We’re heading to the end of the road for Season 4, sugar babies, and as endings go, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. In the season’s penultimate episode, there are a lot of things that are still being resolved. First, there’s Charley’s ongoing campaign for City Council in St. Josephine’s.

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Like many other elections we’ve witnessed (cough, cough) Charley’s campaign is being sabotaged by people who don’t want to see her win. All of a sudden, long-time residents of St. Josephine’s are being knocked off voter rolls. Hmm, sounds about white. Are the Landry’s behind it or are there more powerful forces at work? Nova (Rutina Wesley) is looking into the folks at Old World Energy. Who are they really and what do they want? Charley (Dawn Lyen Gardner) is rallying the team to work harder to help her get elected but with these kinds of shenanigans, will it be enough?

Nova wants a resolution with Ralph Angel, (Kofi Siriboe) but he’s not having it. At all. When Nova comes to the house to try to talk to him, not only does he curve her, he tells Blue (Ethan Hutchinson) that she’s sick and he doesn’t want him catching anything. Kids always know when you’re lying, don’t they? Can you blame Ralph Angel, though? Nova has deeply hurt two people he loves. Darla (Bianca Lawson) has reunited with Blue and is looking better, now that she’s been allowed to put on some lipstick – can we please kill that unflattering wig next?

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She’s back on the path of sobriety, thank God and she’s grateful to Ralph Angel for being so supportive. Surprisingly, although they are both still angry at Nova, she doesn’t want to see Blue put in the middle of it. He doesn’t know all the drama and Darla wants their son to get all the love he can. That’s pretty mature of her. I think she still wants to slap ole girl, but she’s wisely putting that energy into staying sober. Ralph Angel says he ain’t there yet. We hear you, brotha.

Nova’s getting a better reception from Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) who’s softened her stance on her and on Darla, who stops by the diner to thank her. Darla hands Vi her 30-day sobriety chip because it’s valuable to her. Aunt Vi understands and accepts the acknowledgment. They may not ever be best buddies, but the two women now have an understanding. The few scenes they’ve had together always operate on so many levels. We want to see these two sharing more screen time.

Nova’s going to accompany Vi to Jimmy Dale’s house. Aunt Vi wants to confront that fool to regain the equilibrium his presence upset. Nova won’t let her go alone, so they take the drive together. When they get there, we see that the confident, smarmy Dale (David Alan Grier) that came to St. Josephine’s was a façade. He lives in a decrepit house and is nowhere near the put together, confident man he showed up to Aunt Vi’s door as.

When she confronts him and gives him the box she kept all her bad memories in, he’s not impressed. He throws it on the ground and that’s when Aunt Vi finally shakes off the fear and conditioning and tells him the truth – she’s doing way better than his funky azz. He’s still trying to huff and puff when a young woman comes up the street with a bruised head and a bag of groceries. Looks like Dale has found a new victim. That’s when Aunt Vi and Nova step in and urge the woman to leave with them. She looks at them, looks at Dale and then drops that brag of groceries. It’s seems a little Freudian in retrospect.

I guess she figures wherever she is going is better than where she is. I didn’t find this scene particularly convincing because women in abusive relationships will often defend their abuser before themselves. But maybe this woman was new to the abuse and was waiting for someone to rescue her. In any case, she’s got some new protectors in Aunt Vi and Nova.

That nasty Frances Boudreaux (Annalee Jefferies) has shown up to Charley’s office to gloat. She’s a piece of work. She’s disgusted that her son has exposed their family’s Black history and basically tells Charley she’s going to do what it takes to get rid of her influence over him. Charley is unmoved but when sheriff’s deputies come to question her about the mill fire, it seems that they’re trying to create a plausible narrative to blame her or …Ralph Angel? Charley won’t be answering more questions without a lawyer, but this can’t be good.

Some good is being celebrated at home, though. Micah’s going to Harvard. The family, with the glaring exception of Davis West (Timon Kyle Durrett) (did he get a new acting role because his total disappearance after an early episode or two has gone unexplained) gathers at Micah and Charley’s house to send him off. Charley is proud – this is the culmination of all her dreams for her only child.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen

He’s going to join all the successful, upscale Blacks before him who’ve been enriched, literally and figuratively, by an Ivy League education. She’s so happy she gives him a Rolex. But Micah, in the midst of all this celebrating can’t hold back his truth anymore. He’s….not going to Harvard. Without telling Charley, he’s enrolled at Xavier University in Louisiana, where he’s going to do both social activism and photography.

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Charley, who really does try her best to take care of and protect her loved ones, catches yet another L. And she’s not happy at all. She gives the speech that every upscale Black family has probably given to their kids at one point – how the Ivy League opens the doors to the upper echelons of society. How its more about the networking than the education itself. (Worked out for the Obama’s, didn’t it?)

Micah’s shook in the face of his mother’s anger, but he stands firm. It’s actually great to see the somewhat spoiled Micah making a major life decision on his own. But Charley is furious, and says so, setting the stage for both the abrupt conclusion of what was supposed to be a happy family event and the very last episode of Season 4.

Sugar babies, what do you think will happen in the next episode?

PHOTO: Skip Bolen, OWN

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