Insecure S3E1: Who’s Couch Is It Anyway?
Insecure season three kicked off "Better-Like" in a manner only main character Issa (Issa Rae) and her antics could. By exploring the ups and downs of adulthood, Insecure shares situations that many have been in but few will speak on; the multidimensional, all around flawed nature of characters allows the audience to engage honestly, often times exposing ourselves through the messy lives being played out on screen. The season picks up where season two left off, giving viewers a glimpse of the continuing saga of Issa's love life, along with a deeper look at the toxic nature of white saviors through the exposure of her non-profit gig We Got Y'all, and we're also introduced to the show within a show, KEV-YN - a modern reboot of a 90s sitcom.
The situationships between Issa and Daniel (Y'lan Noel), along with Molly (Y'vonne Orji) and Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson) attempt to stride towards growth by setting boundaries, yet unclear communication paired with controlling, manipulative behavior creates chaos for all four parties. While a common theme seems to be controlling your own narrative and setting boundaries, Issa, Molly, Dro and Daniel all struggle to fully take charge.
Residing on the couch of her former fling Daniel, Issa’s continues to pile up L's. The season opens with Daniel having sex with a brown skin woman presumed to be Issa until it's made aware that our favorite awkward Black girl was only listening from the living room sofa. As the sex gets even louder we learn Issa is now a Lyft driver as she leaves the house to earn money on the side. Her status at We Got Yall has downgraded from in the field to on the phone. While Issa is both romantically and professionally spiraling downward, BFF Molly has everything in order, from the outside looking in.
Getting wined and dined by vacation bae, and multiple men in triple text territory, Molly’s hoetation is unphased. While she seems to enjoy dick on-demand and professional achievements, her mask is removed and the result is not dewy skin. Both Issa and Molly refuse to acknowledge the feelings they harbor for the men in their life.
“I just think we know better” mutters Issa after refusing a kiss from Daniel. An intimate conversation left Issa facing questions from Daniel and no amount of deflection could save her. Confronted with the fact that she could have stayed elsewhere yet found refuge in his living room, Issa retorts to simply stating she needed a place to stay. Instead of discussing why she felt his space was where she needed to be (beyond being close to work) Issa creates a reason to leave the room. While Issa shies away from verbally expressing what she really wants from Daniel, Molly is clear with her intentions with Dro but, do their results differ?
Back in California from a tropical vacation, Molly returns on some self-proclaimed, “know better, do better shit”, yet when it comes to Dro, the tables turn. Molly attempts to establish clear boundaries with Dro, who still in his “open marriage” and takes the top spot in her hoetation.
After a long night of steamy sex, Molly’s “bloop, blip, blap, blam” mindset seems to kick in. An offer to cook breakfast interrupted by a phone call from his wife Candace, Dro (who acknowledges Molly to his wife, seemingly confirming the open relationship) continues with his proposal of a pancake breakfast.
The lightbulb in Molly’s head went off as the decision was made to continue to have sex and cease other interaction; she immediately put Dro out. While this power move in reclaiming her vagina monologue seems to have boosted Molly’s confidence, those words were not followed with action. Despite laying down rules of no texts, no calls, no dates, Molly doesn't hesitate to communicate with Dro. Her desire to exist as a carefree sexual being is drowned by a flood of sensitivity.
Issa and Molly navigate themselves on opposite sides of the same road accompanied by dim street lights and echoes of silence. They both vocalize what they think they should want only to be haunted by their inner desires and it shows. Molly believes she has developed the fortitude to break the emotional ties of a “fuck-buddy" while Issa thinks pretending feelings do not exist will actually cause them to fade away.
The flawed existence of Issa and Molly do not excuse the trash demeanor of their male counterparts. Both men exploit the feelings Issa and Molly with shrewd behavior.
Daniel is taking the Future route, adding to his collection, parading his sex life in front of Issa instead of clarifying his sentiments. Getting the heads up from her roommate Daniel about his company, Issa decides to command a “Party Lyft” with Molly riding shotgun. Armed with Capri-Suns and a playlist featuring City Girls and Cardi B, the two meet some of Los Angeles’s most interesting characters.
Like most good parties all vibes come to an end often violently. While Issa and Molly text men they claim not to care about, a fight breaks out in the back of Issa’s sedan between her ride-share passengers. As the night passes, Issa finds her way back to Daniel’s couch where still confused by Issa’s unclear motives again challenges her to just be real.
Although admitting she still has romantic feelings for Daniel, Issa again refuses to fully unpack her emotional baggage, relying on the strength of their former platonic friendship to carry them to peace.
Molly’s attempts of keeping their relationship to bedroom meetings only struggles to succeed when faced with Dro’s manipulative behavior. Undeterred by new rules, Dro uses his own key to Molly’s place to let himself in, claiming she was not answering. A surprised Molly emerges from the bathroom, flirting with Dro, even kissing him, however a sign of hope prevails as she demands he return her key. In a perfect world, the key would have been handed over, yet Dro reaches into his contriving card deck and flips over a jester. With Molly standing firm in her decision, he returns the key after advocating against it, even telling Molly he and his wife are not her business, and hesitantly leaves.
All of the characters need to not only decide what they want, but learn how to be honest with themselves and others. After week one, I’m not #TeamIssa, #TeamMolly or even #Team Lawrence. My allegiance lies with Nathan (Kendrick Sampson). A transplant to Los Angeles with a southern accent, Nathan allows both Molly and Issa to change his destination, sparking a genuine sense of curiosity. Laughing about how the girls picked him up because he was fine, Nathan became the life of the “Party Lyft.” The next customer however had a different night planned.
Entering the car, he complained about the flavor of Capri-Sun offered by Issa and began to roll a blunt and proceed to smoke. When told by both Molly and Issa that the Party Lyft was a smoke-free occasion, the confrontational rider continued his anti behavior. Nathan decided to take the blunt and throw it out the window. This bold behavior lead to the aforementioned fight where Nathan left the guy in pretty bad shape. We later learn that Nathan tipped $50 for the Lyft ride. Hopefully his mysterious charm makes more appearances this season.