Is Lawrence a good guy? While ”Hella Questions” actually provides a lot of answers––Lawrence and Issa’s 12-pump sex romp is definitively in the “fuck you fuck” column and their relationship is, at least for now, officially over––there’s still a lot of uncertainity when it comes to Lawrence’s actions. Sure, Insecure could’ve stretched the tension between Issa and Lawrence over a few more episodes, but it’s a far better choice for the show to just plow ahead with them apart. “Hella Questions” thrives because it finally forces Lawrence to consider his own desires and actions.
Lawrence has been painted as a “good guy” throughout most of Insecure. Sure, he spent two years on Issa’s couch figuring out his life, but that’s nowhere near adultery on the list of horrible things he could do. Mostly, as an audience, we’re asked to feel sorry for him after what Issa did. When he tells Tasha the truth about sleeping with Issa, again, it seems like he’s doing the right thing. But here’s the actual truth: Tasha is a rebound and Lawrence’s “good guy” mentality won’t just let her be a rebound.
When Lawrence tells the truth, Tasha doesn’t get angry. She calmly asks him to leave. Like she says later, they never said they were exclusive. While Tasha (and the actress who plays her) have received some hate from fans, she hasn’t done anything wrong. She had a crush on a guy, he ended up single and she went with it. It’s not her fault that Lawrence hasn’t worked through his baggage or feelings yet. Because if Lawrence could be honest, he’d realize he was better off just leaving Tasha alone after telling her the truth. Their reconciliation isn’t driven by Lawrence’s love for Tasha––like getting an apartment––it’s simply a move to make him feel like he’s over Issa. Instead, Lawrence lies to himself and asks Tasha to take him back––filling the “good guy” role he feels he deserves in opposition of Issa’s “evil cheater” status.
On the plus side, Lawrence’s decision to firmly end things via Molly pushes Issa to finally start accepting the truth. It was clear to anyone who watched Lawrence and Issa’s 2-minutes of passion last week that they weren’t getting back together, but Issa’s sly smile at the end pointed to her reading the situation the wrong way. So, she starts “Hella Questions” with, well, hella questions. Even though Molly makes it pretty obvious that the sex happened in a grey area and Lawrence can’t even text her back, Issa announces to her friends that she’s slowing down her new dating life because Lawrence seems like an option again. However, by the end of the episode, she realizes she has to find a rebound of her own. It feels like Issa is finally ready to embrace her maturity, re-establish her thot-fidence and go out into the world.
We even see Molly make some progress this episode. She’s finally opening up to her therapist, but only about her career. It makes sense that Molly would only be able to talk freely about work. She rants about the difficulties she faces in the office, but the second her therapist asks her to dive into her magical thinking issues, she retreats. Her cold “I’ll call you” sounds similar to the lines she’d use to reject men who failed to live up to her standards in season one. But, Molly is still practical and uses her therapist’s advice to make a game plan. She actively tries to join the office boys’ club by heading to a hockey game, but is quickly deflated the next day when she realizes it’ll never be that easy for her.
“Hella Questions” is an episode that sets up the themes Insecure wants to explore this season. Can this group of characters learn to be honest with themselves? How far will they go to convince themselves they don’t need to re-examine their lives? Now that we’re not dealing with any “will they/won’t they” nonsense with Lawrence and Issa, the show has freedom to dive into these far more interesting questions and character studies.
- I love Issa and Molly’s use of “Malibu” this season to keep each other honest. It reiterates how special that episode was to their friendship and feels like some realistic black female friendship accountability.
- With the introduction of Scott Foley to the slave show-within-the-show, I am now convinced that it’s a Shonda Rhimes production. I love it and want more Regina Hall all the time.
- I have to give MVP of this episode to Neil Brown Jr.’s Chad. From his casual dismissal of Issa’s surprise visit to criticizing loose staircase railing, everything Brown brought to the character this episode was perfect. “I see that new growth!”
- Amanda Seales’ Tiffany also got a great moment when she sort of revealed that her marriage wasn’t as perfect as it seemed. So far, Tiffany has been a litle boring because she’s always tied to her husband. I hope we get more information on that.
- The look Molly gives Issa when Issa finally caves and asks to see Tasha’s social media is pure black female support right there. Yes, pull that bitch up.
- Tasha, don’t let Lawrence eat your dinner. He does not deserve it.
- “Hella Questions” does some great work with We Got Y’all this episode too. It’s an interesting dynamic to see Issa accept prejudice and respectability politics because her job is on the line. Frieda’s response to it (watching 13th and tweeting Ava Duvernay) was pitch perfect.
- “Oh y’all talked? What you talk about?” I will always love Molly calling Issa out.