Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4 Review: Skin Transparent

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Nova continued to dive into dark corners and share them with the world on Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4 all while expecting her family would magically come to terms with it and forgive her. 

Nova doesn't seem to understand the damage she's done and what the continued consequences of her book might be in the future. 

But it might be starting to sink in that her family isn't just going to wake up one morning and tell her everything is all right, at least not any time soon.

Tearing the Family Apart - Queen Sugar

And this new story about Ernest isn't going to help. 

Admittedly, at least this one is sort of Nova's story. It's about what she witnessed as a child. 

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As much as I applaud her for calling out the evil she witnessed in those racist men who threatened to sexually assault a 10-year-old girl, she's also veiledly accusing her father of murder, a charge he's not here to defend. 

Considering Her Words - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

Charley and Ralph Angel went to the one person who would know the truth, but Violet claims not to know the details, and I believed her...

You think you’ve got a right to know what everybody holds in their soul, you don’t. All I know is that after that fishing trip Ernest wouldn’t take his eyes off Nova he was so worried, then one day he wasn’t worried no more. Do I think my brother carried a burden to his grave? Yes. Do I know what it was for sure? No, and I don’t want to know.


The only other person who might know exactly what happened is Prosper but I'd be surprised if he starts telling tales after all of these years. 

Nova's desire to share all of her family's secrets with the world continues to earn her incredible success in the publishing world but at what cost? 

I don't believe Nova has any clue what she's done to Violet.

Smiling on the Outside - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

It took Vi decades to put Jimmy Dale's abuse behind her and move on. He decimated her self esteem and seeing him once again pushed her back to a very dark place. 

Thankfully, Hollywood is there for her, but he knows not to push too hard. Violet has to find her way through this, even if it means crying into a towel by herself in the bathroom. 

The person who really took Nova to town was Darla. 

Does Nova truly believe that changing Darla's name in the book to Star is going to fool anyone? It only made it sound like that was her hooker name.

Darla Reads the Book - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

Darla: Did you even consider my son hearing these things about his mother? What I used to do. Who I used to be.
Nova: Your identity is safe Darla.
Darla: You wrote that I used to steal to feed my addiction but you just published a book full of memories that you have stolen. You’re a thief.
Nova: Darla…
Darla: Do not touch me! Don’t ever come near me or Blue again. You are lower than I ever was.

Nova really seemed to think that Darla would understand the importance of putting everything out in the open for the public to read. Nova is so focused on helping the world that she fails to see how she's put her own family in jeopardy. 

The book isn't even officially out yet and Bennie already knows that Blue isn't Ralph Angel's biological father. How long will it be until people who are far less kind start making remarks to Ralph Angel, Darla, and Blue?

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Unfortunately, the odds are they won't be able to protect Blue from the inevitable fallout. 

Once again, Charley had a lot on her plate, and only part of it was due to Nova. 

Micah Is Surprised - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

It was good to hear Micah thank his mother for handling the man threatening to kill him. It's nice to see him realize that sometimes Charley really does know how to handle things. 

Charley: The police have him. Thankfully he wasn’t a part of anything organized, just one of those bored, hateful men spending too much time in basements.
Micah: Then why did he come after me?
Charley: Because you’re out there, trying to change things.

Sadly, this probably won't be the last time Micah runs into something like this. 

But even Micah seemed shocked when Davis had the nerve to show up on Charley's doorstep with his 13-year-old, daughter, Tia, in tow as a surprise.

To her credit, Charley pulled herself together and was gracious to the girl.

Tia will be welcome here any time to visit Micah.


It's not Tia's fault her father's an ass and Charley knew exactly what he was trying to do. From the look on Davis' face, she was right, Davis was hoping to con Charley into co-parenting his daughter. 

Davis Has a Surprise - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

As though Charley doesn't have enough on her plate. 

I was exhausted for Charley. On top of all of the drama with Nova and running her own business, she's been trying to keep an eye on what the Landry's are trying to pull behind her back. 

Isabel: I’m stepping down because I know a brick wall coming at me when I see one.
Charley: You didn’t choose this. They got to you somehow, didn’t they?
Isabel: That highway can’t be stopped. There’s too many deep pockets that want to get deeper that are fully invested in ensuring that it happens.

That this family would be in cahoots with the Federal government to take black farmer's land away from them wasn't a shock. That they'd bully a councilwoman into giving up her seat so that they could insert Jacob, one of their most malleable family members, into office was typical of them.

Francis Boudreaux - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

But it was Frances Boudreaux's Queen Sugar quote to Charley that floored me...

Frances: Land is the only thing God isn’t making any more of so it’s a blood sport and you know it.
Charley: Which is why I will not see my family and the black farmers of St. Jo thrown away like trash.
Francie: Forty years ago you’d be lucky to be allowed to clean toilets here and yet you just walked across these grounds like you own the damn place.

The belief that Charley should feel lucky even to be let on the property made me so angry I wanted to hit the woman. 

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What I loved more than anything was how unrattled Charley was by all of this. Charley Bordelon is fierce, and she rarely loses her composure when faced with an enemy looking to unnerve her.

You think my sister’s sentimental drivel has given you insight into who I am and what I’ve done. You don’t know the half, so let me fill you in. You wouldn’t make it one day in Hollywood or professional basketball and as you said, I conquered them both. So what do you think I’m going to do to Jacob when he tries to run for office for you?


It's clear that this will lead to Charley running for the seat herself, but I fear that her pop-up clinic for migrants will either be closed down, used against her, or both. 

The Landry's Plan - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

Charley is a powerhouse but will she ever find a way to put a stop to the Landrys? I hope so, but watching her have to do battle with them once again is draining. 

Finally, we circle back to Nova, who couldn't seem to comprehend that her book could have changed her family dynamic forever.


Micah: I don’t know why they think the silent treatment is going to solve anything.
Nova: There was a lot of anger in the moment but it’ll pass.
Micah: I don’t know. It’s like when my Mom and Dad broke up. I didn’t think we would get to where we could be in the same room again.
Nova: But you all got through it. It wasn’t overnight, but you got there. It’s the same with this. All I can do is let everybody know I love them and how important they are to me and in time this will be over.

Yes, Charley and Davis can now be civil to one another for Micah's sake, but that's a different scenario and perhaps Nova can't see that because she isn't a parent. 

The aftereffects of this novel will only continue to grow the more people read it, and her family's anger towards her will likely grow over time, not dissipate. 

If Nova thinks this will all blow over in a few days, she's kidding herself. The turmoil from this book will take months or even years to fade away, and even that doesn't guarantee there will be forgiveness.

Nova Has a Fan - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4

Nova may have learned a lesson about her selfish behavior from an unexpected source, Chantal. 

Chantal was never one of my favorite characters, perhaps because she always came across as clingy and needy, and she certainly came on strong when she met Nova again at the book signing.

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But therapy has been working for Chantal because she knew when she was getting used as nothing more than a booty call and she drew her line in the sand...

Nova: I hope it’s not too late to call.
Chantal: No, but it depends on why you’re calling.
Nova: Just wondering if you wanted to get together after all? Come over?
Chantal: Wow. You do know where I’m at, Nova, right?
Nova: Yes.
Chantal: Then why didn’t you just come here, to me? So now you want to call late, have me leave and come to you like we’re Tinder buddies or something? No. You always did want everything done on your terms, Nova.

Good for Chantal!

I'd like to think that maybe this was the wakeup call that Nova needed, but if her entire family, except for Micah, refusing to speak to her hasn't gotten the message across, I'm not sure anything will.

As Violet said...

The way I see it, as long as you're not hurting nobody, everybody got a right to keep something between themselves and God. You need something to be able to talk about on Judgement Day.


Unfortunately, Nova has hurt a lot of people and they're holding judgement day now. 

Check back in for my review of Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 5 and until then, you can watch Queen Sugar online here at TV Fanatic. 

Skin Transparent Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Charley: We’ve spread the word that we’re a designated safe zone. A sensitive location, right? No ICE raids allowed.
Romero: I know but with all the hate in the air, people are afraid of ICE regardless. I mean, they’re raiding schools and churches. Nowhere is truly safe.

Micah: I don’t know why they think the silent treatment is going to solve anything.
Nova: There was a lot of anger in the moment but it’ll pass.
Micah: I don’t know. It’s like when my Mom and Dad broke up. I didn’t think we would get to where we could be in the same room again.
Nova: But you all got through it. It wasn’t overnight, but you got there. It’s the same with this. All I can do is let everybody know I love them and how important they are to me and in time this will be over.