How have we come this far, this fast? It’s Episode 10 of Season 4 of Queen Sugar which means there are only 3 episodes left *tears*). And this season has been a pretty good one. This episode “Oh Mamere” belongs to the women, though. It is time that some reconciliation happens and some reckoning as well and this is where it starts.
Nova (Rutina Wesley) is still trying to reunite with her estranged family. She comes to the diner looking to make amends with Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford). Aunt Vi still ain’t having it, but at least this time she gives Nova a conversation. She tells her that her book has impacted the most intimate parts of her life. Nova is all apologies, but when asked if she had come to the family beforehand and if they didn’t approve would she have stopped the book – what can she say? She would still have published it.
Nova gets a better response from Charley (Dawn Lyen Gardner). After saving her from herself in the last episode, it seems Charley is appreciative and wants to bond with her sister. She’s going on a retreat, cause Lord knows she could use one, and invites Nova along. Since this is Charley, it’s a high-end glamping retreat and the two set about repairing their relationship in the fine glow of some well-placed lanterns. Oh, the ambience! With Charley you would expect nothing less.
But that seems to be a historic conflict between the sisters. Though Nova is the oldest, she says she often feels diminished by Charley. Charley has always had means and Nova felt belittled when she visited Charley in college and Charley went to a lot of expensive places.
Oh, Nova, get over it. There is nothing more irritating than when people are mad at people who are financially better off than them. Charley just rolls differently. Nova has her own ish with her – Charley’s money wasn’t so bad when she helped herself to it to support her activism a few seasons back, now was it? But apparently some words were exchanged that Charley doesn’t even remember. These two can’t see eye to eye even in their memories.
As we all could have predicted, things are going downhill fast for Darla (Bianca Lawson). When she goes to lunch with a friend from the old days her mother innocently connects her with, it seems, at first, to be a nice moment for way to renew a friendship. But unbeknownst to her mother, this girl was Darla’s party buddy (don’t we all know those chicks who fool a parent but who we did our worst dirt with?)
During their chatty lunch, Darla is blindsided when her ‘friend’ tells her that at the fated party where Blue was conceived, Darla was with not one, but two guys. And while she laughs it off, she also tells Darla that she knew she was out of it. Ummm, when your girl is in trouble, aren’t you supposed to help instead of watch her go down a path of destruction. In fact, what Darla realizes is that she’s been raped, as it wasn’t possible for her to consent to anything in the state she was in.
This has the unfortunate consequence of sending Darla into the spiral we all saw coming – she leaves the lunch in a daze, then heads to a nearby bar to drink it all away. Dammit, Darla we didn’t want to see this relapse after all you’ve done to rebuild your life. But that’s the struggle of addiction – it’s never really behind you, it’s just something you have to live with and control. At least she didn’t hit the hard stuff – because as we remember, drugs were her main problem.
Micah (Nicholas Ashe) is heading to the zoo with Blue (Ethan Hutchinson). While this seems like an innocuous little cousins outing, we’re pretty sure something is about to happen – maybe Darla won’t be there to pick Blue up, or maybe when she does she’s going to be drunk, or maybe Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) will find her lying in a ditch somewhere. Lawd, lawd, Darla, we are worried about you. But at the zoo, it’s Blue who provides the biggest problem for Micah when he loses track of him when Blue runs into the ladies room to avoid the long line at the men’s room. (We’ll assume they were cleaning the men’s bathroom because when have you ever seen a long line at a MEN’s bathroom? )
Blue finds a nice police officer to help – or so we think. He’s fine, sitting in the police car but when Micah shows up, he’s questioned and then confronted by the cop, because it appears Blue has temporarily lost the ability to speak. It gets a little tense between the cop and Micah until Blue recovers his powers of speech to confirm Micah is his cousin.
Meanwhile, in a nice male bonding moment, Ralph Angel, Prosper (Henry G. Sanders) and Hollywood (Omar Dorsey) are hanging out, discussing each other relationships. Prosper’s been keeping time with Ms. Genevieve, and Ralph Angel finally admits that he and Deesha (Erica Tazel) are getting serious. It’s such a nice moment, but we all know Ralph Angel’s phone is about to ring and break up this happy time.
Darla has found an angel in an unlikely place. While wandering through the park she runs into Aunt Vi, who’s taken up a new fitness routine (must be fall in Louisiana, cause she has on way too much gear for any summertime jog). Darla is out of it, and although Aunt Vi and Darla haven’t been cool in the past, she sees it for what it is and gets Darla home. Once there, a sobered up Darla confesses that she now knows she was violated. As if Jimmy Dale (David Alan Grier) can’t get any worse, Aunt Vi reveals he was also fond of taking what he wanted when he wanted it and that included in their most intimate moments. No wonder she’s reliving that trauma after he reappeared out of nowhere.
Now that Micah’s home with Blue, he’s able to reveal that he, too was forced to relive his trauma when confronted by the officer at the zoo. He fortunately gets this out before Ralph Angel lights him up for losing Blue in the first place. Chill, RA, we know it happens sometimes. In the midst of this, he gets the inevitable call from Aunt Vi.
Can we just give Kofi Siriboe and Bianca Lawson a hand? Not only have they quietly been doing stellar work this season, their chemistry is strong even when they’re at odds, though poor Kofi’s had to cry more than any male character on this show. And the tears are falling when a contrite Darla reveals that she now knows the truth about that awful night. To his credit, Ralph Angel has evolved to the point that he can show her compassion, understanding and support instead of judgement.
Darla’s not his woman anymore but they had something real together aside from a child. But is this a relationship that is good for them? That is the question. Regardless, Ralph Angel’s there for her now and in the sweetest way, so sweet that I was holding my breath when it looked like he was going to join her in bed. But Darla don’t need those problems.But Deesha, you in trouble girl, because RA has forgotten all about your plans together.
In support of tonight’s episode which covered PTSD and trauma, Ava Duvernay, Array and Queen Sugar kicked off “Queen Sugar Talks” which discussed the issues covered in “Oh Mamere.” If you missed it, you can follow the thread below and follow @ava and @queensugarOWN to join the next discussion.
Tonight’s #QueenSugar is a BIG ONE for our long-time viewers. Storylines we began in Season One explode. I’m hosting 3 hours of Twitter convo on trauma in the black community with @Common @IyanlaVanzant @TaranaBurke and more. Join us at #QueenSugarTalks. We begin at 6PM ET. xo pic.twitter.com/uSx2WFs4mo
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 21, 2019
Well, Sugar babies, what did you think of this week’s episode? We’re winding this season down…and it feels like anything could happen in the next three episodes.