I actually feel sorry for Mary Jane. Last season I called her insufferable more times than I care to count because, well, she’s exhausting. But within the first three episodes of season 3 of Being Mary Jane, I find myself wishing that the complicated woman we’ve grown to love and hate could catch a break for once.
Lisa decides that the guilt—along with all the pain she’s lived with daily—is too much to bear. She swallows two bottles of prescription pills with a glass of red wine. M.J. ignores David’s calls, eventually blocking his number. Niecy breaks the news to her about Lisa. M.J. doesn’t cry or scream or rush over to her parents’ house, where everyone is gathered. Liquor is her medicine, but Mark reminds her there’s no more alcohol allowed in the office.
M.J. is likely reconciling her feelings of anger for the fling Lisa had with David with the fact that she and Lisa hadn’t been on good terms. Despite their problems, she’s mourning her friend. M.J. has a few friends over to celebrate Lisa’s life. They drink wine while memorializing her with fond memories.
Kara tries to get the crew to understand that suicide is not a weakness. M.J. and another black friend suggest that black women are too strong to commit suicide. That’s the problem. Trying to be the strong black woman is literally killing us. Black women are never allowed to be weak because we’re too busy holding it together for everybody else.
M.J. is shocked to find out that David found Lisa’s body, which forces her to speak to him face-to-face. “Why were you even there, if you don’t mind me asking?” she inquires, like a jealous ex-girlfriend. David had gone by to check on Lisa because she hadn’t answered his calls since the accident. Let me find out that he had a key to Lisa’s.
David tells M.J. he’s there for her if she needs anything, but she coldly informs him that she won’t be needing his shoulder to cry on. Poor David (is that even allowed?). He’s lost all of his women, unless he’s still with his live-in baby mama. Speaking of, where is she and where is their baby?
Mama Patterson wins the award for most dramatic. “We killed her,” she tells M.J. regarding Lisa. M.J. is not in the mood for a pity party, considering that she has a funeral to plan and now has to deal with Lisa’s parents. Mama Patterson contacted them knowing that Lisa hadn’t talked to them in over 15 years. Judging by the way Mama and M.J. are arguing, I guess no one cares anymore that M.J. has had a life-altering car accident. Her time of being catered to is up. See why she has my sympathy? She has to do everything for everyone with no days off to handle her own mess.
Lisa’s parents show up to their deceased daughter’s home while M.J. is reminiscing. M.J. treats the exchange with Lisa’s mom (played by Ella Joyce) like business. They agree not to divulge the details of her death. M.J. is adamant about Lisa’s stepdad (Richard Lawson) not attending the funeral because of whatever terrible thing he did many years ago. Lisa’s mom asks her husband not to attend; he agrees.
Before the homegoing, M.J. has a private moment with David. “You know, I couldn’t cry at all when I first heard,” M.J. reveals. She says she procrastinated writing the eulogy. Finally, she broke down picking out her funeral outfit. On a lighter note, the funeral dress with the black veil to match is a slay. She is casket-sharp!
David listens but is unable to find the right words. M.J. lets him take her hand, until he reassures her that it wasn’t her fault. M.J. doesn’t care that they’re in a church. M.J. gon’ M.J. She rips him a new one about his never meaning to hurt her but always doing so: “I’m out of comfort to give you, David. I’m out of anything to give you. I have nothing for you.” M.J. knows how to preach a sermon.
Lisa’s stepdad shows up to the funeral against M.J.’s wishes. And because M.J. is M.J., she airs it all out during the eulogy: “The lies we tell each other, that’s what killed my friend Lisa.” Then she does the unthinkable by exposing creepy stepdad. Lisa was molested by her stepfather from ages 9 to 16. “And she carried that pain with her for the duration of her life,” M.J. says. Through a heartfelt eulogy, M.J. says the best way to honor Lisa is by telling our truths, no matter how ugly: “Make sure that you tell everyone that you love that you will love them no matter how ugly their truth is. You’ll still love ’em.”
Such a hard episode, but as always, the writers handled it brilliantly. Let’s light some sage for M.J. and hope she gets her job back and a new man. We’ll even settle for extortion being M.J.’s biggest problem, since Loretta Devine bodies her role. But if anyone deserves some peace, it’s M.J.