“Being Mary Jane” Episode 6 Recap: Reality Bites

19 Feb

Being Mary Jane Season 1, Episode 6 Recap

When things fall apart... © Black Entertainment Television

When things fall apart… © Black Entertainment Television

Last night’s episode of Being Mary Jane dumped a bucket of ice cold water on the characters, jarring them into reality. It all starts off so romantically as Andre and MJ enjoy each other’s company over a candlelit dinner. But then Andre confronts MJ about her nostalgic moment with David at the gala: “Are you screwing him? Am I his replacement?” He throws it in her face that he is breaking apart his life to be with her and she tells him that his sucky marriage should really be the impetus for that, not her.

The director shot this argument scene in an identical manner to the fighting scene Andre had with his wife in an earlier episode. Through this technique, viewers can physically see how Andre and MJ’s relationship is changing into the relationship Andre is trying to escape. Andre does make an honest statement when he tells MJ, “That’s what couples do. They fight,” after they eventually kiss and make up. MJ even gives him some keys to the crib! However, that moment is interrupted when PJ barges in after running away from the cops.

It was only inevitable that his drug dealing ways would catch up to him. He’s lucky that Andre is able to call in a favor from an old Army buddy and get the charges dropped. But it doesn’t seem like this reality check will slow down PJ’s drug dealing any time soon. He tells his sister that his goal is to build their mother her dream house and that he has already made a down payment on the land. When she insists on paying him off so he will stop selling drugs he tells her, “Stop throwing your money around and trying to control me!”

Andre’s old Army buddy checks him, too. He shares that a mutual acquaintance Marcus has taken Avery out and implores Andre to be careful in the divorce. “Don’t mess up the kids. We both grew up without fathers.” Too bad his sober words coupled with Avery’s reminder that they need to talk to the kids about the divorce are not enough to give Andre courage. In one scene, he goes back to his home and sits in the foyer listening to Avery play with the kids. No one knows he is there. Then he slips back out into the night.

Patrick is over dealing with the reality that he is a 42 year old man sleeping on his parents’ pull-out couch. Paul Sr. wants him to take weekly drug tests since he broke the rules and did drugs again. So Patrick declares that he is moving out. Unfortunately, that means he won’t be there to help look after his pregnant daughter Niecy and his grandchild. But, then again, Niecy may be alright. She proves in this episode that she can kind of handle herself and she’s not as blind as people may assume.

She wants tubal ligation surgery and MJ freaks out about the costs. Niecy reminds her that she is trying to be responsible like MJ always nags her to be. They argue and Niecy hits MJ in her weak points, telling her she always thinks she knows what’s best for everybody and suggests that MJ is deluding herself. She asks MJ, “Where’s your man? Where are your kids? Where’s your happy ending?”

Niecy’s attack is a reminder of the age old Catch-22 that society places career women in – the same paradox that finally fully exposes Kara’s weakness. MJ catches her sobbing over the fact that her boys want to live with their father full-time. Kara is convinced that he has turned them against her and she reveals to MJ that she believes he is a better parent because “I’m never there, I’m always here” – here being the station, of course. Kara struggles to balance her love for her children with her love of working in nightly news.

Perhaps MJ is thinking of Kara’s situation as she listens to Niecy rail into her. She seems stunned and can do nothing but agree with it. She feels guilty to the point that she even tells her mother that she is in a relationship with a married man. Helen does what moms do best: takes her daughter’s head in her lap, strokes her hair, and imparts the wisdom that MJ can cry about the situation now, but she must make it right in the morning.

MJ goes home and tells Andre, “I love you and I can’t be in this relationship.” There. They must finally face this moment. She likens their relationship to forcing a shoe to fit and tells him that she believes Avery will take him back. Amidst the argument, they are sooooo close to having wild, angry sex but MJ somehow finds the strength to stop it. In a juxtapositional scene, Helen asks her husband if he is cheating on her with Katherine, acknowledging that he has needs and the difficulties of dealing with her lupus. Paul Sr. laughs at her and assures her that he is not going anywhere. Then mama gets on top and we see them having sex. Go Helen!

As Andre exits MJ’s home, he leaves behind a note: “Good luck unraveling.” Judging by next week’s preview that shows her confronting David –in spite of the fact that she has seen the proof of his new girlfriend –she needs no luck in that department.

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