EDIT: There is much confusion of the spelling of this child's name. BET captions on the show spell her name "D'Asia" . I'm using the spelling rom IMDB, which is "D'Aela". Can we e-touch and agree that D' XYZ is a reference to Patrick's daughter on the show? LOL.
We’re picking up right where we left off last week. Papa Patterson is at MJ’s house and still in a tizzy over Patrick using prescription drugs. MJ is upset that the family ambushed Patrick when they were just supposed to talk. Papa ain’t feeling it. “Are we so used to protecting adults, we no longer know what it’s like to fight for our children,” he retorts.
Papa Patterson goes to see about his coughing wife while MJ heads off to pick up D'Aela , who is staying by Kara’s doing her homework. MJ sits in the car practicing how to tell D'Aela she’s not going home to her dad without freaking the kid out.
She tells D'Aela that Patrick’s working late and she’ll have a sleepover at Anties. Everything in D'Aela’s face says she knows that is a lie. This kid is absolutely adorable and a great young actress.
MJ plays Mom to D'Aela for the night and loves it. MJ’s got her issues, but she seems like she would make a good Mom. But I guess anybody can play the role for a night. It’s the day-in, day-out that proves how good you are at motherhood, huh?
Anyway, MJ calls baby brother PJ and asks him to come home to see about the family. She’s interrupted by a worried D'Aela who can’t sleep. She wants to know if her Dad is back on drugs.
Sh--. I sniffed up hard on that one.
The next morning, Patrick is waiting at D'Aela’s school to see his daughter when her teacher pulls up. She’s a cutie. And she wants to know where D'Aela is. She mentions that D'Aela mentioned Patrick’s new job and that she is proud of her Dad. Patrick tears up and tries to pass it off as allergies. He turns over D'Aela’s lunch to her teacher, who knows something is up. She watches Patrick drive off, the sorts through D'Aela’s lunch bag, finding a note from Patrick telling D'Aela to be herself.
As the homie Luvvie, would say, “I have all the feels.”
Teacher Lady’s suspicions about something being wrong are confirmed when MJ and D'Aela show up hand-in-hand with D'Aela carrying a fresh lunch bag.
At the office, MJ has updated Kara on Patrick’s latest shenanigans. Kara encourages her to stop taking on her parent’s fight. “You’ve allowed them to use you as their guard dog,” Kara says. “This is not your fight.” She wants MJ to be a little selfish and lean in to the “good sh—“ that is happening in her life.
MJ draws her first boundary by declining to pick up D'Aela from school. And then she tries to convince her dad that Patrick’s new drug of choice is “more socially acceptable” and it’s not so bad. Um. No. Just no. This is a waste of breath. You’re not going to convince an old black man who is not on drugs that it’s okay for his son, who used to do crack, that this new, “different” drug is okay. Dad is adamant, “I’m not going to let him ruin another person.” Damn. I hope Niecy ain’t around to hear that. “How many children have to suffer because the adults can’t get their crap together?” Dad continues. He is so over Patrick right now.
At the Pattersons, PJ’s back. God, he’s cute. So is Patrick. Hell, so is Papa Patterson. Richard Roundtree still got it.
Sorry, I digress.
PJ’s home and dad ain’t moved by his arrival. “There’s only one side to be on otherwise you can get back on that airplane,” Dad says as a greeting.
Elsewhere, MJ is meeting with a book editor who is interested in a book from MJ if she can call it, “Ugly Black Woman.” MJ is down. Interesting.
Did I ever tell you about the time I pitched a book and the agent wanted to call it, “Resting Bitch Face?” No. Well, it happened. I said I’d think about it because I was being polite that day. What I really meant was “f—no. Over my dead body.” It’s bad enough carrying around an Angry Black Women stereotype. Actually playing into it though? No. Just no.
At the office, Dear Marisol who ain’t had a real job since MJ got back on air, wants to work with MJ on the resurrection of Talk Back. MJ gives her the very professional equivalent, of “B----, please.” Kara been blocked that idea.
So MJ’s new team includes the over zealous college student who called her a sell-out last week. Um… not the choice I would have made, but the girl does have passion. It just needs to be channeled and managed. The youngins, quite the diverse group, clash off the bat, but MJ corals them into working order. At least until their very first meeting is interrupted by a more important show. They pack up and head to the noisy lunch room, and finally end up at MJ’s house.
They’re debating welfare in a mixed group. I knew that wasn’t going to go well. But the heated debate means it’s a good topic for the next show. MJ says it’s “people speaking their truth.” What she means it’ll get ratings.
CeCe drops in for yet another unexpected visit. Um… this is getting weirder, a superlative of weird. Like, why is she there? Like MJ needs CeCe in her life, yes. But you can’t be buddies with someone you just extorted. But Cece needs a favor, so despite her rocky history with MJ, she wants MJ to do her a solid and speak at the bookstore (that MJ inadvertently paid for). MJ actually says yes to this.
All that said, God, I love Loretta Devine in this role.
CeCe follows MJ in to her living room and finds the production team working on Talk Back. She isn’t impressed by the new direction. “For a room full of smart people, you sure are predictable,” she assesses. She feeds the team ideas of what they should be doing. As CeCe talks, MJ remembers their history or extortion. Hmmm. Is she as suspicious of CeCe as I am? I’m not so sure. Her expression says she’s eating this stichk up.
Back from commercial, we find Patrick sitting in traffic and his car breaks down at the most inopportune moment. He gets out the car and starts running… to the office? Naw… he’s trying to get D'Aela from school. Papa Patterson is already there, and when he spots his son, he hustles D'Aela in the car, and drives off as Patrick bangs on the window.
Um… I’m in tears. Way to traumatize the kid, Gramps. And poor Patrick. I know he’s using drugs, and drugs are bad, but Yeezus, he’s still a father who loves his kid. Not like this, Papa Patterson. Not. Like. This.
D'Aela’s teacher sees the crazy scene in the parking lot and comes out to get Patrick together. “This is not the place,” she tells him. She right. It ain’t. She leads him inside to pull himself together.
Mark my words, they are going to end up dating, or f—ing. They got chemistry like a mug. And the way she asked him, “Do you need a ride?” sounded like she was offering a lift, and to be lifted by Patrick. I’m just saying.
They end up at somebody’s house with Patrick spilling his business about his addiction and all that’s going on with his family. I expect a love jones-esque love scene next week on the season finale. Teacher Lady says that Patrick’s real fight isn’t with his dad, but that “the conversations we have with other people “are just rehearsals for the ones we need to have with ourselves.” This conversation and the way it’s shot so reminds me of a Spike Lee movie.
Patrick shows up at the house pounding on the door like somebody stole something because they did: D'Aela. He doesn’t want the kid going through life wondering why her Dad didn’t show up for her. So there he is, showing up. Dad threatens to call the police, but Patrick goes upstairs to get his daughter anyway. And Niecy feels a way about it all.
Papa Patterson is pissed about Patrick taking D'Aela and he’s apologizing to his wife for the chaos that is their family. He says they should have sold the house and moved to Florida like she wanted a long time back. He blames the family’s dysfunction for making her sick. Niecy and Patrick listen at the door to Dad complaining.
MJ is on-air announcing her return to Talk Back. God, she is so pretty. The short hair had to grow on me, but it definitely works for her.
After the show, she calls Kara who is sitting across the office. MJ wants to call her parents. “I feel like if I don’t intervene now, I’ll just have a bigger mess to clean up later,” she says. Kara tells her to stand down and give someone else a chance to show up.
Kara heads home to find her roommate/ex-husband working on an essay instead of his latest book. She’s one for the night, wanting to know from John “how did you get here?” She tells him that she had a workaholic mother and she gets her work ethic from her mother. Kara wanted to have something to show for it, the best. And she tells her ex husband that she married him because “they say a white guy is more acceotle, moe sophisticated, so I opened myself up to that.”
Look, I get standing in your truth and all that. But that was just a horrible thing to tell the guy that shows up on time for teacher meetings and is raising the kids as a de facto single parent because you’re at work all night, every night.
John ain’t got time for this sh--. “Your mind games just get better and better,” he says. “I’m both envious and nauseated.” Me too , John. Me too.
But Kara ain’t done. “How is it ok with you to let your ambition be so low?” she asks. “You are a white man in America. You can do anything, you can be whatever. But you’re here.”
Ma’am. This man just told you two minutes ago that his former underling turned colleague, about to be his superior got a book deal and he has not. White man or not, that ish hurts. What about this situation makes you think it’s a good time to go in on him? Kara’s my boo, but she’s annoying as f--- right now. Ugh. Real talk: she’s acting like Mary Jane.
At the Pattersons, Nicey is washing dishes while PJ is trying to talk some sense into her. “This is your life and you have to own it,” he tells her.
Nicey is pissed that PJ isn’t doing a kick and shuffle for her about her new job. She told him she was working at the mall (part time, 20 hours) and he told her to “do better.” He tells her she would have gotten pom poms and rah-rahs if she had that job at 16 with no kids.
Nicey’s all “I got a job” and PJ’s all “grow up at the rate it takes to feed and clothe and house your children.”
Sir! *passes collection plate*
But it’s not like Niecy’s had a sweet life. She reminds PJ that she’s the one that found her father when he OD’d and she’s trying. She dissolves into tears. PJ says he will help her. He’ll pay for day care and school for two years, and maybe even get her a car.
This convo makes me think PJ’s situation is going to go bust next season. It’s too perfect.
At home, MJ texts Patrick that she will always love him and be there for him. He’s laid up with a knocked out D'Aela on his lap.
The next morning, MJ wakes up to find D'Aela’s head scarf in her bed. She misses the kid, and, I imagine, playing mom for the night.
Outside MJ’s house, CeCe is waiting for her. This lady gives me the creeps. We’ve moved from awkward to stalker. CeCe heard that MJ’s show old show is coming back next week. She wants to congratulate MJ… and extort her again. “I just wanted to know what sort of compensation a woman who has made such valuable contributions should expect in a situation such as this?” CeCe asks.
Lay-dee are YOU serious? I knew CeCe was going to go left, but I thought she was going to ask for some ass from MJ. Not this.
MJ is as baffled as I am.
“Woman’s gotta eat, don’t she?” CeCe asks MJ.
I usually don’t cover the commercials for upcoming episodes, but next week is the season finale and it looks juicy as hell. David’s back—I told ya’ll last week we would see him again— with his new baby in tow. MJ tells her white lover that she wants Black love, which he obviously can’t give her. It looks like Niecy got arrested and definitely, a gun went off. And it also seems like MJ finally called the cops on CeCe, who is yelling about being the only friend MJ has as “you killed the last one.”
I am now convinced CeCe is not only a predator, but mentally unstable as well.
What did you think of this week’s episode?