02x02 - Freedom

Mary Jane (V.O.): Previously on being Mary Jane...

I am tired of all you grown-ass people laying around this house waiting for me to pay the heat.

What does that plan look like, niecy?

You guys are gonna stay in here, okay?

Kara: Don't beat yourself up.

You are allowed to take twice as long untangling your heart from him as you spent loving him.

[Gagging]

This morning when I woke up, I had peed in the bed.

Mary Jane, you know what? You're stressed.

[Glass shattering]

Mary Jane: Are you with her because you love her, or are you with her because she's having your baby?

[Dishes clinking]

Ahh!

Hey.

Good morning.

I thought I took my key back.

Yeah, you did, but it's just breakfast.

Here.

You try.

What do you think?

I think I just gained five pounds.

Yeah, well, as long as you gain them in the places I like, it's all good.

Oh, you got something.

David.

You're right. Habit.

I'm sorry.

You know what? I'm sorry.

For everything, giving up on you and our baby and... stealing your sperm and two or three other things you don't even know about.

Well, I'm no Saint, so...

Yeah, you think?

Would you mind if I kissed you?

Are you sure?

You tell me.

Who's that?

Mark: Come on, Mary Jane, don't act like you don't know about Andre.

Ahh!

[Baby crying]

Ooh, yummy.

Hey, so, you don't hear Isabelle in there screaming?

Oh, she's fine; I just looked in on her a few minutes ago.

She has to cry through it. That'll teach her independence.

And who's teaching you independence?

Breakfast is almost ready.

Banana pancakes, mmm.

[Gasps]

My le creuset.

Your what?

My French oven, you let it burn.

Niecy: Not really.

I scraped most of it off, and right now, I'm letting it soak.

Oh, God. Oh.

Niecy: Auntie, it's fine.

You should have saw it a half an hour ago.

It'll come off.

I need a minute.

[Ray Charles' them that got]

Ray: ♪ I've gotten down to my last pair of shoes ♪

[Phone chimes] ♪ Can't even win a nickel bet ♪

[Patrick groans] ♪ because ah them that's got are them that gets ♪
♪ And I ain't got nothin yet ♪
♪ ♪

_ ♪ I'm sneakin' in and out duckin' my landlord ♪
♪ All I seem to do is stay in debt ♪
♪ Because ah them that's got, yeah are them that gets ♪
♪ And I tell you all, I ain't got nothin' yet ♪
♪ ♪
♪ That old sayin them that's got are them that gets ♪
♪ Is somethin I can't see ♪

[Phone chimes]

♪ If ya gotta have somethin' before you can get somethin' ♪
♪ How do ya get your first is still a mystery to me ♪
♪ I see folk with long cars and fine clothes ♪

[Phone chimes]

♪ That's why they're called the smarter set ♪
♪ Because they manage to get ♪
♪ When only them that's got supposed to get ♪
♪ And I ain't got nothin' yet ♪
♪ ♪

[Sniffs]

♪ ♪
♪ That old sayin them that's got are them that gets ♪
♪ Is somethin I can't see ♪
♪ If ya gotta have somethin' before you can get somethin' ♪
♪ How do ya get your first is still a mystery to me ♪

Patrick: You spent 300 dollars on a pot?

Well, it's not just a pot, Patrick.

It's a signature brand porcelain-enameled French oven, so... you understand. Look, never mind.

Bottom line, I don't like people in my house.

That guest room, it's like a show room to me.

It looks best untouched.

Sometimes I go in there, and I just stare at it.

It looks like it belongs in a magazine, and I'd like it to stay that way.

What?

Hey, hey, no, hey, it's your house, and that's the way you want it.

Good, I'm glad we're on the same page, and you understand the need for urgency.

I'm making some progress with mom.

As a matter of fact, I plan on talking to her later to see what I can do about getting niecy back over there.

Well, you know it's not just about that.

I know, I know, I'm working on some things to get niecy and the kids with me.

How?

Honey, you live in a dark, dank closet.

See, why do you always feel the need to highlight, underscore, bold, and...

Oh, snap. Excuse me.

Boy, what did you do?

Oh, no. Okay.

Niecy. Niecy. Oh, my God.

Trevion, what are you doing?

Patrick: - Niecy, I told you to watch him. Niecy: No, trevion, no, no.

Patrick: What's wrong with you?

Don't you got some coloring books or something?

Mary Jane voice-over: I don't get it.

Right now, in this moment, she's free.

Why doesn't she just run?

And go where?

Anywhere but back to that motel.

Well, what people don't realize, it's not her body that's enslaved; it's her mind.

Mary Jane: She looks like one of those dogs, you know, that's, like, chained in the yard, except her leash isn't there.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah, she tells herself she loves him, she'll do anything for him.

"I know I called, mister officer, but he did not hit me."

"But you're bleeding profusely from your mouth, and your nose, ma'am, I mean"...

"I fell, mister officer."

That, and worse, every day.

And those are the, uh, those are the pg stories, once they're sold.

Now, see, this one looks like she's been sold a time or two.

Mary Jane: How can you tell?

Daniel: She jumps every time somebody walks by and drives up.

The new ones usually stay up underneath their boyfriends.

See, when we do our raids, the ones we can usually save are the ones who just got in the game.

The ones that have been bought and sold and bought and sold, they're the ones keep slipping through your fingers.

According to my research, the buying and selling of girls is usually based on some sort of debt that needs to be repaid.

Yeah.

From one pimp to another.

That, but some guys don't pimp.

Some guys are just trying to make some money, so they snatch them on the way to school.

What?

Yeah, store, church.

Just snatch them and sell them to traffickers.

Mary Jane: What is this, the sequel to 12 years a slave?

Basically.

Looks like she has to get to work.

Mary Jane: You know, I don't get it.

In this day and age, these girls could call home, they could send a text, they could email.

Not if they tell you they're gonna kill you.

I have a herd of girls I don't know what to do with.

All right, I'm coming.

Mary Jane?

Okay, okay.

Okay, before you guys say anything, I know, I know, it looks a lot smaller than it does on TV.

Well, that's because we shoot everything with wide-angle lenses to give it that effect.

So who wants to sit in the anchor chair?

Me.

I would.

Anel, your hand went up first. Follow me.

Watch your step.

It's nothing back here. It's just plain.

I know; Sometimes I even have my shoes off under there.

Hello, America. I'm Mary Jane Paul.

Oh, this is a cool surprise.

Ladies, I would like to introduce you to miss Kara lynch.

Kara is our executive producer here at talk back.

Kara is like a movie director.

Yeah.

She and I set the creative tone and direction for the show, and she makes sure everything is executed.

Yes. Hello, everybody.

You ladies look so professional.

I love it.

I need to borrow Mary Jane for just a moment.

Can I steal her for a second?

Mary Jane: All right, you guys take turns sitting in my chair.

Selling the dream, honey, selling the dream.

Yes, you are.

You're gonna want to kiss me. You found somebody to talk?

Yes, I did. She's white, though.

Oh.

Yeah, I know you wanted a black girl, but my source over at the rescue center told me they just picked this girl up two days ago, and she's been sold a few times.

She's been in Atlanta for five months, and, uh, she goes by the street name "Polly".

Seriously?

A white girl named Polly?

Yeah, well, probably being sarcastic.

Anyway, she's 17 years old, and it was her suggestion to meet you in person before going on air.

So you're gonna meet her at the pancake house on cheshire bridge road, and I'll have security there in plain clothes, okay?

We can do 9:00 or 9:30. - 9:00. Okay.

Mark: Hey. Hey, Kara.

Hi.

I need to speak with you.

Mary Jane: I'm kind of in the middle of something.

No, it's okay. You can have her.

I'm gonna go lock this in.

Oh, thank you. Thank you.

What's up?

My parents are in town.

They're on their layover on their way to Paris, and they want to see us tonight.

Just tell them I'm out of town.

No, I can't. I panicked, I'm sorry.

I can't be your beard tonight. I can't. I can't.

I've got the girls all afternoon, and then I have an interview I can't move tonight.

And I have to go to my house and get my "I love mark" bag...

See, yes, and I love you for that.

Thank you. I owe you. I owe you.

And you're gonna pay.

Hey.

Hey. What's up?

I need you to take over for me. Please?

You mean... Oh... oh, hell no.

No, no, come on.

No, no, no, no, no.

I am busy preparing for Thursday's show, are you out of your mind?

I know, but I have to help a friend with a serious personal matter; Come on, please.

And, well, what would that friend have done had you not picked up the phone, can't they do that?

But I did answer. That's the thing.

Come on, they're just a bunch of teenage girls.

I'm having a hard enough time with pubescent boys.

How long before you get back here?

I'm not gonna come back.

Oh, that's fabulous.

That's just great. That's fabulous.

Thank you. Thank you.

Please don't do this to me.

Thank you. They're gonna love you.

They're patient.

Okay, ladies, unfortunately, this is where I'm gonna have to leave you, but you're in great hands with Kara.

So be inspired, okay? Good luck, and I love you.

Bye.

Okay, well, let's go and check out editing.

That's super exciting. Come on. Follow me this way.

You're a 43-year old, never married, confirmed bachelor, whose girlfriend is nearly always unavailable or somewhere else or with other people.

Do you think you're fooling anyone?

Just the people that matter.

You're an ass.

Are you speaking literally or figuratively, because either way, now is not the time for this.

My parents are gonna be outside of that door in a few seconds, and I do not have time nor do I feel it necessary for me to explain my personal decisions when it comes to my life.

Your life?

I thought we were in a relationship.

Yes, my life.

It is hard enough being black.

Now you want me to add the side dish of gay to my plate?

Yes.

For what?

For who, Eric?

We can be a relationship from here to infinity, and you will never understand what it is like to live in my skin.

Neither will you until you fully accept who you are.

Would you get out of here with that soap opera?

Stop trying to shut me out of the conversation with your million man march rhetoric?

What are you saying?

I'm saying, don't race card me.

If you're still afraid of mommy and daddy, own it.

I'm through with this conversation, Eric.

Mark...

Trust me.

You don't have to do this.

Do you think I like doing this?

Mary Jane: All right, the bath and the bedroom both look very hetero.

This place really straightens up well, if I do say so myself.

Years of practice.

Mary Jane: Okay, what's wrong?

Nothing, Mary Jane, nothing.

Okay.

They're here.

Will you please leave out of the back door?

Please?

Mary Jane: How's he gonna get to my place without...

I'll figure it out.

Wow.

[Exhales]

Mary Jane.

Remember what I told you, okay? Confidence.

It was so nice meeting you girls. I'm so proud of you.

You're all beautiful. Good luck.

Thank you for coming to visit.

Can I go to the movies with the girls?

You're ditching me.

No, you still have to pick me.

Please? It's the j. Law movie.

Oh, j. Law, well, then, by all means.

Okay, figure out then when, wheres, and with whoms.

Okay.

Kara: Okay, and I'm sure you're gonna do great.

I'm gonna see your faces one day on the big screen.

All right, good luck to you girls.

Take care.

Thank you again.

Oh.

My daughter really enjoyed herself today.

Aw.

Thank you for taking the time.

I can only imagine how valuable it is.

Of course.

I'm Kara lynch, I don't think we've met.

We did.

We did?

Yeah, you forgot me that quickly.

I told you my daughter texted me.

She was so excited a latina was a boss.

Oh, oh.

Anyway, thank you.

Sure.

Oh, my...

You know what? I completely remember you.

I am so sorry. I did not mean to be rude.

I just met so many people tonight.

It's okay.

Yeah, and you're welcome.

Really. My pleasure.

Hey, do you know where I, uh, I can get a drink around here?

A drink? Um...

Oh, yeah, no, not that place.

That's kind of nasty.

Um...

Oh, nothing fancy.

I just need somewhere to park while I wait on my daughter to watch a movie.

Oh, well, okay.

Um, uh, you know what? Pick a desk.

I know where the cups are.

You like Tequila? Come on.

Why not?

So we were just about done with dinner.

Mind you, the restaurant was freezing cold.

My hands were like ice.

Yeah, so I'm reaching out, like, grabbing her hands so I can see how cold they were.

Then the violinist comes and surrounds the table.

Playing Beethoven's ode to joy, none the less.

Mark: Manager comes with a cake and a bottle of champagne to celebrate our engagement.

Oh, so let's see the ring.

I'll tell them. I'll tell them.

Okay, okay, okay.

So that's the punch line, dad.

It was for the table that was next to us.

So embarrassing.

We were sitting there like, "what?"

Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no, too soon.

Exactly. And the manager was so nice, though.

He gave us a bottle of champagne for our troubles.

So do your parents approve of mark?

Of course, yeah, they love mark.

They are like a broken record with mark.

"Where's mark? How's mark? Mark, mark, mark, mark, mark."

I think they love mark more than they love me.

Well, you two have been a couple almost two years now.

When do you intend to marry her, or at least buy her the real ring?

Well, you know, we've talked about it from time to time.

Mm-hmm, yeah.

Yes.

Our schedules are very busy, so, you know, hard to try to...

No one's that busy, mark.

[Timer beeping]

Oh, the canapés.

Yes.

All right, let me go get them.

Stop it.

Just stop it.

Stop what?

Mom... mom, let me go get those before they burn. I'll be right back.

So, uh, mark and I took the most amazing snowboarding trip to Colorado last year.

We loved it. That's a lie.

Mark loved. I hated it.

Snowboarding did nothing for me.

Stan: Sounds like a death wish.

Mary Jane: Literally, as I was nearly going head over tail.

[Laughter]

Stan: Well, I'll stick with fly-fishing.

Mary Jane: Exactly.

Oh, I was just telling your parents about our...

Our snowboarding trip to copper Mountain.

Oh, yeah, copper Mountain was good.

Yeah, you loved it.

I did love it, I must say.

Look, dad, this here, speaking of great, 1964 barolo, baby.

Oh-ho-ho, sounds good.

You know, they don't serve anything decent on those flights.

Mark, I know you're gay.

Beatrice, what the hell's the matter with you?

What are you talking about, mom?

I gave life to you, and I want to share that life with you, but I can't if you keep hiding parts of it from us.

Just say the words.

I promise it's okay.

Mama.

Just say the words, baby.

What are you talking about, mom?

I'm gonna go get the wine opener.

Mark, it's in your hand.

Sit down.

Sit down.

Sit.

You're a homosexual?

You?

Yeah.

Me.

When did this happen?

I've always been gay, dad.

Uh-uh, not when we taught you to walk.

Not when you were in little league.

Not when you were prom king, you wasn't anybody's homosexual.

Stan, Stan...

I'm just gay, dad.

No, I'm gay. I'm happy as a June bug.

That doesn't mean I go around sucking men's...

Stan.

It's okay, mom.

No, it's not okay, son.

Your mom and I raised you in an atmosphere where you could be honest with us, and you've been lying your whole life.

And honestly, that's more important to me than who is literally up your ass.

Stan.

I tell you I'm gay, and you make this all about you.

No, you didn't tell me squat.

Your mother just told me, and you confirmed with a weak "yup".

Big difference, son.

And I'm not making this about me.

I'm making this about us.

Who are you?

The son we raised would have had the courage to be whoever the hell he is, no matter what anybody thought about him, including me.

But instead, you've been running around like a thief in the night, lying and pulling others into your lies.

Is that who you are?

Is that the man I raised?

And you knew this whole time?

Mothers often know.

Mark is gay.

That doesn't mean he chose to be that way.

Oh, Beatrice, stop sounding like a psa, I don't give a damn whether he chose it or not.

Do you I want you to live that lifestyle? Hell no.

But whatever happened in our relationship where you felt you had to lie about it, where you couldn't be honest with me?

I lied to you, because you're a homophobe.

You may not want to admit it, but you are.

No, you lied because it was easy.

And yes, I am a homophobe.

So is damn near half the country.

But I'm also your father, who loves and trusts that his son would have the decency to share a very important part of his life with us.

Is that why you always put your mother off when she wants to come and visit?

[Phone chiming]

Oh, um, sorry, this is that important interview I told you about.

Polly: Mary Jane Paul?

You're even prettier than on the set.

You must be Polly.

Yeah.

A happy meal every day for a year and a half.

It's $2.

Disgusting.

Just made me think, realy?

I'm not even worth $5?

I'm worth less than a pack of condoms?

Why don't you tell me about your day?

What did you do today?

Nothing. Watched TV. Watched your show.

Thank you.

And later I took a shower and got dressed, 'cause there's a convention in town, mad money, but I was on the blob, so...

I'm sorry. You're what?

On my period.

Right, okay.

Tricks hate that.

Blood just freaks them out, I guess.

They get violent sometimes.

I had to keep the lights low so they wouldn't notice.

Am I weirding you out?

No. Mm-mm.

No, I'm fine. Um, did you, or do you go to school?

I'm registered at deerfield, but I don't go.

Deerfield high school?

How old are you?

For real?

Yeah.

15.

Am I too old for the show?

No. Mm-mm. No, you're fine.

Well, Mary Jane's not my boss.

She's more like a partner, if anything.

Why does she have the office, and you're in a fancy, like, open, working area thing? [Laughs]

Well, that's how the news room works, you know?

I have to be out here with my producers and my writers and make sure the stories are going right and be right in the middle of the action, you know?

Because everybody reports to me.

Why do women do that?

Do what?

Oversell themselves.

Wow.

Maybe it's because you questioned my work area as less than?

No, no, I was simply asking a question.

Oh.

Yeah, so that I could have a better understanding.

Oh, okay. All right. Well, I mean, I...

I hate that I don't have an office, but I doubt that I'd ever be in it.

It is nice to have perks, though.

Well, you have a nice view.

I do.

I love my view. It is beautiful.

So is this... [Coughs]

Career peak, or are you still on the climb?

[Laughs] You don't drink Tequila.

Um, the climb.

You know, it's funny; Everybody is always congratulating me.

"Wow, you've made it," you know?

And I'm just thinking, "pssh, I'm just getting started."

Where are you trying to get to?

I want to win an emmy for producing nightly news.

On network. I mean, cable's cool.

But network will always be the holy grail for me.

Was that a big part of your divorce?

Yeah.

That, and...

I was the breadwinner...

And him screwing our real estate agent.

That was a good one.

What?

Is your ex a real estate agent?

What's your ex-husband's name?

Seriously?

John lynch. [Sighs]

What?

Oh, shoot.

Wouldn't that have been weird?

[Laughs] You are... that was good.

My heart actually stopped beating for a second.

That was good.

May I take you out for a proper drink one night?

Mm...

Mm...

Okay, earlier I wasn't memorable.

Now I'm not dateable.

I'm sorry. No, no, no.

Listen, you seem like a really decent guy.

I'm just... I'm not interested in dating right now.

I'm just... eesh, please.

I, um...

I don't really date Latino men.

No offense.

Well, then, you shouldn't have said anything, because I am very offended.

I mean...

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

No, I... Listen, I love my people.

I really do, but it's just...

It just never seems to work out.

In fact, I just dated a Mexican guy...

Carlos, the intern.

Maybe because he was the intern.

Maybe. Good point.

Listen, I'm just trying to save you the trouble.

I don't have a lot of time, and I don't like to waste it, so I like to be up front and very clear.

You know, I just came out of the fog.

[Laughs] Why are you laughing?

You're doing it again.

What?

Overselling it.

Just like you want an office, you want to see me again.

It's just easier if you say you don't want it.

Really? Okay.

I think I'll have another drink.

Well, the movie's over.

I should get going.

Let me know if you want to get that drink.

Good night.

Adios.

Gael Montoya.

Ah, mi dio.

For real?

Men are gross.

They fart.

They have skids marks on their underwear, and their hair all greasy.

Sometimes I put a little vicks under my nose to mask the smell.

My mom used to say, "there's men who shower before work, "and there's men who shower after work.

"The men who shower before work have more money, but they're sadder too."

Some of them don't want to have s*x.

They just want me to listen to them.

They're the saddest.

Polly isn't your real name, is it?

No.

What is your real name?

I don't want to tell you that.

Okay.

Tell me why you chose Polly.

Polly was my imaginary friend growing up.

She always protected me.

So when a trick wants to...

Tie me down... Give me a facial or a golden shower, it's not happening to me.

It's happening to Polly.

Young girls need to hear your story.

They do.

You know how many young girls just like you have been kidnapped and enslaved or beaten and drugged, made dependent on men, who take their power, their souls, their freedom?

Use my show as your platform.

Tell your story.

How much do you pay?

We don't.

We're a news program, so we don't pay for stories.

Did someone on your staff tell you you'd be getting paid for this?

Well, no.

Um... If people like Katy Perry get paid for their stories...

Yes, they do.

I'm not looking for $1 million or anything, but my story should be worth something.

No, it is, and while we can't pay you money, what we can do is put you in contact with social services...

Polly: Have you been listening to me?

It's always about the money.

You could save some young girl's life.

Come on. Go get in the car.

No, wait, just wait.

Move when I tell you to move.

Wait, hold on. Polly.

Polly, wait. Oh, okay, I'll buy her.

I'll buy her. How much? How much?

Man: All right, 20,000.

Okay, so, I can have her for $20,000?

Yep.

Okay, just let me get my checkbook, and I'll be...

Checkbook?

I'll come right back.

Bitch, please, what you think this is, hoes r us?

No, no, no, no, wait, just a second, just a second.

No, if you just... Just leave her here with me, I will go get the money; It's a lot of cash...

Do you have the cash now?

No, I don't have it on me, but just leave her...

Go get your ass in the car.

I'm good for it.

Get your ass in the car.

Well, my first pimp, jace, he was beautiful.

You know, beautiful, beautiful. You don't know.

He had one of thos real tight curly afros, like one of those... those guys from the black power movement in the 60s.

Black power.

You know, he met me outside of the laundromat on lyndon boulevard, and he gave me some change for my dryer.

You know, that was it.

He turned me out.

He never hit me or beat me or made me have s*x with him, except for that one time, you know...

I came up short, at the end of the night.

Hey.

Hey, what are you doing here?

Well, same as you.

There is work to be done.

No, I mean, why aren't you out with Eric doing what... newly out of the closet gay men do?

Uh-oh.

Eric and I have parted ways.

What?

Yeah.

Baby, what happened?

It was ugly.

Spending time at your place gave him time to figure it out and think about our relationship.

Said he and I didn't have one, and you and I... did.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

How the... how the hell did I get brought into the middle of this?

All I ever did was support you guys.

Mary Jane, he's right.

How do you figure?

The s*x was better than good.

The guy was talented, but during the daylight hours, we were just marking time, sometimes getting beneath the surface, but no real depth.

Maybe because I was straddling the fence.

But you just came out to your parents.

Doesn't that mean anything?

Of course.

But look who I shared it with.

Right.

So...

I am going to be pouring a balvenie 21-year-old in my office if you want to join me.

I will be right there.

Thanks for being my beard...

And my friend.

You're welcome.

Oh, how did your, uh, interview go?

Mary Jane: It came, and it went, which is now why I'm finding her replacement.

I love how you never give up.

Never.

See you in a minute.

Woman: ♪ what did you do ♪
♪ Wonder where your heart came from ♪
♪ What have you done ♪

Woman: You know, he's like, "it's my money," and, uh, and then he hit me, and I woke up in this real dirty apartment.

It was pitch black, and he just...

He had these two guys hold me down on the bed while he raped me.

Dial "work in progress."

[Female voice via phone] Calling "work in progress."

[Line trilling]

♪ ♪

Hello?

Hey, niecy, it's me.

I was just checking on you.

All is well.

Your kitchen is clean, and I just put the kids down.

Alarm on?

Yep.

You know, everything's gonna be fine, okay?

Okay.

No, I'm serious.

You're gonna figure everything out, and we're gonna be right here to help you, okay?

Okay.

All right.

I love you.

I'll be home in a minute.

I love you too.

Bye.

Woman: ♪ keep ♪
♪ On ♪
♪ Keep ♪
♪ The strain ♪