Lawrence is not a F** boy, yet: Unpacking the male behavior on the ‘Insecure’ season 2 premiere.
Season 2 of HBO hit drama Insecure picked up right where it left off for Lawrence and his internet cheerleaders who have dubbed themselves the #lawrencehive. While Lawrence supporters prepared for the season's premiere episode, titled “Hella Great”, with their Best Buy shirts in tow, others were left confused about exactly what kind of man Lawrence has become three months after his split from Issa.
If you haven’t watched yet, turn back now because major SPOILERS are ahead.
Insecure returned with what appeared to be a reconciliatory conversation between Issa and Lawrence. Hopes are swiftly dashed when we realize that Issa is just daydreaming about Lawrence while suffering through a parade of bad dates. Dream Lawrence tells Issa that he understands why she cheated, and although it hurts, he hopes they can move past it. It’s hard not to root for the couple to reunite after they plant that seed in our mind right out of the gate. Lawrence, forgiving Issa after everything that happened? Is it possible? After a few more Lawrence and Issa teases we’re left with a glimmer of hope after Issa and Lawrence finally see each other for the first time since their blow up over the fact that she had sex with Daniel. What starts with small talk quickly leads to impromptu sex on Issa’s new couch. But that moment itself, Lawrence initiating sex with Issa and the hasty exit afterward leave a bitter taste behind.
Why would he hit it and split, you ask? Why a kiss on the cheek? Did he just use Issa? And, what kind of man does that to a woman you were about to propose marriage to? After the episode concluded, I turned to my fiancée and asked her why she thought Lawrence did what he did. "He probably still loves her, but he probably still hates her," she said. That's accurate. At the midpoint of the episode Issa boldly proclaims “Hell yea I want my man back” to Molly. That moment underscores a key difference in how men and women deal with breakups. After trying the dating scene, Issa is fed up with comparing every man to Lawrence. She is ready to admit to herself and Molly that she wants to get her man back and gets right to work devising a plan to do just that. A bad plan, in my opinion, but a plan nonetheless. Lawrence on the other hand, sticks to his denial when confronted by his boy Chad about “moving back in with old girl” and not taking his new sex buddy Tasha out of the house. What seems like an innocent jab is really Chad reminding Lawrence who he was in his relationship with Issa and the man he can choose to be now post-breakup.
Don’t get it twisted, men do have emotions. We just process them differently than women. Thus far, Lawrence has chosen to ignore his emotions or simply express them through big spooning Tashy. Many men choose to ignore the pain of a breakup hoping it will just subside in time. The problem with that is that at any given moment, your emotions can come crashing to the surface. While many people see Lawrence initiating sex with Issa (without any intentions of repairing their relationship) as a major F** boy move, let’s put his actions into context for a moment: This was an explosion of unconfronted emotion enveloping both Issa and Lawrence until the only thing left to do was make love on the couch like they’ve done so many times before. Stepping into familiar shoes is often easier than breaking in new ones.
Lawrence’s vulnerability shone through the minute that apartment door swung open and they looked into each other’s eyes. To the male observer, his mental state seemed painfully obvious. Lawrence did not have sex with Issa to exact revenge on her. He probably expected to walk in, grab his mail and just walk right back on out. But just one moment of levity—a single joke over a wine-stained pillow—and the familiarity brought all of the emotions Lawrence is dealing with right back to the surface. He couldn’t contain his hurt, his love, his confusion, his paranoia, or his lust. And that, ladies, is why he had sex with Issa.
But unfortunately for her, Lawrence isn’t ready to reconcile. At least not just yet. Apart from the fact that he’s seeing this bank teller who has obvious feelings for him, Lawrence has shown signs that he isn’t over Issa. Yet he hasn’t made the choice to forgive her either. And the longer he delays confronting his feelings, the longer his behavior will resemble that of a F*** boy's. “He’s not one yet, but he’s on the borderline. He just better not screw over that bank chick,” my fiancee said when assessing Lawrence’s F** boy status. Hmm...we'll see.
As season 2 continues, I’ll be watching how Lawrence handles his next moves. That will say a lot. But what would bring him back on the right side of the border in the eyes of the female viewers? Should he make it official with Tasha and move in with her? Should he end things all together until he is completely over Issa? Where do Lawrence and Issa go from here? The previews for the upcoming episodes tease Issa beginning a “hoe phase” and enlisting Molly for guidance. There are a lot of unanswered questions, but I will say this: If Lawrence catches wind of Issa's "hoetation", we may see more questionable behavior from him before any of this is resolved.