Has Niecy learned anything through the entire ordeal of her tasing and the months that followed?
After catching up with her on Being Mary Jane Season 4 Episode 5, I'd have to say it's a mixed bag.
It's still hard reconciling Niecy's life with that of a 22-year-old girl given her very adult responsibilities as a mother of two children. If I can't do that, how can she?
In theory, we took a break from Mary Jane, as she and PJ became more of a Greek chorus, weighing in whenever necessary to remind us of the title of the series.
It worked out well, and I'd had just enough time to miss the Patterson family that seeing them again was a wonderful gift even under the strained circumstances.
The opening was worrisome, paving the way for things to get off to a shocking start. Niecy was still spending lavishly and hadn't bothered with a trust for her children. Her girlfriends were appreciative of the attention but also concerned.
They didn't like knowing she was pinning any hopes on Dante, who repeatedly let their friend down, nor did they think it was a good idea to throw her money around when she hadn't yet made any solid plans.
Then again, Niecy also later admitted to loaning them some cash, too, so they were speaking from a cozy place of comfort.
There's no arguing the point that Niecy has some hot buttons that get her fire burning. She's very easily manipulated both in love and war. Learning some breathing techniques before making a move might be helpful.
Alas, she didn't have any while at the club and was kicked out on her ass.
There's no accounting for the nastiness that comes from those situations. Why people feel the need to call each other names and immediately post every reaction to social media is a new phenomenon people have to live with now.
It heightens every matter into one of more importance and leads to tragedy. In Niecy's case, she couldn't help but take the bait (over and over again), landing herself in hot water with regard to her settlement.
The texts were flying so quickly on the screen (which is also how it goes down in real life, by the way), that I didn't even catch she was tweeting about her tasing incident. Given the flashbacks to spending instead of investing, flags on the play should have been thrown right away.
The real pity of it all was how it affected her family.
Helen was so excited to see Deja inducted into Jack and Jane, but her friends turned on her as if Helen had been brawling in the club herself.
Helen's first line of attack was to talk to Niecy about what her behavior is doing to the family.
Niecy: You act like I asked to be tased grandma.
Helen: Truth be told, Niecy, I had hoped this would be a wake-up call for you and that you would start acting more maturely. Sadly, you have proved it not to be so.
That goes back to the trigger. NOBODY deserves to be tased, and the incident was horrific. But you also don't walk toward a cop in anger after being pulled over no matter your race. I am sure I'm going to catch flack for that, but I wouldn't do it for fear of arrest.
My cousin spent his youth in juvenile detention for his inability to play nice with the local cops, so I've always been scared to death of doing something out of sorts. I've never understood those who hope to talk themselves out of any situation in that area.
Paul: Is Jack and Jane really that important to you, Helen?
Helen: Yes, Paul! When I joined, it was about assimilating into the white world. But now, it's about identity. OUR identity. Being proud of being black.
As Helen gave it time to sink in, she began to realize what Jack and Jane meant to her and the family. It's far more than a group, it's part of their identity and that of the community they live in.
She also realized she expected much more from them. She was very impressive addressing the group of friends, standing up for what she believed.
When Niecy received her summons, she stood on her own, too, and proved to Helen she's come a lot further than the family may realize.
Niecy is still only 22. She wants love and doesn't want to raise two kids on her own. But that's the path she chose for herself. Nobody else can walk it with her. Trying to rope in Dante only worked as long as she could tease him with gifts.
Paul: You bought that deadbeat a car?
Niecy: He's been there for me, Isabelle and Treyvion. He's been tryin'!
Patrick: Yeah, right, now that he has the car, has he still been trying? I ask you again, now that he has the car, has he still been tryin'? Yeah, that's what I thought.
It was heartbreaking hearing Treyvion ask why he couldn't be a family with Isabelle and Marquee. I thought maybe that was the moment it would all click for Niecy, that she'd realize the responsibility she has for her kids to ensure their happiness.
And in a way, she does.
The look on Trey's face when they were doing figure eights in the parking lot was of sheer joy. It was something only him and his mommy were going to have forever.
And then Niecy kind of ruined the moment by showing her youth again.
I am a single black mother of two who hasn't always made the best decisions, and I ain't goin' away silently. Cause see, I'm a black woman who had the nerve to speak her voice, and that's why this bitch got tased.Niecy
Speaking her mind wasn't the issue. Someday maybe she'll understand that.
I hope she finds peace in what has happened to her and learns to deal with her trigger points, so she doesn't find herself tossed into the street after spending another night with her friends.
There's a time to speak your mind and a time to let things go for the sake of your family and your future. You can always talk about it, blog about it, etc., when you're in a safer environment.
Agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts.
If you have missed any of the season, watch Being Mary Jane online!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.