Can Mary Jane just be happy already?
That seems to be the question viewers of BET’s Being Mary Jane are asking following the Season 4 finale last night.
Throughout the episode, we watched MJ grapple with some major decisions, including if she should choose between Justin or Kara for the executive producer position at Great Day USA, if she should go forward with embryo implantation to finally have the child she’s been wanting, and if she should say yes to a very unexpected proposal from Justin. While we know what she did about one of those issues, it’s unclear if MJ will soon be expecting a child with the help of a complete stranger, if she will be Mrs. Justin Talbot in the near future, or if she will have both (or neither). I don’t know about you, but I have my fingers crossed that she will finally get what she’s been pining after all of these years, because I’m tired of watching things fall apart for our protagonist.
Seriously, though. It feels like each season ends and Mary Jane is further along from her desires than she was before. At the end of Season 1, she ended her very unhealthy relationship with a married Andre and unsuccessfully tried to rekindle things with David, who had a new (and very white) girlfriend.
MJ’s Season 1 conclusion = single and childless.
At the end of Season 2, things seemed to be going in the right direction for Mary Jane after reuniting with David. Unfortunately, she finds out that he had sexual relations with her best friend, Lisa. That information, obtained accidentally during a butt dial call placed to MJ, causes her to get into a major car accident that tears up her face and compromises her primetime position at the SNC anchor desk.
MJ Season 2 conclusion = “it’s complicated,” childless and possibly friendless.
By the end of Season 3, our last with Mara Brock Akil as showrunner, Lisa commits suicide, Niecy gets tasered by police, Mary Jane moves on completely from David and seems to be rethinking the type of stories and work she does for SNC in Atlanta.
MJ Season 3 conclusion = single, childless, Lisa-less and reconsidering her work.
And here we are, at the end of Season 4, with Mary Jane finally close to having a semblance of what she wants. She still has a seat at the anchor desk at Great Day USA without having to lose her friendship to Kara or Justin or having to fight with Ronda or that annoying blogger Dani. She finally has a healthy relationship with a man who wants to marry her. She may become a mother.
However, we know these things are all intertwined, and Mary Jane may have compromised that happy ending by making the rash decision to use a sperm donor to get pregnant after thinking Justin walked out on her for good following her EP decision. Mary Jane, forever a woman who moves and makes major decisions based on emotions, has done it again, and possibly at the expense of the future she wants.
MJ Season 4 conclusion = “it’s complicated,” “it’s complicated,” but she still has a job.
I’m fully aware of the fact that we as Black women are complicated. Our paths to our own happy endings, whatever that may mean for each one of us, are rarely straightforward and simple. However, I think this show has gone on too long for Mary Jane to begin every season in the same place — trying to maintain her prominent position at her place of employment because of consistent competition, single and trying to figure things out, and not one step closer to the kid she’s stolen sperm for before, and now, used a sperm donor to have.
Mary Jane can be a mess. She is clearly someone who thinks way too much, which, in turn, can cause her to self-sabotage, and as previously mentioned, make important permanent decisions based on temporary emotions. She could be a better friend. She could be a little less judgmental of her family, and she could have ended things better with Lee. She’s been a polarizing figure, indeed. However, she is deserving of a happy ending for once because despite all that, she’s a good person. Watching her continually wade through men who aren’t a fit for her and make decisions that could compromise one thing or the other has always been stressful as a longtime BMJ viewer. But to get this far and still not be close to anything resembling peace of mind for MJ feels a bit cruel. And for some viewers, it feels a bit too real…
So here’s to hoping that in Season 5, Mary Jane will say “Yes” to Justin’s proposal, they can start a family together and if she isn’t pregnant just yet by the sperm donor, and that work drama can finally dissipate so she can really win. Is that too much to ask? If not for the character, who has been through hell and high water in the relationship department 51 episodes straight, do it for the fans, who are just as thirsty to see Mary Jane have her happily ever after as she is — or at least something close to it.