Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9 Review: Stare at the Same Fires

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Everyone gets knocked down eventually and it was Charley's turn on Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9.

It was difficult to blame Charley for going on a bender; her sister wrote a best-selling tell-all novel that trashed her. Her enemies set the mill she's worked so hard to make a success, on fire.

And in the middle of it all, the guy she was really starting to fall for broke up with her.

Everyone Comes Together - Queen Sugar

Would Charley have found her way back to her feet again on her own? Yes, because the woman has an inner strength that doesn't understand how to quit, but that doesn't mean the hand up wasn't appreciated. 

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As Violet told Prosper in this Queen Sugar quote, the Bordelon family has been through a rough spell:

Prosper: You get knocked down, you get back up.
Violet: Yeah, well, this was one hell of a knockdown so I’m not even sure what the getup looks like.

Violet has been struggling with her ability to get back up of late. 

Jimmy Dale's reemergence shook her to her core. She appears to be suffering from PTSD and depression, but it sounded as though she's willing to tackle it head-on.

Violet Worries - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9

I think I’ve got some work to do on myself when it comes to Jimmy Dale. I never dealt with it and I’m learning that things don’t go away just because you ignore them.


She didn't specify what that "work" was, but I hope it involves working with a therapist either one on one or in a group setting and that we get to see her work through this onscreen. 

When Violet shared with Hollywood how his violent outburst with Jimmy Dale made her feel, it was a turning point for him as well. 

Men are so programmed to protect and defend what and who they care about physically, that it never occurred to him that beating on Jimmy Dale could have had the opposite effect on Violet. 

How come us men don’t do things in groups like you all do? There are all these different support groups for women at St. Jo’s and not one for men. Maybe if we had one we wouldn’t scare the women we love so much with the way we act sometimes.


When Hollywood's poker buddies cheered him on for the beat down, even going so far as to say he should have killed the man, it made Hollywood see how far apart the male and female points of view could be. 

Poker Night - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9

He even felt as though he wasn't supportive enough of Ralph Angel who's also going through a difficult time. 

Ralph Angel: I don’t know why I just ain’t been feeling right.
Hollywood: Look, man, you’re just in the fire right now. That’s it. Nova’s book got you feeling some kind of way, You’re in a new relationship that ain’t even on its feet yet, work is all scattered all over the place. That’s why. It’s normal, brother.

Hollywood's take was fairly accurate. Ralph Angel is experiencing a lot of changes right now, some of them aren't pleasant, as with his re-entry program being in limbo, and it's natural to feel unsure and anxious. 

One of the many inspiring things about Queen Sugar is how its male characters open up to one another and share their concerns. 

Take Micah, who may not feel comfortable talking about his love life with his mother or father but knows he can turn to his uncle for advice.

Micah Considers a Big Step - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9

Micah: How do you know when it’s for real? Like, my Dad told my Mom he loved her and look how that turned out.
Ralph Angel: Don’t worry about all that. You ain’t your Daddy, Micah. The real question is, what’s your gut saying?
Micah: I don’t know. That I’m an idiot. If I stop trippin’ about what might or might not happen and just be with her. What?
Ralph Angel: Your gut sounds kind of smart.

That Micah is taking this next step in his relationship with Keke so seriously speaks to his maturity and that he's coming at this from a place of love. 

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Maybe Keke and Micah are meant to be together for the long haul, or maybe they'll break up a few months from now, but if they continue to make decisions together things will work out for the best for both of them.

Unfortunately, Darla seems to be having the toughest time right now. 

Leo Gets Scared - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9

I was torn over Leo's response to reading Nova's book.

On the one hand, he understands that they all have burdensome pasts to deal with, especially as addicts, and he can only imagine how painful it would be to have all of his personal details out there for the whole world to read.

Yet, he walked away from this budding relationship when Darla needs someone the most. 

Leo was correct in that Darla needs to reach out to her sponsor for help. She needs to go to a meeting. She needs to take more control of this downward spiral she's experiencing, and as a fellow addict, he needs to be careful about getting caught up in her emotional crisis.

Darla Almost Drinks - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9

But I still feel Leo could have tried harder to help. Perhaps escorted Darla to a meeting or taken out her phone and asked her to dial her sponsor. 

I know it has to be Darla's decision to get help, but it felt as though Leo dumped her because what he read in that book scared him off. 

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Thankfully, Darla didn't take that drink, although she came about as close as she could without actually taking that sip. 

Does this mean she'll finally get help or was this a momentary pause before she falls off the wagon entirely? 

Charley Hits a Low Point - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9

In the middle of all of the drama, Nova returned to the fold. 

As much as I'm glad that Nova was there for Charley, it feels as though there should be a much deeper conversation about the damage Nova's done than the apology she made while Charley was drunk and half asleep.

Charley: Why did you say all those things?
Nova: I didn’t do it to hurt you. I thought I was doing something good for all of us, I really did, but I see that it was just good for me. I love you so much, Charley. So much, and I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry.

But Nova hurt everyone, and on some level, she had to know they'd be upset because she hid the book from her family until it was too late to stop it from being published. 

Nova Helps Charley - Queen Sugar

Because of what Nova wrote in her book, Charley lost one of the best relationships she's ever had, Blue had to find out Ralph Angel wasn't his biological father on the playground, Violet came face to face with Jimmy Dale once again, and Darla has had every horrible detail of her past made public, pushing her towards a relapse.

As much as her piece in the paper was a start, I don't think it was enough. 

I don't think Nova has any understanding of the real damage she's done and someone needs to sit her down and spell it out for her. 

Because if Nova gets to waltz back into the family without truly realizing the trauma she's put them through, I'll find that very unsatisfying. 

On the upside, Nova tracked down her Aunt Martha who gave Nova a new perspective on her mother.

Aunt Martha - Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 9

Nova: But Mama gave up what she loved for what she had to do, right?
Martha: Oh my goodness, you have it twisted, child. Know this, you and Ralph Angel were a source of great joy to Trudy. She’s visiting you in your dreams because she wants you to know she misses you, she loves you, she’s watching over you. She wants to remind you to be you. You should go see her more often.
Nova: See her? What do you mean? Mama was cremated. After she died Daddy scattered her ashes in the wind.
Martha: No, ‘Cher, your father buried your mother on the family farm. That was her last gift to him, to you, and your brother.

How could Nova not know that her mother was buried on the farm? Does Nova have it wrong or does Martha, because that seems an odd thing for Ernest to keep secret from his family.

So what do you think TV Fanatics? 

Is Trudy buried on the farm? 

Will Darla fall off the wagon?

And is Nova going to be welcomed back into the family too easily?

Check back in for my review of Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 10 until then, you can watch Queen Sugar online here at TV Fanatic. 

Stare at the Same Fires Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 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 9 Quotes

I think I’ve got some work to do on myself when it comes to Jimmy Dale. I never dealt with it and I’m learning that things don’t go away just because you ignore them.


I don’t fool with folks unless their soul’s been cleansed which means I don’t fool with folks too often, but we’re family, Nova.