We’re more than halfway through the second season of Insecure, and Issa, Lawrence and Molly are starting to be confronted with some hard truths. In episode five, titled “Hella Shook,” the show’s leads are forced to examine their relationships —both past and present, romantic and not— to figure out their role in why things aren’t going the way they want.
When we last left off, Issa planned to add more f-buddies to her roster at Kiss-n-Grind but failed. She was brushed off by her Tinder date and instead of mingling with a bevy of handsome brothas, she ran into Daniel (Y’lan Noel) who seemed to be completely over her. But after reconnecting with him at a diner and commiserating over her girl’s under-the-table ratchetness, the pair appeared to make amends. In Sunday night’s episode viewers find out it’s officially back on with the two. She shows up on his doorstep, and after a little playful tête-à-tête, the pair fall into each other’s arms —and into Daniel’s bed.
While Issa’s situation with Daniel is easy, breezy and ultra comfortable, Issa isn’t ready to dive headfirst into a relationship just yet. Instead of hunkering down and seeing if things can work with her old crush, she continues to build a “hoe-tation” of men she can easily bed without catching feelings.
Still, Issa’s commitment to being footloose and fancy free could cost her her friendship with Daniel, who seems to really care for her and isn’t afraid to show it. In fact, Daniel comes to her rescue when Issa has a car accident because she was sexting (side note: no texting and driving folks!). After Daniel dashes out of the studio to pick her up and tells her that he’s there for her, Issa realizes she could be leading him on. She decides to have an uncomfortable roadside conversation to make sure they’re both on the same page and know that their situation is just casual. Daniel seems to understand what she’s saying —that he isn’t the only man in her life— but it remains to be seen if he’ll be cool with the arrangement.
At work, Issa and Freida’s relationship is deteriorating. As a super idealistic member of the Well-Meaning Whites, Frieda (Lisa Joyce) just can’t shake Issa’s nonchalance about Vice Principal Gaines’ (A. Russell Andews) prejudice against his Latinx students. While Frieda’s idealism feels annoyingly naive at times, she has a point, Issa is willfully ignoring the school’s Latinx students in favor of scoring points at work.
During a break from their company’s retreat, Issa and Frieda have a conversation that feels especially timely given the recent events in our nation and makes Issa think about her role in the situation. After accusing Issa of being complicit in Gaines’ ignorance and telling her, “Racism is about having the power to manipulate a situation against someone,” Issa realizes —albeit begrudgingly— Frieda has a point. But will she act on it and confront VP Gaines and find ways to be more inclusive of the school’s Latinx population? It’s an issue many people in Los Angeles are grappling with as the demographics of the city continue to shift.
While Issa is trying to sort through her relationships with Daniel and Frieda, Lawrence is finally coming to grips with the fact that he also had a part in the demise of his relationship. After coming across of picture of Daniel and Issa on Facebook, he reaches out to his boy Derek (Wade Allain-Marcus) to question whether or not Issa had been playing him all along. Instead of being told what he wants to hear (that he’s an innocent victim of Issa’s disloyalty), Derek gives Lawrence the real: the breakup wasn’t all Issa’s fault. Derek explains that while Issa had no business cheating, Lawrence didn’t exactly give her a reason to stick around either. According to Derek, Lawrence’s long-term unemployment, coupled with his disinterest in life (and their relationship), made it easier for Issa to be wowed by a go-getter like Daniel. Though uncomfortable, the realization is exactly what Lawrence needs to either finally move on or fight for his relationship with Issa. I hope we get to see which one he chooses before the season wraps.
The first season of Insecure revolved largely around Issa and Lawrence’s relationship drama, but this time around Molly’s entire life is taking center stage. While she tries to figure out how to handle being underpaid at work, Molly is also feeling the pressure to find a good man and settle down. For her entire life, her parents’ marriage has been her #RelationshipGoals that’s both shown her what’s possible and reminded her of what she doesn’t have.
This episode, she helps her parents prepare to renew their vows and decides to invite Lionel (Sterling K. Brown) to the party, even though she’s not really feeling him. It’s not an ideal situation, but Molly’s trying to make it work —even when her brother calls her out for going through the motions just to get what her parents have. But when she learns that all that glitters isn’t gold and her father once cheated on her mom, Molly goes spiraling into her feelings. Her dreams of her parents’ perfect marriage have been shattered and she realizes that she’s been holding herself —and the men she’s dated— to unrealistic expectations all along.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) Molly’s old homie Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson) is there to help her pick up the pieces. After he confessed that he was in an open relationship last episode, it was almost a foregone conclusion (at least to me) the two would end up in the sack sooner or later. And with Molly reeling from the news about her parents, the pair fall into her bed and give into the sexual tension that had been building between them.
Insecure fans, buckle up. With just three episodes left in the season, it’s clear we’ve got a whole lot of drama —and probably some soul-searching— ahead of us.