Being Mary Jane Season 4 Premiere Recap: Getting Nekkid

Photo: Courtesy of BET.
Usually time flies, but in the case of waiting for season 4 of Being Mary Jane to air, it's done everything but. Thank god for binge options and weekend BET marathons, otherwise plugging back into the series after its last episode — which aired on December 15, 2015 — would've been rough. In case you forgot, last season, creator and showrunner Mara Brock Akil put Being Mary Jane fans through the ringer. During season 3, emotions ran high as we witnessed Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union) break off a romance with a white guy, get her revenge against Cece (Loretta Devine), and witnessed cousin Niecy (Raven Goodwin) get tased by the police. While Brock Akil is no longer in the picture, it seems MJ is back to her same old messy antics. In the first episode of season 4, "Getting Nekkid," MJ strips down in more ways than one. A year has gone by. And you can see it in Niecy's character, who is clearly still coping with the blowback of the police brutality incident. Though in MJ's world, everything is now coming together: new city, new start. She now has an amazing new job in the number one market in the country for the number one daytime TV show, Great Day, USA. The final touch? She's also working with her idol, Ronda Sales (Valarie Pettiford). Her first exchange with Ronda is an adult-version of a fairy tale: Girl meets idol. Idol respects girl. Idol let's girl borrow her stylist. It's a nice gesture, but my initial thought was, Okay Ronda, you're being a too little friendly to MJ. What are you hiding? More on that later. In the midst of MJ's professional victories lies a predictable dilemma: She needs to get laid, fast. It's the outcry of every independent, self-assured, single woman testing the waters of a strange new land. But the question is, does she want an easy lay, or something serious? And while the answer to the former, for many of us, is one Tinder swipe away, Mary Jane Paul is in another league: She's now a recognizable C-list celebrity. Seriously, someone actually knows her by name when she's out at the bar with Kara (Lisa Vidal). You know what that means? No debauchery without NDAs. So she calls on a matchmaker with a hefty $20,000 price. Lucky for MJ, this woman means business and can call out her BS, "You've never had a successful committed relationship?" she asks rhetorically. Do you know what's worse than getting dumped? Getting dumped by the person you hired to find you a man, dammit! And that's exactly what happens, MJ gets her matchmaker. Though love wasn't completely lost in this episode. While opting for an easy lay, MJ meets a man, a lad from London whose name, profession, and life story she'd rather not know. "I'm just searching for a little escape before reality bites me in the morning," she says. Fair. She then brings him back to her place, and while Mr. Anonymous is planking her, he asks, "What do you want?" Her response? "Tell me you love me." Did you get that? She asks the man whose name she didn't care to know to say, I love you. Cringe. He does, surprisingly, and I immediately think, either she's dreaming or Mr. Anonymous is very adamant about getting her off. Much to her embarrassment, they meet again while she's filming a segment later in the episode. His name is Lee Truitt (Chiké Okonkwo). He's a stand-up comedian who incorporates Ariana Grande jokes into his lineup. He's funny and adorable. And slowly, she begins to let her guard down. Back at the office, producer Garrett (Ashton Holmes) calls a lunch meeting with Mary Jane where he discloses that lead anchor Ronda is leaving and MJ will be replacing her. It's almost too easy. Could it be, another adult fairy tale?
While explaining everything to partner in crime Kara, Ronda interrupts MJ for a quick private meeting. You know something is coming. "I like you, Mary Jane, I do. That is why I'm going to be frank. Garrett has no intention of making you co-anchor," Ronda says. The exchange is a twist I didn't see coming.
According to Ronda, the network wants to bring a competitive edge to the mix, by way of having two Black women at each other's necks. And what better way to create tension than make someone believe they're taking your job? Yikes. So it begins, the drama we've all been waiting for. I can't wait to see how these two get along this season.

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