Being Mary Jane
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A couple of musical notes before getting into the nitty-gritty of the episode that made this writer shed a tear. An Erykah Badu compilation is always a good idea, but especially as the soundtrack to Mary Jane’s piecing her life back together. David’s “final” voice mail followed by M.J.’s sad solo dance to Nicki Minaj’s “Pills N Potions” was too much for the heart to handle. M.J. and David cannot keep doing this to us—I mean each other.

M.J.’s epiphany to let God lead her situation with David comes the morning after they decided to have a baby. Her guilt-ridden speech leaves David confused and pissed. M.J. tells him to leave, then commences vacuuming, cleaning up shop and pouring out all her liquor. Don’t worry, she was pouring herself a drink before the sun could set.

As David vents to his boy Chris, Chris reminds him that this is the David-M.J. modus operandi. “This is why I stopped messing with black women,” David says. Chris brings David back down to earth, saying that M.J. being a black woman has nothing to do with their issues. Their problem is a lack of communication.

M.J. interviews Dr. Joy Brown on Talk Back and learns about the Johari Window of dealing with one’s inner happiness. M.J. uses this method to make amends in an attempt to fix her messy life. She starts with Niecy. M.J. has to apologize, to which Niecy reacts with sarcasm. Niecy reads her like a book but not in an angry way, more in a “I feel sorry for you” way.

M.J. isn’t only making changes in her personal life; she also bosses up at work, too. After walking out of a meeting with her team, she has a chat with Kara about being unhappy with Talk Back. Since it’s her show, she wants to switch gears to doing all-black-everything-type stories. M.J. is tired of giving her all and getting nothing in return. And she’s strategically getting her ducks in a row by branding herself in case her job at SNC goes sour.

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M.J. is adamant about controlling her show and reminds Greg, their superior, of what she’s done for the network. Kara decides to back her friend by telling Greg she thinks it’s a good idea. Greg is still not moved. He lets both of them know that contracts will be reviewed. Meanwhile, M.J. is like French Montana. Chick “ain’t worried about nothing.”

P.J. visits David about their business venture. David backs out in light of his complicated situation with P.J.’s sister. P.J. digs deep into his ’90s vocab to call David a “mark ass buster,” which is quite the change from his usual tune of defending David. P.J. tells David that all this time he thought his sister was the difficult one, when in actuality it’s him. P.J. drops the truth bomb on where the family stands, not wanting M.J. to get David’s “sloppy seconds.”  

Valerie stops by M.J.’s unannounced because her hubby, Chris, told her about the conversation he had with David. Valerie put on her therapist and friend hat to flat-out ask M.J. what the hell she is doing trying to get pregnant by a man who has a baby on the way. M.J. announces that she’s not pregnant. Can you imagine the plot change if she had been? She texts to tell David the news only when Valerie gets on her case. A text is in no way acceptable for this kind of news. M.J. admits that she’s angry that David’s having a baby with Anna. Instead of processing her anger, she wants to bypass the pain.

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This, ladies and gentleman, is why M.J. keeps repeating her mistakes: skipping very important steps in the healing process.

You know it’s about to get real when you see a black woman’s natural hair on TV, à la Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating. M.J.’s stylist cancels on her, so she has to beg Niecy to come over to install a sew-in.

M.J. sends Let Him Go (aka David) to voice mail. “You playing coy for the boy?” Niecy asks. Niecy tells her aunt that she used to idolize her, but M.J. tells her to lower the pedestal, admitting that she’s imperfect. Ya think? M.J. reveals to her niece that she was too scared to go to work without a weave out of fear she’d be invisible. Niecy is hesitant about accepting the glass of wine M.J. offers, considering she’s only 19, but M.J. reminds her she has two kids. What’s a glass of wine going to hurt?

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David’s voice mail was gut-wrenching. He congratulates her for finally pushing him away for good. This man told her she brings out the best and worst in him. We weren’t reaaaaady. M.J. dumps the three pregnancy tests, along with her egg-fertilization paperwork. Then comes the saddest yet most hopeful dance to “Pills N Potions.”

Hope. Her heart is broken, but in the midst of it all lies a glimmer of hope.