TV Series Queen Sugar: Season 4, Episode 4 "Skin Transparent" - Recap, Review (with...
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Queen Sugar: Season 4, Episode 4 “Skin Transparent” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

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

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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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Review Summary

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 %
Amari Allahhttps://wherever-i-look.com
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Going by S4,E1 and RA saying he told Blue about P words, penal system, parole, prison, and police, I assume Blue is aware. He references Ra having his “Big timeout.”

  2. Yeah, I guess your right. But speaking of memory issues, I don’t remember but did RA actually ever tell Blue that he was in jail? I always remembered RA just saying that he was away. We know that RA told Blue in a special kind of way that he off of probation, without actually sating he was on probation, so unless I’m forgetting that part, than okay. And yes, we all know that Blue storming off to his room, is not the only reaction we are going to get from him once he learns the news. Also your right about him knowing the things that Aunt Vi has said about Darla.

  3. If he is old enough to know his dad went to jail, he might be old enough to know RA isn’t his biological dad. To me, there is probably more to him storming off than that. It isn’t like he doesn’t know most of RA’s family doesn’t like Darla. Maybe he brings up what Aunt Vi said before?

  4. Hey Amari, I got to say I am NERVOUS for this episode. Darla and RA gotta tell Blue now, because some kid probably said something, that damn Nova!!! He ain’t ready, I ain’t ready! It is going to be intense. Whatever reaction Blue has, I hope Darla doesn’t relapse! P.S. Check out my last comment.

  5. Yeah, I’m not here for them either, you know how heated I was all throughout season 2 lol Yes, to BL doing more press lol I am also still hurt over how Charley did Darla, still mad at Aunt Vi still dismissing Darla as well. If anything though, I wouldn’t care if Darla doesn’t ever get brought back into the family, because she doesn’t need them. All she has to do is make sure that her and RA are on good terms, and they have things planned out to where Blue will be able to see the both of them, that’s it.

    But this part is what stuck out to me:
    “[Darla] is unlike any character I’ve played before. She’s grown me as an actress, as a human. There’s an episode coming up next week and I read the script and I thought, ‘I’ve never done these things before as an actor’. This is going to be a completely new experience for me. It’s going to be a completely new discovery of how to do this thing.”

    I want to know what it is, like we have seen Darla at her most lowest, BL crying her eyes out in pure agony, so this part really has me think what was the script about and what did the script call for her to do, in terms of her acting.

  6. Yeah, I guess, but thinking about this whole situation just makes me nervous lol Also the future is the future, I’m worried about how this will effect everyone now, I mean we are only on episode 4, going into episode 5, yet so many tears have already been shed. It’s insane. You’re about this book bringing life into the again, cause season 3 was a bit of snooze fest but, it was needed because we now have this season, and like you said season 5 would be a new beginning type of season. It’s like I said before, Darla was looking rough, I truly don’t know if Darla will be able to hold on to her sobriety, there is just so much there ya know. Also I think you should check this article out, BL talks a bit more about season 4. Thoughts?

    https://blackgirlnerds.com/bianca-lawson-on-family-queen-sugar-and-her-secrets-to-fighting-aging/

    • First off, I’m glad BL is doing more press than any of the previous seasons. With that said, the only thing I got out of that article is the possibility of RA and Darla getting back together. Which, honestly, I’m not here for. I get it would lead to Darla confronting the B’s family opinion of her, maybe welcoming her back in, but I don’t know. I’m still hurt over Charley discarding her.

  7. Not necessarily. Unfortunately, all that is required, based on my understanding of the term, is one person and a whole lot of, usually, men.

    But I’m just hoping it wasn’t something graphic and violent.

    As for the book, if it is evil, it is a necessary evil. One which, for the B family, and show, was necessary. As I think I said in the season 3 finale, that book will give this show new life and make it so if there is a season 5, it is a new beginning. Especially since most if not all of the fallout could take place this season. Leaving everyone to just move forward in season 5. Likely making new secrets, finding new toxic behaviors, but at least cleansed of their old ones.

  8. WHAT!?!? Are you joking lol that book is evil lol

    P.S. Check out my previous comment.

    I don’t think Darla having a train rain on her would be considered the truth, because of the simple fact that Darla couldn’t actively consent to that. When it comes to trains don’t the women have to consent? Darla was intoxicated/high.

  9. Head’s up! The promo for this Wednesday’s episode is on Facebook. I actually wasn’t able to catch the promo once the last episode went off, so I am a little worried. Darla is looking a little rough. Clearly this is the episode where Darla and RA have to tell Blue the truth, poor thing. My heart. Damn that Nova, causes all of this damage and then basically just skips town. Although it does seem like some people from her audience are going to be calling out, so there’s that.

  10. Ugh, I hate that term train lol It just sounds wrong, and gross honestly. But who knows what the writers do, I just need for them (the writers) and for Darla herself, to acknowledge what happened to her. Also, I never for a second believed that the writers would actually bring Jimmy Dale on the show to Saint Jo, but now I see that anything is possible, so now it makes me wonder come season 5, maybe even season 6 if the writers actually decode to have Blue’s bio dad come to town. Like something may trigger in Darla and she remembers or he actually comes up to Darla and maybe his voice or touch like has her suddenly remember all hell would break loose.

  11. I don’t know honestly. I just want it to be somebody. If this happened and Nova’s book more or less starts to trigger things for Darla she should be able to open up to somebody without the after thought of shame, guilt, or blame being thrown at her. Especially for the sake of Darla’s sobriety. I as well hope that we see Darla parents again as well. I hope that we get to see Darla’s sponser again as well.

  12. Yes. Darla was intoxicated and high. She said she went back home from school for her break. She met up with her old crew from high school they went to a party and Darla, as she puts, got out of control. She says that she didn’t know what was happening to her until it happened, and she specifically saidd to RA, before he cut her off, that at that party there were boys there, and also to her mother when she asked Darla if there was more than one guy, Darla says that she honestly doesn’t know, and that she can’t remember.

    So, I would say that Blue wasn’t a drug baby, and yes it was early on in Darla and RA’s relationship when Blue came to be and when Darla was pregnant with him.

    We can assume that Darla was dealing with drug addiction during her high school times, she manged to get clean graduate and move on to college, than she went back home and unfortunately that one night changed her life.

  13. I keep trying to sort my memories about Blue’s conception and am trying to remember past Darla being intoxicated, what was the environment at the time? To my knowledge, Blue isn’t a drug baby so I think she was clean at the time. Also, wasn’t it early on in her relationship with RA she got pregnant? I’m learning that these recaps are brain dumps and it makes it hard for me to remember details after a while.

  14. What I’m curious about is who will she open up to? Will it be Leo, Ra, Nova (to make it so she knows the full story instead of a snipper), maybe the whole B family, or will it be her speaking during a NA meeting?

  15. Here Amari I’m not sure if you watched this interview or not but BL gives bit of information on her character for season 4. She all brings up the fact that something will be answered and revealed with her character in either episode 4 x 10 or 4 x 11. After everything we have seen of Darla I’m going to assume that it is revealing or talking about the fact that she was raped, more or less gang rapped at that party, and one of those guys is the father of Blue, I mean it has to be right? Because secret of Blue not being RA’s has been out to the family for 2 seasons now, and is unfortunately going to be put out there for the world to read about because of Nova’s book, but nobody has really asked who Blue’s father is. Darla tried to tell RA about it in season 2 when they were at the pool but he cut her off, and then during the conversation with her mom, Darla just kind of glossed over it, and her mom unfortunately didn’t press her about the subject more. So nobody really knows the truth about that night other than Darla, everyone things Darla cheated, and was just out there being reckless, but when Darla is able to tell and truth, and say that she truly does not know who Blue’s father is than maybe this will finally cause for the B family to ease up on Darla a bit.

    If I am wrong then I am wrong, but I truly don’t know what else Darla could be revealing about herself, that hasn’t already been told. Thoughts?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpHJ2rnINPk&t=89s

  16. Sure, I guess I can agree with that. The reason why I think nobody has come at Nova is because they are focused on their part. It makes sense. They are so angry at Nova for putting their business out there in a book, that they aren’t thinking about what Nova has wrote about herself, I know I wouldn’t be, if she put my personal stuff out there in a book.

    Also read my previous comment.

  17. I will say, that I still don’t think that the book needed to be written. They could have all had these conversations without a book being written about their lives and their lowest moments and then that book being shipped out for the world to read. Along with Nova actually bringing Aunt Vi’s whole abusive ass ex husband to town either. Even worse is all the of the bs that Nova wrote about Darla was from second hand conversation she heard from RA, Aunt Vi, and Hollywood she wasn’t there for any of it. Along with the fact that none of the B family still don’t know the history of how Blue was conceived and how he came to be. They all probably think (especially from what Nova wrote about when it came to RA’s chapter) that Darla was just effing around on RA, cheating on him and stuff. When we know that, that wasn’t the truth. She was raped, taken advantage of.

    P.S. Read my other comment.

    • I disagree. I think it is clear the B family would have never truly discussed anything which was said if they weren’t exposed. Especially Aunt Vi since she is the master of secrets. Now, do I agree on Nova not giving a heads up, maybe making the book more collaborative, no. However, for the sins and secrets of the past to come to light, she had to air out everything she knew or thought she knew.

      Leading to the question of, is the sole reason we don’t hear about her stuff, or no one questions it, is because it isn’t in the book, or no one has read anything beyond their part? Because no one is really slinging mud at Nova and that surprises me.

  18. I 100% agree. When it comes to Darla’s parents I want the works. You can’t just overlook something like this, or sweep it under the rug like it didn’t happen, it’s out there now for the world to see and read about. I mean I can see Darla’s mom having that exact reaction but for the dad, I feel like he may have a RA reaction and he’ll chuck that book across the room lol. What I hope he doesn’t do, is take is anger, and dare I say maybe even disgust of Darla’s behavior out on her, like the last thing she’s needs is to be dogged out by her dad, but knowing him, he probably was in denial, and didn’t want to really deal with anything that Darla may have been doing when she out in St. Joe. So for him this maybe a hard pill to swallow.

    I just can’t wrap my head around why Nova would write about Darla, the repercussion’s are so huge, not just for Darla but for Blue, so many things are putting out there that Blue himself may not be ready for. He was conceived out of rape, the bio father of Blue is probably a not could person, no matter where he is in life considering he took advantage of a inebriated young girl, and now the history of what his mother use to do, and how he was mistreated, and as Nova put it discarded is now written a book for the world to read about. I mean this shit is crazy. This ruin the bond that RA had made with Blue, we know for a fact that Blue isn’t going to be hard and rough on Darla when here finds out the news, I mean he is 8 years old how else is he supposed to react to something like that.

    Lastly, Darla’s job can be put into question, along with Darla’s sobriety, for four seasons we have watched Darla take every tongue lashing, every passive aggressive comment, and every form of disrespect, and outcasting from the B family on the chin, she kept her cool and she did what she had to do, letting the B family do what they do, but now with possibility of Blue turning his back on his mom, and giving his 100% all to her like he always has this very well could say Darla over the edge. I so want to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and believe that they would have Darla stay strong but honestly this really could be the thing that does it for Darla along with how Leo may take the news as well.

  19. So for you it is pretty much a given that her parents should or will show up at some point?

    If so, what do you hope or expect from them with how they should handle the situation, handle Darla, along with her parents dealing with the descriptive details of Darla at her lowest being written out in a book and somewhat senstationoized for the world to read about? Cause how Nova wrote about Darla being with one of her John’s…. It just wasnt right.

    • What I need is more scenes with her dad. Her mom I can imagine reading the book with her hand over her mouth, but what about the father?

      As for handling the situation, I want it all. Shock, admonishing Darla, being saddened by what she went through, and them picking up what Charlie stopped pursuing in getting the book stopped or slowed down.

  20. Great review Amari!

    It’s crazy to think about how much grief and turmoil Nova’s book as caused all ready, yet we are only on episode 4. We knew that at some point it was going to be Darla’s turn to come face to face with the book and the chapter that Nova wrote about her, but man this was rough. I would say that Nova did Darla even more dirty than RA and Charley because Nova used “A fallen Star” or something like that when it came to naming Darla’s chapter. So you don’t use Darla’s real name but you’ll use her hooker/prostitute name!?!?!? how is that any better. Nova is so foul!

    I know there have been plenty of scenes where we have been blown away by BL’s acting but damn I think this episode may have taken the cake lol Just the pure desperation and heartache that Darla/BL was conveying on that porch with RA HEARTBREAKING! All of the pain and frustration that you let out when you know that things are going to happen and that you can’t control any of it, especially because you know that there is a part of you that is responsible for a good junk of it. Like we know how hard Darla has been trying, we know all of the bs Darla has put up with over these last 4 seasons from the B family, heck just 2 episodes ago, Aunt Vi was STILL being passive aggressive towards Darla, all she has done to stay sober, and to make peace with her past is all about to thrown to the wind because of Nova!

    But what pissed me off the most, is how Nova wants to get memory loss all of sudden and act like she was championing on Darla when the whole baby blue situation was happening during season 2, like no hoe we didn’t forget how your petty ass was treating Darla, how you was looking at her from outside of RA’s house like she wasn’t s***, and how you didn’t let her in the house so that she could get her PHONE CHARGER!!!! Naw I ain’t forget about that, you was just as much as involved in dismissing Darla and casting Darla out as the rest of the B family was. Now she dare try to talk to Darla in a patronizing tone, and Nova telling Darla that she’s being strong and helping others with her story, man if Darla would have slapped Nova I honestly would not have protested. It was Darla’s story to tell not Nova’s!

    Your thoughts (sorry it’s long)

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