Aside from her baby brother making a few appearances, I miss the Pattersons. In prior seasons, MJ’s family played such a major role in her life. Here’s hoping we get an update on Niecy’s situation next week!
After several episodes, it became clear that something was missing from the show. And with this week's episode 5, we broke free of New York City and went home to Atlanta.
After a rough year, cousin Niecy (Raven Goodwin) is in good spirits. She’s finally received her $150,000 from the settlement and she’s been recklessly burning through the cash. So much for depositing it into a trust for her two kids. She takes her besties out for a night on the town; bottle service and hookah for all. Though, because of her court case and having her face splashed all over the news, Niecy is now a proper local celebrity. In the club, she’s immediately targeted by a woman who’s hell-bent on stirring up drama. Things escalate and in act of self-defense Niecy, gets her into a headlock. A wig was also snatched, thankfully it wasn’t Niecy’s. In fact, her lace front remains in tact — settlement money well spent? Indeed. The two women are kicked out of the club and as the situations calms, Niecy notices several teeny little lights pointed in her direction. Camera phones. Yep dozens of clubgoers, thirsty for likes and retweets caught it all on film. You can see the dread written across her face.
Back in New York, MJ and her little brother PJ (B.J. Britt) are catching up over a plate of ribs. Just two siblings discussing their new lives in a big city that seems light years away from the drama back at home. Though with boyfriend Lee touring the midwest, MJ is lonely, she’s also exhausted from work and living out of a suitcase. Most of all though big sis and baby bro are homesick for home cooking.
The next day Niecy, as suspected, is all over Twitter with the hashtag #WhyTheBitchGotTased flooding her mentions. Yikes. She’s even been turned into a meme. The young mother of two who once made headlines after a brutal encounter with the cops was now caught on film in a nightclub brawl. Niecy is pissed. The video is one thing but the racist, disrespectful comments being flung her way nonstop are too much. She tweets out a clapback — which also happens to include information about her court case. She’s just violated a term of her settlement. Uh oh.
Meanwhile, the Patterson matriarch, Helen (Margaret Avery) is on a mission at a daytime mixer. She’s determined to get her granddaughter Deja into the exclusive (stuffy), Jack and Jane organization. A nod to the actual “Jack and Jill” group? Perhaps. “Our family’s been a member of this wonderful organization for years. Me, my mother, and Mary Jane we were all members,” Helen said. “You’re gonna learn our culture, and you’re gonna grow up to be a proud Black woman.”
“Sounds cool,” Deja replies, before being shoved off to mingle with fellow pouffy dress-clad adolescent girls. Despite being worlds away at this exclusive, white table-clothed mixer the Patterson family can’t escape Niecy's reputation. Every member, even the little girls, know about her nightclub situation. They deny Deja membership as not to tarnish Jack and Jane’s Black bourgeois legacy.
Helen is upset. She confronts Niecy back at home, “Baby girl your behavior has consequences for the whole family.”
In the midst of the drama, Niecy’s heart is slowly breaking. She needs a confidant, someone close... like a family member to talk to. Her daughter’s father continues to ignore her calls and texts. A couple episodes ago Niecy bought him a flashy red car and he’s now nowhere to be found. Aunt Mary Jane — the family fixer — is also MIA. She’s back in the Big Apple hiding away, resting, and trying to make her father’s special barbecue sauce. It’s the most trivial plotline MJ has had all season and I am here for it.
Back at the Patterson house, Niecy arrives home to some shocking yet unsurprising news. A stranger in a suit jacket hands her a manila envelope. “Are you Niecy Patterson?” he asks. “You’ve been served.”
Remember that tweet Niecy sent out, well the eyes in the sky were watching and now she has to pay the $150,000 back to the state. Her father and grandparents are disappointed. They thought she put the money into a trust as planned, not buying clothes, loaning money, and covering bottle service at nightclubs.
Though her father goes peak dad when she confesses that she bought a car for her Dante. “We’re getting that car back right now.” He knows Dante is a deadbeat dad and he’s grown tired of giving his daughter space to figure out her own problems.
Niecy ultimately gets the car back but not before seeing another woman driving it. After so many episodes of drama between these two, she finally sees what everyone’s been telling her the whole time. Her self-confidence is restored and all it took was a measly $150,000.
Though grandma Helen was beside herself with the news of Niecy’s misfortune, she’s reminded that everyone has battles to face. No one is perfect. And that includes the many families in the Jack and Jane organization. In a bold move, Helen pays the club a visit and begins airing the dirty laundry of its members quite publicly. This results in her granddaughter finally being accepted into this elite club.
So it seems all is calming down back in Atlanta. The Pattersons fixed their own problems and MJ stayed out of it. Now I wonder what Ronda, Justin, and Karla have in store for us next week?