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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With Mary Jane's own dysfunction life familiar to us now, the time has
come to spread things amongst her family a bit more. Now, we know about
her niece Niecy's situation, to a point, but in this episode we focus
on Niecy's dad Patrick. A man who seemingly once had it all, and was on
Mary Jane's level in the Club/ Restaurant world, but now is a shell of
his former self.
Topic 1: Addiction
Two addictions are talked about in "The Huxtables Have Fallen" and the first one is Mary Jane's addiction which is Andre. As Andre plays his wife and Mary Jane for fools, even after everyone knowing the situation, now it seems Mary Jane's family is about to know. You see, proving this show is a bit ratchet, the episode itself starts with us seeing Mary Jane on her knees giving Andre fellatio, and Patrick catching them. Then, to make things worse, Patrick and Andre know each other from back Patrick was one of the top men in Atlanta. So, with this information hanging over Mary Jane's head, the thought of finally dropping Andre is slightly put into motion. She deletes his number, and even tries to see if Patrick can help her, despite him originally teasing her secret in front of their family.
But, while Mary Jane fights her addiction of being with Andre, Patrick has his own worries. It has been around 2 years since Patrick lost everything, and seemingly the only thing he kept was an addiction to cocaine. But, with the family having a celebration for him being two years sober, seemingly he kicked the bad habit. Thus leading to Mary Jane looking to her brother to help her kick hers. So, to help his sister he takes her to their Aunt Toni's (played by Lorraine Toussaint who plays Stef's mother on The Fosters).
At said house, we meet some of Mary Jane's extended family, including an uncle who thinks it is appropriate to squeeze Mary Jane's behind. But, the most important part of this visit is showing Aunt Toni as a sort of polar figure to Helen; showing her as Patrick's, unofficial, sponsor; as well as showing how despite Mary Jane's desire for a family, kids, and so much more, she often neglects the one she has. And perhaps, the best part of the episode is seeing another strong relationship in Mary Jane's life which seemingly has a great amount of influence on her.
Topic 2: The Difficulty of Change
But, despite it seeming both Mary Jane and Patrick maybe on their way toward their own sobriety, both falter. Mary Jane ends the episode with Andre, and we watch Patrick do lines of coke. But, for both people, as we see there is a wanting for freedom, we are also reminded of the chains that keep them addicted. For Patrick, that chain is the fact that he was big once, and would like to be big again, but lacks the financial support to do so. And though he could ask Mary Jane for money, he got big without her, and seemingly wants to again on his own, much less it seems he doesn't want to ruin their bonding over their addictions with a request for money.
As for Mary Jane, what pushes her over seemingly is a story she gets on a woman who was found in her apartment after being dead for 3 years. Now, this story is based on a documentary which came out a few years ago, but it is used for this episode to present that fear of dying alone Mary Jane has. You see, with Patrick knowing Mary Jane's secret, he has the type of material which could ruin how her family sees her. After all, Mary Jane to them is how she was originally presented to us. A young woman who has everything together. But, not only would this shatter their image of her, but considering what Helen and the rest say about adultery, as Patrick tortures his little sister, you can tell that part of her reason for trying to get clean came from that story.
Leading to the last topic, which is Mark's show. As Mark proclaims, despite his ratings, he has been a reporter who has interviewed many top tier names in American culture, and because of that bit of prestige, he doesn't want to change. If anything, his ego keeps him from seeing fault in his program and he sees more fault in his viewers. But, Kara reminds him that the viewers are the only way he keeps a job. So, after a little back and forth, Mark accepts he has to adapt and Kara seems to want him to keep his solid stories angle, but liven it up.
As we continue through the season, personally I'm glad we got an episode away from Mary Jane's relationship drama. For, as with most shows which utilize love triangles, trying to understand how fools fall in love gets tiring. Luckily though, while the Andre situation is part of the story, it allowed us in this episode to get to know Patrick and see some of the things he is dealing with. And I hope as the show continues, it keeps trying to balance the three-way drama with other aspects of Mary Jane's life which are infinitely more interesting.
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