Queen Sugar: Season 4, Episode 4 “Skin Transparent” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Micah and Nova hugging.
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On the eve of Nova’s book release, another secret comes out, and Darla confronts Nova about bringing her narrative to her story.


Network
OWN
Director(s) Numa Perrier
Writer(s) Valerie C. Woods
Air Date 7/3/2019
Introduced This Episode
Councilwoman Isabel Barrera Maritza Guerrero
Tia Mikari Tarpley

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Recap

It Takes Time To Heal: Darla, Charley, Tia, Micah, Nova, Aunt Vi, Leo

Being that Davis doesn’t know anything about timing, and refuses to learn, as Charley is going through all this turmoil with Nova, he decides it is a good time for her and Micah to meet Tia. This leads to some shady moments, which Tia picks up on, but being the good brother he is, Micah escorts her out so that she doesn’t have to see them fight. Well, more so have a heated discussion about how Charley won’t become the girl’s surrogate mother, as if that was even a thought or action. But, you know, with the Tia situation being yet another secret to deal with, Charley has to lay down the law. Plus, who knows whether or not Tia reminds her of herself and how odd things may have been growing up.

Charley’s drama aside, Nova is still dealing with being shut out by Aunt Vi. Yet, with it being a few days later, it seems Nova thinks things should have blown over by now. Showing that, despite how well she knows people’s past, apparently she doesn’t know anyone’s temperament. Which becomes apparent later on for as Darla takes note of her progress with Leo, finally getting a sense of normalcy, it makes Nova’s book more and more dangerous.

Tia (Mikari Tarpley) and Davis reacting to Charley.
Tia (Mikari Tarpley) and Davis

Prepping For A Battle, Which Will Turn Into A War: Charley, Romero, Councilwoman Barrera, Frances

Just as things are getting better for  Charley, considering her and Romero are growing closer, and he finally meets Micah, she learns Frances is doing something shady. Specifically, she is pushing out Councilwoman Barrera to make way for Jacob to take her seat for a major highway project. One which means losing some Landry land but pretty much decimating that of Charley’s family.

Naturally, that’s an issue for Charley, but Frances makes it clear it isn’t personal and is strictly about money. So, Charley seems ready to, like with the prison, take up this fight. But, the difference being this time is that now Charley will be taking on the federal government and eminent domain laws vs. the state.

There Is Pain In Silence: Darla, Nova, Charley, Aunt Vi, Ralph Angel, Micah, Chantel

With all that goes on, only Micah seems not to have any hatred towards Nova. But, then again, maybe she didn’t cast his activism or decisions in a negative light to craft a lesson? Who knows? What is known though is that Nova is far from done spilling family secrets. For example, apparently Ernest may have killed, or at the very least buried, men who once spoke about doing something sexual to a 10-year-old Nova. A topic Micah mentions to Charley, who confronts Aunt Vi, with Ralph Angel next to her, about. But, as always, Aunt Vi keeps things to the chest.

Someone who doesn’t though is Darla. For of all people mentioned, Darla is the person Nova knows the least. After all, when has Nova spent time with Darla? When has any information Nova acquired about Darla not been through Ralph Angel or through Aunt Vi – who doesn’t like her? So as much as Nova may try to clean things up and note Darla’s resilience, among other things, there is a need to question if she hears herself? If she couldn’t have personally ever said this to Darla before the book came out, or was even written!

Hence why Darla calls her out as a thief. Which, when you add in Nova’s ex, Chantel, calling her out for not working on her own issues, creates the perfect storm. One which makes it so Nova is forced to look at how her own life is a lesson for someone else to learn from. But, she only does that for a moment and seems more geared towards her upcoming book tour.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What are the chances they start digging up the land to find those dead bodies that Nova testified, put into writing, of seeing?

Highlights

Darla

Darla and Leo embracing one another.

We got two masterful scenes out of Darla in this episode: The first was when she was in Leo’s arms with a look of fear on her face. Yet, it isn’t the kind of fear we’re used to seeing. Darla isn’t scared because she is in a dangerous situation or because her life is threatened. More so it is that fear which comes from knowing you love someone and are in a position where they have the power to truly hurt you now. Which, for some, can be nice and new, something you can settle into – that vulnerability. However, for Darla, she has to fear if it’ll last for even if Leo knows she was an addict, he doesn’t know the full story and Nova has exposed the worst part of it.

The second scene to note is Darla confronting Nova since it isn’t too often we see Darla come out of character. Usually, she is very meek, controlled, and doesn’t seem fond of confrontation. However, on that night, she drove to Nova’s home, which isn’t in the best part of the county, planted herself in Nova’s living room, went eye to eye, toe to toe, and went off. All the while, Nova tried to put on that voice your mom has when she is on the phone to try to calm Darla down. Yet, Nova got told off in the way she deserved to since as much as she wants her family to be a form of inspiration, she keeps forgetting none of them were prepped for that. Especially since most were more focused on moving on with their baggage than dealing with it to lighten their load.

Seeing More And More Why That Book Needed To Be Written

With that said, increasingly, you see why the book had to be written. All these secrets clearly still eat at everyone, and no one is willing to confront them. Now, this isn’t to say Nova is in the right, but sometimes you have to do what needs to be done and worry about the consequences later. For just the Ernest possible murder thing revealed how much Aunt Vi is still keeping from everyone, possibly under the guise she is protecting them.

And really, for that family to truly heal, they have to let all the secrets out. Otherwise, like when Darla revealed Ralph Angel may not be the father, when Charley was working with the Landry family, among countless other incidents, they’ll be reminded how much their bond is conditional. For everyone is just waiting for the next bomb to drop.

Hollywood’s Pain As An Outsider

Hollywood listening to Vi crying.

While Hollywood is treated like family, he isn’t. Yes, he is married in, been around forever, and is dependable, but nothing will change the fact he is new. At this point, especially when it comes to Vi, a lot of the issues have long metastasized, and there is nothing he can do. Can he console, redirect the stress towards sex? Yeah, it is what he often does. Yet, as Vi cried in the bathroom, it became clear all he does is clean the wound and put a band-aid on the issue. He isn’t going to be able, or allowed, to truly heal what is going on. Which, as a man who left a wife who had a similar issue of having something he couldn’t fix or heal, must be hard.

Charley Ramping Up For A Political Campaign

While fighting the Landry family remains a reminder why most series don’t let their villains linger too long, at least there is some real escalation going on. One which, in my mind, could lead Darla’s dad to dealing with Charley since he does work in government, last time I checked. Also, considering what Nova has done to Darla, and Charley has done to Darla, it seems like Darla and her family are overdue for more than a tongue lashing.

On The Fence

How Micah May Take What Ernest Felt He Had To Do

Micah is a rebel who thinks he has a cause but really is like the rest of his family in trying to find an outlet rather than deal with the pain directly. So one can only hope that hearing about Ernest possibly killing and burying someone doesn’t lead to any dumb ideas. Especially considering Micah’s friends, and Keke, don’t seem to have any ability to rein him in.

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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
Darla
90 %
Seeing More And More Why That Book Needed To Be Written
85 %
Hollywood’s Pain As An Outsider
89 %
Charley Ramping Up For A Political Campaign
80 %
How Micah May Take What Ernest Felt He Had To Do
75 %
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.