Insecure: Season 3 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title card for HBO's Insecure.
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In season 3, Issa finally has real stable growth as Molly continues to seem stagnant. But, when it comes to their friend group, they’re dealing with growing pains of a different kind.


Network
HBO
Creator Issa Rae
Noted Cast
Molly Yvonne Orji
Lawrence Jay Ellis
Issa Issa Rae
Kelli Natasha Rothwell
Tiffany Amanda Seales
Condola Christina Elmore
Daniel Y’lan Noel

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Summary

Everyone is experiencing a life change. Most of which deals with truly reaching a new stage in life from Issa changing jobs, and trying to start a career. Molly trying to understand how she fits in when she isn’t the only, or one of the few, Black employees but everyone is Black. I’m talking from the mail person to the bosses. Then there is Lawrence who wants to settle down, but finding the one seems impossible and, like Issa, he doesn’t seem like he wants to look back to move forward.

But then comes the friends. Kelli is, well Kelli, but we’re reminded just because Kelli often plays the comic relief of the show, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have feelings. Not in terms of some man treating her right or anything like that, because Kelli is a pimp. She plays men cause all they are to her are hoes. More so it is in terms of her friendship with Tiffany. Someone who is pregnant, and with that comes her reaching a point in her life none of her friends are anywhere towards. Something they show when they all go to Coachella and don’t make much, if any, accommodations for Tiffany. Forcing her to question where their friendships may go – if they may continue.

And that is essentially where we are left. Wondering what may come next after each person having momentous growth, including Issa adopting one of Tiffany’s friends, Condola. Who just so happens to be the person Lawrence has started dating.

Highlights

The End Days of We Got Ya’ll

Issa quitting her day job.
Issa: I need something new.

The whole saga of Issa at We Got Ya’ll ran its course. She got benched because of what happened with her favoring Black kids, lost out on a promotion, and Joanne seemed to have the best intentions, but clearly was in over her head. Which Issa tried to help with, to give one last final push, but to no avail. It came to a point where, with her becoming a super, and doing Lyft, she decided she had enough of a safety net to bounce.

Which honestly was the best thing for the show since it presents Issa with a new struggle. Said struggle being, trying to have a big-time culture event in her hood. Something which, inspired by Condola, maybe the focus of the next season. But, on top of that event, we also may see her bond with Condola in a way she can’t with Molly anymore. For it really does seem Molly is used to their friendship being a certain way and with it shifting, she doesn’t like that. It no longer holds the same vibe and validation. Making it seem, at best, the two are going to have a well-deserved break. Yet, at worse, similar to how Kelli and Tiffany’s relationship have reached an odd place, the same might be said for Issa and Molly’s

The Comic Reliefs Got Their Due

Speaking specifically about Tiffany, and a bit about Kelli, two characters who were mostly known for quipping during conversation, or when critiquing Issa or Molly’s life, they became real. Rather than just being there for a joke or to set up a scene, Kelli and Tiffany got to show they are people with feelings.

Starting with Kelli, with Tiffany not having her be part of her baby shower, lying to her about it altogether, we are reminded that Kelli and Tiffany have an Issa and Molly relationship. If not rather, Kelli wanted them to. Yet, perhaps Kelli was never good enough. She was the consolation prize because Issa had a Molly and Molly had an Issa and they were each other’s best friend. Something Tiffany wanted to make a threesome but instead, it was pretty much accept Kelli or hope your bougie friends can be around more. And being disrespected like that, seeing Kelli react in a way which didn’t have her ready to go off but she had to just walk away, that was a punch to the gut.

And while you may side eye Tiffany for her handling of Kelli, and the baby shower situation, it isn’t like she isn’t going through it too. She is the only one in her friend group who has a stable relationship, much less marriage, and isn’t stagnant or stumbling. Tiffany is about to have a baby, meaning she is going another whole stage ahead of her friends. Friends which you may sometimes wonder, what makes this group so special when we see Tiffany, at the baby shower, have all these other people?

However, I think there is something about these friends not having it together, being willing to show and express that, with only some shame, which attracts Tiffany to them. For it could very well be Tiffany is the type who doesn’t know how to vocalize or let people in when she is floundering. Hence why it took that serious wake up call at Coachella to realize this friendship she has with Issa and the rest may not be for life. It may have been a reason or season she has long extended and just can’t let go. Which, watching Amanda Seales process that, it really proves to you she can do more than tell or joke or provide poignant social commentary. Homegirl can act.

You Find Yourself Appreciating Lawrence’s Return

Andy (Harry Lennix) and Lawrence having lunch.
Andy (Harry Lennix) and Lawrence

Like many, I didn’t read between the lines when it came to how the show was promoted and thought Lawrence was off. Him and Issa got closure and so, as many would assume, so comes the question of why keep him on? The question remained when he returned but then you get to understand that while his story could have ended, there was a lot left to explore. Not between him and Issa, beyond establishing they could be friends, but more so to provide guys what Issa, and the rest of the ladies, provide women – some kind of direction.

After all, drop Lawrence and you really can’t find another Black guy like him on a Black show. Especially in as prominent as a role. So as frustrating as his return was, him exiting the ho phase, trying to find love, religion, and all that, feels necessary in a way. I won’t pretend that it doesn’t seem strange for a lead’s ex to be around after they are done with them, romantically, but the passion of the Lawrence hive proved him necessary.

Low Points

Chad and Derek

All the growth Tiffany and Kelli get, Chad and Derek don’t see anything resembling that at all. Chad does find religion, gets back with his girl, but Derek? If he was in more than one episode, I’d be surprised. If he said more than two paragraphs, the entire season, I’d be shocked. For the problem with these two are, Chad has never been pushed to be more than comic relief and Derek has never been more than Tiffany’s husband. Yet, with the next season, maybe these two might get the same opportunity to show a different side to themselves as Tiffany and Kelli? One could only hope.

Whatever Happened to Daniel?

Daniel after eviscerating Issa.

Daniel just falls off mid-way through the season, storyline going on, and all.

On The Fence

Molly Seems Stuck In A Pattern She Just Can’t Break

Sometimes it seems the main purpose of Molly is to be the opposite of Issa in a way. Molly seemingly peaked early on, career-wise, yet never got her personal life together. On the other hand, Issa might have peaked in her personal life, but her professional life has been stagnant. Yet, with Issa’s life coming together on both ends, to a point, so comes the need to look at Molly and wonder what is going on?

Professionally, she decides to cut her nose to spite her face repeatedly to become the star lawyer. Yet, in the process, you see her lose out on many of the things which made the idea of being at a Black majority law firm appealing. Never mind, personal life wise, between tearing down Issa to, dating-wise, just being an f*** up, it is like most of the progress we’ve seen over the course of previous seasons went out the window.

But, at the same time, one could argue Molly was in a new environment and trying new things in life since the old ways didn’t work. However, even with some attempt to excuse her actions, taking note she still is seeing Dr. Pine, and has been keeping stuff from her, maybe Molly isn’t just ready to face facts. The main one being, the reason her life is in such disarray is her.

The Nathan Effect

Nathan explaining what happened to him for a month.

What you have to appreciate about Nathan is, unlike Daniel and Lawrence, there was no baggage. With him, Issa didn’t have to deal with what happened in the past and try to fix things up so there could be some semblance of a future. The bad thing about Nathan is that when he ghosted Issa, it came off like he maybe was going through a depression of some kind. Yet, there was room left for him to just not be s***.

Overall: Positive (Watch This)

One of the things you have to love about Insecure is that it is a show about growth. It finds a way to bring the audience comedy and drama, showing that becoming secure with who you are takes time, without feeling like it is dragging out the process. Which, going into season 4, will have us seeing Issa with a trajectory towards a career, Tiffany and Kelli trying to figure out what friendships are worth investing in, then there is Molly. With Molly, we’ll have her really taking a look at herself, maybe hunkering down in therapy, and trying to find the root of her personal and professional issues. Never mind Lawrence maybe finding a woman who, with him in a good place in his life, could be the one.

Leading to why the positive label. Insecure has never stopped pushing forward. Even in terms of Molly, her forward may have been digging a bit deeper into the dirt, addressing her issues, but there is gold where she is heading so you want to see her go deeper. Meanwhile, everyone else presses on and doesn’t present themselves as heading back to who they were in season 1. Everyone is evolving and though their progress has long been uneven, it is all starting to sync up now. Giving us all reason to be excited to see what this show will be like as more and more characters reach an even playing field.


Has Another Season Been Confirmed?: Yes


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsis

Season 3 – Recap/ Review

In season 3, Issa finally has real stable growth as Molly continues to seem stagnant. But, when it comes to their friend group, they’re dealing with growing pains of a different kind.

Season 3/ Episode 7 "Obsessed-Like"

With no response from Nathan in over a week, Issa is starting to lose it. As for Molly? Well, it seems she is just hell-bent on isolating herself.

Season 3/ Episode 6 “Ready-Like”

As Issa continues to show growth, and Lawrence remains a nasty ho, Kelli has a real moment like Tiffany did in the last episode. 

Season 3/ Episode 5 “High-Like”

Tiffany, who is pregnant; Molly, who is stressed out from work; Kelli’s crazy ass; and Issa take drugs at Coachella. What’s the worse that could happen?

Season 3/ Episode 4 “Fresh-Like”

Remember how Molly said she was on some “Know better, do better” s***? Seems Issa is taking up that mantra as well.

Season 1/ Episode 1 "Insecure as Fuck"

Whether you were an Awkward Black Girl fan or the marketing for this show got your interest peaked, welcome the next series which shows TV is way ahead of the game when it comes to diverse depictions of Black folk.

Season 1/ Episode 2 "Messy as Fuck"

Dating is hard, especially when it seems the end result of any date, even the first one, seems to just be guys wanting to get laid. So does Issa really want to return to that world? The one which lacks commitment, or will she stay with her bum of a boyfriend? Much less, she has that presentation to get to.

Season 1/ Episode 3 "Racist As Fuck"

Issa owns up to her end of her and Lawrence’s relationship problems, as Molly finally gets into “The League.” Also, Issa shows she is more than a token at work.

Season 1/ Episode 4 "Thirsty As Fuck"

Just as Lawrence’s relationship with Issa is recovering, here comes Daniel. Meanwhile, Molly is still trying to find someone of status to commit to her as Rasheeda seemingly became her problem.

Season 1/ Episode 5 "Shady as Fuck"

As Molly comes to her senses, Issa loses her damn mind.

Season 1/ Episode 6 "Guilty as Fuck"

As the titles of the episode become the best way to summarize each one, so begins the need to side eye both Issa and Molly.

Season 1/ Episode 7 "Real as Fuck"

For the gains Issa gets at her job she has an equal amount of losses in her personal life.

Season 1/ Episode 8 "Broken as Fuck"

The season ends with one of Issa’s relationships saved! Can you guess which one?

Season 2/ Episode 1 “Hella Great”

Insecure returns and Issa is still recovering from Lawrence walking out on her cheating behind. But she is “Hella Great” otherwise.

Season 2/ Episode 2 “Hella Questions”

My name is Amari and I’d like to hand in my #TeamLawrence card due to him being an F*** boy. Who do I need to talk to? […] No, I don’t wish to subscribe to #TeamIssa, though I do enjoy her storyline more than ever. Is there a #TeamMolly or even a #TeamTasha subscription available though?

Season 2/ Episode 3 “Hella Open”

As Issa begins to enter her ho phase, Lawrence comes to realize that maybe he isn’t as much of a good guy as he thinks he is.

Season 2/ Episode 4 “Hella LA”

Daniel returns to Insecure and while things are awkward between the two, Kelli helps push them together. Meanwhile, Molly is propositioned and Lawrence has a threesome.

Season 2/ Episode 5 “Hella Shook”

Things are starting to get a little rocky in Issa’s work life but are holding steady for her ho phase. Meanwhile, Molly learns her role model parents aren’t as perfect as she thought they were.

Season 2/ Episode 6 “Hella Blows”

“Sometimes saying goodbye means you’re making room for something better.” This quote is a lesson damn near every last character needs to learn. As for why, look below.

Season 2/ Episode 7 “Hella Disrespectful”

All the signs are there that people need to move on but, unfortunately, until the point is smeared into people’s faces on Insecure, the point doesn’t come across.

Season 2/ Episode 8 “Hella Perspective”

Up to a certain point, you may think that everyone maybe getting their situations together. But, in the long run, happy and functioning people don’t keep shows running.

Season 3/ Episode 3 “Backwards-Like”

Just when you think Issa and Daniel could be gearing towards something, he gets in his feelings and throws a cluster bomb.

Season 3/ Episode 1 "Better-Like"

With every season, Issa and Molly try to change for the better – but it is a struggle. However, with a focus on setting boundaries, they make steps forward.

Director(s) Prentice Penny
Writer(s) Issa Rae
Air Date 8/13/2018
Actors Introduced
Nathan Kendrick Sampson

Season 3/ Episode 2 "Familiar-Like"

Issa finds herself in a place where her voice and abilities are valued and while unfamiliar territory, she is getting comfortable with people taking her seriously.

Director(s) Pete Chatmon
Writer(s) Amy Aniobi
Air Date 8/19/2018
Actors Introduced
Jada Nia Chanel
5even Moustapha Lamine Diop
Khalil Aaron Jennings
Spyder Roshon Fegan

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