01x04 - Mixed Messages

It is really hard to tap dance for people when you're talking about Syria.

They may be shallow, but we need them.

How do we make invading Mali sexy?

I'm coming out.

Baby, gay is the new black.

It's old news and no one cares.

Nobody cares about what?

Our standard prayer has been, "God, save our son from this demon."


How do you forget about a wife?

Did you know that me and your husband have been sleeping together?

They say I'm the one with a problem.

Yo, yo!

Oh my God, oh my God!

You're an addict, Mary Jane.


You exhibit the classic traits of addiction.

The secrets, the lies, the perpetual attempts to quit.

There's a void he's filling in your life and you're hooked.

Do you have to go?


I say next time, we pick the movie.

This one's not even halfway through and they're both out like a light.

They've already seen it three times.

I think they just wanted to watch it with you.

What are you doing now?

Checking my other online dating service.

And why aren't you doing that at your house?

'Cause nobody's home.

Even the dog wanted to go with John.

Okay, well, either you're spending the night or I'm kicking you out in 30 minutes.

What do you think of him?

He's cute.

He may be good for you.


49, he's athletic.

And white.

Oh, shut up.

I don't know.

He's got like four kids, though.

If that's the case, how am I gonna come first?

You know?

Then stick with Carlos the intern.

He's illegal.

I'm sorry.


Hope he ain't trying to hook up with me to get a damn green card.



We're all paranoid about something.

Aren't you on here, too?

Yeah, but I only signed up for research.

Why don't you just admit that you're like the millions of us trying to find love online?

I'm not looking for anybody right now.


Still stuck on David?



I found you.

What's your pass code?


I think that's it.

I haven't been on in like four months.

Let's see.

You have 12 new messages.

Look at you.

You hooked a professor.

We have to find out if he's at an accredited university.

Look how cute.


What? You don't like him because he's chocolate and beardless?

Shut up.

That's your type.

You like 'em bright and I like 'em white.

I'm not interested because there's probably something wrong with him.

He's married or has a secret family.

Like you said, we're all paranoid about something.

You can delete him.

All right.

Last call.

You want anything?

Water, please.

"I look better in person."

"Hi, Mary Jane.

"Like the pic mystery and trust you look better in person.

Let's chat."

What are you doing?

Oh no.

You're gonna pull it out of the socket.

Isn't this what you say... what you always say you want?

To wake up to me going down on you?

No, but you're using a pillow.

My neck hurts.

At least I'm trying.

What are you doing?

Poverty in America continues to be a controversial discourse as the American dream becomes more and more elusive.

George Carlin once said, "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe in it."

I'm Mary Jane Paul.

Thank you for listening.

And we're out.

Great interview.


You're all smiley.

We just finalized the new format of The Bradley Hour.

Nice, that was quick.


I can't wait to check it out.


Oh, hey, if you're gonna pretend to be me online, you should know I don't use Internet slang.


So are you going to tell me what he said?

Are you going for drinks or dinner or what?

Bye, Kara.


It's, "Thank you, Kara!"

Hey, Nichelle.

Oh my God.

I'm so glad you answered.

Where are you, what are you doing?

Oh, jeez, okay, calm down, breathe.

What happened?

Okay, all right, look, so here's my situation.

Look, the mayor's chief of staff was supposed to be the keynote speaker at my Girls Inc. luncheon tomorrow and she just canceled on me.

And I know there's about a thousand other people you can call.

Yes, and you're number one on that list.


Look, I know it's short notice, Mary Jane, but I'm expecting over 100 mentors and mentees tomorrow and I just...

And I can't just slap something together, Nichelle.

You're a journalist.

And I have a show to prepare for.


Look, I don't beg.

Seven years of friendship is all I'm saying.

Is there a theme?

Girl, I don't know.

The empowerment of solidarity.

I'll find out.



Close the door.

Close the door.


Are you still diddling Carlos the intern?



Gotta say I'm a little torn.

I can't tell if he's given me Marc Anthony, you know, waif, but like a little dainty or just flat-out Ricky Martin.

You know?

Oh my God.

I don't know if his merengue is more like lemon meringue.


Yeah, look.

If a fight breaks out, you might have to jump in.

Oh, come on, Mary Jane.


I'm just saying.

You might want to have Mark check him out.

He's checked out all of the guys I've ever dated from David on down.

Excuse me?

I might want to have Mark check him out? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.


No, no, no, no, no, no.


No, no, no, no...

Oh, I knew it!

Kara, Kara, Kara, Kara.

Shoot, this is so good!


This is so good!

This explains everything.

This explains everything.

You cannot say a word.

Oh, I can't believe it...

Of course he's gay!


I won't say anything.

You're good.

Oh... ah...



So all I need to do is reset your message filter and that way, it'll automatically filter out all the winks that you don't want.

Okay, good.

Great, that's what I want to do.



What's up with you and Dante?

Nothing, we're fine.

Mmm, I can feel you hating.

But I'm not gonna say anything bad about him if that's what you want.

That's not what I want, Niecey.

Is he still with the other baby mama?

We don't talk about her.

Hey, Niecey.


Your girl called me again, okay?

This needs to stop.

Why are Niecey's friends calling you?

Relax your side eye, okay, because I only sell to folks over 30, with careers.

How does she even know about it?

It's no big deal.

And I know you are not selling drugs out of this house.

You know I'd never do anything like that.

Come on, you know me better than that.

I mean, well, it does cure cancer.

It does.

Come on.

Helen, what's wrong?

What's wrong, Mom?

My diamond bracelet's missing.

Well, you just had it yesterday.

Well, it's not here today and I want to wear it to the gala.

Mom, don't get upset.

It'll turn up.

Everybody just look around the house for your mother.

Statistics show that the poverty rate for women was 16.2% in 2010 and that there are over 16 million children living in poverty in this country right now.

I know the statistics, but I still maintain that our government shouldn't be some crutch to help these women hobble along until times get better.

Hobble along?


I know you have an opinion.

He has a point.

When do government handouts end before individual responsibility begins, huh?

You can't hand people a broken education system and then get mad when they ask for a crutch later.

Yeah, but come on, baby.

I mean, people in the projects laid up with more cable channels than they do checking accounts or college degrees, come on.

It is a ladder with some rungs that are missing.

Yeah, yeah, no, it's...

That is all I'm trying to say.

No, what you're saying is you are Mary Jane Paul, defender of the poor.

Shut up!

♪ Da-da-da-da ♪

Shut up!

Shut up.

But I like it.

Oh, you like it?

Mm-hmm, that's what I like about you.

'Cause I was poor once.




When you're on the show, you have this habit of doing that thing with your eyebrow when you're contemplating something.

I call it "the Mary Jane serious face."

That's it.

It's very intimidating.

I do have an unconventional journalistic technique.

Is that what they call it?


But since you critiqued me...


...you will not be experiencing my techniques tonight, so...

That's not cool.

No, no.

But you will be smothered by my pillow.

Dammit, dammit, dammit.




Never mind.

No, come on.

You can't be all chuckle, chuckle and then like, "Oh no, it's nothing."

No, what?

You can tell me anything.


Okay, well, I was thinking about, uh, this funny thing Avery did this morning with her pillow.



I told you I shouldn't have told you.

You haven't said much, so... what did she do with the pillow?

Let's change the subject.

No, let's not.

Come on, turn the... turn the TV...

What did she do with the pillow?


Well, I was, uh...

I was sleeping and she woke me up.

She, uh, used her pillow to prop her head up while she was trying to give me head.

Laziest head ever.

I thought you were sleeping in the guest room.

I am in the guest room.

I mean, it's complicated...

No, that's not complicated.

Either you are sleeping in the bed with her or you're not.

What do you want me to say, huh?

What do you want me to say?

I don't know.

You could say something crazy like, "I'm not sleeping with the both of you."

This is what...

You just said, "Say anything.

You can say anything."

This is the stuff... no, seriously.

Now, this confuses me.

You tell a man to say anything and he... and then I open up about lazy head.

This is so confusing.

You just said, "Say anything."

So I said it.

No, no, no, no, no.

Great try.

That was a solid effort.

Did the switcheroo.

Didn't take, but solid.

But you know what?

Um, since we can, you know, tell each other anything, you should know, um, I'm dating.

No you're not.

We can tell each other anything!

And I'm not lazy.

I give it my all.

But why would she think that?

She's upset, you know.

I wouldn't steal her bracelet.

Did you tell her?


Just let me handle it, all right?

But why aren't you up there handling it right now?

Because now is not a good time.

Tracy, you should leave now.

Don't pay her no mind.

I am done.


I was dealing with it, Mary Jane... damn.

And I'm doing what Mom asked me to do. - You couldn't just tell Ma to come talk to me.

No, you gotta run over here and try to be up in everything.

You already know how Mom feels about Tracy being over here all the time.

Tracy's family.

She's D'Asia's mother.

Except this isn't your house, Patrick.

I'm living here, ain't I?

And how many bills do you pay?

Mrs. Patterson, I know you don't like me, but I do care about you.

I would never steal anything from you or anyone else for that matter.

I'm not a thief.

Tracy, let me just stop you right there.

Now, I've tried to be civil with you for D'Asia's sake, but you just can't take a hint.

I don't feel comfortable with you in my house. Why not?

I'm not going to argue with you anymore.

I believe you took my bracelet and, given your past drug addiction...

Me and Patrick got the same past.

Oh, you think he stole it?

No, that's not what I'm saying.

But why are you accusing me?

Because Patrick is my son.

And I don't believe he did it.

Come on, D'Asia.

So that's it?

You're just gonna walk out?

Don't touch me.

Hey, give Daddy...

See you.

See you later.

You don't wanna stand, that's fine.

We'll have you sit behind the desk for the whole show as long as you take your jacket off, you know, roll up your sleeves a little...

Kara, I already told you, I'm not taking my jacket off so find something else to tweak.

Great, great.

Then we're walking, all right?

Your monitors are over there.

You're gonna be walking, so show me the walk.

Okay, all right.


All right.

So we got news, news, news.

Well, not like that.

That's gay... lant.

What? What did you say?

I said "gaylant."

I mean, um, you know, gallant.

You know what, let's just take a break.

Let's, um...

I'm gonna go pee, yeah.

That might be best.


Thank you.


Mary Jane.

Mary Jane Paul.

Are you nervous?

A little.

Of course you didn't post a picture because you're a local celebrity.

Just local?

Who said local?

I said national.

I can live with that.



So how long have you been at Oglethorpe?

Oh, probably about 10 years.


Wow, you must love teaching.

I'm very lucky.

And my students are patient.

Well, I never had a professor like you in college.

I bet all the girls have crushes on you.

Microbiology professor?


I'm not cool enough for most of them.

What about you?

How long have you been at SNC?

Just a couple years.

So you said someone in your family was in journalism.

Mmm, my mother.

She, uh...


Sorry, it's my niece.

Keep talking.

Okay, uh, back in the day, my mom worked at WCIV.

She, uh...



It's all right.

You okay?


Everything's okay.

Keep talking.

Well, back in the day, my mom did some work at WCIV.

It's a local station in Charleston.


No... yeah.

Your brother.


Right, right.

In Charleston.


Sorry, work drama.

Duty calls.

I'm sorry, Sean.

I am shutting off my phone.

Not another text.

Keep going, I'm listening.

Yeah, uh, yeah, everything's fine.

Um, go on.

Um, no, I'm listening.


It's okay.

Look, you've got a lot on your plate.

My buddy owns the place.

Dinner's on me.


You just stay here.

Use this as your office.

Take care of the work drama, family drama, whole thing and then you just call me when you're free.



All right.



Do your thing.

Using our seven-year friendship was low.

I'm a publicist, I use what I got.

How long's your speech?

I don't know, like, two minutes.


These girls can get restless.

Probably have ADHD or something.

You're crazy.

No, I deliver and thanks for making me look good.

Ladies, I'd like for you to meet your speaker for this afternoon, Miss Mary Jane Paul.



And, Mary Jane, these are our Atlanta chapter board members.

Mary Jane, I love your show.


I'm sure you hear that all the time.

Thank you.

You're such a great role model for our girls.

And thank you so much for coming on such short notice.

It's my pleasure.

What Girls Inc. does for the community is really admirable.

Is anyone sitting here?

'Cause I'd hate to put my purse in someone's seat.

It's reserved for our top financial donor.


She raised something like $1.7 million this year.

Wow, that's impressive.

Yeah, absolutely.

I'm sorry, excuse me, guys.

Oh, you're fine.

I think you know everyone here but Mary Jane.

Mary Jane Paul is the host of "Talkback" on SNC.

Mary Jane.

Mary Jane, this is Avery Daniels.

She was a partner at Cornwall and Sullivan law firm and now she sits on our financial advisory board.

I guess I do.

Yes, I do.

How are you?


Hello, ladies.

Ladies who lunch.

Well, under Georgia law, any person purporting to act on behalf of a corporation could be held liable.

So then my husband could go to jail?

Don't look so happy, Marcie.

I thought it was all internal.

I know how you feel.


Uh... I... recently found out that my husband's been having an affair.

Oh, Avery.

I'm so sorry.


No, it's... it's...

That's something I wouldn't wish on anyone.

How did you find out?

May I ask?

Uh... his mistress told me.


Mary Jane.

You seem knowledgeable about these things.

How would you handle it?

I've heard that ladies dress for each other and I don't...

I don't know, I guess I would, uh, up my s*x game.


Yeah, seriously.

The number-two reason that men cheat is bad s*x.

Years and years of bad s*x.

But before we get into all of that, I know you all will be thrilled to hear what our speaker has to say.

So what's the number-one reason?

They simply have fallen out of love with their wives.

I'm not saying that that's what happened to you...

No, no, no, no.

You know, I remember reading somewhere that husbands rarely, if ever, leave their wives and children for their romp partner.

Yes, I've read that too, yeah.

And, um, you know, we're in couples therapy.

It's, um, it's good.

We're trying to save our marriage.

Everyone, please help me give a warm welcome to my friend and host of "Talkback,"

Miss Mary Jane Paul.

Good luck.

You know, I had this great little sisterhood speech all prepared, but I seem to have left it in my purse at the table.

I don't want to talk about sisterhood today.

I know there's a lot of professional women here, but I want to speak to the younger girls.

You guys signed up for this mentorship program because you want to be successful.

You want to be your mentors.

Everybody tells you, "Do your best so you can be number one."

But there's another position.

And I've found that being number two gives you all glory of being at the top without all the pressures of the number-one spot.

You see, the job of any great number two is to figure out what the number one is missing, what they refuse to see in what they're doing wrong.

So, you know, take your time, learn.

Be patient.

Get better.

You will get to where you're supposed to be if you do the work.

Because remember, if you don't... somebody else will.

I'm Mary Jane Paul and thank you for listening.

Hey, Dad.

What's up?

Do you know what happened to your mother's bracelet?


But I've been trying to tell her that Tracy didn't steal it.

Did you steal it?

Don't look at me like Alice in Wonderland.

We both know that you've done worse things in the past.

No, I didn't steal Mom's bracelet.



You were supposed to do that last week.

A week ago you all were patting me on the back saying how proud you were of me.

Throwing a big old party for having two years sober.

Now you're gonna sit there and accuse me of stealing.

Couldn't very well ask you to do it when you were celebrating your sobriety, now could we?

No, just after something comes back missing.

You take this test every month.

This is the only rent your mother and I ask of you, Patrick.

I don't need to take the test 'cause...

I know it'll... come back dirty.


I was two years clean and I... slipped.

I'm sorry, Dad.

I messed up, but...

I got straight the next day.


Went to my meeting.

I didn't steal that bracelet, though.


So, uh, let me guess, you, uh, dropped your phone in the toilet again and you're replacing it tomorrow.


Mark, I'm so sorry.

I promise you...

Mary Jane, just...

It's all right.

It was never your secret to have to hold.

I forgive you.


Wow... just like that?

Just like that.

I don't think I would have forgiven you.

Well... we are more evolved creatures.



Enough of that.

So... what do you think?

Uh, you look good?

Kara's idea.

Less stuffy black man, no suit jacket.

Oh, so this is her plan to revamp your show. One of 'em.


What do you think?


If you're not comfortable, don't do it.


The team doesn't get the bad emails, we do.

And personally, I prefer you in a suit jacket.



Aren't you a sweetie?

I am.


I look forward to meeting the guy who... finally gets you.

Blah... that makes two of us.

Yes, it does.

Give me some.

After your encounter with Mary Jane, I have to wonder why you're here.


I'm... I'm not supposed to be one of those women who wants a man who cheats on her, who humiliates her.

So why are you here?

I'm... I'm here because...

I've invested... my life, my career, my time, my everything into this marriage.

And all I hear women say is how hard it is to find a good man, but, you know, I have one.

He's... he's a good father.

He's a good provider.

Sounds like Avery can pick out some great qualities in you, Andre.

And I'm thinking back over the last six months since we started and you made a commitment to your marriage, to me, to this process.

And I'm wondering where that commitment is and why you're still here.

I don't really know why I'm still here.

Everything I say in here, I've already said to her.

I love her... and I just want her to love me.

God, really?

Andre, turn to Avery and tell her.

Avery... I love you, baby.

Then why are you cheating on me?

She sees me.

Not the me from 10 years ago.

She... she sees me now.

And she's fun and spontaneous and...

I don't think that's the real heart of the argument, is it, Andre?

The heart of the arg... okay.

You... you talk about investment, what you've invested, Avery.

Um, how you spruced me up, how you corrected my grammar.

Um, how you've introduced me to the right people and married me despite what your parents said.

But what about what I've invested?

I've invested, too.

I cook for you, I study with you, I strategize with you, I listen to you.

I validate every move you make, from the kids to the house to me to your charities, your friends, my business partners, the school, family vacations, holiday decorations.

Your decision to quit or maybe go back to work.

And what do I get?


Because I guess I still haven't paid you back for marrying below your... pay grade.

Yeah, man, back then, my ex was incorrigible.

I guess she'd say the same thing about me back then, too.

How long were you married?

Five years, four months and three days too long.

Any kids?


Neither one of us wanted to bring children into that.

All right.

I'm about to put my Oprah hat on.

Oh, okay.


All right, we're getting deep.


All right, come on, go.

Okay, look, when I said let's do a do-over date... I meant just the restaurant.

Not a full reenactment, so...

You have my full and undivided attention.


Do I still get my question?

I'm game.



What did your ex-wife teach you?

What did my ex-wife teach me?


Ooh, that is a good question.

I know.


I have to say the, uh... biggest lesson probably is forgiveness.

Yeah, forgiveness.

Mainly of myself.

What about you?

Oh, yeah, we're gonna turn this around.

All right.

All right, Mary Jane.


What's the biggest mistake you've ever made in a relationship?


Probably falling in love with a married man.

I mean, I did not know he was married at the time.

It's complicated.

Affairs usually are.

How'd you find out?

I mean, there's no real story there.

I, um...

I sort of stepped on his wedding ring.



Like, literally stepped on his wedding ring.


How long have you been broken up?

Not long.


Do you ever see your ex-wife?


After the divorce, we became friends.



See, there is life after a bad relationship.

You've just got to keep searching for it.

Oh, good, you found it.

Where was it?

In the laundry room under some dirty linen.


Wonder how it got there.


Would you put it on my wrist, please?

Why'd you do it?

Do what?

Have us running all around the house, kicking Tracy out, getting everybody all worked up over nothing?

It wasn't for nothing.

I didn't want that girl in my house anymore.

So now she isn't.

I had to see you.

It's late, what do you want?

I want you.

I want you, Mary Jane.

I'm sorry for hurting you.

You said that.

Many times.

But I never said I'm filing for divorce.

I'm filing for divorce.

I told Avery today.