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At the beginning of Season 4 of Queen Sugar, the Bordelons look triumphant. In the first episode, entitled “Pleasure is Black” Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) has left the High Yellow behind for good to open up her own diner Vi’s Prized Pies And Diner. She and Hollywood (Omar Dorsey)have just come off a honeymoon in Thailand.

Charley (Dawn Lyen Gardner) and her beau Romero (Walter Perez) are enjoying couples massages in beautiful environments. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) gets the good news that he’s finally off probation. He and Darla (Bianca Lawson) are co-parenting amicably, to the point that Darla can share that she’s going on a date. Nova (Rutina Wesley)’s new book “Blessings In The Blood” is going to be released soon. And that, predictably, is where the problems in this fourth season opener get started.

At the diner grand opening, Hollywood sees that Nova is nervous about sharing the finished book with her family. He tells her it would be better for them to know what’s going on before its publication. In typical Nova fashion, she thinks the best idea is to simply hand the book to her siblings and aunt without considering that their schedules are going to make it challenging for them to read it without prompting. Nova has some idea of how her book will impact the family once they do read it because she dreams that her siblings confront her, silently, dressed in white as though they’re heading to her funeral.

It’s Charley who gets the first clue that the book reveals family secrets when she’s blindsided by the media at a women in business event. The reporter dredges up the Davis West (Timon Kyle Durrett) sexual assault scandal, which if you remember, Charley made some savvy deals to resolve the ugly situation for all involved. However, part of that included paying off the victim, something that if revealed could impact Charley’s reputation as a champion for women’s rights.

In true Charley fashion, she remains calm under pressure but is not five minutes out of the event before she’s calling her lawyer and Ralph Angel, warning him not to read it until she gets to his home. Who in the history of siblinghood has EVER gotten a message like that and not gone immediately to see what they were being warned against? Yep, Ralph Angel picks up the book immediately. And yes, Nova has included in her book the revelation that Blue (Ethan Hutchinson) is not Ralph Angel’s biological son.

At the end of the episode, Nova, at her father’s grave, babbles some BS about how secrets have hurt her family and that she just wanted everyone to know the truth. Ummm, sweetie, some secrets aren’t yours to tell. How could having the world know that your nephew is not biologically tied to your family ever be something that isn’t hurtful and harmful to those you say you love?

Like so many people oversharing their perspective of things via social media, Nova is disingenuous here. She is privy to family secrets that most family members believe should stay in the family. It’s not like everyone IN the family doesn’t know about Blue. He’s the only one who doesn’t know and I can’t imagine telling him the truth at such a young age will do anything but confuse and hurt him. That’s just the beginning of this avalanche of revelations as we don’t know yet what Nova’s revealed about Aunt Vi or her parents yet.

Welp, so much for joy among the Bordelon clan. We can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

NOTES: Queen Sugar creator Ava DuVernay made good on her promise to write a role for Tevin Campbell as he shows up as Boogie’s cousin Junior, a cousin with some serious pipes. It’s great to see [and hear] him. Kofi Siriboe has evolved from a snack to a full-course meal as he’s put on some weight and muscle this year. Looks like either he or Blue are going to have a new love interest this season as Erica Tazel and Kendall Clark join the show as mother and daughter Deesha and Joie respectively.

No sign this episode of Remy (Dondre Whitfield) or Micah (Nicholas Ashe) yet but both are expected to be a part of this season, as is Davis West. The pace of this season already seems to be much less leisurely than last season’s which felt as though it got bogged down in showing how gorgeous everyone was then getting into the storyline. A change in behind the scenes personnel including veteran director Cheryl Dunye as producing director. As a director last year, she seemed to have the best feel for the show and was rewarded with the upgraded position.

PHOTO: OWN

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