Darla has undergone a beautiful transformation from a fragile, untrustworthy recovering addict to a strong, resilient woman. During the entire series, she has been trying to redeem herself from her past drug addiction. Darla Sutton went from being my least favorite character to one of my favorite characters on Queen Sugar. Here’s how.
When Darla got sober and expressed interest in reentering Blue’s life, she was met with resistance by the Bordelon family. Understandably so. During season one, it was revealed Hollywood found her in a compromising position with a john and Blue sitting in the room. As a result, Hollywood rescued Blue and Aunt Vi got full custody of him. I could imagine the Bordelons thought only an unstable human being would put their child in danger. For this reason, I thought, “Okay. It’s unforgivable. She’s an addict. She’ll relapse sooner or later.”
However, the writers did an excellent job expanding Darla’s storyline in season two. We saw Darla committed to making an honest living, committed to being a present and responsible mother to Blue and a good companion to Ralph Angel. She is excited about the future of her family and upcoming marriage to Ralph Angel. When Darla’s parents visit, it is revealed Blue’s paternity is speculative. Darla’s father encourages her to tell Ralph Angel. Though she was afraid of shattering the picture-perfect family she was building with Ralph Angel, Darla tells him the truth. It was a courageous move. Was it wrong to lie? Yes. However, Darla knew she would enter the marriage with a guilty conscious thus dooming their union. As predicted, Ralph Angel ended their relationship and the newfound trust the Bordelons built for Darla was broken permanently.
When Darla recalls the party she attended in DC and what took place, she described it as, “It just kept happening.” This statement made me believe Darla was repeatedly raped while under the influence of drugs thus explaining the uncertainty regarding Blue’s paternity. Though the truth costs her important relationships and her job, the season two finale marked a new journey for Darla: a life fully redeemed without lies – a clean slate.
During season three, Darla returns after a few months of living with her parents in DC. She comes back to St. Josephine with a new look, new attitude, new car and a new house. Darla remains sober and dedicated to being the best mother to Blue. But when a resentful Ralph Angel deliberately keeps Blue away from her, Darla takes matters into her own hands by fighting for custody. She becomes unapologetic for her new life and stands up to Ralph Angel. Unfortunately, this leads to an intense custody battle which later results in them agreeing to spend an equal amount of time with Blue.
Now Darla is in a new relationship with a tall, nice guy she enjoys. But when she reads Blessings and Blood, she discovers Nova wrote about her addiction and used her street name Star – which all the johns in St. Josephine called Darla. She shows up at Nova’s doorstep and confronts her says, “You’re worse than I ever was.”
When I saw that I said, “Oh shoot.” First of all, I never knew Darla knew Nova’s address. Secondly, when Nova opened the door, Darla looked like she was ready to fight and could actually win. There was so much rage and fury in her eyes for good reason. Nova violated her and Blue’s privacy. Their altercation represented a pivotal moment in Darla’s evolution. She has become more confident in how she respects herself and how she demands respect from others.
My Hopes for Darla
I hope Darla does not relapse. Though she may get ridiculed or harassed by St. Josephine residents, I hope Darla perceives the situation as an opportunity to continue to live unapologetically for her past and current decisions.
Can we live unapologetically despite the people who knew us at our lowest points? Can we truly let go of our pasts? Comment below.