'The Game' Recap: 'Skeletons/The Truth Pact' (5.01/5.02)
The Game is back for its fifth season, after season four was both record-setting and sometimes uneven. Which one would season five be? Maybe even both?
As with the opener last season, our teaser is full of important information: Melanie and Derwin still have to talk about her abortion, there's a body in someone's garage, and Jason and I would both like to know when the hell he got married. Drinking too much will do that to you, my friend.
Twelve hours before all that nonsense, Mel and Derwin are leaving the doctor's office that we left them in at the end of last season. They run into her ex "McHottie" outside the hospital, and Derwin is not amused by him in the slightest. "Any more of your past going to come back and haunt us today?" he asks Mel.
Jason is post-fling with some choice words about new Sabers QB Quan Kirkland; the woman's name is Gloria, and she wants him to go to a friend's wedding with her, but he balks, because he's Jason. Jason is unabashedly my favorite character on the show, but there are still times when I just want to smack him upside the head, presuming I could reach that high.
Meanwhile, Malik is intent on taking care of Jenna (Tika Sumpter), over Tasha's vehement objections, but that part shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. What is a pleasant surprise is Malik giving a damn about someone other than himself. "What did I tell you about bringing home half-dead supermodels?" she snaps, but it's clear she's got a lot more than that on her mind.
Derwin apologizes for making Mel feel bad, and says he's sorry for letting her go through things alone. "I should have known you were pregnant back then. I saw how much weight you gained. No one gains that much weight freshman year," he says, which is funny in a really awkward way. The awkwardness only continues as they run into Trey Wiggs and his new family, and Derwin ends up inviting them over.
Later that night, Tasha deals with Jenna's "personal concierge" (Jennifer Coolidge), which is a really weird way of saying "armed drug dealer." She and Malik end up wandering through the woods looking for their new houseguest, which serves as the perfect opportunity for Malik to admit that he loves Jenna. He finds her soon thereafter, which brings us back to the scene from the teaser. She's nearly dead, but the dealer comes back and injects her with one huge needle.
Jason goes to a bar, where he runs off at the mouth again. Chardonnay (singer-actress Brandy Norwood) is behind the bar and is not impressed, telling him to get out. Turns out she's the one that gets out, as she gets fired. Sometime after that, he's not happy that daughter Brittany's new boyfriend has a female-sounding name and happens to be white. Never mind that so is Brittany's mother.
Melanie tells Derwin that the abortion didn't happen in college and that the baby she aborted wasn't his; it happened when they were separated and the child was Trey's. Derwin tries to leave, but she won't let him, so they have a fight about him cheating on her with Drew Sidora and her constantly having skeletons fall out of her proverbial closet. "Now that you know, I just want to move on," she says tearfully, but that's not enough to make him stay.
Jason feels bad about getting Chardonnay fired, and tries to apologize to her. The next thing he knows, he's waking in Mexico, doing the worst Spanish accent ever, and she's calling him her husband. How long will it take him to squirm out of that? The resulting argument does force him to discuss his racial issues, such as having been called white by a number of black women (and let's not forget his coach once). "You can't punish all black women because of a few users," she tells him. "What I hope to do is be more open-minded in the future," he replies, which might be the most thoughtful thing he's said in awhile.
All of the above has made for one really busy night for our cast of characters. Morning comes around and Tasha decides to stick by her family, paying off Jenna's drug dealer if only so the woman will get off her couch. "Don't you make me regret choosing you, Malik," she says. He tells her that he's taking Jenna back to rehab.
Melanie and Derwin throw DJ's birthday party. Jason arrives still wearing his wedding band. Malik shows up, but Tasha doesn't. Mel is very cognizant of how she's DJ's stepmother and not his mom. Trey turns up, and Derwin knocks him out in the driveway. You have to feel for Trey, since he doesn't know about Melanie's abortion.