Queen Sugar: Season 4, Episode 3 “Where My Body Stops Or Begins” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

A younger Aunt Vi smiling and striking a pose.
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As the drama Nova brought to everyone’s life continues to ramp up, Charley is faced with issues with the Landry family and Micah.


Network
OWN
Director(s) Lacey Duke
Writer(s) Mike Flynn
Air Date 6/26/2019

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While Some People Change, Others Remain The Same: Charley, Jacob, Ralph Angel, Deesha

With Nova’s book haunting everyone’s future, luckily for Ralph Angel, Deesha doesn’t seem to care about his past. Not to say she didn’t use her abilities as a government employee, never mind in law, to look him up, but she sees who he has become and it is someone she likes. Even trusts to be around her child.

But, while things are getting better for Ralph Angel, Charley is still dealing with the same BS when it comes to the Landry family. They are making secret purchases, keeping her from board meetings, and Jacob has the audacity to tell Charley to stop ruffling feathers. Even presents the idea that she can’t stop or really slow down anything. Never mind this vibe that he is her only ally. Yet, from what it appears, as we saw before, his allyship is only as useful as she presents herself to him. For otherwise, if she isn’t chasing him, wooing him even, he will have her be an outsider who has to use 3rd parties to stay abreast to what is happening.

Protecting Your Child Is Both A Physical & Emotional Act: Charley, Micah, Darla, Ralph Angel, Blue

Micah has gotten through a good part of Nova’s book, and now Charley is left on the ropes a bit. Particularly when it comes to pressuring and paying off Davis’ accuser. Yet, as with the letters threatening Micah’s life, it becomes clear that as much as they see the world differently, and approach the world differently, what is the same is their love for one another. Yes, it is certainly complicated at times due to both being passionate individuals. However, when there is a need to close ranks in their segment of the family, that is what Charley shows she will do, and it seems Micah is still capable of.

Charley holding Micah's face.

Same goes with Darla and Ralph Angel. With Nova noting Blue’s paternity, they close rank and realize there is no waiting. Unlike Prosper, who didn’t learn his father wasn’t his biological daddy till high school, there is no time to wait. Nova forced their hands and now, in elementary school just as he, like Darla, are starting to have a sense of normalcy, their lives are getting blown up.

The Sordid Ballad Of Jimmy Dale: Jimmy Dale, Nova, Hollywood, Aunt Vi

With Nova being a journalist came her seeking out Jimmy Dale for his side of the story that is his and Violet’s relationship. Unfortunately, with tracking him down and stirring up old feelings, that led to him wanting to check on a woman he hasn’t seen in 30 years. Someone who has remarried, started a business, and healed from her old wounds.

However, with Jimmy Dean’s return instantly comes chaos. All that mental and emotional work Vi did unravels as fear returns as quick as the memory of how to ride a bicycle. Also, like a bike, Vi’s mind is spinning, and it even makes her faint when she sees the man on sight. Heck, it even puts her in a place where, when he comes to her house, she is so dumbfounded she lets him in. Something she regrets in no time as he begins to start with her and then when Nova reveals she is the reason for him coming about? Oh, that might be the last straw.

For, after Hollywood beats Jimmy Dean as if he likely isn’t old enough to be his father, Aunt Vi channels her rage into a few cutting sentences. One being how ashamed Earnest would be and that being followed up with a mention of Nova’s mother. A mention which preludes, in so many words, Aunt Vi damn near disowning Nova.

Highlights

Nova

Nova before Aunt Vi disowns her.

Like many, I do not like Nova right now, but with this Jimmy Dean thing, I get it. I understand that Nova is someone who is passionate and thus often thinks more so from her heart than with her mind. That, when enthusiastic or committed to something, she doesn’t double check if her intentions will ultimately do more than make it feel like she did something. That she wasn’t just passive but actually tried to make things better.

Now, again, she is thinking with her heart and not analyzing the possible results with her mind, leading to her often stumbling. However, with this Jimmy Dean situation, I genuinely believe the idea here was to use Aunt Vi, like everyone else, as an example to stir up conversations. To, by using her family, jumpstart the healing of other families. Similar to how many shows on OWN, and movies by many Black creatives initiated conversations. But, the problem is, and will be for a long time, Nova acts, just like Aunt Vi, without thinking of the repercussions. That is unlike Charley who, while she can get fired up like them, she will actually process the feeling and release little by little – if given the time.

Darla, Ralph Angel, and Charley As Parents

What you have to love about how parenthood is shown is that no one on this show is perfect. It is made clear no one’s life, whether male or female, begins and ends as a parent. They all have a past, and each one have something they don’t necessarily know how to present to their son. For not only is the kid precocious but also has that passionate Bordelon gene. I’d submit, with how they developed, both Micah and Blue are more geared to ask questions dealing with why and how than make statements of how they feel. Statements which, as seen with Aunt Vi and Nova, often can be about making you hurt versus understanding why you said or did what you did. Heck, Ralph Angel too, when it came to Blue’s paternity, is another example.

And yet, at least in terms of Micah, despite not agreeing with his mother’s methods, he trusts and loves her enough that when he sees a death threat, he knows who to go to. He doesn’t turn to Keke and keep it between them, David, or even Nova. Micah goes to the woman who, even if he doesn’t consciously like her methods, he knows who will get results. The main one being making him feel that, as a Black young man who is conscious and vocal, he won’t have to worry about being beaten or a bullet between the eyes as he goes about his day.

(Hopefully) A Hello & Goodbye To Jimmy Dean

Honestly, I don’t think we need much more from Jimmy Dean. We got to see what he looks like, get a taste of his personality, and understand why he got with Vi back in the day. He now has nothing left to offer but drama this show has little need for.

Ralph Angel and Deesha

Deesha reassuring Ralph Angel that his past won't get in the way of their potential relationship.
Deesha: But my work has taught me people aren’t their files.

While Micah and Keke are cute and all, Micah is a supporting character and if we see Keke in one scene every other episode that is a lot. So when it comes to Ralph Angel and Deesha, first and foremost, I stan since she isn’t another racially ambiguous Black woman. Which isn’t to say I have anything against those who are light skinned or with European features. More so, what I’m saying is that women like Deesha and Keke you rarely see and colorism is very real.

So, to see a man of Ralph Angel’s complexion have love in his eyes, just as much as someone Micah’s complexion – including being worried he could lose the person’s affection because of something they did, I could get emotional. As well as go on a rant but we’re not going to do that.

On The Fence

This Landry Fight Is Tired

I get that Charley’s fight to dismantle that family and their business has been central to her storyline for years, but I feel like they’ve juiced this storyline to the point all that is left is pulp and seeds. For really, it is clear Queen Sugar isn’t the kind of show to give Charley some grand victory. That may never happen. So what is there left to do? What can she really do?

Don’t get me wrong, I recognize the importance of this story and the importance of her fight for the family. It’s just, between new love, Nova’s book, Micah, and the mill she runs, I hope the Landry family drama is a secondary story and doesn’t rise to being primary again. Be it for Charley or the show.

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