The second season of HBO’s hit series Insecure was all about adapting to change. Issa (Issa Rae) had to adjust to life without Lawrence. Lawrence (Jay Ellis) had to finally stop being a hobosexual and get his life on track. And Molly (Yvonne Orji) had to step into her power at work and figure out how to deal with the mess of her personal life. Each character went through their share of ups and downs, made countless mistakes and tried (and mostly failed) to do better. But similarly to real life, progress, positive changes and happy endings are hard to come by. Still, Issa, Molly and Lawrence seem set up to become the people we’ve been rooting for, but whether or not they actually do it remains to be seen.
On Sunday night’s episode, titled “Hella Perspective,” the characters seemed to be finally getting it together. At the beginning of the season Molly found out she was being paid less than her mediocre white male coworker, and after venting to her girls and trying to unsuccessfully break into the old boys club at her law firm, she decides to take her talents to other firms to see what else is out there. Molly interviews at a Black-owned firm and they fall in love with her background and professional knowledge. They offer her a job, but Molly is unsure she’s ready to leave her current employer since she’s spent four years working her way up in the firm. When they find out she’s been interviewing with other legal practices, her bosses call her into a meeting to prove they want to keep her at MJNS. Unfortunately, instead of reviewing her salary and throwing some more zeros on her check, the higher ups give Molly a meaningless “Rising Star Award,” only promising her picture will be on the company’s website. Molly is rightly disappointed but with other offers on the table, she has reclaimed her professional power. Her personal life, however, still needs major work.
For the entire season, Molly has bounced between not wanting to be bothered by a man to really wanting a committed and fulfilling relationship. Though she had a chance to build something with Lionel (Sterling K. Brown), the stable, handsome brother she met while out with Issa, she kicks him to the curb in favor of Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson), her childhood friend. Molly and Dro share a deep connection —they know each other’s histories, have similar personalities, and have sexual chemistry in spades— but Dro is married. Still, that doesn’t stop the pair from hooking up because Dro’s in an open relationship (or so he says). But Molly wants to come first, and when Dro has to leave her side to be by his wife’s, things get hella complicated. In the last episode it seemed like Molly had reached her limit of playing second fiddle to Dro’s wife, but as the season season finale closes out, we see her welcome him into her home once again.
Over the course of the second season, Lawrence is the character who has come up the most. By the end, he’s no longer sleeping on his friend’s couch, he’s growing at work, and he’s also cycled through a situationship with Tasha, an ego-bruising thresome with some random White chicks, and settled into a promising relationship with his corker, Aparna (Jasmine Kaur). And he’s even completed a marathon! Lawrence went from a depressed and dejected man who delivered “the backshot heard round the world,” at the end of season one to a still-heartbroken but self-reflective dude in season two. He’s not perfect by any means —as evident by how his budding relationship with Aparna quickly fizzles out because of his insecurities and relationship PTSD. But unlike Molly who welcomes Dro back once again even though she knows he can’t give her wants she wants, Lawrence seems to, at least, be trying to do better, starting with healing his relationship with Issa.
When we last saw them together, the former couple was hitting each other with vicious verbal jabs. Issa complained about having to take care “of his depressed ass,” while Lawrence called her a hoe and accused her of sleeping with multiple guys while they were together. The conversation left them both reeling. But when Issa calls to tell Lawrence she was moving out of their old place, he comes by and waits for her to return so they can talk.
The conversation is the first time Issa and Lawrence have really talked all season. Instead of engaging in a quick smash and dash or exploding on each other in anger, the pair admit they both mishandled their relationship. Lawrence kicks it off by telling Issa, “I feel like I’m f–king everything up right now,” and she jokes that he’s “come to the right place” because her life is in disarray too.
Though she doesn’t tell him about the drama at work and being passed over for a promotion because she mishandled the Vice Principal Gaines fiasco, she admits that she’s moving because the rent is just too high and she can’t manage it on her own. Lawrence is stunned by this and apologizes because she supported them both for two years. His financial situation has changed now that he’s working in the tech world, but he understands that Issa held him down while he depressed and unemployed. Issa also acknowledges her wrongdoing, telling Lawrence she should have been more supportive when he was struggling, but she didn’t know how. She also tells him cheating on him was “the worst thing I could have ever done” to him.
It was obvious to anyone who watched this season that Issa and Lawrence had unresolved feelings for each other, but dealt with it in vastly different ways. Issa attempted to “hoe” her heartbreak away by engaging in no-strings-attached hookups with random men, while Lawrence searched for solace in Tasha and later Aparna because he could not bear to be alone. So it was fitting, and fulfilling, to see Issa and Lawrence finally talk it out so they could move on. Though they confess they still love each other–and Issa imagines what their life could have been if they were still a couple–it’s pretty clear Issa and Lawrence are not getting back together, nor should they. Their relationship was stagnant long before Issa cheated and their inability to communicate clearly sealed their fate. But there is power in closure, and perhaps now that they’ve gotten everything out Issa and Lawrence can move on in healthier ways–no “hoe-tations” or temporary situationships necessary.
If season two was all about upheaval and change, I hope season three will be about growth. Issa, Lawrence, and Molly have been through the fire, and it’s time they start learning from their mistakes (and for God’s sake…stop making the same ones). Though life is messy AF and real progress doesn’t happen overnight, I’m rooting for these three to get it right next time.