Insecure S3E3 Backwards Like: Business Casual Casualties

The momentum of HBO’s Insecure starts to pick up in season 3 episode 3, Backwards Like. Issa (Issa Rae), Molly (Yvonne Orji) and even Daniel (Y’lan Noel) seem to have reverted to making bad decisions and only bad decisions which leads fans to wonder “what’s next?”

Issa, fantasizing about receiving oral sex from Daniel (yes the two still platonically sleep in the same bed) while devouring Hot Cheetos remains bound by her determination to move out on her own.  Issa and Daniel’s ups and downs are still results of their bad decisions yet Molly, Issa and Daniel shoot professional shots in the style of Plaxico Burress.

Insecure has always chronicled the entirety of Issa and Molly’s lives, not just the hook-ups and party Lyft fights. The intrapersonal and interpersonal struggles and strides faced in various professional industries by black millenials has been a secondary storyline of the series.

Molly’s struggle with her own self identity as a black woman in a predominantly white industry met with her professional insecurities have finally come to surface. Her new job at an all-Black law firm is seemingly a dream but due to Molly’s own self-sabotage it quickly turns into a nightmare.

They probably got shea butter dispensers in the bathroom and shit
— Molly

Her judgmental vibe of her new office and co-workers is only met with awkward laughter.

Molly’s never had all black co-workers before and as foreshadowed by this (PAINFULLY CORNY) joke, the culture shock hits head on.  Molly’s not so warm welcome to her new firm comes from her own unprofessional attitude. Feeling free from the whiteness of her last law firm, Molly did not realize the privileges were non-transferable. On her first day, Molly makes cringe worthy joke after cringe worthy joke, christened with “at my old firm” as she floats around her new office catching side-eyes from every angle.

Aye what you know about these mandolins, cuz
— Daniel

Daniel’s plight to upgrade from unknown soundcloud beats to platinum plaque producer hits a self-built brick wall. 

Daniel, who took Issa’s advice and reached out to their former classmate Khalil (Aaron Jennings), hoping to have his talents used by Spyder (Roshon Fegan), a rapper on the rise.  When he played the beat, sampling an Icelandic rock group, Khalil gives him some advice and tweaks it to something more Spyder’s speed.

Daniel let’s his ego get in the way, taking Khalil’s edit’s personal and when it’s time to play the track in front of the buzzing rapper, Daniel plays his version, potentially damaging his strongest professional relationship.   


We’ve given white people enough time.
— Frieda

Issa’s own professional struggles are also highlighted as We Got Yall’ continues to worsen by the day.  Attending a recruitment fair with other organizations advocating for increased quality of life for underprivileged youth, Issa is met with the opportunity to inquire about a position with a new company who’s flavorful advocacy is more her speed.

Introduced by a live performance featuring children sporting cultural face art, playing instruments and dancing, Issa finds The Beat Crew, a foundation offering musical and artistic support for children in the neighborhood, the recruiter on scene asks her if she’s on a job search. Instead of learning more, Issa says no and her coworker Frieda (Lisa Joyce) rushes her away.  Issa later attends an interview for an apartment manager position which is both part-time and on-call, resulting in her accepting the role, maybe the only semi-good decision of the episode.

Issa is slowly but surely sliding back into my good graces. Not only did she take a new job, that may not be ideal but will help her get back on her own, she stops herself from having sex with Daniel.  The Issa and Daniel situationship was beginning to work as a friendship and although dirty Daniel continues to make sexual advances, Issa is FINALLY becoming clear that it may not be the right thing to do.