't say that I have.

It's a parish assessor's map.

Shows the division of farmland in St. Josephine.

Right.

I see my farm right there.

My brother Paul and I just bought a parcel of land that borders your farm there.

Congratulations.

As you can see, your land is now completely surrounded by our family's land.

Hmm.

The thing is, Mrs. West, we're happy to have you grind your cane here, but we'd like to offer you an alternative scenario.

An alternative scenario?

I didn't realize there was one.

There is.

Think of it as an offer you can't refuse.

I'm listening.

Aunt Vi?

Aunt Vi?

You all right?

How's Blue?

Blue fine.

He just wants to go to the zoo with his class.

I signed it.

Oh.

But you still his legal guardian, so I need you to sign it.

Well, of course.

He loves animals. He going to have a great time.

Thank you.

All right.

How you think I feel right now, Aunt Vi?

I got to ask you if it's okay for my son to go on a school trip?

Baby, he's a child.

They put me in charge to make sure somebody is thinking about him first.

Blue comes first...

He come first to me.

Always.

As long as you fooling around with that Darla, he don't.

Look, I ain't some no-count layabout who only come to see Blue on Father's Day.

He ain't no game to me.

I've been here all day every day since I got out.

She is a bad influence on you, baby.

You don't see it, but everybody else...

What about Davis?

What about Davis?

You said he got a right to be a father to Micah, even after all he's done.

But I ain't got the same rights?

When do I get out, Aunt Vi?

I did my time.

When am I done?

I'm here... whenever you need me.

And there ain't no shame in needing help sometimes, you hear?

Yeah.

(oldies music plays over radio)

(indistinct chatter)

Roberta, stop swishing that mop around like you making iced tea.

Put some elbow grease in it.

And clean up your face.

Don't nobody want to look at all that.

Hey.

Hey.

Going to be out pushing off to the rigs tomorrow.

Just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on making manager.

You deserve it.

Thank you.

You deserve a lot of good things, Vi.

Yeah. I do.

I can rustle you up a cup of coffee.

You want some?

(sugar packet rattles)

(spoon clacks)

Hey.

Hey.

Thanks for telling me you had my stuff.

I appreciate it.

You're welcome.

Well, thanks.

So we're not going to talk about this?

Look, there's nothing to talk about, really.

I mean, it is what it is.

You know, I do things my way and you do things your way.

What is this really about, Chantal?

This isn't about your talking points, is it?

The white boy in the framed pictures in the drawer on your nightstand table?

His look. His haircut.

That's your ex, Calvin, right?

He's a cop.

How you say you rep us, but you're running around...?

If I'm with somebody it's because of who they are, not because of their job.

And that goes for you, too.

Educated, conscious people profess who they are through their profession.

What we do says what we believe in.

Nah, most people just work to feed themselves and their families.

They're not trying to be political.

Everything is not always so black and white.

Says the sister sleeping with a white cop on a racist police force.

Look, I didn't say that to hurt you.

I'm just telling the truth.

I like his look.

Calvin.

But I like yours, too.

Is that a problem for you?

No, Nova, it's not a problem.

It's just, you're all over the place.

I don't know. Maybe we're just too different.

Sorry.

(car engine starts)

Thanks for coming, everybody.

Oh, if this a family meeting, I should be going home.

You were one of Daddy's closest friends and it's about the farm.

So, you need to stay.

Please.

We received a cash offer to buy our farm.

Four million dollars from Jacob and Paul Boudreaux.

It's six times what Sam Landry offered.

That's what I'm talking about.

Except now I know the Boudreauxs and the Landrys are the same family.

So, why didn't they tell me that up front?

Wolves in sheep's clothing.

This is the land that belonged to the Landry's in 1889.

Twenty-six years after emancipation.

And this is that same land in 1939.

Still belongs to the Landrys, except for this part in the middle.

It belongs to us now.

What you getting at, Charley?

Something happened here we haven't been told.

Our farm belonged to the Landry and Boudreaux families.

So they don't just want our land, they want it back.

Why?

Y'all know that Ernest loved this land, but he wanted y'all to come to it on your own.

Made us promise not to tell you.

Unless you ask.

Violet: Our people worked on Landry land as sharecroppers.

But during slavery, they owned us.

Nova: What?

You can trace that?

It was that particular family for sure?

Yes, we know that for sure.

My daddy, Charles Bordelon, went north during the migration.

Then more family joined him in Chicago.

They worked hard, they made money, they sent some of that money back home.

Same as Arturo and Ignacio.

Different faces, same story.

That money came in handy when the Landrys fell on hard times during the Great Depression.

And your great-great-granddaddy bought some of their land.

Prosper: And the way I hear it, after the Landrys recovered, they said they'd never sold it to the Bordelons.

And suddenly nobody at the bank could find the deed.

And one night, the Landrys came to take the land back.

Oh, God.

Strung up Charles' eldest brother.

Hung three more Bordelons over time... including Granddaddy Angel.

His aunties Millie, Queenie, and Sara Joe cut him down in the dead of night.

Prayed over his body and soul, and then buried him right.

Ernest said eventually somebody came forward with a title.

So, the Landrys and Boudreauxs started doing everything they could to make it hard.

Became a sport to them.

Violet: When your daddy got this farm, he did everything he could to make it work.

But they made it so...

They made it so hard.

Yes, they did.

I'm sorry, y'all.

Your daddy didn't just up and die.

They killed him.

Slow.

Every time he took a good step, they found some way to strike him down.

But hell or high water, he wouldn't give up.

Not when he knew what it cost to get it.

(door opens)

This land's been paid for.

Over and over again.

No more running.

No more taking the easy way out.

I don't have any answers.

All I know is... we ain't going nowhere.