BET

As the third season opens on BET’s Being Mary Jane, the scars on Mary Jane’s face from the accident have put her prime-time anchor job in jeopardy.

Just the sight of David at the hospital sends M.J. into a violent rage. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson want answers. Mr. Patterson knocks David out over his babbling answer. Mrs. Patterson reads Lisa for being unable to say no to the one man who should’ve been off-limits.

Although M.J.’s plastic surgery is a success, SNC still wants to get rid of her. There was alcohol in her system, so Kara advises her to lawyer up. Loretta Devine joins the cast as Cece, the other woman involved in the accident. Her sole purpose is to come up by extorting M.J. Apparently the generous $3,000 check M.J. wrote her before leaving the hospital isn’t enough.

Arthur, M.J.’s attorney, reminds her of the power of words: “You’re an ugly black woman,” he jokes. He doesn’t seem to be that great an attorney, considering that M.J. will have to save her job on her own and she’s being extorted. Mama Patterson feels guilty for pushing M.J. so hard about being with David: “I should’ve told you to kick that [n—ga] to the curve.” Leave it to Mama to tell the truth and shame the devil.

SNC offers Cece $30,000 in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement. Cece is a negotiating beast. She counters with $90,000, with facts on new media, diversity and the network’s tanking numbers: “Contrary to the myth, black people read.” Say that, Cece! Her spiel lands her $100,000 for her silence.

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After M.J.’s mom runs into the glass window at her house, M.J. is left alone. All of her old boos text—not call—to check on her. P.J. shows up to give her the real, telling her that someone (read: a man) should be there to take care of her. M.J. wants what her parents have but put all her eggs in David’s basket.

“Men like David don’t know how to show up. That’s a bitch-made man,” P.J. says. P.J. lets his big sister know that men who’ve been coddled or have a silver spoon in their mouth aren’t going to work for anything. And he is preaching! P.J. tells sis the hard truth that she’s a complicated and difficult woman, and that not every man is cut out to handle a difficult woman.

Lisa wants to clear her conscience, so she gets Patrick to take her to M.J.’s house. M.J. has a tight grip on her new safety net—this damn bat she won’t put down—while “apologizing” to Lisa. The apology is really to throw shade at all that’s wrong in Lisa’s life. But M.J. still loves her “friend” and tells her to give her time. M.J. handled that well, considering the circumstances, because Lisa definitely deserves the fade.

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SNC plans to paint M.J. as an alcoholic, and Arthur doesn’t really have control of the situation. There is a pending internal investigation that the executives hope will be exactly what they need to can her.

Cece has the audacity to show up at M.J.’s house asking for $25,000. M.J.’s little bat doesn’t intimidate Cece, since she has the lab report proving that M.J. had been drinking before the accident. Cece claims that the NDA she signed with SNC only protects the company, not M.J. M.J. tells Cece she has lost her mind and to get out of her house. The real question is why won’t M.J. tell her attorney that Cece is extorting her.

Kara is in charge of finding M.J.’s replacement—pretty, young and black. But a curveball is thrown in the mix when Greg is informed that the network is in jeopardy of getting an F on its diversity report because of its lack of Latinos. When Kara brings M.J. her favorite foods, the dynamic duo concoct a plan to hire an actually ugly black woman, which is to generate press for SNC’s having broken down the pretty barrier. It will amp up the anticipation of M.J.’s return so she can take back her throne.

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Tracy shows up to Deja’s basketball game wearing a house-arrest anklet. Now that she’s out of jail, Tracy projects her bitterness on Patrick by reminding him that he’s still an addict and she should get the credit for their daughter’s basketball skills. Patrick is about to get sucked back into Tracy’s foolishness. Patrick finally asks his dad to make that phone call for a job. He wants stability for Deja. Niecy is upset that her dad is being Father of the Year for Deja but wasn’t there for her or Niema growing up.

Kara comes by M.J.’s with a photo of a temporary Latina anchor. M.J. keeps saying she isn’t worried, but we don’t believe her. She needs more people. “She is the dress you buy and wear once, then take back to the store the next day. She’s a return item,” M.J. says of the temp. Ouch.

When Cece comes to collect her $25,000, M.J. offers her $5,000. Cece isn’t having it and gives M.J. the payment plan. Miss Replacement Anchor comes on while Cece and M.J. wait on the money messenger. Cece gets in M.J.’s head about the Latino demographic that’s rapidly growing and underrepresented. Cece lets her know that her replacement is the face of the new generation: “You want your job back, you better get up and go get it. ’Cause in a minute you ain’t gonna be able to get her out of your chair.”

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M.J. throws her phone after seeing the new anchor’s Instagram post. M.J. puts on her body-hugging dress with a pair of Louboutins and walks in SNC like the “boss-ass bitch” she is. Going down without a fight was never an option.