Queen Sugar: Season 4, Episode 8 “All The Borders” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Charley cleaning the Queen Sugar sign.
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When it rains, it pours, and while it seems some may have learned to swim, others may pass out from the struggle and drown.


Network
OWN
Director(s) Deborah Kampmeier
Writer(s) Valerie C. Woods, Chloé Hung
Air Date 8/7/2019

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Recap

Deesha, Darla, and The Review Board: Ralph Angel, Deesha, Darla

With Ralph Angel’s farm grant in flux, Deesha finds herself doubling down in pro bono work for Ralph Angel. While this happens, Darla checks in for she hears about Charley’s mill and it shakes her up a bit. Especially since Ralph Angel isn’t responding how she would like him to – hence her popping up and Deesha meeting Darla. Which, say what you will about RA, doesn’t lead to him saying Deesha is his lady or nothing like that. She’s his friend, and Deesha feels the sting a little bit but doesn’t say anything. She’s not that kind of woman. Plus, while Darla and Ralph Angel have history, considering the investment Deesha has made, she’s the one who has a future with this man.

The Demon Formerly Known As Frances And Calling In Old Favors: Frances, Charley, Sam, Aunt Vi, Hollywood, Nova, Ralph Angel

With the mill burnt beyond any quick repairs, since it was on fire for 30 minutes and hit from multiple points, clearly arson, Charley is in a rage. One which makes Nova’s return like adding a log to the fire but Nova, thankfully, is smart enough to back off rather than end up bald. However, one person not so lucky is Frances. Someone is accused of causing the fire but doesn’t admit it. But, what she does do is say Charley should be humbled and show her whole ass. Don’t ask why this is done, her showing she is racist and possibly worse than Sam, if not just uncouth, but she lets it be clear she ain’t manure.

Unfortunately though, while she does insult Charley, even brings up she is mixed, what she doesn’t do is confess to arson. So while Ralph Angel recorded everything, Deesha says they don’t have what they need to file any charges. Making it so all that can be done is letting the insurers do their thing, and Aunt Vi decides to do something as well. Specifically, she calls in Hollywood to bring the family together, and also “summons” Sam.

Why? Well, apparently he owes her a favor. One I can’t recall how Aunt Vi gained, throughout 4 seasons, but maybe I’ve forgotten something? Either way, he seems beholden to it, and while he makes it seem he is unsure of his reach, Aunt Vi presses him, and Sam seems like he will try to get whoever is coming so hard at Vi’s family to stop.

The Past Is A Struggle With or Without You: Darla, Deesha, Ralph Angel, Romero, Charley, Micah, Keke, Calvin, Nova, Aunt Vi

Despite how things were, the mill fire puts things into perspective and actually brings Keke back into Micah’s world. In fact, she is talking about prom and also prom night. But, while Micah is in a good place, including with Nova, upon meeting Calvin things sour a bit. In fact, they don’t just sour for him but Nova when she is coerced to ask Calvin questions she avoided before. The first being whether he ever used excessive force, and the second is whether he turned a blind eye to other cops using excessive force – especially against Black and Brown people.

To the first question, he says he never used excessive force, but for the second question, he admits he has turned a blind eye. With that confession, so comes the need for Nova to process. Not just what he said but considering she doesn’t have anyone but her nephew, can she afford to lose Calvin over this?

And we should note, while Charley and the rest aren’t keen on Nova, Aunt Vi does miss her. Not enough to reach out at this time, but that was her baby, for all intents and purposes. But, honestly, what Aunt Vi may need to do is just keep focusing on Charley. Not just because of the mill and backlash for her running for office, but also because Romero has learned about the migrant workers killed on Ralph Angel’s farm due to them being pushed to work. That sends him in a tailspin and makes him question if he knows Charley? At least the real one.

But while Charley may have drama in her relationship, Ralph Angel is cool. Yes, Darla is acting like an ex who can sense someone is moving on, but Deesha seems comfortable. She opens up about how Joie’s father left her high and dry and has a real deal conversation with Ralph Angel. Not the kind which puts out there, “I don’t want to be hurt again,” but does say she is trusting him with her time, energy, and she also trusts him with her body too.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Prosper reveals Ernest didn’t kill anyone. Did beat a man within an inch of his life, but what Nova saw Ernest bury was his pain and, metaphorically, his ability to kill.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What was the favor Aunt Vi did for Sam?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Your feelings are real, it don’t mean they’re always the truth.
— Deesha

Review

Highlights

Keke and Micah Back Together

While many may see Hollywood and Aunt Vi as the couple of the show, I’d submit Keke and Micah give them a run for their money. If only due to their longevity and because they don’t have much in the way of drama. Not to downplay Micah’s transformation, in due partly to Nova, hasn’t made the relationship a bit more difficult to be in for Keke. But, clearly, she wants Micah to, if not be her forever, at least her first.

Deesha Not Feeling Insecure About Darla

Could Deesha have caught a case about being introduced as a friend? Especially considering all she is doing for RA and his family? Yes. She would even be in her rights to do so. Yet, she didn’t. She is so secure in what she has that she doesn’t say a word about it, and when Darla did step towards Ralph Angel, she seemed more than willing to give them space.

That’s maturity right there. That is recognition that Darla will be in that man’s life always for she is the mother of his son. So it is best to let them have their space when needed, trust Ralph Angel, than to act a fool.

Frances Showing Her True Face & Sam Showing A Different One Of His

Sam’s family has always been trash, and Frances has been a snake in the grass since we’ve met her. Even with her whole thing about being the passed over girl, it doesn’t change the fact she never really did much to help Charley take down Sam or really get any footing. Charley still needed a private investigator and was often left on the defensive. But now with Frances showing her true face, oh – it is on like Donkey Kong.

But, question is, with Sam owing a favor to Vi, coming off far nicer than he has ever seemed before, has he turned over a new leaf? If not, is trying to portray himself as the lesser of two evils? I get the idea of speaking from business person to business person but is there a real difference between him wanting to end the mill financially and the possibility his sister played a part in destroying it by arson?

On The Fence

Darla Presenting That Old “I Can Feel My Ex Moving On” Vibe

I don’t see Darla and Ralph Angel as end game. The way this show is written could make that happen, but I feel they have grown and should move on. Which is something Ralph Angel has, admittedly, had a much more easier time doing than Darla. For even with Leo in the picture, while that was cute for an episode or two, Leo has not had any of the consistency of Ralph Angel’s past love interest. Leo fell off quick so, in a way, you can understand why Darla has this look when it comes to Ralph Angel yet you have to enjoy Ralph Angel not sending no sign, signal, or flag that he is trying to retread that road.

Nova

While I still support Nova’s book, in terms of how it shook up the show, it does feel like now that the drama is dying down, she is back to where she once was. That is trying to jump on another character’s storyline since she doesn’t really have much worth noting of her own. Because this Calvin thing? I get they feel, Nova and Calvin, what they had didn’t really get resolved properly, but there is no chemistry there. History, yes, they have, but there isn’t something which brings entertainment value, lessons, or #RelationshipGoals. Calvin doesn’t even feel like a placeholder for something better. He just seems like someone for Nova to consistently play off of since bigger things might be planned for Micah than checking on his aunt.

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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
Nova
74 %
Darla Presenting That Old “I Can Feel My Ex Moving On” Vibe
75 %
Frances Showing Her True Face & Sam Showing A Different One Of His
80 %
Deesha Not Feeling Insecure About Darla
86 %
Keke and Micah Back Together
85 %
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.