Without wasting any time, I am pleased to announce that as of last night’s episode of HBO’s Insecure, Issa (Issa Rae) has passed her certification exam and has officially entered the hoe phase. I’m proud of her for reaching this milestone and wish her luck in the fun and challenging adventures that await her. And trust me, the challenges have already made presented themselves. Let’s get caught up.
The episode opens with Issa is in traffic, swiping away on a dating app. This is actually a little disappointing to me as a fan of Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl because her driver’s seat is usually where we get the best of her classic freestyles. But I feel better once I realize where she’s headed: Daniel’s (Y’lan Noel)! The two of them, and his beard *heart eye emoji*, are back on.
Molly (Yvonne Orji) starts the episode in the Chicago office of her law firm. Her colleague, played by Lil Rel Howery is helping her get to know all of the people of color, and dropping some career advice. He suggests that if Molly isn’t satisfied she should consider working at another firm where her work is valued just as much as her white, male co-worker. Molly isn’t open to the idea because she’s already invested four years. She’s looking at the cup half full, but clearly the cup has a leak.
After what I assume was some amazing sex, Issa and Daniel get dressed (while watching “Due North”) and they dance around making plans to see each other the next day. Ironically, it reminds me of that interaction between Lawrence (Jay Ellis) and Tasha during the season opener when Tasha (Dominique Perry) tried to make plans with Lawrence post-coitus. I hope this isn’t a bad omen for Issa and Daniel. But also: where is Tasha?
Back in LA, Molly is handling details for her parents’ vow renewal ceremony and has enlisted the help of her bestie. This is the perfect time for the two of them to discuss Issa’s renewed fling with Daniel. Molly is just as excited as I am at the possibility of them forging ahead together, but Issa insists it’s just casual. To prove it, she shows off a new Latino she’s about to add to her “hoetation.” She’s officially outchea and I love it. This is also another win for the Actually, Black Women Do Date Outside Their Race delegation.
You would think that after all of the drama Lawrence’s jury duty summons caused earlier in the season, it would have went away. Nope. Lawrence still has to show up and it sucks. He is dismissed and doesn’t have to serve, but two important things happen that make it a pretty trash day for him. First, he gets an invite to Derek’s (Wade Allain-Marcus) 30th birthday party. This is Tiffany’s (Amanda Seales) husband. Tiffany and issa are friends. The Issa/Lawrence reunion is going to happen. Second, while scrolling through Kelli’s (Natasha Rothwell) Facebook page, he catches a photo of Issa and Daniel together at the diner. I think butt hurt is an accurate descriptor, here. He wastes no time stalking Daniel online. Oh how the tables have turned, Issa was doing the same thing to Tasha a few weeks ago.
At work, things are still tense between Issa and Frieda (Lisa Joyce). White guilt and Black complacency are battling it out about the engagement of Latino students at East 41st Street High School. Issa makes the first move to talk it out. Frieda says she’s disappointed in Issa. Issa pulls the white privilege card on Frieda, suggesting that it may be contributing to Frieda’s strong feelings about this. Frieda calls bullshit and says Issa is only looking out for herself. They are just as divided as before. But I have to admit, I’m proud of Frieda — who has been known for her passivity in the past — for standing her ground. I, too, think Issa is trying to save her own ass.
In a completely unexpected move, Dro (Saruna J. Jackson) pops up while Molly is bringing things into her parents house, where their vow renewal ceremony will be held. I shouldn’t be super surprised because his family lives across the street. But it’s so soon after his tempting proposal at last week’s “Kiss & Grind” party. Apparently, Dro is attending the ceremony. But he is still set on exploring the sexual tension between him and Molly. Her response is that sleeping with a married man is not how she “sees her life,” and I’m not mad at her for that.
Inside the house, Molly’s parents are the picture of puppy love, even after all of their years together. We also get to meet Molly’s two younger brothers, Jerome (Malcolm David Kelley) and Curtis (Richard Nevels). The three of them bicker over juice and maturity levels in a way that only Black families can. These are the kind of family dynamics I’ve been waiting to see on Insecure.
Meanwhile, it appears that Issa has loosened up a little bit. She goes on a completely normal date with her new Latin lover but keeps all of her overtly sexual innuendos to herself. But the two of them bond over Spiderman immediately, and she declines an texted invitation to link up with Daniel. It’s going really well, but she’s not getting the dick she wants tonight. Her very mature date says he has an early morning and even I’m turned on by the maturity. I hope we see more of him.
Speaking of hopeful cameos: Surprise! Molly has decided to give Lionel (Sterling K. Brown) a chance, after all. He is her date for her parents’ big day. But even though her aunts approve, her brother, who is married to a stripper, notices this and urges her not to settle. And honestly, Molly isn’t that into him anyway. Case in point: she forgets what he does for a living and when a serious secret is revealed about her parents later in the day, it is not Lionel who comforts her. Btu more on that later.
Obviously not satisfied with his online research, Lawrence tries to get more tea about Daniel and Issa from Derek. Apparently, Black Twitter isn’t the only group who is over-invested in their relationship. Derek admits that he is limited on the details about Issa’s new single life because talking about their breakup causes arguments between him and his own wife, Tiffany. But he isn’t completely useless. While Lawrence laments about Issa and Daniel — he’s worried that Issa has been “playing him” for the entire time — Derek does god’s work by telling Lawrence the truth. The deterioration of their relationship does not rest solely on Issa’s shoulders. And her attraction to Daniel, a man with his shit together, makes sense after Lawrence was unemployed for two years on her couch.
Issa is still swiping and driving, and about to pay for it. She gets a dick pic and and rear ends the car in front of her. Her car is trashed, but Daniel insists on coming to pick her up because e is the best. They embrace. He’s happy she’s ok. He clearly has feelings for her and Issa can tell. So she takes this opportunity to tell him that things are non-exclusive and casual. Can you say wet blanket? But honesty is what everyone needs. Meanwhile, Lawrence blocks Issa on Facebook, the audacity.
Now brace yourself. One of Molly’s aunts lets it slip that her father once cheated on her mom. Her fantasy of a perfect marriages shatters right before her eyes. She’s pissed at her dad for stepping out, she’s disappointed in her mom for staying. She cries and storms out. Dro goes after her. On the drive to her house, he comforts her and says all the right things. He walks her to the door and offers to take a Lyft back home. But Molly stops him. And they sleep together!