For the second week in a row on The Game, the episode title is incredibly appropriate; last week saw Malik check himself into rehab. That’s obviously his crisis, but what’s going on in the lives of Derwin and Jason that would make that title need to be plural? Well, there’s no Jason for the second straight week, but Derwin has plenty of drama to make up for his absence.
We open with Tasha, Kelly and Melanie doing shots at Tasha’s house, and Mel is unhappy about Janay, yet again. “I’m so sick of her putting her stupid hooks in Derwin,” she complains, getting little sympathy from her girlfriends. She’s worried about how the stress might affect Derwin, who is…completely not stressed while spending time with his son. Yet when they’re reunited later on, he admits that he’s had another rough day in court, which is making his temper run hot. He doesn’t have a choice, however, calling it “a delicate situation” he has to go through in order to see DJ. Talk about doing a one-eighty. Or is there something more going on?
Tasha is having dinner with Dante, who calls her “an expensive girl” as they’re going out to dinner quite often. She replies that it doesn’t matter as she has plenty of money, but he corrects that she’s wasting it. “You’re missing the point,” he informs her. “You’re successful, but you don’t have to throw it in everyone’s face. That’s not the point.” Tasha reacts badly to this, which causes a very public fight between them and leads him to storm off.
Things seem perfectly fine between Derwin and Janay, until he brings up taking DJ to Disneyland that weekend; she balks because she doesn’t want Melanie near her son. Derwin lies and says that Melanie will be at a medical seminar instead of at the theme park with them. Janay says that Melanie isn’t even a doctor, and Derwin eventually quips that “she likes to pretend,” which leads us to see that he isn’t above poking fun at his wife to smooth things over with the mother of his child. Oh, so that’s what’s up. It’s a bit of a dirty play, but at the same time, I feel for him as I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the middle of what seems like a permanent catfight between Melanie and Janay. I’m not saying what he’s doing is right, but perhaps if those two would calm down and grow up, he wouldn’t feel like he needs to be so underhanded.
Tee Tee is back at work in the Cluck Truck and having a chat with Juvon when Derwin arrives. Juvon overhears that Derwin is ordering Janay lunch and tries to make more of the situation than it is, which leads Tee Tee to start asking questions as well. If only the girls were as observant as the guys…but Melanie’s eyes are about to get opened in a hurry.
The girls are out at lunch, where Tasha gloats over her confrontation with Dante and mocks Melanie while she’s at it. Kelly interrupts and points out that money equals power (and she would know, as she was married to Jason), meaning that Tasha has more power because he makes more money. Watching this exchange and Tasha’s attitude during it, I can definitely see where Malik gets that self-righteous, arrogant streak of his that infuriates me sometimes, because she’s annoying me too.
Melanie feels the need to declare that she’s the boss of her relationship with Derwin. So, on cue, Kelly spots Janay and Tasha draws attention to them, forcing Mel to go over and talk to the mother of her husband’s child. She attempts yet another apology for her actions this season, but lets slip that she’s grateful that Janay let DJ come to Disneyland with herself and Derwin. Once Janay hears that she’s coming, she says that Derwin never mentioned Melanie being there, and that she and Derwin haven’t seen the inside of a courthouse, ever. She reveals that Derwin has been spending time over at her house with DJ. This only causes Melanie to explode all over again and use a certain five-letter word very loudly before storming off.
Derwin comes home and Melanie catches him in another lie, before she shows him video of him at Janay’s house, forcing him to explain himself. Except we don’t get to hear the explanation. Instead, we cut to Tasha and Dante, who’ve apparently made up, at least until she insults his video game. This starts a whole other argument where he finally unloads, telling her that she needs to “turn it down a notch” and that “it can’t always be about you.” That finally seems to get through to her, and all seems to be well with them for now.
What’s happened to Derwin? He arrives at Janay’s house, calling her out for posting that video on an Internet gossip site and wanting to break up her marriage. She, in turn, accuses him of trying to do the same thing. “What have I done?” she demands, saying that she’s done nothing wrong. She goes on a spiel that makes it clear she believes herself to be a victim, and that makes me laugh, and not in a good way. I don’t think anyone is blameless in the situation, and it’s not Derwin’s fault that he’s trying to make everyone happy in what already began as a difficult dynamic. After getting reamed by her, he goes home to Melanie, who’s equally upset but willing to work on their relationship.
Tasha visits Malik in rehab (“It’s rehab, not prison,” he tells her), and finally tells him about Dante. “I think I’m in love,” she admits. At least someone is taking a step forward.
“Men In Crisis” is an improvement over last week’s episode, if only because I actually laughed a few times this week after not finding much of last week very funny at all. It does, however, make me understand fans’ concerns about the way these characters are going. It does seem that there’s a lot more drama, and some more backhanded behavior by characters, in this season than I remember there being in previous ones. There’s more fighting and more angst, and characters have no problem turning the screws on each other (especially if the preview for next week is any indication).
The narrative is starting to feel disjointed under the pressure. What was great about this show before was that through everything, we understood that these people loved each other and saw how they all came together; now, it seems more like we’re telling separate stories about individual drama. These last few episodes have been pretty serious, and even I am hoping the show lightens up a bit more. At this rate, season four may be even more serious than season three, and I’m not sure that’s a good trend; some drama is great, but comedy is what this show started as and what many of us fell in love with. While I still love The Game, I miss how it used to make me feel excited about life, love and friendship.
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(c)2011 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved.