When we left our girl Mary Jane last episode, she had just been left high and dry by her boyfriend, Justin Talbot, because trolls were coming after his ex-girlfriend, Simone.
This week’s episode immediately answers all the questions we were left with last week. Like, why is Justin taking this Simone thing so personally? And how did he get employee stock options for $30 million? One answer solves both those puzzles: Simone is dead.
We get no details about how or when or why because Justin only sends Mary Jane a link to Simone’s obituary. Aaliyah helps fill in gaps: Simone was a super tech genius and worked at that tech start up Justin “invested” in. Before she died, she gave Justin all her stocks in the company and after she died, he became a multi-millionaire. This also explains why he refuses to spend any of that money. Last week, I was getting a little annoyed at Justin’s secrecy, but dang I didn’t know someone had died. I officially forgive Justin for holding back a little, I finally get why it wasn’t soon enough to tell Mary Jane, and I’m ready to accept more Michael Ealy in my life. I wasn’t grateful enough. Still, it wouldn’t have hurt the guy to say, “Mary Jane, I got the money in a tragic way and I’m not ready to talk about it yet. I promise I will work on it.”
Mary Jane kind of has bigger problems to worry about. She’s supposed to interview Jessica Lawrence, author of a new parenting book, but when she introduces herself, Jessica is rude to her. Aaliyah informs her that Jessica is dating Lee! I should’ve known that man left Mary Jane’s life too easily. Lee’s doing good, though! He’s got this new girl, his standup is doing well, and — oh, yeah — he just sold a pilot based on his relationship with Mary Jane. Just a brief recap of their dumpster fire will remind viewers how volatile their relationship was. And it’s not just MJ’s fault.
Delphine isn’t so keen on Orlando quitting baseball, so she comes to the studio to watch his segment on Latina players who are no longer standing for the national anthem at baseball games. Mean ol’ executive producer Garrett has sidelined Dani after the stunt she pulled last week with the school board guy. After her vicious trolls came after him, he’s giving in (against Kara’s better judgment) and letting Danj sit in on Orlando’s segment. I mean, Dani did apologize. What could go wrong?
Well, she calls Orlando ungrateful and anti-American. So, that wasn’t great. But all of Kara’s dutiful training pays off because Orlando handles it like a pro. He even rattled off this touching story about his mother’s immigration process:
“My mother was one of three million people back in ‘86 when [Ronald Reagan] passed his Immigration Reform and Control Act… That was a time when even most conservative politicians saw immigration for what it is: a humanitarian issue. My mother risked her life because she believed the words on the statue of liberty…. If she can defy those odds and crawl her way to a better life, well then, certainly I can weather sitting before a game and dealing with internet trolls. See, in my mind, standing up for an America that models the words ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ that’s the most patriotic thing I can do.”
It’s a double whammy. Dani gets shut down and Delphine is now totally in love with news anchor Orlando.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, things aren’t going so well for the Patterson family. Helen is staying at a hotel, Paul looks depressed, and Patrick has been thinking about using again. It doesn’t help that when he finally finds his mother, she reveals that when Frank Pearl left her all those years ago, she was pregnant. Patrick is Frank’s son. He, understandably, is pissed. Patrick leaves confused and in a rush.
He confronts Paul who just brushes him off before telling Patrick that Frank was an addict. Things are starting to click for Patrick and not in a good way. Later, he attends a Narcotics Anonymous meeting where he confesses that he’s been thinking about drugs. Now, he doesn’t know what to do. He feels even more left out of his “perfect” family.
Mary Jane still has a little ways to go before she’s primetime-ready though. She and Aaliyah have been prepping for an interview on The Breakfast Club, that radio show with Charlamagne Tha God that always has celebrities twisted. As always, MJ can’t handle her emotions and Aaliyah has to give her some tough love. They fight, but quickly make up. MJ wouldn’t survive if not for Aaliyah. They’ll find a way to control the Lee situation later.
Garrett’s plan to get Dani’s trolls off of his back obviously backfires. Now, they’re coming for the show and Orlando. Kara promises him that he’ll fix the Dani situation and if she does, Garrett will give her and Mary Jane a primetime special. We’re going back to primetime, baby!
Kara and MJ celebrate a little before MJ gets deep about her relationship issues. All that changes a little later when red roses arrive at her door. They’re from Justin! With the distance and his grief, the flowers and sweet note are the perfect pick-me-up for Mary Jane. For the first time in forever, she ends an episode truly happy.
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