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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Queen Sugar - Episode List

Season/ EpisodeSynopsis
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.

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