“The woman who catches a man’s eye earns a purse, the woman that captures his heart earns his world.”
~ Chris Brew
The episode starts out with our heroine meeting Andre at a hotel they used to frequent while they were dating. I can't help but wonder why Mary Jane didn't suspect that something was amiss long before she discovered he was married. It just seems a bit strange for a couple to frequent a hotel so often that it's become your "special place" instead of spending time at each other's houses. I'm just saying.
Andre surprises both MJ (and the viewers) when he asks her to marry him. Sigh. Has the man forgotten that he's already currently married or is he just that oblivious? I vote for oblivious.
Her face likely reflects the look on mine as she stares at him like he's grown a second head. He tells her that he was going to tell her everything, shoves a ring box at her and then proceeds to drone on about...whatever it is he's droning on about. Mary Jane stares at him mutely while seeming to hear him from one end of a long tunnel as tears slowly slide down her cheeks. She tells him that all he does is make her cry before turning and leaving without another word. PSA: If all a man does is make you cry, he's not the right man for you.
We next see her at home doing mundane tasks around the house—exercising, brushing her teeth, reading the paper, eating yogurt. Strangely, I really like this scene. Although she spends the entire scene in motion, it's all so calm and tranquil. Perhaps it's because it's a small moment of normalcy in a life that's anything but.
Mary Jane pops over to her parent's house to take her niece to the doctor, but is quickly irritated to learn that Niecy has rescheduled the appointment without telling her so that the baby's father can take her. Which makes it even more sad later in the episode when Niecy is sitting in abject denial as she waits for him to show up. He never does.
Apparently, MJ's irritation made her want to work because the next we see of her, she's at the station randomly speaking Spanish to the mail guy while being all up in his business. The mail guy hands her a package and--surprise, surprise--Andre has sent her the engagement ring (an expensive one, I'm sure) via office mail. Why he sent it to her office and not her home is a mystery that will probably never be answered, but I can't help but wonder anyway. She sticks it in a drawer, but it's a sure bet that we haven't seen the last of it. Unfortunately.
She also goes toe to toe with Kara for taking the position to work on Mark's show behind her back. The show touches on the "angry black woman" stereotype that most black women have to deal with far too often, and I'm glad they didn't pull any punches.
Later, Mary Jane and her dad meet for a father/daughter "date" and we finally get to see our girl relax a bit. And I do mean a bit, because the minute her father starts talking about not being able to wait until the day that a man asks him for her hand in marriage, you could see the tension reassert itself in an instant. MJ can see how giddy the thought makes him, and it's telling how uncomfortable she looks when he tells her that she deserves the best. Too bad she doesn't think so.
It's also hilarious to see her get all protective of her father when an old family friend sidles up to the table and, under the guise of being concerned about her sick mother, proceeds to eye her father with no shame whatsoever. Mary Jane isn't pleased. Or having any of it. Dad of course, is either completely oblivious or pretending to be.
Old family friend Katherine shows up at the house the very next day (damn she moves fast), and neither MJ or Mama Patterson is fooled. There is a really touching moment between mother and daughter that belies the "mommie dearest" designation that MJ has given her (at least as far as her phone is concerned). I hope we get to see more of those moments as the season goes on.
Nighttime has fallen, and we cut to Mary Jane's house where she is hosting a girl's night. Kara shows up with bottle of wine and an apology and, after making her work for it, MJ finally accepts. They hug it out, a stripper shows up (and never leaves) and we get a funny scene of some slightly drunken dancing before they retire to the kitchen to spill information that was better left unspilled.
Spermgate finally rears its ugly head again when MJ beats everyone's confessions by many, many miles. She pulls her secret stash out of her freezer, plops it on her counter like it's a Hot Pocket, then stands back while everyone else eyes it in shock. Oddly, everyone seems to think it's funny except for Dr. Lisa. She's appalled and disappointed, both in the reactions of her friends and the fact that Mary Jane didn't reach out to her before things got so bad she felt she had to resort to such a desperate act. Pot meet kettle.
During all the Mary Jane drama that went down in this episode, Andre and Avery had plenty of their own. Avery tries to get Andre to sign a post-nuptial agreement, a document that would give her both houses, controlling interest of his marketing firm, and full custody of the kids if he so much as smiles at another woman for the remainder of their marriage. He's having none of it and walks away without signing, which only proves to Avery that he does love Mary Jane. She’s better than me though, because I’m not convinced Andre loves anyone but himself.
Later in the episode, Andre finds Avery crying in their bedroom's walk-in closet. They begin to argue and the ongoing, cleverly edited scene is overlaid with Andre receiving text after text (after desperate text) from Mary Jane who's now ready to talk. The show does a nice job of faking us out when Andre finally--and not-so-subtly--checks the messages on his phone. Of course, we all think he's going to rush over to Mary Jane's place, so color me surprised when he's making love to his wife and not MJ in the very next scene.
The episode ends poignantly as Mary Jane wakes up alone the next morning, reaches for her phone and discovers that the man who supposedly loves her hasn't bothered to answer any of her texts.
Personally, I'm hoping that he never does, but I'm sure that's too much to ask for. Mara Brock Akil does not seem to be trying to make Andre a sympathetic character, so I'll admit that I'm curious to see where this is going.