I will never understand why America shows have mid-season breaks. Just when the plotline is getting juicy, they go off air for months leaving viewers to fall in love with other shows and characters, completely withdrawing from the scripted life they want us to believe in.
It’s fortunate that Being Mary Jane is like no other show on TV at the moment, so its return was eagerly anticipated.
We left golden girl Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union) taking the seat for the first time in her dream job as co-anchor of Good Day USA, a role she obtained after plotting with her producer, Justin Talbot, (Michael Ealy) to get rid of previous anchor, Queen Rhonda (Valarie Pettiford). Unfortunately, the fall out affected her own producer and longtime friend Kara (Lisa Vidal) who was fired. Mary Jane’s personal life was looking up; latest beau Lee Truitt (Chiké Okonkwo) from the UK has agreed to try for a baby, although he felt it was too early to move in together, still in MJ land that was a huge plus compared to all her other relationships. However, she also just slept with Justin in the studio, whether he is a friend or foe remains to be seen.
At Good Day USA Justin and MJ are off their game, after just winning the prime spot, they’re about to let one steamy night ruin what they’ve worked for. They are distracted and clearly need some time to think about the repercussions of their actions. As usual MJ takes the wrong road when dealing with her problems. She has finally bought a new home and when Lee excitedly tries to christen their new bed Mary Jane buckles and clumsily tells him she slept with Justin, followed by ‘Did I just say that out loud?’ Oh Mary Jane! That one night wasn’t worth ruining an entire relationship, especially without knowing Justin’s intentions. Lee is rightfully enraged and hurt, after asking him to become a father again you treat him like his ex-wife treated him, maybe worse. Lee lets loose with a tirade of abuse that MJ actually deserves including his cruel last words “You’d be a terrible mom.” Knowing how much MJ wants to have kids, he knew that one line would hit her harder than any physical punch. Goodbye Lee.
Dejected, Mary Jane has used up all her usual shoulders to cry on. She can’t even admit her indiscretion with Justin to bestie Kara because she blames him for getting her fired. So instead she calls home and reveals all to her mother, but puts the call on mute, so she doesn’t have to reveal anything at all, she can vent without responsibility or having to listen to any home truths. The fact that she can’t tell anyone about what she’s done should be a good indication that she made a disastrous turn. It should’ve been a moment of clarity and a chance to rectify the situation, at least with her conscious, but the Queen of bad decisions never takes the easy road.
Ironically Kara seems like she needs a friend herself. After reuniting with celebrity baseball player Orlando (Nicholas Gonzalez) we learn that she is hit and miss at filling the ‘girlfriend’ roll. She is rightfully irritated but still cleans up behind Orlando and his house full of men, chicken and beer. She left her kids behind in Atlanta for this? Orlando pulls Kara up on her temper, after he reveals he was left out of a team breakfast because of shade she threw at the players’ wives. She actually called one of them a “twenty-year-old hood rat”. Why do the writers put things like that in the script without showing us! That would have been a great scene. Bless Orlando, he acts like he’s not bothered and writes it of as stress to do with her job. Kara is taking Good Day America to court over her dismissal.
Back in the studio, Mary Jane learns that her ratings since taking over from Ronda have been poor and the execs have decided to set up an exclusive live interview with Ronda, a head to head to hash out all the problems they had when they worked together to give the show a boost. The last things she needs right now, but reluctantly Mary Jane agrees. In the meantime, Justin invites Mary Jane out for a drink to discuss their growing attraction. MJ approaches the meet up like a date, she puts on a sexy dress, ready to start a new relationship based on one night of sex.
Justin pours cold water over MJ’s hot plans for their future. He reminds her that he has a girlfriend and says he wants to keep things professional and keep his distance at work by only producing her co-anchor. He’s not going to blow up his world for her, surely this should make MJ realise that she’s just blown up her own world for a man who is still her enemy.
Part of Good Day America’s Branding strategy to get ratings up includes setting MJ up on a date she can reveal to the public; a very cute movie director named Randy Fulweather (Jason Graham). Mary Jane is clearly doing this to make Justin jealous, and is elated when Randy reveals that Justin tried to deter him claiming she was in a relationship. She continues the games in the office revealing to her team that she will be seeing Randy again at her place, MJ made sure she said it loud enough for Justin to hear.
Later that evening, preparing her dinner date for Randy, a surprise knock at the door is revealed to be Justin (shock horror!) He claims he broke up with his girlfriend and is suddenly willing to blow up his world for MJ because “I can’t stand the thought of you with someone else,” Women like MJ are easily to manipulate and control and Justin has played her like a book. They end up sleeping together, MJ put up no fight at all.
Lying in bed covered in post-coital sweat, MJ says she has made a mistake but doesn’t seem too bothered when the doorbell rings, her forgotten dinner date, the man who is supposed to save her career, has arrived and she’s in bed with a man who seems determined to destroy her career.
The Mary Jane bad decisions cycle continues.
Being Mary Jane airs on Bet International every Sunday at 9pm