Charley Shakes Things Up at the Fellowship Hall

Season 3 Episode 312
Aired on 08/15/2018 | CC tv-pg
Now that the truth about Charley's business dealings with the Landrys is out, her relationship with the farmers in St. Josephine Parish is a little rocky. They view it as doing business with the devil and feel betrayed. So, when Charley stands up at the parish meeting and attempts to speak for the farming community by arguing against the Landrys' plan to build a prison in the parish, many in the room are quick to scold and dismiss her.

Things don't get any better for Charley when Cardale Stewart, a farmer and family friend, stands and challenges her. "Oh, big talk now. What'd you think would happen when you sold your mill to the same family that's tryin' to kick us off the land?" he asks. "You one of them, Miss Charley."

As the crowd murmurs angrily, Charley defends her actions. "I tried to keep farmers working, I—" she says before pausing. "I gave up my mill to leverage fair rates for you, to keep you in business! They were gonna keep comin' at us. I did it so we could all live to fight another day. But this prison. This prison. If they build it, that day will never come. They'll make sure of it."

Charley turns her attention to the podium, where Lawrence Callahan, a prison official, is addressing the assembly. She peppers him with questions and facts, pointing out that his other facilities pay just above the minimum wage to employees and, in fact, exploit the free labor of the prisoners. She also points out how the sudden influx of inmates—counted as residents even though they can't vote—would benefit politicians who gain from the population growth.

As Charley speaks, the once-hostile crowd slowly warms to her and applauds her words. "Mr. Callahan," she says, addressing the lectern, "the soul of St. Joe isn't for sale."

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