In Episode 4, everyone's kind of a hot mess. But a hot mess in a relatable kind of way; after all, aren't we all just people trying to figure out this thing called life?
In the Bordelon siblings’ case, they're learning to navigate life without the support of their patriarch. Ralph Angel is already super overwhelmed trying to get the farm off the ground and holding down his warehouse job, and he's even more stressed because his sisters keep calling to check up on him; they clearly don't trust him to get things done. Nova, meanwhile, is knee-deep in a big story exposing how the Louisiana prison system is encouraging young Black men to take plea deals because the more bodies they have incarcerated, the more money law enforcement makes from for-profit prisons. "So the DA, prisons, police, they're all working together trading prisoners like horses," Nova realizes. (FYI, sadly, that is very much something that has indeed happened.)
But Nova's dedication to her story means that she isn't as helpful to Ralph as he'd hoped she would be. "You know what's messed up? You care more about them brothers locked up than your own brother." He then reveals that Nova only came to visit him twice when he was in prison. Oh, so that explains the weird tension we've felt between them in the first few episodes. Things get worse for Ralph Angel when he spends $15,000 of the money his sister gave him toward the farm on sugar cane seed that turns out to be rotten. Double ouch.
The Davis family, meanwhile, is going through it. We first see Charley at the gynecologist's office getting tested after her husband's cheating scandal — while also working damage control on Davis's public image and endorsement deals. "I'll do my job as your manager, but don't expect me to be the dutiful wife and hold your hand," she tells him. (She's a better woman than me, let me tell you, because I would be like: I quit, homie.) And then, as Micah returns to school — and his white girlfriend, Stella — Charley reminds him that society is built to demonize Black men and that he should be careful. When Charley drops him off, Stella's mom is outside and gives her a dirty look.
It turns out to be a bit of foreshadowing. At the end of the episode, Micah and his mom get called into the principal's office; Stella's mom has accused Micah of sending Stella a nude pic. But when Micah storms out, he tells his mother there's no way it could've been his photo. "Stella's cheating on me," he says to Charley in a heartbroken-teenage-boy voice. Poor, poor kid. He's innocent here, but is about to get expelled just because his girlfriend's mom is projecting his father's mistakes onto him.
Charley admits she hasn't been able to give her son the attention he deserves because she's been too busy cleaning up Davis's mess. Which means: working with a high-profile lawyer to see how much it will cost to get the prostitute accusing Davis of rape to be quiet and disappear. I want to yell at the screen: No, girl! Blackmail is kinda sorta SUPER illegal, remember?!
The episode ends with one major question: After their attorney tells Charley the prostitute turned down an offer of $500,000 because she "doesn't want the money," Charley asks: "Then what does she want?" The lawyer just gives Charley a look, and we fade to black after a long look at Charley's face, which seems like it's slowly filling with realization.
So what could it be that this woman wants? Justice? Could Davis really have done what she's accusing him of? Is she (GASP) pregnant? Or maybe just fame-hungry? Damn it, OWN — you're making us wait a whole 'nother week to find out, of course.
Until then, Queen Sugar fans. Until then.