We’re pretty big fans of Issa Rae’s so-real series, Insecure. So to celebrate season 2, we took a look back at Season 1, and are now recapping the highly anticipated new episodes. Don’t miss the return of Insecure on Sunday, July 23 at 10:30pm, only on HBO.
While last week’s premiere certainly made good on Insecure’s promise that the second season would be “hella out there,” it left a number of things up in the air. What did Issa and Lawrence’s hook-up mean? How is Molly going to get what she deserves at work? Will Regina Hall’s slave character in the show-within-the-show Due North finally get permission to read? That is where “Hella Questions” comes in, with some answers to said questions.
Right as the episode opens, Molly immediately hits Issa with the Q&A. What did sex with Lawrence mean? Was it his way of saying goodbye forever or was it the re-opening of the doorway to their love? Now, Molly doesn’t say anything as corny as “the doorway of their love,” but the sentiment remains. The thing is, Issa’s just as in the dark as us — she has no idea what it means and she was only one-half of the equation.
And then she learns about the Tasha of it all, turning this into an Issa versus the urge to cyberstalk a girl thing. Ultimately, Issa gives into the Crazy Ex Girlfriend-adjacent moment, and it becomes a full-blown situation, to the point of Issa’s cyberstalking (she ends up on Linkedin!) sending her to Tasha’s job at the bank. The bank right next to Best Buy — so Issa obviously puts two and two together on the how Lawrence met Tasha front. There’s a lot of Issa fantasizing about taking Tasha down physically and verbally calling her out (“Call me Lifetime, ‘cause I’m bringing the drama”), but that remains in the realm of fantasy, and Issa only gets the closure she needs when she has Molly “accidentally” run into Lawrence.
Via the harsh closure, Issa learns what Lawrence just can’t say to her face: It’s over. But Issa’s single, hook-up lifestyle is just beginning! Emotionally, it’s time to take up the closet space and put the pillow in the center of the bed; but physically, Issa puts the Tinder world on notice that she’s DTF. It’s a lot more poignant than it sounds.
On top of all this, Issa finds herself at a crossroads with her current We Got Y’all assignment, as the high school’s vice principal, Mr. Gaines, turns what could be an inspirational “help me, help you” situation, into a platform for his… less progressive beliefs. The man has no problem making racial jokes to Issa (and Frieda) about building a wall to stop the overpopulation of his predominantly Hispanic school or visibly yelling at students to speak English on campus. Issa just wants to keep it moving, because they’re seeing results, but it’s kind of hard when Gaines is bringing up an “us vs. them” mentality, calling students “taco meat.”
Issa’s “Hella Questions” Status: Asked and answered (personally, at least)
As promised, Molly’s going to make sure she gets what she’s owed at work, and that apparently involves taking steps to get into the firm’s “boys club.” Obviously, given Molly’s gender, that’s easier said than done — but where most see an insurmountable challenge, Molly sees a game of chess where she’s already two steps ahead. She gets intel about a hockey game her boss, Mr. Merrill, will be attending. She charms her other male co-workers when she’s there, and even gets on Merrill’s good side at the game, all without any actual hockey knowledge. She plays the game perfectly.
But back at the workplace, it turns out that what Molly saw as an opening — and a successful one, at that — was simply just a forgettable encounter to Merrill. A guest pass to the boys club, if you will.
All of this is in the aftermath of Dr. Pine bringing up the important point about Molly’s way of looking at things in her professional life: She always talks about the way things “should” be happening. She has these plans for her life, but she never considers how she’ll deal with the idea of life not turning out the way she plans. Dr. Pine suggests she think about that — but instead, Molly takes the L with Merrill and moves on to her plan B, a contingency plan that will probably end up hella messy — splitting time working for both the LA branch of her firm and the Chicago branch, where her female boss now works.
Molly’s “Hella Questions” Status: On to the next
Lawrence starts the episode off with points for wanting to tell Issa that he didn’t go to her planning to hook-up, but those points go to the negative side as the episode progresses. First — after Insecure hits us with an intense thirst trap in the form of Lawrence working out — he starts to text Issa an explanation about That Night, confirming that there was no malicious intent on his part. The problem is, he deletes the text he’s typing and sends nothing at all. He officially keeps the confusion going for Issa, despite having a pretty solid, albeit confused, explanation.
He tells Tasha that he had sex with Issa, and that he can’t really offer much more to her about the situation beyond “I don’t know.” You might be thinking, Lawrence deserves points for coming clean with Tasha, and ultimately saying he’s done with Issa. But remember: Lawrence doesn’t even tell Issa he’s done with her. He told Issa’s best friend things were over, and he probably wouldn’t have said anything at all had Molly not been around doing reconnaissance.
But hey, at least he finally gets a new apartment.
Lawrence’s “Hella Questions” Status: Can’t answer ‘em for himself
“Hella Questions” answers a pretty big question about Issa and Lawrence’s life after the break-up: And the answer is, two can play that game. Nothing is truly resolved for either yet, but they’re both continuing the “moving on” dance. And in terms of who’s winning the break-up so far, Lawrence might have Tasha, but Issa at least has her maturity. That maturity is displayed, simply, in not going into Tasha’s bank and confronting her (even though, admittedly, she did drive all the way there). But when you consider Lawrence’s absolute refusal to talk to Issa about things, maturity is hell.