Here's your heads up—If you didn't see the series finale of Being Mary Jane last night, click out of this now. Spoiler on top of spoiler is all up in this.
Before getting into the series finale of Being Mary Jane, can I just say on behalf of all of us who have a long-standing history of supporting quality Black television that we're grateful it got a series finale? Some of us know that (eh hem) certain networks have done some of our favorite shows wrong in the past (Living Single and Girlfriends immediately come to mind. New York Undercover did have a finale although it ran almost six months after FOX canceled it; the show is reportedly getting a reboot, though). So yeah, although the last episode Being Mary Jane aired in the fall of 2017, it was still good to see everyone—both on the show and watching it from home—get some much-needed closure last night.
Being Mary Jane/BET
The writers didn't waste any time, either. In the first five minutes of the finale, Mary Jane got engaged to Justin (Michael Ealy) and found out that she was pregnant—the two things Mary Jane has been wanting, basically since we've met her. However, conception was not due to some make-up sex with fine-and-some-mo-fine Andre (Omari Hardwick) after he officially ended things with his wife (season one will always be my absolute fave!) or a quickie from that absolutely breathtaking piece of Godiva chocolate football playin' man Brandon (Thomas Q. Jones). Nope. It was because, many moons before, Mary Jane and Justin broke up and—surprise, surprise—she did something erratic: she went to a sperm bank and got some donor sperm. 48 hours after their break-up.
Needless to say, this didn't go over well for Justin as he said to Mary Jane what it seems all of the men in her life—family, friend, boyfriend or sex buddy—have said to her since episode one of the show: "It's always about what you want" and they broke up. Again.
Fast forward into Mary Jane showing—by the way, Gabrielle, you continue to show us your strength. You've been so open about your fertility journey and although you have your own little bundle of joy in Miss Kaavia James now, I can only imagine what it was like to pretend that you were pregnant for so much of this finale. She's again not listening (this time about what her diet choices should be while pregnant) and ends up throwing up in a trash can. Then an old flame walks up. Let's pause here. If there's one thing that Gabrielle Union and Morris Chestnut have in common, it's how exquisitely they age. Well, that and the fact that cameras really seem to like them together because this isn't even close to being the first time they've shared the screen together.
Being Mary Jane/BET
Anyway, this time Morris's character's name is Beau (short for Beauregard, go figure). He and Mary Jane used to date in college (according to Mary Jane's family, he was quite the nerd. Apparently, we should look past nerds up on IG to see what's up). They start to date. He's not bothered by her pregnancy. Not in the least.
OK, allow me to get in my feelings for a moment. Although Gabrielle and Morris always look beautiful together and have great chemistry (I personally appreciated the pregnancy sex scene; we don't see women portrayed as mad sexy on the tube nearly enough), I have to admit didn't feel super connected to them. I think it's because up until last night, I don't recall ever even hearing about Beau. Although I knew that Shelden (Gary Dourdan) and Lee (Chiké Okonkwo) returning were long shots, I know I'm not the only one who thought that maybe, just maybe, time would heal all wounds and mature some things so that Mary Jane and David (Stephen Bishop) could finally end up on the same page. Yeah, David did some crappy things (they both did), but their storyline was written so well that I couldn't help but be somewhat emotionally reminiscent, invested and…hopeful. Nope. Guess he's still a millionaire and with the 6.5 model and his daughter.
Back to the recap. In between all that Mary Jane had going on, her family had their own stuff too. Before last night, her parents were on the outs and her dad (an also fine man, Richard Roundtree) put their family home up for sale. Well, guess who bought it? Cutie pie—and I mean that in the best and most grown up way possible—PJ (B.J. Britt). Let me also pause here and say that, as a woman who is oh so very fond of tall, dark and handsome, Being Mary Jane has always been consistent in showcasing just that. THANK YOU. OK, back to the house. Guess what one of the rooms consists of? The beginnings of Mary Jane's niece, Niecy's (Raven Goodwin) beauty salon.
And can I just say this about Raven? She looked really beautiful last night. I've been checkin' for her ever since she played the little girl in the movie Lovely and Amazing. Niecy ends up finding love with a man who helped her put her business plan together. Black love and partnership. Dope. Niecy's dad (Richard Brooks) also looked great last night. Still sober and clean. Also dope.
Being Mary Jane/BET
Then there's MJ's bestie, Kara (Lisa Vidal). Whew. Kara had a lot going on. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and got a double mastectomy. The scenes with her and Mary Jane right after surgery and then Kara's man, Orlando (Nicholas Gonzalez) proposing while she was recovering in the hospital probably got to me the most.
Real love is when you're adored at your "worst", not your best. Memo received.
OK, so back to Mary Jane. Without MJ's knowledge, Kara asks Justin to fill in for her until she could come back to work. However, really what Kara was doing was playing matchmaker. Clearly, she was onto something because when Justin and Beau run into each other in Mary Jane's office, Mary Jane introduced Beau as "her friend" (ouch). You kinda knew where Mary Jane stood after that.
As far as she and Justin go, probably my favorite scene with them was when she went out to his home/farm/compound and he told her about herself. Justin described Mary Jane as being "curious, persistent, passionate, driven, courageous" and "frustrating, stubborn, difficult and selfish as hell". Honestly, I think all of those adjectives are what kept us attached to Mary Jane for so long. No matter how mad we got at her at times, more than anything, it was probably because she reflected some of the best and worst parts of our own selves. Wanting love but not always going about the right ways to get it. Exuding strength while being extremely vulnerable. Being accomplished but never fully satisfied. Making erratic decisions that reflect all of these things.
Being Mary Jane/BET
The writers were kind to MJ, and us, by granting closure. Oh, but it wouldn't be a true Being Mary Jane episode without some last-minute drama—and there was. When Justin came to her place to meet her son, Albert James (AJ for short), while Justin was in the bathroom helping AJ get through a night of cholic, guess who shows up? Again, not David (le sigh). It was Beau. Beau with a ring (of course, with a ring). Justin walks in and then…the next scene is Mary Jane in that killer wedding dress.
Do you really have to guess which man she chose? I mean, c'mon now. Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" played at the wedding. I was giddy to see—and hear—Lalah Hathaway sing "Angel" at the reception. I must say that, for nostalgia's sake, I did wish that Mary Jane's old ATL neighbor Mark (Aaron D. Spears), her on-again-off-again homie and publicist Nichelle (Brely Evans) or even the couple she put through the ringer Chris (Chris Spencer) and Valerie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) were present. But still, between Mary Jane getting married to a man she really loved—yes Justin—and not just a man who wanted to marry her, her parents reconciling and everyone being happy and healthy, it really is good to not be stuck ever-wondering what happened to everyone (like we still are with Living Single and Girlfriends…SMH).
And although we didn't get this finale wrapped up in a Post-it, one of the last things to come out of Mary Jane's mouth are definitely words to live by—in her world and in our own.
The second you get out of your own way and stop orchestrating, it happens.
If you retain nothing else I said but that, it's more than enough.
Take care, Mary Jane. Enjoy the rest of your life…just as it happens.