Black Girls' Night Out: Mary Jane Paul

This episode of Being Mary Jane ("Mixed Messages") has folks airing all their dirty laundry.  Mary Jane and Avery air theirs at a luncheon, Andre and Avery air theirs at the therapist, and poor Mark has his aired for him. 

Or in other words, it's just another day in the life of Mary Jane Paul.

"A woman must not depend on the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself."
~  Susan B. Anthony

The show starts with a typical dance club montage:  pounding bass, flailing arms and other body parts, and plenty of freely flowing booze.  Everyone is having a great time, but that doesn't stop Mary Jane from trying to set up a booty call with Andre via text.  He immediately texts her back to let her know that he can't meet up with her because he's stuck at home. 

After we're given ample time to read the quote-of-the-week (one that Mary Jane will likely ignore), we see MJ nodding off on her couch while Kara pecks away on a laptop.  She's checking out an online dating site and after contemplating some guy's profile, she gets MJ to log into her dormant account.  MJ heads off to bed, leaving Kara alone with a laptop, rampant boredom and her unguarded dating profile.  In a move that later surprises no one except for Mary Jane, Kara--gleefully pretending to be Mary Jane--answers one of her friend's potential suitors.

Transition to the station where she gets a call from a friend (the same one from an earlier episode who likes to receive purses from married men), begging her to give a speech at a luncheon due to a last minute cancellation.  After a little cajoling, MJ agrees.

Back in her office, she informs a bewildered Kara that she thinks Carlos the intern might be gay and suggests that she ask Mark to be sure.  Equally shocked and tickled by the revelation, Kara pumps her fist in the air and does the little dance we all do when we've just heard something juicy.  MJ looks horrified by her slip and begs Kara not to say anything.

After the commercial break, Mary Jane has moved on to her parent's house and everyone is in a panic because Mama Patterson has lost her favorite diamond bracelet.  Everyone splits up to look for it, and the second they leave the room, Helen smiles slyly.  In fact, she looks so incredibly pleased with herself, all that's missing is a handlebar mustache for her to twirl.

I guess Mary Jane got tired of looking for her mother's bracelet, because the next time we see her she's at home, night has fallen and she's relaxing in bed with Andre.  In the middle of their playful banter, he foolishly tells her about the lazy, pillow-supported head Avery tried to give him that morning.  To be fair, MJ did tell him he could tell her anything, but come on.  He can't really be that clueless, can he?  But apparently he can, because he seems genuinely bewildered that his girlfriend is upset that he's still sleeping with his wife.  The script is quickly flipped when she tells him that she's started dating.

The date in question is with Wayne Brady...er...I mean Sean something-or-other, and it goes disastrously.  Mary Jane is horribly rude, fielding text after text from seemingly everyone in town as Sean tries vainly to grin and bear it.  After putting up with her antics for far longer than I would have, he finally tells her to handle her business and leaves.

The next scene has got to be the biggest WTF moment of the episode for me, and given everything that's gone down so far, that's saying something.  The day of the luncheon has arrived, and Mary Jane is as shocked as the rest of us when Avery sits down at her table.  Her butt has barely hit her chair before she tells everyone within earshot that her husband is having an affair.  After the women chime in with their opinions, Avery turns to her rival and unwisely solicits advice.  Mary Jane looks up from the notecards she's been furiously studying and not-so-innocently suggests that Avery "up her sex game."  Avery looks like she's swallowed a box of nails, but she walked into that one in all honesty.  (PSA:  Asking your husband's mistress for marital advice is never a good idea.)

We move from the slightly amusing to the downright surreal when Mary Jane gets up to deliver her speech.  Apparently, in the world according to Ms. Paul, being number one isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Number two is the real winner because two gets all the perks of one without all the high expectations, stress and mistakes that go along with it.  Yeah...nope.  Someone ask the Denver Broncos how much they like being number two, and I'll bet you get a different answer.  I seriously doubt that Mary Jane believes any of that BS she was up there shoveling, but whatever helps her sleep at night.

Later, she's confronted outside her house by Mark (who she's been avoiding for the entire episode) for telling his secret to Kara.  She apologizes, and he forgives her almost immediately.  Personally, I think he lets her off the hook a little too easily by basically taking the blame for burdening her with his secret in the first place.  While that may or may not be true, why isn't she being held accountable for her actions?  Aren't you supposed to be able to tell your friends secrets without fear that they'll blab it the first chance they get?

In the midst of all the Mary Jane drama, Paul admits to his father that he's fallen off the wagon, Tracy moves out after being (falsely) accused by Mama Patterson for stealing her bracelet, Papa Patterson grows ever more disgusted by his wife for lying about losing her bracelet, and Paul Jr. is still selling weed.

We also get to sit through one of Andre and Avery's marriage counseling sessions, and if this is supposed to make me feel sorry for him, it doesn't work.  With the therapist's prodding, he tells his wife that he feels emasculated because she had to teach him how to talk and dress properly, helped him become a success and that she's still punishing him for having to "marry down."  When she asks him why he's dating Mary Jane, Andre reveals it's because she "sees him." 

Sorry, bruh...that's no excuse for cheating on your wife.  And the fact that he's been in marriage counseling for six months, but has been having an affair for four of those months makes any sympathy that I might have felt for him null and void.

We wrap up the episode with Mary Jane on another date with Sean because he's either really nice or really lonely and pathetic.  I'm going to go with nice.  This second date goes very well, but the high is blown when she pulls up to her house to find Andre outside waiting for her.  She's not a happy camper, but perks right up when he tells her that he's filing for divorce.  As they embrace lovingly, I can't help but think of the old adage about not counting your chickens before they're hatched.  Because you know this isn't going to end well.


  1. Sorry I'm so behind on my recaps you guys. I'm back in school this semester (yay!), and I've been super busy. I'll try to get caught up as soon as possible. :)

    1. Congrats! What are you studying?

    2. I'm majoring in Humanities. It took me forever to go back to school because I couldn't decide what I wanted to go back for. My AAS is in Criminal Justice, but when it came time to finish up, I discovered that I really didn't want to do that. It took me forever to settle on Humanities because I kept telling myself that I needed to study something "real." *rolls eyes* All waiting for "real" got me was lots of wasted years. Lesson learned.

  2. I wished I was able to watch BMJ and now that Wayne Brady was on there I really should have pried my way to seeing this. I just wanted to see how he acted on there. He was so awfully good when he was on girlfriends.He can play cold and tricky very well. Something tells me that I missed out on a goody. Anything seems better than what I seen on Twisted again. Strike 2 for me.

  3. When she asks him why he's dating Mary Jane, Andre reveals it's because she "sees him."

    Uh...is MJ seeing "him" or is she seeing is his representative? Is she falling for the real Andre, or the Andre that Avery supposedly created?

    Cuz if it's the latter - and I suspect it is - then maybe MJ just needs to cut out the middleman and ask Avery what's up. *blink*

    1. @Ankh

      That's true, because the Andre she's dating is the post-Avery Andre. Unless of course, he's his "true self" around her, whatever that is. All they seem to do when they're around each other is fight or have sex so who knows?

      I also wonder if she'll really want him when he's 100% available to her. Part of wanting him so badly might be because she can't have him.

  4. This show sounds like a thick-ass shit cupcake.

    1. It's really not that bad. If it was truly terrible, I wouldn't be able to even hate watch it enough to do these recaps. It's the Andre/Mary Jane storyline that's crappy. The writing is good...that storyline is not (if that makes any sense). The writing, acting, production value, budget...they're all really good. I'm invested/interested in all the other storylines but that one.

      I hope like hell they drop Andre's character next season. David is more interesting anyway, and I like him much better. He and MJ have more chemistry than her and Andre and he's not married. Or she could just be out there dating and doing her own thing. That would work too.

    2. So...it's like watching Scandal and wishing there was no Olitz?

    3. @Ankh

      I never thought of it that way, but basically.

  5. I remember watching this with a relative, and while ranting over the debacle that was MJ's date with Wayne Brady's character vs. the time she spends with Andre, she mentioned that it's usually easier to do things or be with those that are bad for us, than it is for us to do things or be with those good for us. Always something standing in the way to make things harder than you'd think they'd be. I suppose that's true, at least as far as this episode shows. All of those text messages... but when it comes to Andre? Nothing but silence and eventual 'romantic interludes' making me happy I've the ability to fast forward.

    It was nice to see the second date go well, but the ending of this episode made me shake my head. One can only hope the writers work to improve what should be a much better character, because MJ's falling down on the job so far.


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