Insecure S2E5: Hella Shook
And S2E5 just keeps coming for us! Here's my weigh-in:
Issa & Daniel like....why are you two like this?!? LOL. The familiarity between these two, like many of us, is chartered but dangerous territory. They're back like nothing has happened or changed between them, and it's actually even pleasant to watch. Not forced, easy going and they look like they can have a really good time together. Issa knows it and even says, "Daniel and I have history and we always bounce back." No awkward getting to know each other phase, learning likes and dislikes, worries about disappointment, because they're friends, right? #RelationshipGoals right? Friends who just must both be inhuman because feelings don't exist in the "friends who f*ck" space........right? I've seen word that quite few want Issa & Daniel together because of their sexual chemistry and because Daniel's a GOOD guy!
....so why don't we want the "good" guy(s) to win, too? I know he's not a main character but where's the Tasha-like support for Daniel, who's canoodling with a woman who's using him AND IS MEAN TO HIM? With Issa's only concern right now being "adding to her roster," Daniel is getting close to a fire I'm not sure he knows is burning. He's been cool and calm under all the before relationship pressure, but this go 'round seems a bit different, no? It's been a few months, Issa is fully out of a relationship, and they get along so well, right? TUH.
On the flip side, I'm VERY here for Issa adding some plot twists to her roster with dating a Latino man. Not because I'm interested in her awkwardly messing things up with him, but to see her expand her romantic interest criteria and increase her knowledge of what's available to her. He's older, seemingly more stable, interested in her, can call her out directly on things and appears capable of taking care of himself--methinks that whatever happens between them, will be a good data to collect. And hilarious data.
While I want to address the impact of Molly experiencing new energy and more support/encouragement while in the Chicago office, which is extremely important in light of how she's feeling in LA, I just have/want to talk more about Molly and conveniently open-marriaged Dro & Molly's family secrets. There was so much going on for Molly to process; I can understand her breakdown near the end of the episode. Here she is, trying i.e. forcing, Lionel to be THE one for her because he checks off all the "right" boxes (except for her being interested in him, attracted to him, care about him, know what he does for a career, ya know, the not-so-important factors in a love relationship), and the news of her father's infidelity, particularly given the way that she heard this, really shook her up. Molly has spent her life idealizing her parent's marriage, without knowing the ins & outs of their commitment to one another and YEARS of hard work to stay married and to repair trust after infidelity. What we saw was not only Molly being upset, we saw her expression of a sense of betrayal and confusion about her mother's decision to "stay" (which, socially, and unfairly, is believed to be an assumption of low self worth and passivity). Their ability to appear stable, happy or in control throughout Molly's life and into her adulthood instilled a sense of stability, happiness, and control for Molly as well. She internalized these messages and now feels as unstable as she perceives he parents to be.
Molly reeeeaaaaallllly wants to stick to her guns about not dating or sleeping with married men. But Dro is not just any ol' married man. Dro is a friend; a place of emotional safety and nuanced familiarity. So of COURSE, Dro is at the intimate family get together. Of. Course. Oh Molly, relationship problems with no relationship. #BeenThere. It makes complete sense that Dro would be the person to console her when she faces a family dilemma. He's accessible, reaches out to her in support, and don't forget...he's familiar! I firmly believe that in this moment, Dro's greater motive is to comfort Molly & be there for his friend. But in addition, here is his chance to make a play on her emotional vulnerability, and get what he also wants--sex, often seen as a way to comfort, console, distract from what doesn't feel so nice. And unfortunately for Molly and the way her emotional & relationship needs are set up, i.e. lonely & single, she sees it this way too right now. Buh Bye Lionel! I'll miss you much.
Meanwhile, we see that Issa isn't the only one caught up in curiosity & jealousy in the age of social media. Lawrence is having himself a fit coming across Issa on Facebook, and soon locates Daniel too. I imagine his mind revisiting ruminations about her cheating with him, and we see some more of his vulnerability. I appreciate the show writers showing that men also engage in behaviors that women are often vilified and shamed for, when no one is free from these thoughts or feelings when we are feeling insecure. Showing the same poor social media etiquette that MANY people show daily, this information does not help him grieve their relationship and refocus on himself. The only part I can appreciate and support about this scene is that he decides to block Issa. Eliminating triggers where possible and making his urges to search profiles and obtain information that isn't helpful to him is CLUTCH right now, even months later. Proud of you, Lawrence! Question: How often do you find yourself browsing profiles and feeling worse afterwards? Feeling jealous or envious? Feeling inadequate? Less attractive or successful? The downward spiral that can come with a scroll of social media posts has contributed to a general spike in depression, anxiety and interpersonal conflict.
And finally....the moment I've been waiting all (clap) season (clap) for (clap). Lawrence ACTUALLY has someone in his life who can be honest and direct! Who knew Derek had all of this tucked away? The only person who has (healthily) held Lawrence fully accountable for his role in the undoing of his relationship with Issa--not only had he not worked for two years, which is difficult for even the healthiest relationship, he was "letting her (Issa) take care of you." Please come all the way through and say more and more and more! But he didn't. I guess this was enough for now, but Lawrence could really use a fuller read of his shenanigans and irresponsibilities. Note to you, Lawrence. Get rid of your "friend," Chad, and stick with Derek. He's been through some things in his own marriage and could help you with a thing or two about relationships and emotional maturity.
And...the final scenes, I honestly don't even want to address. But in light of Issa's downward spiral in trying to be someone she's clearly not-------the distracting salacious text & the car crash happened. I wish they didn't, but they did. And it showed viewers again that Issa has no clue what she's doing and needs to give this persona back to whoever she got it from. But with all of this, I can't continue to be THIS mad at her. Shaming her, blaming her, doubting her, yelling at her (and the hers of your past and the hers who we know in real life) does not help and certainly doesn't create insight or healing. I still have empathy for Issa; the parts of her that do not know ny better, the parts of her that aren't developed enough to know that this is not healing, and the parts of her that were never taught any different. I'm annoyed with her, but I can't place her in a bubble and hold her accountable to doing better or being greater in a scenario she's never seen before. Now, would it be great if Issa would slow down so that she could learn the things she wasn't taught, and stay away from people instead of harming them more? Sure. But we all know that the universe doesn't work instantly, and Issa will need to take a few more losses before something else clicks.
Insecure shows us again, as I started this post with, that Daniel is really more than and better than Issa can appropriately deal with. He offers to show up immediately, follows through no question, and reinforces security and reliability. And Issa can't reciprocate. Something gets activated, and Issa launches into pulling away emotionally and pushing Daniel away. When insecure people meet security, it's often too.much.like.right. Self-sabotage is a real thing, folks. And we know by now what Issa does with good things.
-Characters from Awkward Black Girl are reprising their roles on Insecure! Yay!
Til next week, Insecurers (made up, keeping it) - Dr. A