01x07 - Blindsided

I love you.

But I can't be in this relationship.

So that's it, we're done?

You are 19 having your second baby.

You have no job and you live with your grandparents.

Look, I love Niecy and I'm gonna be there for her baby.

I think they should come live with me full-time.

John is the better parent.

There's a story breaking about Terrence Mitchell involving the prison exposé he wrote.

Terrence is being accused of journalistic fraud.

Maybe I embellished a few details.

Everything you've accomplished has been compromised.

We did reach out to Terrence Mitchell to come on and give his side of the story, but he declined.

Hey...

Niecy.

Auntie.

Look what I got.

Yeah, I'm not really into guilt gifts.

Oh, come on, Niecy.

Seriously?

What?

Remember this?

Buying dresses for Romero's wedding and you told me you wanted to be a lawyer.

You told me that you wanted a house full of kids.

Yeah, well, I got the house, you got the kids.

Calm down a little bit, quiet.

I'm sorry I was being so hard on you.

You know, I just...

I was wrong.

I spent so much time fussing at you about what you were gonna do with your life, that I didn't take one second to celebrate this baby and I'm sorry.

Thank you.

She wasn't a mistake, you know?

You mean, you tried to get pregnant?

More like I didn't try not to.

But Auntie...

Her dad being Filipino, means something.

Okay, you lost me.

Come on.

She's gonna be half Filipino, half black.

That means she's gonna be pretty.

She's gonna have light skin and good hair and an easier life.

Oh, God...

Please don't lecture me.

Niecy, you're beautiful.

Oh, God.

They would pay good money for your skin and your... your eyes, your smile.

Please, Auntie, you don't think I know what it means when people say that I have a nice smile and nice eyes?

Niecy, you're beautiful.

Ain't no man ever fall for me.

No, but they keep coming back, don't they?

That's because I put it down.

No, no, don't... say in the bedroom.

In the bedroom, in the car, movie theater.

I've probably done things that you never even heard of, being honest.

Okay, Niecy, just...

Stop, I... I can't.

You asked me what happened.

Do you really wanna know?

I grew up.

I looked around.

And I was finally real with myself.

I'm just saying.

I want for my baby to have every possible opportunity...

Because in this world pretty is it.

Then look at me.

Oh, baby...

Baby, you are so beautiful.

I wish you knew it.

If you could only see...

You have to say that, though, you're my Auntie.

No, no.

I'm saying it... because it's true.

And I love your hair.

It's not mine.

And neither's mine.

Well, I think I'm ready for my guilt gifts.

Girl, you were ready when my ass walked through the door.

Oh, baby.

Can you stay the night?

Of course.

Oh, hey, good morning.

Hey.

Ooh.

I had a dream about my baby girl last night.

Yeah?

She's beautiful.

Pick out a name yet?

Oh, I didn't tell you?

Unh-unh.

I think we're gonna go with Dantaysha.

Man, the ghetto jokes get you every time.

You are so bourgey.

Girl, whatever.

All right.

Hey.

I'm glad we did this.

Me too.

All right, bye, Mom.

Oh, Pauletta.

Looks like you're gonna have to drive me to the doctor's appointment 'cause your brother forgot.

Mom, I'm on my way to work, where's PJ?

Wait... PJ!

Hey, Mom, you ready?

Uh, been ready.

Thought you weren't coming.

What? What'd you call me for?

I thought Mom needed a ride to her appointment but Patrick's here.

I'm on time.

You can never be too early.

Mom, I know you're not happy I moved out, but...

I got you something.

Oh.

What is it?

Open it.

Oh, what is it?

A Life Alert necklace.

Now you can feel safe no matter where you are in the house.

Are you out of your mind?

I'm not wearing this damn thing, this is for old people who live alone.

But... Mom.

Ridiculous.

Life Alert.

Ridiculous.

Really?

Come on, I still think it's a good idea.

All right, all right, all right.

All right, you guys. Come with me, come with me.

Hey, Mary Jane, Mary Jane.

Mary Jane!

Hey, Mary Jane, care to comment on Terrence Mitchell...

No comment!

One of the most respected activists in the country? No comment at this time.

You must know what happened.

Open up.

Did you see what happened...

No comment.

Is Terrence Mitchell... do you know what happened?

What's going on?

Terrence Mitchell committed suicide.

Mary Jane?

Just go.

Okay, okay, okay.

Let's get out of here.

Okay.

You and Terrence Mitchell had a long-term relationship for many years.

There's been a lot of talk that you have been paid off by the Correctional Facilities Federation.

No, that's ridiculous.

I came forward because it was the right thing to do.

I care about Terrence.

Yeah, I am still very unclear about your motivation here.

Just listen to the tape.

Listen, I know he is your friend.

But I am not the one who lied.

There's nothing there.

And let's not forget Terrence Mitchell did commit journalistic fraud.

The Mitchell family has no case.

But what we don't wanna do is to give the plaintiff any ammunition to make it seem that Miss Paul released this news with malicious intent.

Simply put, Miss Paul should make no statements pertaining to Terrence Mitchell until the matter's settled.

I agree.

Well, I'm glad you all agree, but I don't.

Terrence Mitchell was my friend.

And, on top of that, I covered this story.

His death deserves an immediate response.

Mary Jane, I hear you.

Are you hearing me?

But I'm going to overrule you on this.

We have to put this lawsuit to bed.

After that, you can give your statement.

Okay, well, the longer we all remain silent, the more culpable I look.

Are you kidding?

This thing's gonna blow over in a week.

I'm just more frustrated that we can't capitalize on this frenzy for ratings.

Okay.

So until told otherwise, you are to maintain a cone of silence surrounding anything concerning Terrence Mitchell.

Are we clear?

Let's see...

How could this get any worse?

Are there any more doughnuts in the break room?

Greg just told me they're pulling "Talk Back."

They want me off the air?

Kara, they want me off the air.

He just said I couldn't talk about Terrence.

Now I can't talk at all.

It's temporary, MJ.

Mark is gonna cover for you, he's gonna be on for two hours.

And Greg thinks it's a smart way to re-launch his show.

Oh, oh, that's great, okay, well, who covers for you?

You are the one who pressed me to have Rayna on in the first place.

Now I'm benched, and you're still in the game?

Our team broke a story, a story which happens to be true, by the way.

I know this is painful.

But if we hadn't exposed the truth about Terrence, someone else would have.

Maybe we should've let them.

You know this isn't me, MJ.

No, no-no, you know what?

You're absolutely right, this is a team effort.

Only I'm the only one on the sidelines and you'll be working on Mark's show.

Works out beautiful for everyone... oh, right, except for me.

Here we are.

No, that's nonsense.

Listen to me, I know you don't want to hear this right now. I don't.

But we just need to keep our heads down and ride this thing out.

I'm sorry, which "we" are you talking about?

I'm confused.

Hey.

Oh, brother...

What are you guys watching?

Turn it off.

No, no.

Let it play.

And she praised him for that, Keli, gave him a forum to discuss his platform.

Yeah, and then when he made a mistake, she put her foot on the throat of his career to try to advance her own.

She's just reporting the news.

You call it what you want to, the bottom line is, a man is dead, his reputation tarnished, and all at the hands of a so-called friend.

That's a good-looking lunch.

Want some?

Oh, no-no-no-no.

It's too early for me to have sweets.

Aren't you lactose intolerant?

Not today.

Well, make sure you light a candle when you're done, baby.

You wanna tell me what's going on with you?

Dad, why haven't you talked to me about Terrence?

I mean, you disapprove, but...

Do you know how hard that was for me?

He was my friend.

Was he?

Would he have done that to you?

The way I grew up, we were taught at a very young age to stick together.

It was ingrained in us.

That it was never a level playing field.

And we had to bend the rules in order to get things done.

Hopefully, we've evolved some as a nation.

Yeah, well, I know we live in that era of hope and change but sometimes it... sometimes it feels the same.

Pauletta, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what I think or what anyone thinks.

It's your life.

Right?

You wanna tell me why you're not wearing your new necklace?

Come on, Mom, you didn't even crack a smile.

It's not funny.

You're right, you're right, it's not.

It's hilarious.

Mom, you need to laugh.

Laugh.

Junior, you don't know how sick I am.

I can't sleep, I can't eat.

I can't even walk down the stairs without losing my breath.

And these damn doctors got me on all this medication.

And it's not doing a thing, not a damn thing.

All it's doing is taking out my hair.

Mom, have you ever tried, um... marijuana?

Boy, now don't talk crazy in my presence.

I'm serious, okay.

Look, a lot of folks your age take it as a sleep aid, a eating aid.

Doctors prescribe it all the time.

Um-hmm, for hippies.

And guess what, it'll even make you laugh.

Junior, I'm not using illicit drugs.

Okay, Mom, you gotta get with the times.

Legislation just passed it in Colorado.

They just passed it in Washington.

You know, California's ahead of everybody.

Look, people are even growing it in their own back yards, in their gardens.

I could never inhale.

Wait, you smoked before?

Boy...

Okay, all right.

All right, um... then you can take it as an edible.

They come in cookies, brownies, lollipops, you name it.

They'd never suspect that.

See?

But I wouldn't wanna gain any weight.

Well, there are a few healthier options.

You like bran muffins, right?

Now how you gonna do all this?

Don't worry about it, okay?

I know a guy who knows a guy.

Who knows another guy.

But hey, I better get to class.

Mwah, and then I gotta get to work.

Junior?

Yeah.

This is between me and you.

Me and you, I got you.

I'll see you later.

I can't be gaining weight in here.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Security's been through it.

And hey, chin up.

You and I both know it's not true.

Thanks.

Critics claim that China's no-strings attached investment has resulted in greater human rights violations.

So where is the public outcry?

Well, my guess is that it's coming.

But not before the US's dependency on foreign oil reaches a tipping point.

And with China's oil companies taking their yields off of the international market, some say that catastrophic gas crisis in the United States is merely a matter of time.

I'm Mark Bradley.

And this is the "Bradley Hour."

You're out.

Hey, you showed me how to do this.

I actually learned something.

Your show's gonna be great.

Well, thank you, but just as long as my show isn't better than yours.

Exactly.

Isn't that you...

So, uh... what are you doing here?

You know you don't have to be brave.

You can go shopping.

Enjoy yourself.

Get out of here, girl.

Proud of you.

Hello?

Miss Mary?

What's wrong with Mary?

My friend died.

Oh.

Come, come, come.

Ay-yi-yi.

Hey, Patrick.

Hey.

Lisa moved up Niecy's surgery.

Something about not enough fluid.

Okay, how soon?

Within the hour.

We're packing up the car now.

All right, I'm on my way.

Okay, see you there.

Niecy's having her baby.

They're just gonna have to hold on.

If we don't leave soon, Lisa's not gonna be able to do the procedure.

Which means some random-ass doctor's gonna be operating on you.

Stop being hard-headed and let's go!

Why you yelling?

I'm waiting for Dante, and that's it.

So everybody can just relax.

Damn it, Niecy, he's not coming.

Hey, son, calm down.

Hey, uh, Nyema's got Travian so we're good there.

Dante ain't coming, my mama ain't coming?

What the hell do we look like?

Extras in your in your movie?

Everybody just leave her alone.

Let her have the baby right here.

All this is so she can get attention.

Don't give her any.

Okay, fine.

I'll go.

That's what I thought.

Get your behind up.

Hi, I'm home.

Hey.

Hey, thanks for staying late.

Sure, no problem, we had fun.

Good, that's good.

You got that little soldier look going, what's going on?

No hot date tonight?

Oh, you know me, quick shower, I'm good to go.

I can make time.

It's just work.

I pushed Mary Jane to um... expose this guy's secrets a few weeks ago and it's just all come crashing down on us.

I think I pushed her too hard.

I don't know, sometimes I...

I don't think she's got the stomach for this business.

Now you're having an attack of conscience.

Am I that predictable?

Yeah, pretty much, I mean, you're catholic for one thing.

What does that mean?

It means you have all this self-criticism, over going for what you want.

It's okay to love your job, Kara.

It's okay to be ambitious.

I don't know.

It ruined you and me.

No, it didn't ruin us.

We did.

It's just easier to blame everything on SNC sometimes.

Am I really that ambitious?

Where most people hear no you hear try harder.

I mean, you got places to go.

Do you know how envious I am of that?

Really?

All I've been trying to say is you're not a bad mom if you want me to take the boys for a while.

You can still have them each and every weekend.

I just don't wanna hurt them.

I love them more than anything in this world.

More than my job.

It's just that if I don't try my hardest to make something of myself right now, I just feel like I don't have anything to give.

Hey, hey, hey.

I know.

We are such a cliché.

Mr. Patterson?

Surprise?

Get your things.

Niecy's having the baby.

She wants you there.

I told her she don't need me for this, I'm not going.

Oh, you going.

Excuse me, are you Dante's mother?

Yes.

I'm Patrick Patterson.

Our children know each other.

I really need to speak with you.

Please, come on, Dante, don't be rude, invite them inside.

You have to take off your shoes.

House rule.

You lucky your mom here.

What can I do for you, Mr. Patterson?

I take it Dante hasn't mentioned anything?

Mentioned what?

There's no easy way to say this.

But my daughter is pregnant with Dante's child.

Ah, no, not my son.

Not my son.

Either he's been lying to you, or you're in denial, but this is happening.

Dante's gonna be a father.

He can't... He can't have a baby, he's too young.

You know, actually, um... your son has two babies on the way.

Oh, come on, man, what are you doing to me.

Man, she might as well know all of it.

We can continue this discussion later.

But my daughter's having his baby right now.

And he needs to be there.

Dante.

Dante.

Oh, it's so pretty.

You've seen streamers before, I assume.

Mmm...

Ma, those are for later.

Mmm, these are delicious.

Mom.

Oh, aren't these cute?

It's hard to believe anyone is small enough to even get into these.

If I knew that bringing babies in the world make you this happy, I would've had a bunch by now.

You just say so, but I don't believe you.

Give me another cookie...

No, no, enough with the cookies, Mom.

Wow.

You've got the munchies.

No.

Is she here yet?

No, no, not yet.

Tubal ligation, thing?

That happens after.

Dante.

What's up?

Why don't you... drape that over something.

Okay.

Being a parent, something else, right?

Yes, it is, yes, it is.

Thing is, it never stops.

They grow up and we still try to protect them.

Dad, I feel awful about tarnishing the Patterson name.

Your name is Mary Jane Paul now.

So I guess we're okay.

Everyone thinks I changed my name for my career, but really, it was for times like these.

I mean, I never wanted you guys to suffer for anything I came under fire for.

Pauletta, you don't know how proud I am of you every single day.

I just want you to be okay.

A perfect little life.

No mistakes made, just perfect.

Hmm... yeah, but wait till the world get's a hold of 'em.

Still... there's nothing like it.

I don't know if it's in the cards for me, Dad.

Oh, you got time.

Tell my ovaries that.

Oh, please...

Any news?

We just heard, she's out of surgery.

Should be any minute now.

Well, there she is, here she come.

Oh-ho-ho.

Allow me to introduce the newest little Patterson.

Wait, it's champagne time?

Oh!

I'm sorry, sorry, sorry.

Happy to be a daddy, how does it feel?

Ohh...

You wanna hold her?

Go on.

You washed your hands first, right?

Does the child have a name?

Isabel Aquino.

Isabel, Isabel.

She got a headful of hair.

Just like my dreams, Auntie.

She is, she's beautiful.

Okay, I'm nervous, anybody else wanna hold her?

Daddy?

Uh-oh, this is all you right here.

Watch her head.

Ohh...

Uh-oh, uh-oh.

I've been patient enough.

My turn, my turn.

Ohh...

Auntie MJ.

Paulleta with a baby.

Oh, you know, you next, right?

Yeah, yeah.

How you holding up?

It's kind of hard.

It's hard being at the center of someone's death, you know?

I'm obsessed with all the work he left behind.

I've been meaning to call you.

Come in, check on you.

No, girl, you know, I'm... I'm fine.

People have been calling left and right...

David even called, actually.

He left me the sweetest message.

He did... when?

Right after he heard about Terrence.

I mean, I'm...

Sort of amazed that it took something so tragic to get him to reach out, but...

You think it's a sign?

I guess God gives us something to hold onto even in the worst of times.

Vilma said the same thing.

I guess God wants me to know that I'm gonna be okay.

Yeah, listen, I'm glad to hear you're well, but I better go.

Work, you know?

Oh, right, hey.

Um, thank you for taking care of my niece and little Isabel.

You're welcome, bye.

Bye You an Auntie again?

Did you know that?

I didn't know.

Hmm....

Yeah, I get confused sometimes, too.

How's your mom?

Good.

She still mad at me?

She's pretty pissed.

Hmm.

Dinner's ready!

I have an idea.

What happens if you push it?

You wanna find out?

No way.

You won't get in trouble.

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

Oh, hell.

Wait...

That's mom, that's her!

Mom! We're coming Mom!

Almost there!

What's wrong, Mom?

Are you okay, did you fall?

I don't know what happened?

Did it accidentally go off?

D'Asia.

Really?

Corrupting them this young?

Dinner's on the table.

Since you didn't exercise today, you can get down the stairs yourself.

I got ya, I got ya.

You'll get yours.

You gonna help me down the stairs?

Yeah.

You're fast.

Ava, that I love about your "Middle of Nowhere" is that you focus on how a life in prison affects the whole family.

There's so much politics, so many politics, so much drama.

So much architecture around the idea of the prison industrial complex that really excludes the heart of it, which are the families, the loved ones who are left behind.

Um, you know, I just thought it was time that we looked at the millions, millions of people, particularly women, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, who are victimized by this and the ways in which companies actually prey upon them.

Predatory phone rates, exorbitant prices to just call into your loved ones.

Um, barriers to connection is really what this is all about, and the fact that people are... are getting rich on the misery of those who are waiting, is really inexcusable.

Thank you, Ava, for coming on my show.

Thank you, Mary Jane, thanks for having me.

Check out Ava's film "Middle of Nowhere".

I promise, it's time well spent.

Brook to two, cue MJ's Terrence response.

Well, if you're a regular viewer of "Talk Back" you're likely aware of the tragic death of Terrence Mitchell.

Terrence was many things.

A gifted writer, a tireless crusader, and an advocate for millions silenced by what Michelle Alexander calls "the new Jim Crow."

He was also human.

He was fallible.

I was lucky to call him a friend.

I was asked to read a statement about Terrence's suicide, something that indicated...

Here comes your handiwork.

...stunned by this tragedy, we don't regret our actions here at SNC and I, in particular, have done nothing wrong.

I could read it.

But I'm not sure I could look myself in the mirror afterwards.

She's off script.

Kara, what's going on?

While I know...

MJ, I don't know where you're going with this...

She isn't supposed to say anything.

I do regret how I handled it.

The discovery of some of Terrence's research was forged left me with a moral dilemma.

I knew his reputation would be tarnished.

His efforts made futile and nobody would care about the very real issues he devoted his life to exploring.

I chose to pursue it anyway.

I can't help but see a parallel between how I feel about Terrence and our prison system itself.

Yes, it's legal, but that doesn't make it right.

The facts are indisputable.

People of color make up 30 percent of the general population, yet they make up 60 percent of the population behind bars.

One in three black men in this country can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.

I say enough is enough. We have to stop hiding behind rhetoric, legislation such as "three strikes" and sentences based almost entirely on the discretion of judges.

If we remain indifferent to these injustices, we as individuals are no better than a system that has been problematic at best and morally bankrupt at worst.

Terrence Mitchell asked me to pick up this fight.

I never had the chance to give him an answer.

And Terrence, I will not let my mistakes define me.

I will no longer be silent and most of all, I want you to know how truly sorry I am.

I'm Mary Jane Paul, and you are watching "Talk Back."

And we're out.

Good job today.

Thank you.

I know you said, "Keep your head down."

I heard, "Go down swinging."

You are the real thing, mama.

Great.

You did good.

Thanks.

Good job, Mary Jane.

Hey.

What's up?

You okay?

Yeah, I'm good, actually.

Did you come all this way just to check on me?

Yeah.

That, and I need to ask you something.

Anything, come in.

What is it?

Can't believe I'm about to ask you this.

Did you... Did you steal my sperm?

Mmm...