You have to give it to show creator Issa Rae, it’s only season two of “Insecure” and she’s is not afraid to leave her lead characters in an ugly place as it relates to their intimate relationship choices. All three of them, Issa (Issa Rae), Molly (Yvonne Orji), and Lawrence (Jay Ellis) appear to be in that stuck place in life, repeating bad patterns, which, as the title of the series implies are rooted in a place of insecurity.
The show opens with Issa and Daniel back together again, which at first glance appears to be okay. Issa is having fun, in her declared hoe phase. Not a thing wrong with that.
When Molly responds with wariness to the news of Issa linking back up with Daniel, she pushes back with her “hoetation” list, which includes “neighbor bae” and an upcoming Tinder-generated date with a Latino gentleman named Nico (Diego Serrano).
The date with Nico ends on a to-be-continued note so it will be interesting to see if his Latino background will play into the ongoing face off Issa is experiencing with her co-worker, Frieda (Lisa Joyce), over what should be done about the principal they’re working with who favors black students over Latino students.
On a side note, there’s an argument to be made that the very concept of a hoe phase is sort of silly. Putting aside the many people who aren’t at all interested in casual sex, most of the serial monogomists who aren’t taking temporary celibate passes are in a series of non-serious relationships until they’re not. Making a conscious decision to become a hoe likely will have the same outcome as attempting to become a taller person. In other words, trying to alter complex human behavior whose patterns were laid down in early childhood is hard.
From another angle, oh well, it’s a TV show not real life and how amazing is it that black women are being shown embracing an array of sexual relationships without judgement!
In addition to her hoeing goals, the episode reveals Issa’s financial situation is bad enough that she has to limit how much gas she puts in her car. Shortly after gassing up, she proceeds to back-end a car because she’s busy being taken aback by a dick pic (yes, an actual, healthy-sized dick is shown) from a Tinder random.
In one of several “Oh Issa…” moments, the first person she calls after the accident is Daniel (Y’Lan Noel). Granted, she’s making the call to let him know she has to cancel their plans, but he immediately offers to rescue her and she lets him.
Rule No. 1 of supposedly no muss, no fuss relationships: You cannot allow your side person to rescue you in a crisis. It’s akin to inviting them to a wedding or expecting anything more than a sleepover for that matter.
Issa is afforded a couple of points because at least she pushes back when Daniel goes in for the soulful “you know I got you” hug, but it matters not because it’s now clear they’re on separate pages, spelling trouble ahead. (Style moment: We see you costume designer, Ayanna James, putting Daniel in a Supreme Geto Boys hoodie from the spring 2017 collection!)
Whether or not Daniel is only a member of Issa’s hoetation, Lawrence is (insecurely) interpreting it as otherwise after coming a cross a picture of the two on a mutual friend’s social media feed. Enter in the regret stage of the break up, spurred in part by the reappearance of Daniel, but also the crash of his rebound exercise with Tasha plus the emptiest of sex with two coke-loving white girls in episode four.
In a drink meet up with Tiffany’s (Amanda Seales) husband, Derek (Wade Allain-Marcus), Lawrence receives a reality check when he’s told, “Honestly, this all ain’t on Issa. You spent two years unemployed, not doing shit. Letting your woman take care of you. Kinda left the door open…”
And this is how breakups work. You think you have it all figured out and were oh-so-certain that your ex was the worst and then your anger subsides and the internal debate begins, allowing room for nostalgia to creep in. As Lawrence sits in silence, it’s easy to imagine he’s mulling, “Maybe it wasn’t all her?”
Molly’s situation opens with a visit to her law firm’s Chicago office where she has a cute exchange with black colleague Quentin (Lil Rel Howery), who has her thinking more deeply about why she’s putting up with such a hostile work environment back in Los Angeles. “You have options,” he tells her. The wheels are clearly turning in Molly’s brain and though she may struggle in her personal life, she has shown her IQ as it relates to work world is hella high.
The episode also provides a deeper look at Molly through introductions to her brothers, Jerome (Malcolm David Kelley) and Curtis (Richard Nevels), plus her mother (L. Scott Caldwell) and father (Gregg Daniel), who are renewing their vows at a home ceremony attended by family, friends and neighbors, who include her childhood friend and prom date, Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson).
Molly has her own “Oh Molly…” moment when she brings Lionel (Sterling K. Brown) as a date, a move that is inexplicable given the deeply personal nature of the event plus all indications she’s not all that interested in Mr. Check Off The Boxes.
Then again, one can forgive because who among us hasn’t forced along a relationship in the name of giving it a chance to spark? Hello Lawrence agreeing to attend Tasha’s family barbecue!
At the event, Molly discovers she was the last to know her father once cheated on her mother. From the audience point of view it seems like not that big of a deal given the enduring nature of their relationship (35 years!), but the discovery shatters what must have been a dreamworld fantasy of her parent’s marriage and she leaves in a huff with Dro running to pick up the pieces.
In the last episode, the charmingly adorable Dro attempted to pull Molly into the web of his open marriage, but she begged off, a moment one could practically hear viewers collectively cheering. He’s cute, yes, but not THAT cute and obviously there are plenty of far less complicated fish in the sea than him.
One single episode later, and Issa’s view on loyalty has crumbled and in a moment of weakness, she pulls Dro into her home and the episode closes with his exposed backside (yes to male nudity!) putting in his best work with Molly. Her decision made in a moment of weakness opens up half a dozen questions that didn’t even matter before, including and especially whether Dro was being completely honest about the nature of his open marriage.
Check out episode two playlist below along with a preview of episode six, plus Rae’s “Wine Down” with actor Jackson, who discusses what went through his mind before he filmed the final scene with Molly. He also revealed he is a Team Lawrence ambassador.
Episode Six Preview