With creating the season around a character’s memoir, Queen Sugar has focused on the traumas the memoir brought up for all the characters in the series. Wednesday’s episode emphasized those traumas and spurred an OWN Twitter chat.
Ahead of the episode, OWN held a three-hour Twitter chat under the hashtag #QueenSugarTalks to get viewers to discuss the issues of trauma and addiction. The episode starts with Nova (Rutina Wesley) and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) Bordelon going on a retreat in the woods. Feelings come out: Nova tells Charley she hates being invited on getaways she couldn’t afford. She feels small on Charley’s dime. They realize, as half-sisters, they still don’t know each other due to a lifelong level of competition and separation.
The addiction storyline comes in when Darla (Bianca Lawson), the former flame of Nova and Charley’s brother Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), meets up with an old friend from her partying days. Her friend acknowledges Darla’s sobriety at the restaurant but asks Darla if it’s fine she still has a drink. Then she goes on and on about one of the last parties they went to eight years ago. She says Darla was so high that she went up to a room at a house party with two guys.
The walk down memory lane appears to be the night when Darla’s son Blue (Ethan Hutchison) was conceived. Darla can barely recall those moments and the revelation of a second man throws her into a tailspin at a nearby bar. Violet (Tina Lifford), the Bordelon aunt, soon finds a disheveled Darla in a park and takes her home where Darla unveils why she lied about Blue’s paternity for years. She said she buried the rape because of the shame of being hooked on drugs and alcohol. Violet calls Ralph Angel to come to Darla’s house, and Darla shares the story.
Charley’s son Micah (Nicholas L. Ashe) takes Blue to a carnival, where they get split up in the bathroom area. While Micah’s back is turned looking at his smartphone, Blue dashes to the women’s restroom to avoid the line to the men’s restroom. Micah asks people in the area if they had seen Blue, and when he gets no answers, he ventures off. Blue comes out of the restroom and ends up with a police officer to wait for Micah to find him. Since last season, Micah has been dealing with the trauma of being arrested and jailed by a white cop over an alleged traffic violation.
The trauma between the sisters and Darla have been brought up by Nova’s memoir Blessing and Blood, the book that’s been tearing apart the family since the beginning of the season. Micah’s trauma is in the book also, but it became known when it happened. As the women’s trauma is amplified, so is the trauma for the men. Micah’s recurring trauma around police brings him to a mild panic attack while Ralph Angel is still absorbing how his son is not biologically his. With two episodes left in the season, viewers may see more evolution of the trauma stemming from the memoir.