Well, I guess if we were sick of watching Issa weigh the pros and cons of her actual relationship with Lawrence and a theoretical relationship with her longtime crush Daniel, “Shady As Fuck” finally makes Issa’s mirror sex fantasy a reality. I can’t say I was shocked when Daniel and Issa finally gave in and had sex. Insecure is a great show because it captures the imperfections and mistakes of its protagonists. The studio scene was incredibly well done––Issa was in her element, Daniel was complementing her and the smile on her face made it clear that he makes her feel a way Lawrence doesn’t. Who wouldn’t give into their lifelong crush tenderly stroking their face and saying they’re finally ready to give it a shot? It’s easy to be mad at Issa for cheating, but at least she’ll finally be forced to confront her issues with Lawrence and break up with him or really dedicate herself to their relationship.

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It’s particularly easy to be mad at Issa when Lawrence is working away at a horrible retail job to make her happy (the rotating “There’s is more” on the TV screens was a bit heavy handed). Lawrence finally has a relatively in-depth conversation with the friend we saw in “Messy As Fuck.” While that friend is planning a messy marriage (and divorce), Lawrence reveals that he hasn’t proposed because he’s waiting to get his life together. Lawrence’s friend makes a great point that Issa and Lawrence should be getting their shit together together and the fact that this isn’t happening is just another chip in their relationship. Particularly when we’re given an immediate example of what that support should look like with Tasha. Tasha knows Lawrence has a girlfriend, he’s mentioned her, but she still shows up at Best Buy with her tits lifted to the heavens. Lawrence skillfully turns her away, but it’s heartbreaking when we know Issa has strayed and Tasha legitimately seems to support Lawrence.

Maybe Lawrence would be happier with Tasha. Maybe Issa would be happier with Daniel, but who knows. Daniel sways Issa when he says “What if I’m ready now?,” but what if he’s not? Issa doesn’t seem to realize these doubts until she faces the aftermath in the bathroom. The scene is wonderfully acted by Issa Rae. You can see the glow and happiness drain from her when she sees a lotion pump and her promise to Lawrence last week comes rushing back. I don’t think this will lead to Issa immediately confessing to Lawrence and breaking up with him, she seems to realize immediately that sleeping with Daniel was a mistake. This will definitely require some action on Issa’s part though––either cutting Daniel out of the picture completely or confessing to Lawrence––and that impetus is exactly what the character needed at this point.

Then there’s Molly. Poor, poor Molly. Well, almost. I want to feel bad for Molly as Jidenna’s Chris breaks her heart by making it clear he was just doing her a favor by acting like her boyfriend, but he’s right. She is moving way too quickly and seems to amp up the importance of her relationships. Coworkers were already asking about Chris, her new “beau,” when we’ve only seen her go on one date with him. Molly’s desperation isn’t attractive, but Chris treating her like a stereotype of the tragic, put upon black woman in need of his help isn’t any better. Molly’s return to Jared is bittersweet. I love how comfortable Molly and Jared are together, but I also wanted Jared to slam the door in her face after she played the “let’s just be friends” card. Instead, Jared tries to help with Issa’s “Broken Pussy” YouTube issue and let’s an incredibly drunk Molly crash on his couch. Molly’s classism when it comes to Jared is one of her greatest imperfections and I hope it isn’t just glossed over with an easy reunion between the two.

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“Shady As Fuck” feels like an episode that gets Insecure back on track as we head into the final three episodes of the season. Other than Issa’s relationship, there are still a lot of unresolved issues––Jared and Daniel weren’t able to get Issa’s YouTube video taken down so her job is still in jeopardy. We still haven’t seen the resolve of the Rashida situation in Molly’s law firm and something tells me Tasha won’t be out of the picture for too long. Insecure certainly hasn’t dropped in quality from week to week, but it’s nice to see the pace pick up.

Stray Observations

  • Sorry for the late review! A power outage in my building left me scrambling.
  • “For the rest of their lives they’re gonna associate pussy smells with me.”
  • “Julio was starting to teach it in Spanish.”
  • “Stupid-smart as fuck-researching ass kids”
  • I’ll miss Jidenna, but Insecure is definitely not lacking in fine men to stare at.
  • God bless, Tasha. She tried so hard.
  • “Oh, you gotta work?”
    -“Yes, bitch. I’m a real ass lawyer.”
  • I need more of Diane, Molly’s coworker. “Can you stop playing who’s Molly on the phone with? Because you suck at guessing.” I absolutely hated everything about her engagement party, but I also want more.
  • That studio scene was so perfect. The monotone, untalented rapper. The crew of blindly positive friends. Issa nailed the awkward “I’m just going to sit through this” vibe of a bad studio session.
  • Molly’s going out ritual scored to Problem’s “D2B” was so great. I like how this show handles text messages. It feels more realistic than most shows with on-screen texts (I’m looking at you, Mindy Project).
  • This week’s playlist:

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