Fans of “Insecure” often complain the show is limited to 30 minutes, but as much as was packed into “Lowkey Thankful,” last night’s episode felt more like an hour long show. Themed on Thanksgiving and its celebration by six different groups of friends and family, the show continued to examine the slow deterioration of Issa Dee (Issa Rae) and Molly Carter’s (Yvonne Orji) friendship while also further developing characters through deeper interactions with the lead characters and their family members and friends.
This episode was set in Lawrence’s POV. I’m curious if you’ll see a… nope I’ve said too much. Keep watching. #insecurehbo— Prentice Penny (@The_A_Prentice) April 27, 2020
According to show runner Prentice Perry, each episode thus far has been designed from the point of view of a different character. Episode one was Issa, two was Molly Carter and the perspective for episode three was Lawrence Walker (Jay Ellis).
From the jump , the writers let the viewer know it’s all about Lawrence with an opening scene showing him giving a practice speech in front of his bathroom mirror.
His new beau, Condola Hayes (Christina Elmore), has spent the night and when Lawrence tries to convince her to stay for one more round, she lets him know she can’t because (significantly) a plumber is scheduled to fix a leak at her home.
Feeling the moment, Lawrence invites Condolence to come with him to his friend’s Thanksgiving Hennessy turkey event and she lets him know she’s already planning her own Friendsgiving event. In a pivotal moment, Lawrence asks, “Do you want me to come?” Seemingly without hesitation, Condola replies, “Sure, I didn’t know you’d want to.”
During the post-show’ “Wine Down” analysis, when Elmore was asked why she didn’t invite him first, she said she saw Condola’s decision as more rooted in fear of vulnerability than not wanting him there. “We haven’t gotten to the point where we’re talking about meeting families or even meeting close friends yet,” she said, adding, “I think we’re both afraid of being vulnerable in that way.”
As to who is catching more feelings, Elmore implies it’s more about timing for Lawrence than being in love when she states, “He’s ready for next steps in his life, rather than, is he ready for next steps with Candola at this moment?”
In a driving scene with the always hilarious Chad (Neil Brown Jr.), Lawrence’s perfect worldview takes a hit when he reveals an investor has pulled out of his tech firm, Meridian, a turn of events leading to layoffs of half the staff. Staying delusional, Lawrence tells Chad he’s more concerned about the loss of potential promotions than scared about losing his job.
The next scene is also pivotal because it provides Condola with an eye-opening view on Lawrence’s relationship with Issa. Shot in Rae’s own Inglewood coffee shop, Find Your Hilltop, Issa is waiting on an order when Lawrence unexpectedly walks in. Witty banter ensues, an exchange observed by Condola who’s there to meet Lawrence for a date.
Reflecting the awkwardness of the moment in the show’s “Wine Down,” Elmore described the scene as “one of the first chinks in the armor” in Condola’s view on Lawrence.
Meanwhile, Issa and Molly go shopping together at upscale grocery store Bristol Farms (the same store Lawrence met the two girls from the threesome in season two) where the two exchange mean enough barbs that that they finally acknowledge it’s time to talk things out. The visit also serves to shines a light on the income differences between Issa and Molly, who doesn’t blink at dropping $48 on a basket full of avocados while later Issa concludes she can’t afford to buy her basket of items.
The episode segues into a montage of sorts, switching back and forth between the various Thanksgiving Day celebrations, some of which are taken in by Issa, Molly and Lawrence vis-a-vis Instagram stories, a story-telling choice that foreshadows the episode’s biggest moment.
Meanwhile, Molly and Issa’s plan to work out their friendship issues fall apart when Issa first delays and then cancels her plan to join the Carter family for dessert. All told, it’s not a good look for Issa if only because the episode made a point of highlighting that Molly specifically made a pie for her. At the same time, Issa’s advice that Molly not invite her boyfriend, Andrew Tan (Alexander Hodge), for Thanksgiving is shot down by Molly’s mom (L. Scott Caldwell) who lovingly tells Molly, “If he’s right for you, he won’t think you’re too much, don’t over think it.”
While all the Thanksgiving celebrations are revealing, touching and funny, all eyes are on Canola’s Friendsgiving, an event that takes place in a house whose eye-popping kitchen takes center stage.
The scene at Canola’s house opens in the kitchen where Lawrence foolishly takes on the task of fixing the leaky faucet that will later have disastrous results. It’s also where drunken Friendsgiving guest Nikki (Robin Thede) informs him Canola doesn’t view him seriously, a piece of information that sets up an epic shot of a tense exchange between Lawrence and Canola across the divide of a kitchen island.
The shot has been widely discussed not only because it’s gorgeously shot, but also because it’s rich for analysis. In addition to the space between the characters, Lawrence has been stripped of his fancy shirt and is once again wearing the white t-shirt he was in before he invited himself to the party. Looking defeated as he leans back against a counter worthy of an Architectural Digest photo shoot, suddenly Lawrence looks out of place.
Looking to put a salve on his humiliation, Lawrence in the safety of his humble abode turns to Instagram Stories where he discovers Issa and her brother, Ahmal Dee (Jean Elie) enjoying a Mexican-flavored Thanksgiving.
Keeping a foot on the necks of viewers, the show closes the scene with an oh-shit moment when Lawrence responds to the story with a shower of laughing emojis. The episode ends with a shot of Issa composing an immediate response and the cue of Mya’s epic single, “Case of the Ex,” a single whose apt opening line is, “It’s after midnight and she’s on your phone…”