‘Queen Sugar’ Recap: Season 4, Episode 13: Family First
It’s over, people. At least for this season. Season 4 of Queen Sugar is in the bag and although we will have to wait until 2020 to see what’s going to happen next with the Bordelon clan, this season was the series’ best yet. Like any creation, be it food or art, sometimes it takes a little simmering to create the best result. Queen Sugar has been simmering over its last three seasons, but in Season 4, we see what it’s like when all those flavors have finally come together.
We start out this week , in the episode officially titled “I Am” with Charley’s arrest for burning down her own mill. Wow, the Landrys will stop at nothing to break a sister. But this is Charley (Dawn Lyen Garnder) we’re talking about. These charges are BS. They are just trying to make a last effort to discredit Charley before the City Council election. But she’s out quickly and is going to be victorious as soon as she can figure out a way. In the meantime, she gives a powerful speech on the jailhouse steps. Bravo, Charley.
Turns out Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) has a way. She has a secret meeting with Sam Landry (David Jensen) who literally hands her the paperwork to ensure his sister’s destruction. Charley is obviously going to run with this, and it’s juicy. There are emails that prove Frances (Annalee Jefferies) is collaborating with the mysterious One World Energy folks and that she ordered the fire that destroyed Queen Sugar Mill.
Turns out the secret that connects Aunt Vi to Sam is that she knows he has a Black daughter by a woman named Betty. Vi may have helped conceal that fact and was helpful to Betty in some way. With the info he provides on Frances, Sam feels as though his debt is paid. He would have never been able to openly raise a Black daughter in the Deep South. His daddy would have cut him off.
Imagine how many of these Southern white family trees have Black branches. Seems like more than a few are growing in the Landry bloodline.
While all this hoopla is going on, Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) wants to make sure that his son receives the birthday gift his Pop left him. Turns out it was a beach ball, since Blue, like Darla, (Bianca Lawson) if you remember, loves water. Although it’s lovely that Blue knows even after his death that his Pop loved him, it makes him sad. Ralph Angel understands. He and Darla soothe Blue and then it’s their turn to figure out how to soothe each other after all they’ve been through.
They talk. As always when these actors play together, their scenes are beautiful. Darla says she wants Ralph Angel to see her the way he did before he knew all the bad things in her past. He tells her he can’t because now he sees her in the totality of who he is. Well, damn, Ra, you getting poetic, my brotha. Looks like these two are back. I know some Queen Sugar fans aren’t happy about that, but I’m all for seeing a relationship journey turn out well.
And speaking of relationships, guess who’s coming to dinner? (You have to be a certain age to catch that reference!)Calvin (Greg Vaughan) and Nova (Rutina Wesley) are moving in together. They found a place. I’m so glad this character is back because the actor who plays him is so damn fine and they always had the best chemistry of any of Nova’s many lovers. Nova is ready for him to meet the family so she brings him to Aunt Vi’s diner to wait for the election results. No preamble cause it’s Nova, but it goes well. Micah’s (Nicholas Ashe) is still skeptical, though. But it’s time to celebrate because Charley wins her City Council seat.
In her first act of duty she goes to lunch with Frances. Now guess who’s being arrested. Yup, Frances. And in a fancy restaurant, too. Charley has set her up with the info she got from Aunt Vi via Sam Landry. Tables turn, suckas burn and learn. Frances should have known by now that Charley is a worthy adversary.
Nova’s going to get back in Ralph Angel’s good graces. And she has a way – she knows what he doesn’t know, that their mother, Trudy, is buried on the land at the farm. Why Trudy didn’t want her kids to know is unclear, but now they do. This obviously is something that Ralph Angel can find some common ground with Nova on. I don’t know how she does it, but Nova is one of those people you want to kill, but can’t help but love. It’s been a compelling ride this season with her character. Nova enlists Prosper (Henry G. Sanders) to figure out where Trudy might be buried because Ralph Angel owns 800 acres. That’s so beautiful, isn’t it? The land where Black people were once enslaved is now owned by a Black man.
That must be part of the reason the Landrys want it so bad. Not only because racism prevents them from seeing a Black man win (and history has many stories of land being stolen outright from Black landowners)but because that’s a lot of acres to drill for oil on. When Charley is summoned to see a representative of Old World Energy, she’s met with a surprise. Looks like Sam hadn’t been totally honest with Aunt Vi. He’s a snake, just like we all thought. He knows where his daughter is. She’s with him and she’s planning to help him steal that land. Welcome Amirah Vann (who you know from Underground) as Parker Campbell, who should be a worthy adversary for Charley next season.
This season and this episode end almost where the show began. A gravestone has been added to the land to mark Trudy Bordelon’s final resting place. The Bordelons, all in white as they were at Ernest’s funeral, gather to honor her life. Nova’s going to start a new business working with her family instead of against them. Charley’s going to keep fighting the good fight. Ralph Angel and Darla have reunited. Hollywood and Vi are solid. Micah and Keke (Tanyell Waivers) are in college and still together. Although we know there is a battle ahead, this season ended on a good note. Family is what keeps the Bordelons strong and at the end of the day, that’s how they will fight – together. Bravo to this season’s Queen Sugar writers, producers, directors and its tremendously gifted actors. Can’t wait to do it all again next year!