Recap Renegade

Queen Sugar – I No Longer Imagine

June 22, 2019

Skip Bolen © 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. /OWN

Season 4, Episode 2

Well, it’s the day after Nova left the bombshells for the Bordelons and they have exploded!

In this episode RA and Charley took turns coming by Nova’s house to tell her about herself. At this point in the series, I find it hard to say nice things about Nova. I will say that her alphets have been on point. And she does look beautiful, but it’s clear the guilt is finally starting to take a toll. After the confrontation with RA, she tells her editor, Michelle, that she thinks she needs to rework some chapters. Of course it’s too late. Nope Nova, you in this now. You were big enough to do all of this behind your family’s back, now it’s time to deal with the consequences. Nova ends up calling Rid, her drug dealing buddy, for support. She needs a friend and he is all she’s got. I don’t feel sorry for her. But, what happened to her other friend from last season? Is she done with Nova too? She told her to go talk to her family about the book. I wonder…

RA didn’t listen to Charley (nothing new there) and he read the chapter about Blue. How could Nova write about him as some dumb convict who is too stupid to realize that Blue isn’t his biological child? He hasn’t read the whole book yet. This is important because there are some more bombs in there (more on that later). Charley gets to the house and RA is outside on the steps in shambles. Charley tells him that she has a plan. She is going to make some calls and then after that, ALL of them will go confront Nova. She tells RA that she’s got him. I hate this, but I love how Charley is there for RA in the middle of all of her own pain and anger. Later, Blue gets home from school and immediately picks up on his dad’s mood. That prompts RA to pay Nova a visit (without Charley). Here. We. Go.

Round 1 – RA v Nova

Remember the Season 1 RA? With the anger management issues? We saw that one come back for this episode. Nova was preparing the house for a photoshoot. It’s a nice lil set up. A picture of all 3 of them when they were little, the picture of Nova and her mom and the picture that Micah took of Charley and Nova at the beginning of Season 3. Copies of her book are on the table as well. The doorbell rings and she thinks it’s Michelle, but oh no…it’s little brother RA coming to let her have it. This entire scene was difficult and infuriating. Nova’s first question to RA was if he had read the entire book. Would reading the entire book make having your business in the street an easier pill to swallow? Charley read the whole thing and that didn’t help her. Anyway, no. He hasn’t, but he has read enough. RA is struggling to understand why she would do this (all of us are, really), and Nova tells him to try to understand. This story will help a lot of people. And that is when the ish hit the fan. He doesn’t care about other people, he is not her research, he is her little brother. And, how could she do this to Blue? The saddest part about this conversation was that I really think that Nova never even considered the impact on Blue (ole selfish azz). And then…Nova has the audacity to ask RA if he was ever going to tell Blue. Yall. I lost it and so did RA. He throws the book, breaks the frames on her perfect little set up and let’s her know that Blue is HIS son and that was HIS call (it sure is). This ish is out in the world, so what happens when someone says something to Blue. Nova hadn’t calculated that. She then offers an “apology.” She should have talked to him before (ya think). But then, Nova takes her ridiculosity to the next level by telling RA that she will sit down with Blue and tell him the news. The hell you will. And then RA tells her…”if we didn’t have the same mama and daddy, I would call you the son of a b*&!h you are acting like right now.” I felt that in my spirit. And then to make it all even more painful, Michelle rolls in, calls Nova a “superstar,” and then tells RA that his story is so heartbreaking and she cried twice. *le sigh* On his way out RA tells her to stay away from Blue – she has lost that right. Consequences

RA, Charley and Hollywood have a lil meeting at the diner. Charley goes off on RA for visiting Nova without her, which takes away the element of the surprise she had planned for Nova’s azz and messes up the plan. They almost get into it, but Charley stops it. Their attention turns to Vi. She hasn’t read the book yet. Charley wants her to read it ASAP. Wood and RA are a bit reluctant. Vi comes over and they play off their convo. RA leaves and we find out even more about this book. Darla is in it, too. Specifically, the night that Hollywood found Darla and Blue in the crack house. Wow. Nova hit a new low with that one. RA hasn’t even gotten to that part yet. Yikes. Charley says she won’t tell him because with the plan she has in motion, that book won’t see the light of day. I love Charley. Lawd knows I do. But it’s way too late for plans. And that’s why Nova played this the way she did. There’s no time for anyone to do anything about it.

Later, RA takes Blue to a birthday party and runs into Deesha and Joie. Well, well, well. While the kids are at the party, Deesha and RA have a lil informal date at the mall. It was cute. We find out that she is a public defender. That should be interesting. Will their whole vibe change once she finds out about RA’s past? Hell, will she read the book and get all the tea on him?

Darla went on a date and it went well. He is in one of her support groups. Addiction is a thing they share. I am not sure if that’s good or bad. When RA comes over to drop Blue off, he sees Darla on the porch giving her date a goodnight kiss. He wasn’t ready for it plus it’s been a crazy day. They have a beautiful conversation on the porch. Darla didn’t want to say anything about dating because then she would have to hear about who he’s dating and she’s not ready for that. RA says he’s not ready for it either. But, he wishes her happiness. She wishes the same for him. Such a sweet moment. And for the first time in a long time, I kinda hoped they will find their way back to each other. We shall see.

As Charley waits for Micah’s arrival, she is talking to her lawyer about their plans for Nova’s book. According to the attorney, whatever they are doing will buy them some time. And then, Mr. Micah arrives. And he looks like Killmonger (and I know there’s some trouble comin’). Yes, Micah is back from Paris with a new look. New clothes, new hair, new attitude, just…new. He has spent the summer on a fabulous European vacation, he has soaked in all of the blackness and activism conferences, he’s got a new social media following and his dad is still trying to buy him with chartered planes and VIP treatment. Charley ain’t ready. And, she really doesn’t approve (you can tell). But, she rolls with it. Micah knows it and tells her he is trying something new, just like she did by wearing her hair natural. I guess, Micah. Whilst waiting for the car, Micah is texting you know who – NOVA. You can basically see Charley’s blood pressure rise. Nova calls and they have a great convo about the folks Nova put him in touch with in Europe. Yes, friends…he has been in Nova Camp whilst in Europe and he is all about it and his favorite auntie. Po Charley.

Charley and Romero are at Charley’s place in front of the fireplace and Charley is venting about the book situation. Nova has been calling her…because apparently now she wants to talk. How bout that? Now she wants to talk. Charley says that’s the way Nova does things…on her schedule and without any regard for what the consequences will be. Charley ignores her third call and Romero is a calm and listening ear. He understands her anger. He would be angry too if someone did the same to him. Nova wrote about all of the things she has spent the last 2 years trying to move on from. It seems like Charley has already conceded that the book will be out soon when she starts her sentence with, “when you read the book.” But, in true Romero fashion he tells Charley that he will NOT read it (I love him) because he is not concerned with who she used to be, only with who she is now. *insert heart emoji here* Charley is still ready to light Nova’s azz up in the court of law, but Romero cautions against that. It could bring more attention to the book (true) and…was it all lies? Charley tells him she has to fix it, but Romero tells her that maybe this isn’t something she can fix. Maybe she will just have to live through it. Whew. Charley is so used to fixing everything. To not fight this is so not her. But, I think she heard Romero. And I think this is one she will have to live through.

While Charley and Romero were having a heart to heart, Micah was out with Keke. A white dude bumps into him and comments on his hair – apparently he watched Black Panther too many times. LOL. See. I told yall he looked like Killmonger. Anyway, Micah and his short fuse went off and ole boy caught a beat down courtesy of the new Micah West. LordT. And after the fight, guess where he goes…Auntie Nova. She patches him up, they have a conversation about what he has learned. And, Micah now has a “zero tolerance” policy (this prolly won’t end well). And, in a classic Nova move, she gifts the FIRST hardback copy of her book to Micah. Autographed and all. Micah is honored. *Let’s just stop here. She gave the copies she printed out at home to all the people she threw under the bus. Nova so shady.* She gives Micah a copy of the book without any explanation or warnings about what he is about to read. I mean…this boy is about to read about how his parents are trash and you won’t even give him a heads up? And of course, Charley doesn’t know. So, one day soon, Micah will prolly roll up on Charley with the second ambush. Yall know it’s comin.

Micah heads home where the wrath of Charley comes upon him. Dude ain’t even been home for a whole 24 hours and here we are. She tells him he can’t be getting into fights and how he acts AND looks matters. Micah tells her he is not about to conform in order to make white people comfy – ummmm…did he forget his mama was half white? Charley tells him that if it will keep him alive, it’s worth it. He disagrees and he’s gonna do him. Charley tells him that it sounds like he had a good chat with Nova. I get both sides of this argument. As a mom, Charley is trying to protect him. She knows that he is already a target for the police. But, I get Micah, too. Why can’t we just be us? Why can’t we just be free to live and do and be our authentic selves. It’s hard. Micah tells her this has nothing to do with Nova and gives her a little history lesson. The night he was in jail and wet himself, it was Nova that noticed and protected him – while Charley fought with Davis in the parking lot. She was the only one that cared about him. And there we have it. That’s where Micah’s bond with Nova was solidified. Charley is done. When it was all said and done, Micah was all she had left and she’s been losing him slowly to Nova. That is also what sends Charley over the edge and straight to Nova’s. I don’t think she had any intentions of talking to Nova anytime soon, but Micah changed all of that. Here. We. Go.

Round 2 – Charley v Nova

Nova was chillin at her house and was startled by banging at the door. Charley was banging like the police. As soon as Nova opened the door, Charley rolled in and said, “alright, now I am ready for you.” Chile. I knew this was going to be EPIC. And Charley had on her track suit, too. I thought she did that just in case she needed to lay hands on Nova (she didn’t, which disappointed me because Nova is overdue for a laying of the hands).

Charley came in there with Nova’s manuscript and had tabbed the pages (the lawyer and bibliophile in me approves LOL). Charley been taking notes, honey. She came ready to flip to the exact pages that hurt her the most. The first order of business is the fact that she printed this “trash” and now her words have wormed their way into Micah’s heart. Nova tells her that Micah came to see her because she knew that Charley would – and then she stops herself. Too late. Charley already knows how Nova feels about her. The book made it clear. She flips to the appropriate page and reads a passage that cuts like a knife.

“My sister, born to privilege, raised with wealth, and half-bathed in whiteness, used her light skin as her shield and her sword, weapons in every room she entered, every deal she made, with every woman she sacrificed, and for every man she protected. Her honey skin kept her safe, all the while keeping her complicit in the continued oppression of black bodies.”

Wow. I had to take some deep breaths after that. But here it is. Finally. The source of the friction between these two. Colorism and privilege. These are huge problems in our community, and clearly some issues that Nova has been dealing with as it relates to Charley. The sad part is Charley can’t help that she is half white. Nova needs to take that up with Ernest. Did Charley get EVERYTHING she has and closed EVERY deal because of the color of her skin? Probably not. At the end of the day, she is still black and she identifies as such. We didn’t even know she was biracial until Lorna showed up. But when Moms came to town, we also got a chance to understand how being black and white and not fitting in either world was one of Charley’s biggest issues. I hate how Nova whittled down all of Charley’s success to this. Not the fact that she is smart, or educated, or a nationally recognized scholar? She got married and had Micah early, but continued with her education. She built the Davis West brand. Some of that has got to be attributed to her actual ability. Right? Nope. For Nova, it comes down to this – she is light-skinned, half-white and therefore evil. The funny thing is that if Nova had come to Charley with all of this, this could have been something that would have made a good story for her book – from both sides. Nothing is ever as black and white as it seems. Had she ever talked to Charley about what it’s like to navigate life as a biracial woman? Or if she had ever considered the impact of her privilege? That would/could have been a good interview and story. But, nope. That’s not how Nova works.

Charley can’t believe that Nova thinks of her this way. Nova pulls out her themes again as justification. She was writing about privilege and Charley tells her to shove them up her pretentious azz (yeah, girl, somebody needed to tell her that). Per Charley, that book aint nothing but a Charley hate fest, parading as literature. She is not a case study, she is her sister. Nova tells Charley she loves her and Charley turns the heat up a notch. THIS ISN’T LOVE (she’s in tears now), THIS IS BETRAYAL. Nova pulls out more themes. This time rape culture. Charley is guilty of perpetuating rape culture when they settled with Melina. I still want to know if Nova knows that whole story tho… I promise you if she did, she wouldn’t care. Charley tells Nova she has lost her dayum mind (I concur). Nova explains further, but Charley is over it. At the end of the day, she wrote about her evil, light-skinned sister and her famous philandering husband. Nova counters by saying she wrote about her secrets too. Ummm, ma’am…this is your dayum book, that’s what you are supposed to do. Who gave you permission to put the rest of your family on front street? *in my Keith Sweat voice* Nobody. And, why must their healing be on YOUR terms and when YOU say they need it?

What’s killing Charley is how much Micah trusts Nova. And once he reads this book, he will think she is the monster that Nova portrays her to be. Nova’s comeback – I will talk to him. Hmmm…that’s funny. Because when you gave him the book, you ain’t said a word. Wouldn’t that have been the time to explain to Micah about what he was about to read? Shouldn’t she have told Charley (at that moment) that she gave a copy to her son? She didn’t do either, which makes me question her intentions. She knows Micah will flip and Charley will get ambushed, yet again. Charley begs Nova to stop this. She has no idea what the consequences of having this out in the world will be. Nova tells her it’s too late. That ship has sailed. Charley spots the picture of the two of them, rips it, throws it at her and makes her exit. The sun has set on that “sisterhood” for now. Consequences.

Can we please give Dawn-Lyen Garnder all of the awards for this scene alone? I felt every word deep down in my soul. Whew!

While all of this foolishness with Nova was going on, an older, charming, handsome man was making his way to St. Jo to visit a friend. He has heard that this friend just opened up a restaurant and he needs to pay her a visit. It’s Jimmy Dale, yall. Vi ain’t gonna be able to handle this.

At the end of the episode, Vi finally reads the book. There are details of her abuse with Jimmy Dale. Vi looks exhausted and by the time I got to the final scene, I was exhausted too!

So, what’s next? The book will be out soon and Nova will be headed on a tour to promote it. So, basically she gets to drop this bomb in their laps and leave them to deal with “their healing.” How will Micah receive the book and will that section on privilege make him realize that he is a beneficiary of it (spending the summer in Paris and flying back on chartered planes while your friends work at Popeye’s is the definition of privilege)? Will he be on board with what Nova is doing? Will Charley go the ruthless route or will she decide to just deal with this and live through it? What will Davis have to say about this? Darla is in the book, but Nova didn’t have the decency to deliver a copy to her. Will this be the reason for a relapse? And, what about Blue? They will have to tell him before he hears it in the street. And what will happen when Hollywood meets Jimmy Dale. Lawd…

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  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Sykes-Washington
    June 24, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    This. Is. Perfection. Well done soror!

  • Reply
    Karin Y. Coger
    June 27, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Honey! I was not ready for all of the bombs that Nova dropped. I appreciated Charlies trying to handle everything (and be there for RA) but the ball is rolling … “old selfish azz.” LOL . I don’t know why Rova feels like she had any right to air her family’s business. But I have a question, “did she air hers”? Not that it matters. Nova isn’t going to get away with this. I can’t wait for the next episode!

    Wonderful recap.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I am still waiting to get all the deets on what she included about herself. She mentioned Too Sweet, but that was it. Her tea ain’t near as hot as the other family members.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Everything about Nova’s book is wrong. Where was the legal department of her publishing house? Are they aware that Nova’s lightweight arse can be sued for airing all this laundry? Especially the part about Melina’s payoff. If memory serves, NDAs were signed. Regardless, Nova has zero respect for her family, and clearly believes SHE, alone, knows best. She basically published her diary, and she will live to regret it. I hope she, alone, gets what’s coming to her and realizes the error of her ways. But, alas, I fear that everyone else will get what’s coming, and Nova will cry her way through the aftermath. Hmmm…I wonder if the fact that she was macking on her sister’s man is in the book. Where is ole Dudley-Do-Right, anyway? Come get your girl.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    OMG, yes. There is SOOOOO much wrong. And, yes, the agreement that Charley and Davis signed was confidential. Nova knows the dollar amount because Charley told her how much Melina wanted during their argument (which was before they signed the agreement). You know the lawyer in me is wondering if Melina will come for Charley and Davis. And, if she does, I would turn right around and sue Nova. But the main thing missing in all of this is what you said – RESPECT. And, how do you have enough respect for Jimmy Dale to even attempt to get his side of the story, but don’t extend the same courtesy to your family. The amount of self-righteousness is astounding. I am holding out hope that Charley goes on a media tour of her own to let the people know that their family ain’t healed and they haven’t even talked to Nova.

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