Esteemed members of the #LawrenceHive were excited when their favorite character made a comeback on Sunday’s episode of Insecure.
Toward the end of the episode, Issa Dee, played by actress and creator Issa Rae, runs into her ex-boyfriend, Lawrence, who has been missing all season. Onscreen Issa was just as awkward as we expected her to be when running into a past love.
Jay Ellis, who plays Lawrence on the HBO hit series, first revealed this spring that he might not be appearing in season three, causing backlash that even led to a petition for his return.
Ellis told Vulture he “always knew” that Lawrence would be back on the show.
“I will say, the phone call from Issa and Prentice [Penny], our showrunner, about not being in the first few episodes, I could tell in their voices they were ‘Hey, so what’s up? Just wanted to talk to you,'” the actor recalled. “And I was like, ‘Guys, it’s OK. Don’t worry about it. it’s OK. It’s fine. I’ll see you when production starts, I’ll take an extra-long vacation,’ which was exactly what I did!”
Rae caught major flack once it was confirmed that Lawrence would seemingly not be returning. But she explained that it was a move that made sense for the storyline.
“We want to stay as true to life as possible. They had a great conversation at the end of Season two,” Rae told Vulture. “You never see the exes again. And it’s okay! You gotta explore life without Lawrence.”
Ellis agreed with Rae, telling Vulture that “it’s something that happens in real life.”
“You break up with someone and you take a break,” he continued. “That’s just the nature of relationships, the seasons of relationships, and the seasons of life, right? That’s what we were seeing with Issa and Lawrence. The two of them were… not even taking a break, they were just living their lives, and for them to live their lives doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to cross paths anymore.”
But despite understanding the narrative arc, Ellis said he hoped fans “would miss Lawrence.”
He added, “I hoped he would resonate with people and that people related to him enough where they’d be like, ‘Man, I miss him, I want to see him on TV,’ because you don’t get to see a lot of guys like him, especially a lot of Black characters of color who are going through all the ups and downs he’s going through – the relationship stuff, the vulnerability.”