Is Mary Jane Over Being Mary Jane?

July 19, 2017  |  

Within the first five minutes of the premiere of the second half of Season 4 of Being Mary Jane, in between the weak sex with Lee, the flubs at work and a poor attempt to salvage her relationship after admitting she has feelings for yet another a–hole instead of a good guy, it’s clear that even Mary Jane Paul is over her bullsh-t.

You can see it her eyes that she’s bored. She’s bored with trying to keep up the rigmarole of acting like she really wants to be with a guy who treats her well and is willing to give her the things she wants: love, a child, some stability. She’s bored with having to focus on her own issues as opposed to what is going on with her family in Atlanta and the lives of everyone else. She’s bored with being on top and finally getting to sit at the anchor desk for a daytime program, a goal she finally reached by cutthroat means at the end of the first half of Season 4. She’s bored with life when it’s going well, so Mary Jane self-sabotages, and honestly, at this point in the game, it’s exhausting to watch.

In the premiere episode, after things fall apart with Lee (ending with him saying some truly mean things), Mary Jane jumps headfirst into trying to cultivate a relationship with sneaky producer Justin. If you’ll recall, they banged one out on the Great Day USA anchor desk, and she’s been sprung and confused ever since. She’s so damn giddy at the thought of them finally having the chance to be something you would have sworn she didn’t just walk all over the heart of someone else a few scenes earlier. Of course, though, Justin tells her in “Congratulations, you played yourself” fashion that he still has a girlfriend, even if she gave up her boyfriend for him. He doesn’t want to “blow up my world on a whim.” Instead of using this fail as a wakeup call, she does the usual Mary Jane thing: She gets cutthroat.

She tries to rattle things up at work when the news comes out that her former nemesis, Ronda, will be interviewed on the show MJ snagged from her. She hopes to throw Justin underneath the bus when Ronda tells her story and also hopes to increase her appeal with viewers. To help to make that happen, she tries to make a connection with a film director thrown her way for gossip and to generate buzz. Like all of the rest, the Lees, the Seans (remember Wayne Brady’s short-lived character?) and so on and so forth, the director, Ray Fulweather, is a good guy who is a good distraction for Mary Jane — for exactly three minutes. In her attempt to make Justin jealous, Mary Jane pretends she’s really interested in getting to know Ray and offers to cook for him at her place.

So how does she end up with the cat with the questionable character yet again?

By the end of the episode, Justin shows up at MJ’s place while she’s prepping dinner for Ray and he lays it on thick, like the Andres and Davids of her past, telling her that he broke up with his girlfriend. He doesn’t say outright that he wants to be with her, but he makes it clear that “I can’t stand the thought of you with someone else.” He charms her right out of her panties and once again, Mary Jane is back at square one.

Sure, other things happened during the episode (including a sign of drama to come for Paul Sr. and Helen Patterson, career problems for Kara and the return of that bish Ronda), but we all know who this whole shabang is really about.

While her dance with David is somewhat entertaining, for anyone who’s been watching this show since the beginning, it’s also kind of disappointing — and boring. You can see this move coming, and after having an affair, getting into a car accident and losing her best friend (literally, Lisa is dead, y’all) over a man, you would hope that Mary Jane would be further along when it comes to matters of the heart. That doesn’t mean she’s supposed to be married with kids and “have it all together,” but it just means that she shouldn’t be stuck in the same place four seasons in, just doing the same sh-t in a different location.

And to be completely honest, even Gabrielle Union looks bored with her once fiery character (Maybe this episode was shot around the time she sued BET over her contract and so she just wasn’t here for the sh-ts?). In the first few minutes of the episode, Union literally looks like she’s going through the motions. By the breakup scene with Lee, she’s not sure if she wants MJ to be sad, angry or happy that Lee (who was honestly missing something all along…) is finally going to get gone. She bored with trying to deal with this character who, as Lee points out, is “still that broken girl I met on the first night.” Truly, she’s still the broken girl we met in Season 1, even after seemingly getting closer to obtaining everything she’s wanted. While she had the chance to progress professionally and romantically (and to even start that family she was stealing sperm for back in the day), Mary Jane, four seasons in, seems to be regressing emotionally. A character who once was getting deeper and even political at the right time seems to be reverting to her old ways, and even she seems over this revolving door of a TV life.

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