Greenleaf: Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Mae refusing to shake Bob's hand.
66.13% (1)

Bob and Grace begin to clash, so he checks her. However, he ain’t the only one checking people this episode.


Network
OWN
Director(s) Crystle Roberson
Writer(s) Craig Wright
Air Date 9/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Cal Jason Davis
Judee Valerie Jane Parker
Fernando Dave Baez

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You Could Have Done The Right Thing: Kerissa, Fernando, Jacob, Phil, Mae

Fernando (Dave Baez) - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

Kerissa wants out of Mae’s home as soon as possible. Not because of James, the living spaces, anything like that. It is just hard to function when you aren’t the woman of the house, and you know you have to bite your tongue. Hence why, despite learning the land Jacob is selling, to a man named Fernando, is owned by Harmony and Hope, which she connects after seeing and asking about Phil’s cuff links, she signs the land away for peace of mind.

Assumptions Lead To Dumb Asses: AJ, Grace, Sophia, Zora, Noah, Charity, Karine

Grace, Sophia, and Mae - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

Grace’s situation with AJ is about to come to a head. Why? Well, Sophia has already started to build a relationship with him, that is going quite well, but also furthering the right between her and Grace. For while she learns why Grace keeps her secrets, when Zora confronts her on lying about where she was, she can’t help but call out her mom for bad-mouthing the family yet being no different. Then, with AJ saying she is like Grace? That for her is a sign she needs to go back to Hampton since she stuck around too long.

Which is going to such for her since Charity, in trying to dig some dirt, gets just enough out of Karine to point her in Noah’s direction and blow up his life. I’m talking Isabel kicking him out and him heading back to Memphis to get to know AJ, who has moved out there. Mind you, not in the main house, only Sophia and Noah knows his existence, but that is going to change soon.

Well, unless Grace really does find a way to keep AJ close, but at arm’s length, until she gets the church back.

We’re Losing The Church: Cal, Bob, Grace, Mae, James

Cal (Jason Davis) - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

Bob is about that cash and will talk down to any employee, Black, White, those who identify as either or reject both – case in point: Cal. His church went from 1500 people down to 270 after Harmony and Hope, and Bob is ready to consolidate that church into the Greenleaf’s former church. For Mae, the idea of integrating Calvary not only puts another obstacle in her way, since what megachurch is led by a Black woman, so says James, but she sees Calvary as a Black church.

Which is something she explains to Bob but with him seeing some kind of MLK Jr. promise land on the horizon, he listens but rebuffs her. Hence why she doesn’t shake the man’s hand. For while she is okay with them visiting, in terms of loving thy neighbor, she doesn’t see why they need keys to the front door.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

It’s easy to show up and make promises, it’s harder to keep them.
— AJ

I will not tell your secret, but I will not lie for you.
— Sophia

Highlights

Lady Mae As Shady As Ever

This is Lynn Whitfield’s show, and everyone else is simply her co-star. She is the one who speaks to nearly every character, livening up their storylines, reminding us of their importance, or sparring with them to keep them on their toes. All the while, when you think about it, her storyline is technically the weakest.

After all, she is subject to Grace making moves since Bob doesn’t want her preaching, the Deacon board doesn’t want her, and it isn’t like, unlike James, people are inviting her to speak anywhere. So as much as Bob may have liked Mae’s sermon for “A Day With Lady Mae,” and says Grace got the Word from her, he isn’t putting out the word or trying to do a gosh darn thing.

Yet, despite sputtering every episode, Mae is the main, if only, one who leaves a lasting impression that doesn’t make you roll your eyes and wonder what nonsense they are getting into now.

Church Being More Than A Place But A Culture, With Sub-Cultures, Included

Judee (Valerie Jane Parker) - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

In season 1, partly season 2, Calvary gave you the church experience. We had Charity singing gospel, James preaching, and it felt like Calvary was more than a setting or this thing the Greenleaf family was afraid to lose or fighting to get back. So with Mae talking about what the Black church means, Grace preaching as she did, it felt almost like a callback to what this show once was. Before it got so knee-deep in everyone’s personal drama, and messiness, that religion, the church, and what the church gives individuals and a community, was an afterthought.

Understand Bob Better Yet Still Not Having The Full Picture

If you go by the way Bob talks to Cal, you’d think he was only about the money. Taking note how he talks to Phil, you’d think he was just about appearances and making church into a franchise business where one method works for all. Yet, when admonishing Grace about her unity sermon, it seemed he was seeking something more.

What I mean by that is, Bob presents the idea like he recognizes his mortality. That, similar to Mae in a way, he recognizes that a lot of his life has been focused on lighting himself up, putting himself in positions to be praised, but he hasn’t really done anything that, beyond generational wealth, will outlive him. Which really pushes you to think of Bob as not a villain, someone who might be prejudice, or ignorant, if not arrogant, but as a fully realized person. Someone who is contradicting himself with each interaction he has and every other sentence. Thus greatening his appeal.

Low Point

Charity

At this point, what is Charity doing beyond stirring the pot? Her storyline right now is bringing secrets out into the light and not like Nova in Queen Sugar, where you can at least say the family needs said secret out. Charity isn’t trying to help people heal, she is barely focused on healing herself. More so, she is looking for distractions and challenges that help her ignore the mess of a life she has that, in many ways, she doesn’t want to take not a bit of responsibility for. She’d rather blame the easy target that is Grace, point out her family coerced her to work with Phil, and when she is truly isolated and alone, she’ll still lash out and criticize everyone’s role in her downfall but her own.

Also, can we add the question: What happened to her situation with Percy?

On The Fence

Sophia

As AJ said, Sophia is a mini-Grace. Take note of her holier than thou routine with her mother. Her learning to lie, despite how self-righteous she is, and her desire to be both needed, yet not consistently reliable. Especially for the small things. The big things, like a guy in a romance film, she’ll come out with the grandeur comeback. However, the day to day little things? Don’t call or text her because she is off listening to someone enough to judge them.

Kerissa

I appreciate Kerissa sticking to the fact she can’t stand Lady Mae, wants that high-class life, and is willing to do whatever to have it. It really says a lot about her, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. If anything, it shows how much she really doesn’t see herself as a Greenleaf and Kerissa’s struggle has likely been trying to integrate, and failing, and now trying to break away with Jacob and her family. A challenge, as we can see, yet with Mae noting James talking to Jacob, and her comment about Kerissa lacking patience, it’s time. Since, if Mae feels the need, or has the ability, to talk to Kerissa like that, despite Kerissa trying to keep the peace, that firmly makes it clear she is not wanted and might solely be tolerated.

The Return of Noah

While he will push along the AJ storyline, and give Charity something to talk to Phil about, his return seems like a waste of screen time. For what more can we learn about this man? What can he contribute to this show beyond picking up where he left off with Grace? Maybe filling us in further about their past? Information that, honestly, is anyone even asking about?

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Queen Sugar - Episode List

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 4, Episode 13 “I Am” [Season Finale]In the season finale for Queen Sugar, while many find peace, unfortunately for Charley, it seems she just keeps swapping who she is at war with.
Director(s) Ayoka Chenzira
Writer(s) Anthony Sparks
Air Date 9/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
Parker Amirah Vann
  • Something From Our Past | Nova, Ralph Angel
  • A Love Renewed | Ralph Angel, Nova, Darla, Calvin
  • I Am My Father’s Daughter | Aunt Vi, Frances, Parker, Charley, Sam
Season 4, Episode 12 “Here”

Just a Nova seems to be recovering her place in the family, Charley might be ready to cut them all off.

Director(s)

Pratibha Parmar

Writer(s)

Anthony Sparks, Alison McKenzie

Air Date

9/4/2019

Introduced This Episode

Layla

Kei'Undrea Turner

  • Let’s Not Repeat The Mistakes Of The Past: Darla, Nova, Aunt Vi, Blue, Ralph Angel
  • Destroying The Path I Laid Down: Aunt Vi, Jimmy Dale, Nova, Layla
  • If It Isn’t One Thing, It’s Another: Charley, Micah, Keke, Aunt Vi, Nova, Prosper, Frances
Season 4, Episode 11 “I’m Sorry”As a rainstorm sweeps through St. Jo, many find themselves with someone who forces them to slow down and think about their future.
Director(s) Stacey Muhammad
Writer(s) Valerie C. Woods, Mike Flynn
Air Date 8/28/2019
  • A Prom Night To Remember: Micah, Keke, Asha
  • I Should Be With The One I Love: Deesha, Ralph Angel, Darla
  • A Change Gon’ Come: Nova, Calvin, Hollywood, Aunt Vi, Charley, Jacob
Season 4, Episode 10 “Oh Mamere”The night Blue was conceived is talked about, as well as many past trauma that still shakes characters to the core.
Director(s) Cheryl Dunye
Writer(s) Chloé Hung, Felicia Pride
Air Date 8/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jordan Amanda Tavarez
  • Charley, Nova, Aunt Vi | Hurt People Hurt People
  • Micah, Blue, Prosper, Ralph Angel, Hollywood | Boys & Men
  • Jordan, Darla, Aunt Vi, Ralph Angel | Darla Talks About The Night She Conceived Blue
Season 4, Episode 9 “Stare At The Same Fires”As Nova comes to terms with what she did, and tries to atone, Darla struggles in isolation. Also, the men challenge themselves to open up to one another.
Director(s) C. Fitz
Writer(s) Lisa Morales
Air Date 8/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
Miss Martha Carol Sutton
  • Oh Mother, Mother Of Mine: Miss Martha, Nova, Darla, Ralph Angel, Blue, Leo
  • Not All Boys Become Men: Micah, Keke, Ralph Angel, Hollywood, Aunt Vi
  • Gather Together & Share The Burden Evenly: Prosper, Charley, Nova, Micah
Season 4, Episode 8 “All The Borders”When it rains, it pours, and while it seems some may have learned to swim, others may pass out from the struggle and drown.
Director(s) Deborah Kampmeier
Writer(s) Valerie C. Woods, Chloé Hung
Air Date 8/7/2019
  • Deesha, Darla, and The Review Board: Ralph Angel, Deesha, Darla
  • The Demon Formerly Known As Frances And Calling In Old Favors: Frances, Charley, Sam, Aunt Vi, Hollywood, Nova, Ralph Angel
  • The Past Is A Struggle With or Without You: Darla, Deesha, Ralph Angel, Romero, Charley, Micah, Keke, Calvin, Nova, Aunt Vi
Season 4, Episode 7 “Of Several Centuries”As the dust begins to settle from Nova’s book, the Landry and Bourdeux family decide to hurt destroy what the Bordelon family has built. Either physically or its bonds.
Director(s) Tchaiko Omawale
Writer(s) Anthony Sparks
Air Date 7/31/2019
  • The Ghost Of My Past Continues To Haunt Me:Leo, Darla, Nova, Calvin
  • Learning To Be Strong On My Own: Aunt Vi
  • And It All Falls Down: Ralph Angel, Charley, Deesha, Jacob
Season 4, Episode 6 "By The Spit"While some are making strides recovering from Nova’s book, Aunt Vi begins to really feel the effects and Nova, herself, is dealing with the dark side of her new success.
Director(s) Bola Ogun
Writer(s) Felicia Pride
Air Date 7/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Pastor Angel Martinez Armando Leduc
Lady Genevieve Ginnie Randall
  • Recovery Is A Slow Process: Aunt Vi, Ralph Angel, Blue, Darla, Hollywood
  • What Fed You Once Can Bite You Later: Nova, Octavia
  • Your Focus Can’t Only Be On The Opposition, But Those You Have To Win Over: Romero, Pastor Martinez, Charley
Season 4, Episode 5 “Face Speckled”Nova’s book continues to devastate her family and extended family. But, we also learn of someone who was omitted who takes offense to the book.
Season 4, Episode 4 “Skin Transparent”On the eve of Nova’s book release, another secret comes out, and Darla confronts Nova about bringing her narrative to her story.
Season 4, Episode 1 “Pleasure Is Black” [Season Premiere]Despite being warned, Nova went full steam ahead with her book, and we only get a taste of the fallout this episode.
Season 4, Episode 2 “I No Longer Imagine”As more people read Nova’s book, we learn it comes just on the cusp of the storm ending for some and one colossal storm on its way.
Season 4, Episode 3 “Where My Body Stops Or Begins”As the drama Nova brought to everyone’s life continues to ramp up, Charley is faced with issues with the Landry family and Micah.

Season 1/ Episode 4 "The Darker Sooner"

Ralph Angel takes a back seat as the focus is on Charley’s business acumen and Nova’s journalism.

Season 1/ Episode 5 "By Any Means"

So it seems, the past familiarity of storylines was just to draw you in, get you comfortable and settled, and while there isn’t some huge surprise or shock in “By Any Chance”, there are veers to paths perhaps not surely expected.

Season 1/ Episode 6 "As Promised"

Perception is everything. It is what allows a person to trust another and it determines how we are going to handle another person. Especially when it comes to our secrets, as well as our time. Yet looks can be deceiving so even at our best mistakes can be made. As seen in this episode.

Season 1/ Episode 3 "Thy Will Be Done"

Everyone grieves differently and the pain isn’t consistent. There are good days and bad days, but it is the things left behind which matter most. So when those things are being ravaged through or taken from you, naturally it can lead to you being left a bit messed up. Which with what everyone is grieving, be it Ernest or their marriage, it seems there is always but one straw before the camel’s back ends up broke.

Season 1/ Episode 2 “Evergreen”

Family. Be it by bonds created by blood or choices we made, it gets complicated. But no matter the bond it always takes two or more to maintain that connection and keep it beneficial. Which can be hard when ego, our own inability to communicate, and distrust gets in the way.

Season 1/ Episode 1 “First Things First”

OWN is a slept on channel. Granted, starting things off with a slew of Tyler Perry productions didn’t begin its scripted foray with the best reputation. However, since branching out to different visionaries OWN arguably has gained the type of programming you’d have expected the decades old BET to have had years ago. So with their newest addition, Queen Sugar, arguably Oprah Winfrey and her team have created a solid launch pad for new talent, seasoned talent who deserve steady work, and those in between who may be familiar faces but never got the roles they deserved.

Season 1/ Episode 7 "In No Uncertain Terms"

Freedom lies across the field of the difficult conversation. And the more difficult the conversation, the greater the freedom.
—  “Chapter 11: Yes to No, Yes to Difficult Conversations.” Year of Yes

Season 1/ Episode 8 "Where With All"

A storm comes to the area and forces everyone to Aunt Vi’s house, included some people Aunt Vi would never willingly invite in. No matter how strong the storm is.

Season 1/ Episode 9 "Next to Nothing"

The storm has passed and with that comes a calm. Not a calm before the storm because this show isn’t about such things. It’s the type of calm which is healing. For while there are uprooted trees and fallen branches, yeah there maybe some tears. But in rebuilding, you are reminded of who is there for you through thick and thin, and not just family either.

Season 1/ Episode 10 "So Far"

There are quite a few setbacks, for everyone, in this episode, but there is always one person who creates some sort of silver lining. In that person, there is hope.

Season 1/ Episode 11 "All Good"

The importance of a connection with another human being, especially one which is dependable and trying to do right by you, is such a beautiful and strengthening thing. Though it isn’t always stable and with that comes fear.

Season 1/ Episode 12 "Far Too Long"

Almost everyone is trying to prove something to themselves or others. Either proving they can move on, triumph over adversity, or that they deserve to be loved.

Season 1/ Episode 13 "Give Us This Day"

Charley’s various manipulations are tested, as Nova learns of the complications which will come dating Calvin again and Ralph Angel looks for some respect from Charley.

Season 2/ Episode 1 “After The Winter”

One of the hardly arguable highlights of Black media returns. And, as always, you find yourself smiling because of the family dynamics, crying tears over certain struggles they have, and end up triggered as well. To say the least, Queen Sugar remains an emotional roller coaster ride that as soon as it is over, you want to get right back on.

Season 2/ Episode 2 “To Usward”

Grieving isn’t something just for the dead. A loss of innocence, relationships, these are worth mourning over. But from the dead, the richness of once was life, blooms something new. Something we see quite a bit of in “To Usward.”

Season 2/ Episode 3 “What Do I Care For Morning”

“What Do I Care For Morning” is an episode of growth and recognizing the needs of another person. Be it Charley recognizing the needs of Davis or Ralph Angel to be a role model in their son’s lives. Perhaps recognizing the greatness and intellect in another person as Nova does. If not something as simple as Hollywood recognizing the type of woman he has in Aunt Vi and that he needs more of the loving she gives.

Season 2/ Episode 4 “My Soul’s High Song”

What is the dream? Who or what inspired it? How can you obtain it? In “My Soul’s High Song” the focus is on what makes a person feel happy or whole. Especially in times when you aren’t necessarily thriving but surviving. Sometimes due to compromise.

Season 2/ Episode 5 “Caroling Dusk”

Investing in something bigger than yourself is the main focus in episode 5 “Caroling Dusk.” Be it investing in your kids and making sure they know you, know that you will consistently be there, or investing in someone else. Trying to make it so, in the long run, you can say you did more than became a success and can show it through property or a bank account. For the true success is perhaps the people you lifted up as you were climbing to the top and reached it.

Season 2/ Episode 6 “Line of our Elders”

If I may sort of rant, I really don’t understand how and why this show doesn’t get major accolade notoriety. For while, I get, as a Black person, we should uphold the NAACP awards, maybe BET awards, and all that, it isn’t like all of your peers recognizing you, you know? Plus, with this argument amongst entertainers, and something I bring up in reviews at times, where they don’t want to be pigeonholed because of their race/culture, it makes our award shows nice but still limited.

But, in the long run, all that truly matters is that whenever this show wraps for a season, or as a series, everyone doesn’t have a gap in employment. For that is truly what matters in the long run.

So, with that said, let’s talk about Episode 6 “Line of our Elders” and how this show consistently makes you cry.

Season 2/ Episode 7 “I Know My Soul”

With the rich characters we have been given on Queen Sugar, naturally, there is this desire to know of their past. To maybe get an episode featuring them as kids, teens, young adults. Get to see their interactions with their parents at those ages, and perhaps even Aunt Vi. However, that may not be as necessary as it once was. For in “I Know My Soul,” the complicated relationship both Nova and Charley have with Ernest and Ra is dug into, alongside how Aunt Vi has played, at least for Charley, a role in it. Thus helping us understand the complexities of this family.

Season 2/ Episode 8 “Freedom’s Plow”

The midseason finale deals with all the fallout for what has happened since the season began. Be it where Remy and Charley stand, with what happened to Micah, alongside Ralph Angel’s big reveal and how he handled it.

Season 2/ Episode 9 “Yet Do I Marvel”

Based off what was seen, and the little synopsis on Wikipedia, it seems the focus for 2B is going to primarily be family. For this episode, it is Charley’s mother Lorna joining the series and us being prepped for Darla’s parents.

Season 2/ Episode 10 “Drums at Dusk”

Love is in the air for Nova and Micah but sadly, as sweet as things are going for them, the opposite is true for Ralph Angel and Darla.

Season 2/ Episode 11 “Fruit of the Flower”

Everything you knew about Lorna and Ernest’s relationship seemingly is completely wrong and that seems to change everything for Nova. Alongside that, Remy playing a paternal figure changes things for Ralph Angel and Darla.

Season 2/ Episode 12 “Live in the All Along”

As one door closes, and another gets locked, it makes the few happy relationships that remain a welcome focus.

Season 2/ Episode 13 “Heritage”

Darla’s parents come about and like when Lorna came to Louisiana, we are led to believe everything we were told is not true.

Director(s) Liesl Tommy
Writer(s) Monica Macer & Davita Scarlett
Notable Guest Stars
Darlene Michael Michele
Quincy Roger Guenveur Smith

Season 2/ Episode 14 “On These I Stand”

As Darla and Aunt Vi deal with the revealing of their secrets, Nova and Charley find themselves having to really think about the next step of their careers.

Director(s) Christina Voros
Writer(s) Jason Wilborn & Anthony Sparks
Characters Introduced
Mother Brown Beverly Todd
Mia Naomi Mack
Rid Dominic “Tax” Alexander
Martin Shawn Parsons

Season 2/ Episode 15 “Copper Sun”

Nearly everything goes to hell. The Mill is in trouble, due to slander, the Blue paternity situation rocks everyone and, even Micah is in trouble.

Director(s) DeMane Davis
Writer(s) Monica Macer & Dana Greenblatt
Characters Introduced
Lizy Danielle Lyn

Season 2/ Episode 16 “Dream Variations”

Do not expect resolutions to any of your pressing questions in the season 2 finale of Queen Sugar. Hold onto them until season 3, unfortunately.

Director(s) Kat Candler
Writer(s) Ava Duverney

Season 3/ Episode 1 “A Rock, A River, A Tree”

Queen Sugar returns with Charley laying out her plan, Blue’s paternity results in, Nova making major moves, and Blue starting to act up a little bit.

Season 3/ Episode 2 “Of Their Sojourn Here”

Nova and Aunt Vi find strength and inspiration through each other as Charley takes note of Micah’s personal needs than she wants for him.

Season 3/ Episode 3 “Your Distant Destiny”

As Nova reminds us how tactless she can sometimes be, Ralph Angel decides to put his son before tryst and Micah adjusts to the changes in his life.

Season 3/ Episode 4 “No Haven in My Shadow”

As we come up on a year since we joined the story of the Bordelon family, as much as there is growth there remains secrets to reveal.

Season 3/ Episode 5 “A Little Lower Than Angels”

The writers of Queen Sugar have seemingly decided to provide many gifts with a few poisoned apples in a slightly polarizing episode.

Season 3/ Episode 6 “Delicate and Strangely Made”

Giving yourself permission to be happy is the first step and then asking, or taking it the second, as seen in this episode.

Season 3/ Episode 7 “Study War No More”

The focus of the episode is figuring out what you want and what compromises you may have to make to get it. If not tough conversation so people understand why you want something.

Season 3/ Episode 8 “Come, Clad in Peace”

After long struggling on their own, many begin accepting and asking for help. Thus showing how far some characters have come.

Season 3/ Episode 9 “The Tree and the Stone Were One”

Trust is a major focus as many become shocked by what is asked of them, whether understandable or just a Grade-A insult.

Season 3/ Episode 10 “Here Beside the River”

The nuclear button gets tapped a few times and while it’s mostly by Vi, it isn’t like she wasn’t provoked.

Season 3/ Episode 11 “Your Passages Have Been Paid”

As Micah’s decision makes the pending jail vote all the much more pertinent, Darla and Nova are forced to also be accountable for their actions.

Season 3/ Episode 12 “The Horizon Leans Forward”

While we get some semblance of a silver lining, Queen Sugar remains unrelenting. No matter how hopeful each episode’s title is. 

Season 3/ Episode 13 “From On The Pulse Of Morning”

The season finale of Queen Sugar gives you all you could want and more, making it seem like the clouds are gone and the storm might be over – for now.

How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Lady Mae As Shady As Ever
90 %
Church Being More Than A Place But A Culture, With Sub-Cultures Included
91 %
Understanding Bob Better Yet Still Not Having The Full Picture
85 %
Charity
65 %
Sophia
75 %
Kerissa
74 %
The Return of Noah
70 %
New Jersey native Amari Allah has been writing reviews, in a "Media Advisor" capacity since 2011 and has been touching upon television, movies, books, live performances, video games, and more ever since. Using a fusion of his varied knowledge of entertainment, partly gained from being a Communications major in college, his love for visual and written media, as well an ever-evolving respect for both creators and the consumers they sell to.