This week’s Queen Sugar episode, officially titled “Where My Body Stops or Begins” starts out with Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) who feels betrayed by Nova’s (Rutina Wesley’s) characterization of her in the book. Though Hollywood (Omar Dorsey) tried to stop her from reading it all, Vi’s heartbroken to know that Nova put her personal business in the street.
If only that were the least of her problems. It seems as though Jimmy Dale (David Alan Grier) has finally decided to show up – and he does so as an already unsettled Aunt Vi opens her business for the day. When she hears his voice, she falls into a dead faint. If you have ever been in an abusive relationship, you will likely understand. When she comes to, a sympathetic Hollywood is there, but Dale has disappeared. You kinda know not for long, though.
Meantime, Nova, once a staunch community activist, has become enraptured by her growing fame.
The New York Times loves her book. She’s doing appearances with therapists to help others heal their broken places. As much as I despite Nova’s spilling of family secrets, what makes this storyline intriguing is how seductive it all is. Nova has done what many writers before her have done – share their own experiences and those of their families. Writing about what you know usually leads to great work. And, as we all know, family secrets can be toxic.
But in our oversharing society, this storyline also asks the question – ‘Do people have a right to privacy?’ And who gets to decide that they don’t? If telling your truth impedes on someone else’s life, are you truly being helpful? Is all this exposure good or are people now wallowing in their traumas instead of learning how to heal from and live with them? And if you decide to expose your family secrets, should you expect them to continue to embrace you as family?
Charley is certainly not happy with Nova. But Charley being who she is, keeps it moving. She confronts the always creepy Jacob Boudreaux (Lea Coco) about why she’s being kept away from board meetings. Frances Boudreaux (Annalee Jefferies) is not answering her phone calls. Something is always up with this shady family. Jacob tells Charley that his powerful family doesn’t care for her aggressive moves – from stopping construction on a new jail to muscling her way into the family business. It’s a warning disguised as a heads up.
But if you know Charley, she ain’t neva scared. Unless it comes to Micah (Nicholas Ashe). He’s being threatened by people who don’t like how he’s moving, especially after he beat up his white classmate. (Umm, wondering if there were any other repercussions to that – like a suspension or something?) He’s also reading his Aunt Nova’s book and telling Charley that he thinks he and Charley see the world differently.
What Micah doesn’t know is that his mother has known of the multiple threats against him for awhile. That’s why she sent him to Paris and had a security detail trail him the entire time. What I love about Charley is how unapologetic she is about anything she does to protect her family – and now Micah knows that includes paying off a rape accuser.
Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Prosper Denton (Henry G. Sanders) share a truly lovely moment. They have a talk about the book and when Ralph Angel tells Prosper that it reveals that Blue (Ethan Hutchinson) is not his biological child, Prosper shares a secret of his own – that his dad was not his biological father either!
And he says he was OK with that, which gives Ralph Angel some peace. I still foresee an upsetting conversation with Blue ahead. But at least its one he’ll have with both his parents now that Darla (Bianca Lawson) is the latest to find out about the secrets spilled in the book. Yup, she’s in it too, in all her drug-addicted debauchery. Damn, did Nova not consider that Darla might not ever want her son to ever know how bad it got for her?
Jimmy Dale comes back. Why are we not surprised? This dude has the nerve to reappear at the diner. But the staff has tipped off Hollywood who shows up to run him out of town. Though Hollywood follows him to the highway, my man must have doubled back, because despite the warning, he shows up at Violet’s house.
She must have had a flashback from his past abuse, because almost in a trance, she lets him in, before coming to her senses. By then, both Nova and Hollywood have shown up. By the time Hollywood has had the chance to almost kick his ass, it comes out that Dale’s likely only there because Nova went to see him to get his perspective for the book.
Aunt Vi is now the latest person to tell Nova she’s no longer welcome – in her home or heart. Nova, baby, what did you expect? But the circumstances pose the greatest dilemma of this season – are telling secrets allowing people to be emotionally free or are they opening the doors to those for whom they should have stayed closed? Jimmy Dale is but one example of the risks of that happening and you know he’s not going away quietly.
What did you think of this week’s episode?
PHOTO: Skip Bolen, OWN
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