Grown women do grown-woman things. In the case of Kara and M.J., those things are getting their sexual needs met without any strings attached. Get it how you live!
Here are eight things we learned from this episode:
1. Cutty Buddy: Kara and Gael are surprisingly still dating, but she’s too busy with work and her kids. He’s patient with her; she breaks it off anyway. Being a better mother is her new priority. Before sending him on his way, she gets hers one last time. M.J. is using Cutty Buddy as a distraction. They’re having so much sex she “broke his penis.” He’s too tired for more.
2. Superwoman: Kara’s balancing act between work and kids comes crashing down. Her youngest son, Scott, is having trouble in math. She’s late to the parent-teacher conference. Her ex-husband, John, tells her she doesn’t have to be a superwoman. Her solution is to get the kids more, which turns into a chaotic mess. Scott pees in the bed. Max is hungry. The dog is chewing her shoes. Everyone is yelling. Max calls Dad in a panic.
3. Extortion: Cece is ruthless. Preaching to M.J. is her new favorite pastime. “I hate what the black man has done to the black woman. Abandonment is the direct cause of our masculinity,” she says after M.J. says a few foul words. Not sure what all of Cece’s knowledge-dropping has to do with her getting her money. M.J. asks Cece does she think about anything other than race or black people. Nope. “’Cause we’re still at war.”
4. No rules: Niecy awkwardly sees her auntie and C.B. skinny-dipping in the pool when she comes over to get help with her résumé. Niecy has no experience, so M.J. tells her to make up an SNC mailroom internship. Niecy not only shows up to her interview late but also has the audacity to ask the interviewer if she is judging her for having two kids and a GED. Niecy pulls the “My experience is being a black woman” card. Niecy then drops the mic by telling the interviewer that she knows more about the products than she does. She lands the $7-an-hour job because this is TV. But ain’t no way in hell.
5. Moment of truth: Kara wants to show off with homemade brownies for her son’s class instead of store-bought ones. But because she’s always working—before sex, after sex, while making brownies—she burns them. She leaves the kids alone after midnight to rush over to M.J.’s to ask if she would bake them. Finally she breaks down. Kara says that she should never have had kids and she’s ruining them. “I can’t have it all … this is not fun for me. Marriage was not fun for me,” she says through tears.
The reality is that Kara loves her kids but loves her career, too. And loving the kids and raising them are two different things. She’s worked her butt off so they can attend the best schools and have the best of everything, but she’s not there for them the way she wants to be. M.J. comes through with the bomb brownies. For a minute you remember that M.J. is not a completely self-involved monster.
6. Survival: M.J. does her Googles (shout-out to DMX) to find the bookstore that Cece purchased with her extortion money. M.J. can’t believe she’s being extorted so Cece can philosophize on slavery and the black man’s ease in walking away from his family and survival in spite of it all. M.J. tells Cece the extortion stops. Too bad Cece “politely disagrees.” She knows all about M.J.’s prime-time dreams that she has the power to end. M.J. won’t go away without telling Cece she’s no better than the slave master exploiting black people for her own gain. M.J. calls it extortion; Cece calls it survival.
7. Horrible idea: Kara tells John that she wants to move back in with him and the kids. Technically it’s her house, which she gave him in the divorce settlement, and she still pays the mortgage. Doing this will cut some of her expenses. They both agree it’s a horrible idea. But Kara is committed to being a better mom, so he agrees. Now that Gael is out of the picture, it could work. Something tells us that this is either a setup for the two to get back together or a disaster in the making. Or both.
8. Blessings: M.J. finally opens the envelope she’s been avoiding. It’s an invite to a gala where Lisa would have been the speaker. Her Cutty Buddy finds her in tears on the floor. After her nap, he has a cigar and whiskey while waiting outside by the pool. It was his grandfather’s tradition. His grandfather, the most peaceful man he’s ever known, owned a funeral home. “The only way to balance out so much death is to live,” he says, repeating his grandfather’s wise words. C.B. realizes that he was meant to be a blessing to her in this moment. M.J. thanks him for breaking his routine for her. M.J. better not mess up this good thing, and by “good thing” I mean consistent penis.