Two weeks have passed since Mary Jane Paul’s (Gabrielle Union) world was turned upside down. She’s got the job of her dreams as co-anchor of Good Day USA and is getting serious with Lee Truitt (Chiké Okonkwo). But she just slept with her producer, Justin Talbot, played by Michael Ealy, who used to be her worst enemy. Not to mention, her best friend Kara (Lisa Vidal) was fired and went back to her professional baseball player boyfriend (Nicholas Gonzalez).
The new season starts off with Mary Jane getting down and dirty. As the camera pans across a rustic NYC apartment, you can’t tell who she’s in bed with. Is it Justin? Is it Lee? Is it a new man?
A few close-ups of sweaty bodies later, it’s revealed to be everyone’s favorite stand-up comedian, Lee. Mary Jane fades in and out of fantasies that she’s having sex with Justin. We find out that MJ has finally settled into an apartment after spending all of last season living in a hotel room.
Back in the office, Justin and MJ are distracted by the thought of their indiscretion and it’s making it hard to work together. Something tells me these two are going to have some job security problems if this keeps up. The only thing Being Mary Jane likes more than sex scenes is firing people.
Later that night, Lee can’t wait to get all up in the sheets of MJ's new bed. She just is not having it, though. She yells at him and blurts out that she slept with Justin. It was a cringey “Did I just say that out loud?” moment. Lee deserves to know the truth, but he told Mary Jane that cheating was a deal breaker, especially with what happened with his baby mama. Telling him the news like that was thoughtless.
We know from last season that Mary Jane and Lee have heated fights. This one is no different. As he leaves, Lee says “You know, the silver lining in all of this is that we didn’t have a kid together. You’d be a terrible mom.” Ouch. Mary Jane wants to be a mother more than anything. Since season one, she’s stolen sperm, undergone fertility treatment, given God himself an ultimatum, and broken up with an eccentric billionaire just to have children of her own.
But who can she turn to now? Kara abhors Justin and she can’t exactly turn to him. So, she opts for her mother in what becomes a weird one-sided phone call. Mama Patterson is excited to tell her only daughter about her recent trip to her hometown, but MJ goes on a rant about her situation with the phone on mute, then abruptly hangs up on her mom.
Mary Jane Paul is a strong, supportive woman when she needs to be, but most of the time her defining characteristic is how self-centered she can be. You see that here, with the phone call, in almost every fight she has with Kara, and very clearly by the way she dealt with Lee. Hopefully this season brings some new peace for her and, finally, some success.
The next day, Justin invites Mary Jane to a drink after work–the perfect setting for her to confess her attraction. Then, Good Day USA’s executive producer barges in. The gist is that the new show isn’t doing that great. He decides to bring Ronda (Valarie Pettiford) back in for a tell-all with our leading lady. Mary Jane is not looking forward to a reunion with her greatest hero-turned-greatest nemesis, but gives in after a lackluster fight.
Cut to Kara waking up to a living room full of men and beer. Boyfriend Orlando Lagos reveals that he was disinvited from a team breakfast because of Kara’s comments towards the players’ wives. The words “twenty year old hood rat” and “spoiled ass bitch” were thrown around. Orlando begs her not to worry about it since she has enough going on with her job.
At the bar that night, Mary Jane pulls out her best smooth talking and admits to him that she’s ready to go all in. He immediately recoils. Justin wants to keep things professional. He wants to remove himself from Mary Jane’s stories and only produce her co-anchor’s. She figures he’s just edging his bets, but then the other shoe drops. Justin has a girlfriend.
“I’m not going to blow up my world and you shouldn’t want me to,” he whispers to her.
MJ falls asleep angry and wake up a new woman. We’ve seen her down before. Nothing will ever top her meltdowns over David. She takes one look at herself and scrawls “Game on!” in pink lipstick on the mirror.
The next day at the office, Mary Jane suggests changing the producing team and fixes the Ronda story to her best interest. She’s finally come to her senses and realized that Justin is just in it for himself.
Meanwhile, back in good old Atlanta (Remember the Atlanta days when everything could be solved with an inspirational quote?) Mama Patterson found out that Mary Jane cheated on Lee. She wonders to her husband if their missteps have anything to do with MJ’s indiscretions. It seems like they were up to something shady in the eighties and they have no intention of letting the secret get out.
Like clockwork, Mary Jane already has a new man lined up. This time, he’s part of an effort to get her ratings up. Apparently, to be more likable she needs a boyfriend. The brand strategy team suggests a movie director named Randy Fulweather (Jason Graham) and after a little push from Justin, MJ agrees.
Kara ventures out with baseball wives. The girls are portrayed as vapid and vain. Kara sucks it up and takes photos of them, slowly inching her way into their good graces. She also makes a mysterious new friend who is “dying to know who is this woman who has stolen Orlando’s heart.”
On MJ’s date with Randy, he reveals that her producer (AKA “That brother with the light eyes,” which is how everyone should refer to Michael Ealy from now on) told him that Mary Jane was seeing someone. A glimmer of hope flickers through MJ’s eyes.
Who better to crush that hope than Ronda? The next day, as she strolls through the office chatting up different executives, she pauses to rattle MJ’s cage.
“It’s all on you…” Ronda seethes. “Brand strategy, they do know their stuff, but heaven forbid you just do your damn job.”
Back from her meeting with lawyers, Kara breaks down in front of Orlando about the situation. The stress is finally taking a toll on her. Luckily, Orlando has some sweet words to keep her going. As for Mary Jane and her new man, it’s hard to tell whether she’s playing him or falling for him. While cooking Randy dinner, Justin walks in and confesses that he broke up with his girlfriend. Jaw dropped.
“I can’t stand the thought of you with someone else,” Justin says. Mary Jane tries to fight him off, but she’s never been known for her willpower.
The journalists have sex, ignoring Randy ringing the doorbell. The episode ends the way it began. The only difference is that this time Mary Jane doesn’t have to imagine Justin.
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