03x03 - Sparrow

Previously on Being Mary Jane...

You need some rest right now.

Tell me how bad it is.

We have got the best plastic surgeon in the country.

You're gonna be all right.

Did his pen1s enter in any hole in your body?

David is almost like family.

You're like family.


[shower water running]




[violin music]



[wine glass clatters]

[typing on keyboard]

[cell phone buzzing]

[cell phone buzzing]


[knock at door]

[knocking louder]

Mary Jane: Ugh, he won't stop calling me.

Look, let me show you how I get rid of my trade, girl, you know what I'm saying?

All right, so go to a recent call, right?


All right?

And then you go to the little I right next to the numbers.


And then voilà and you block the caller.


Thank you.

Yes, indeed, mama.

[phone ringing]

Mary Jane: Yes, Niecy, what's up?

Hey, Auntie, um...

[clearing throat]

Can you come over, please?

Okay, tell me what happened.

Helen: [sobbing]

Mary Jane: Niecy, hello.

Niecy, is my mom okay?

Yeah. Yeah.

Okay, then what is it?

It's... it's Lisa.

What are you thinking, MJ?

I think I need a drink. Want one?

You're not allowed drinking, remember?

Passed around a memo. We signed it and everything.


I cleaned out the desk, too.

I see this.



What about your family?

What about 'em?

You should go be with them.

At least you should go see your mom.

I will.


Who are you texting?

I have someone up for the weekend, Mary Jane.

So you need to go.

No. No. I'll be fine.

Mark will understand.

Mark, huh?

He's cute.

He's French.

So, you just said he's only in town for the next 48 hours.


I'm staying. I'm all right.

Seriously, I'll be fine.

And so will I.


Mary Jane, it doesn't feel right just leaving you like this.

Let me go check in and I'll... I'll come right back.

Mary Jane: Handle your business, okay?

I'm fine.

Are you sure?

Mary Jane: Yeah. I'm fine.

♪ It seems a shame ♪
♪ 'Cause it's not too far ♪
♪ To guide me through ♪
♪ And it's times ♪
♪ Like these ♪
♪ And there's daylight ♪
♪ It seems a shame ♪
♪ 'Cause it's not too far ♪
♪ To guide me through ♪
♪ And it's times ♪
♪ Like these ♪

[cell phone buzzing]

♪ And there's daylight ♪
♪ Been a long time coming ♪
♪ But I'm falling short ♪
♪ It seems a shame ♪
♪ 'Cause it's not too far ♪
♪ To guide me through ♪
♪ Been a long time coming ♪
♪ But I'm falling short ♪
♪ It seems a shame ♪
♪ 'Cause it's not too far ♪
♪ To guide me through ♪
♪ Not too far ♪
♪ To guide me through ♪
♪ Not too far ♪
♪ To guide me through ♪
♪ You took something ♪
♪ Away from yourself ♪
♪ Come back to this world ♪
♪ And take your heart ♪
♪ To higher self ♪
♪ Heart to higher self ♪
♪ Not too far ♪
♪ To guide you through ♪
♪ Because you took ♪
♪ Something away from yourself ♪
♪ Come back to this world ♪
♪ And take your heart ♪
♪ To higher self ♪
♪ To your higher self ♪
♪ Because you took ♪
♪ Something away from yourself ♪
♪ Come back to this world ♪
♪ And take your heart ♪
♪ To higher self ♪

Kara: Hey.

Mary Jane: Hey.

Lisa died?


Why didn't you tell me?

I'm so sorry.

Well, uh, you had Prime Time, so, you know, it's a big deal.

So what?

Bigger than this? Are you kidding me?

I would have dropped it for you. You know that.

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry.

I know how close you were.

You must be so devastated, baby.

I'm... yeah, I'm just trying to make sense of it all.


Well, I mean... I remember you told me about some of her issues, but suicide?

I mean, did you think it would ever come to that?

Oh, God...

I don't know.

Oh, my gosh...

Mary Jane: Now, obviously, the circumstances were a little... different.

But I think, knowing Lisa, I think she would prefer that we celebrate her life as opposed to crying over it.

Would she, though?

I mean, Lisa wants pageantry.

Mary Jane: Can we just drink, please?

You know you're on your meds.

Not anymore.

Oh, God, do you guys remember the time Lisa got drunk, threw out all her hot combs, bought a ticket to Kenya, and came back with twists?

All: [laughing]

Boy, do I.

My God, she wore that hairstyle out.

That was a mess.

She said it attracted lesbians.

Do you know that when I met her, I thought she was a lesbian?

Because of the twists?


She used to stare me in the eye.

It was like very weird.

And I heard that when lesbians are picking you up, they do that.

What? Where did you hear that from?

Some lesbian.

I did.

Remind me not to look you in the eye.

All: [laughing]

That was a thing.

You're crazy, girl.

Oh, God...


So, why was Lisa in Kenya?

She had volunteered for the Samburu Project.

They built wells.

That was her way of giving back.

She said, uh, "to whom much is given, much is required."

We should invite them to the service.

I think Lisa would really like that.

Kara, can you... can you call for me?

Yeah, absolutely. I don't mind it, you know?

Anything you need me to do, Mary Jane?

Oh... [sighing]

Boys and Girls Club. She was a mentor there. Can you...

I'm on it.

For the love of philanthropy, how did she have time to do all of this?

I can barely remember to brush my damn teeth.

What kind of service are you thinking about?

Uh, she was... Buddhist?


I thought she was Catholic this whole time.

No, she just liked that the services were short and you could wear jeans.

Unh-unh. No. She used to go to AME with me.

No. She was just constantly searching for something.

The girl was a Methodist.


First of all, Black people don't kill themselves.

That's what "They" did. I mean, come on, you guys.

Okay, granted, we might have, you know, been suffering from a lot of other things, but we took pride in the fact that no matter how hard things got, we didn't do that.

I used to wear that like a badge of honor.

Me, too.

I pinned it right next to my "Strong Black Woman" badge.

We ain't strong no more cause we're dying off in plain sight.

What happened to us?

Yeah, but you know what?

That's the problem is that people see suicide as a weakness.

It's an illness, you guys.

I beg to differ.

No, it really is.

Yeah, and the medications they're peddling are the gun.


Not all medications are bad.

Kara, are you serious?


You know the numbers.

How many stories have we done about serotonin inhibitors and their connection to suicide?

Yeah, but the numbers also swing in the opposite direction, MJ.

Not all medication is bad.

Come on. In fact, we know, and don't know people that are functioning quite well on the best drugs their PPO can offer.

Life is hard, man.

Sometimes people need a little help to cope, you know?

There's nothing wrong with that.

I can't believe she's gone.

Yeah, you talk to David?

No. Why?

Because he found her body.

David: So, um...

How's the funeral being... handled?

Cause I'll pay for it.

Mary Jane: It's already been taken care of.

So, you saw her?

I did.

Why were you even there... if you don't mind me asking?

I don't.


I was checking on her because she hadn't answered my calls since...

How are you doing?


Fine... all things considered.

If you need anything...

I won't.


Helen: We kill her.

We wouldn't talk to her and she needed to talk.


Helen: We killed her.


We did.



That's all you have to say?

No, Mom, that's not all I have to say.

I have quite a bit to say, actually, about Lisa's burial outfit and what flowers that we should have at her service and, I don't know, who we should invite.

I have a lot to say, and I have a lot to do to make sure that my friend is buried with respect and decency, so forgive me if I don't have time to co-host a pity party with you, Mom.

Well, I've already spoken with her family and I'm sure that the arrangements are underway.


Well, they had a right to know.

You know Lisa hadn't spoken to them in over 15 years.

Why would you do that?

Every mother has the right to know.

Let me get... let me get this straight. So, you're laying here in mock mourning over the fact that you think we didn't do enough to prevent Lisa's death.

But you think inviting the very people who planted the seed to her pain...

It was the right thing to do.

What does that even mean, Mom?

People always say that when they do something that... that only makes sense to them, it's like when you're on the phone with a customer service rep and you're... you're trying to get a straight answer and they just keep talking nonsense and then finally they say, "Ma'am, I'm sorry. It's company policy."

So... so... so... sorry, Mom, But I don't think inviting the people who... who helped destroy Lisa should be company policy.

It's not right.

Then what is our excuse?

And I did try calling you first, but you didn't answer, remember?

You're always too busy.

Now I guess if I had been able to reach you, we could have had this productive exchange then.

So, you're punishing me for being busy.

Well, I didn't realize that making a phone call would feel like a punishment.

But I am sorry that I was unable to reach you when I called you and it's caused you so much distress.

Hi, Auntie. Still want me to come with you?

[baby crying]


I hear you, baby. I'm coming.

Niecy: You all right, Auntie? Auntie?

Mary Jane: Can you believe my mom?

She went behind my back to call Lisa's parents.

I mean, look, they can come.

But that doesn't mean I have to deal with them.

And as far as the funeral arrangements are concerned, I'm in control of that.

So their input won't be necessary or accepted.

Niecy: It's all a shame, Auntie.

[doorbell ringing]

[doorbell ringing]

Hi, Mary Jane.


I remember when I took this picture.

You all were in the third grade.

We were in the fourth grade.

No, this picture was taken at her 9th birthday party.

No, that, uh...

Alexis Hillman was bullying me in the 4th grade and that picture was taken on the day that Lisa threatened to punch her if she didn't stop bothering me...

4th grade.

So, I think, um, to respect her privacy, we don't need to divulge the details of her death.

I'm glad you feel that way.

I, uh...

I told the rest of the family she... that it was due to health complications and no one has asked any questions, thankfully.

All right, well, I'll do a Facebook post.

I'm sure that sounds tacky and impersonal, but in this day and age it's just the fastest way to get the news out before her service so she has a good turnout.

Another idea I've been thinking over.

You knew her better than anyone and so it only seems right that you would say a few words at her home-going celebration.

Yeah, I don't... I don't know If I'm...

Mary Jane, you weren't the sister she never had... you "were" her sister.

So, please?

Please, say you'll do this?

Lisa's stepfather: Baby, time to go!

Charles is not coming to her service.

Mary Jane, not now.

It is an insult to Lisa's memory to have that man at her service.


We put all of that behind us.

Uh, Lisa apparently did not as she hadn't spoken to either one of you in years.




What are y'all in here whispering about?

It's impolite to whisper.

It makes me think you guys might be talking about me.


Look, let's get out of her hair cause obviously she's got some issues.

She's being very rude.

Charles, we've all been through a lot.

Look, it's either me or him, but I'm... I will not be at a service if...

Hey, hold on a second.

I will not be at a service beside this man's ass, okay?

You're not just gonna talk around me!

Charles, please? Let's go.

Why don't you let me know by 9:00 o'clock what you decide you're gonna do.

Better hurry. He's getting away.

[heavy sigh]


She has to be there.

People will talk, if she's not.

Let them talk.

You're so weak like that. I can't stand that in you.


I can't believe you're letting this woman divide our family and dictate who comes to our daughter's service.

I don't wanna argue with you.

Then don't.

You always keep bringing all this stuff up, but you never wanna talk about the fact that your daughter was bi-polar with an over-active imagination.

I don't wanna do this.

Look, she... Lisa was not mentally stable and you know that.

She hurt us when she was alive.

Now she's haunting us from the grave.

I'd like to get her in there, first!

I'm sorry, I'm just...

I'm exhausted.

And I don't want a scene.

So, please, I just need you not to come, okay?



♪ I wish somebody ♪
♪ Would come and ease my... ♪
♪ Troubled mind ♪
♪ Yeah ♪
♪ I wish somebody ♪
♪ Would come and ease my... ♪
♪ Troubled mind ♪
♪ Oh yes I do ♪


D'Aela, not today. Keep still.

♪ Will somebody ♪
♪ Come and ease my... ♪
♪ Troubled mind ♪
♪ Yeah ♪

Oh, ho. Boy, where are you going?

You look great.

♪ Would come and ease my... ♪
♪ Troubled mind ♪
♪ Oh yes I do ♪

Helen, hold it, hold it, hold it.

I'll give you a hand there.

♪ I wish my baby ♪
♪ Would come and tell me ♪
♪ Everything's all right ♪
♪ Yeah ♪
♪ I sure wish my baby ♪
♪ Would come and tell me ♪
♪ Everything ♪
♪ Is still all right ♪
♪ Oh yes I do ♪
♪ They tell me ♪
♪ When you tell somebody ♪
♪ Your troubles ♪
♪ Trouble will ♪
♪ Fly away from you ♪
♪ I'm looking, I'm looking ♪
♪ I'm looking, I'm looking ♪
♪ I'm looking for somebody ♪
♪ I can tell ♪
♪ My troubles to ♪
♪ Why won't somebody ♪
♪ Come and ease my... ♪
♪ Troubled mind ♪
♪ Yeah ♪
♪ I sure wish somebody ♪
♪ Would come and easy my... ♪
♪ Troubled mind ♪
♪ Oh oh oh... ♪

Mary Jane: You know, I couldn't cry at all when I first heard.

It felt so weird, you know?

I got paranoid that, um... the longer...

I didn't cry, the worse it would be when I finally did.

So, I just...

I just kept... trying to hold it inside.

And I got worried, you know? Like...

I knew it was gonna happen.

It was definitely, finally, going to happen when I started writing the eulogy.

But I just... avoided writing it.

You know, I used to procrastinate writing something that really mattered to me.

Instead of writing, I just...


I just stayed up until midnight trying to pick out what dress I was gonna wear today.

And you know how many black dresses I have.

A lot.

I remembered one.

So, when I'm trying on the eighth dress, I just get this weird, intense pain in my chest.

It felt like I'm having like a mini-heart attack.

And I just...

I just start crying.


I couldn't stop... for hours... just... in my closet, laying on the floor, just crying.

Cause Lisa had told me not to buy that dress because it cost too much.

And she was right.

Cause I got it for a cheaper price in another store the next week.

She was right.

That was one of the last times we'd gone shopping together.

We just hung out like real friends and actually had fun.


So now I'm here... eulogizing... a friend I had... barely spoken to... and barely seen... in the year... before she killed herself.

She's in a better place now.

I just realized something.

That's the lamest cliché in the history of the world.

I mean, who really knows if she's in a better place?

Could it be much worse?


I'm sorry.

I guess it's just hard to find the right thing to say at a time like this... for me, at least.

For you, you always seem to find the right thing to say in crunch time, so I'm sure your eulogy will be perfect.


I hope so. I mean... I owe her that much... at least.

It's not your fault. You know that, right?

I'm sorry, what did you say?

I just want you to know it's not your fault.

I know it's not my fault!

Oh, Mary Jane, I didn't mean to say...

No, no, you never mean for it to hurt, David.

It just always does.

Why would you say something like that?

I was just trying to find...

You were just trying to figure out how to get Lisa's money.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

I wasn't the one who screwed her out of her money and her dignity...


...was I?

First of all, I didn't screw Lisa.

Are you really gonna use the Bill Clinton defense?

David, we are in a church.

I'm not using any defense.

I'm just...

You're just...

Look, I'm just trying to...


I'm just...

Yeah, right. What? What, David?

What? What could you possibly have to say, huh?

What do you have to say?

Are you trying to blame me for my friend's suicide because you don't wanna take responsibility for one blow job.

At least I think it was just one.

You... you didn't say, "we."

We could have really done a better job by Lisa.

You said me.

God, you pretended to come here to comfort me, but you really just came to comfort yourself.

I'm out of comfort to give you, David.

I am out of... anything to give you.

I have nothing for you.


[heavy sigh]

[piano music]

♪ Why ♪
♪ Should I ♪
♪ Feel discouraged ♪

Hey, man.

How're you doing?

I'm all right. How are you doing?

I'm good.

I'm really sorry about your sister, Ken. It's terrible.

Thank you.

Why don't you sit with us?

I know my family'd appreciate it.

Uh, thanks, but I don't know if, uh...

Mary Jane: What is he doing here?


What is he doing here?

[clearing throat]

It's time.

And might I remind us all that this is the House of the Lord and everyone is welcome here.

♪ ...my portion ♪
♪ A constant friend is He ♪
♪ For His eye ♪
♪ Is on the sparrow ♪
♪ And I know ♪
♪ He watches over me ♪
♪ I sing ♪
♪ Because ♪
♪ I'm happy ♪
♪ And I... I sing ♪
♪ Because I'm free ♪
♪ Yeah ♪
♪ Oh, His eye ♪
♪ Is on the sparrow ♪
♪ And I know ♪
♪ I know ♪
♪ I know He watches over ♪
♪ Over me ♪

So, yesterday, I, uh, stopped for some coffee and, uh, a guy that worked at the coffee shop, he said, "Good morning. How are you?"

I said, "I'm fine. How are you?"

Cause that's what you say when you go to a coffee shop and somebody says, Hey, how are you?

But I wasn't fine.

I wasn't fine because, um... today, I'm burying my oldest friend.

I realize... that I'm a liar.

I'm a big liar.

And a good liar.

We all are.

We're all just pretending that we're okay when we're really not.


And it's not even like it's enough for just us to lie.

We really expect everyone else to lie, too.

It's like... we're all afraid that the whole world's gonna come falling down... if we're... honest with one another all of the time.

I absolutely now believe that the lies we tell each other, that's what killed my friend, Lisa.

My sister.


So, I know that a lot of you here know that Lisa was originally from Ohio and moved to Atlanta when she was eight and that she was a... a straight "A" student and... graduated from Meharry Medical School.

Lisa was also molested by her stepfather...

...from the time she was 9

Guests: [gasping]

Until the time she was 16.

Lisa's mother: [sobbing]

And she carried that pain...

♪ And how the tears ♪
♪ Ran from my eyes ♪

...with her every day... for the duration of her life.

♪ They didn't fall ♪
♪ Because it hurt me ♪
♪ But if I kept myself ♪
♪ From danger ♪

Her whole life...

♪ This emptiness ♪
♪ Would feel the same ♪

...she was in pain.

♪ I ain't no angel ♪

She also suffered from depression and she suffered from unrequited love and she suffered from the silent treatment...

♪ You see those egg shells ♪

...way too many times.

♪ They're broken up ♪

I should have asked her a thousand times, "How are you?"

Like "How are you?"

But I didn't.

I don't know if I, um...

♪ Did you ever really ♪
♪ Love her ♪

...actually wanted to hear her truth.

I don't think any of us did and now she's gone.

I just wanna say that Lisa touched so many lives.

She literally brought life into the world and I think the best way to celebrate her life is to stop being liars, to actually embrace the truth.

Lisa's mother: [sobbing]

♪ You see those egg shells ♪
♪ They're broken up ♪
♪ A million pieces ♪

Just make sure that you tell everyone that you love... that you will love them... no matter how ugly their truth is.

♪ You can have my heart ♪
♪ My soul, my body ♪

You'll still love 'em.

Lisa's mother: [sobbing]

♪ If you can promise ♪
♪ Not to go away ♪
♪ I ain't no angel ♪
♪ I never was ♪
♪ But I never hurt you ♪
♪ It's not my fault ♪
♪ You see those egg shells ♪
♪ They're broken up ♪
♪ A million pieces ♪
♪ Strewn all ♪
♪ Across the ground ♪

Oh, Lisa... [sobbing]

Gabrielle Union: If you need help, please call the lifeline.