‘Insecure’ Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: “Hella Open”

Last week’s Insecure had the crew doing their best to move on: Issa decided to move past Lawrence, Molly chose to try a different approach at work, and Lawrence got a new apartment. But now’s the time to see just how well that’s working out for them as they keep things “Hella Open.”

Issa

As promised (and kind of needed), Issa is moving on, giving the whole dating thing another try — an awkward, been-out-of-the-game-for-a-minute try. Whether it’s being tickled by the touch of new, “weird” (read: “not Lawrence’s”) fingers, her uncoordinated “sex walk,” or leaning way too hard into (and failing at) the compliment approach of flirting, Issa is definitely trying to get this single, “ho phase” of her life on track. It’s just apparently not as easy as Lawrence has made it look — and even he makes a mess of it all. After a very upsetting search for batteries, it’s clear Issa can’t just let handheld technology do all the work for her sexual frustrations.

We Got Y’all is still seeing great growth at the high school, but the problem — as Frieda points out and Issa wants to keep playing ignorant on — is that the only kids who are joining the program are black kids, despite the fact the school is 86% Latino. But Vice Principal Gaines is also singing Issa and Frieda’s (but probably mostly Issa’s) praises to Joanne. This really, really isn’t going to end well, is it?

The personal tide changes for Issa as she’s painting over her party fire-ruined wall (and don’t think we didn’t notice that “paint fumes” fainting, Issa) and decides to be proactive in quenching her thirst for Eddie, a neighbor she keeps seeing around the complex. He’s young, obsessed with Gossip Girl (as we all were at one point), and he’s down to go along with Issa’s “extra charger” excuse as her reason behind showing up at his place. There’s more awkwardness — and this is after Eddie had already waxed poetic about Blake Lively’s work in Gossip Girl and how you didn’t need to see season five to understand season six — in that sexual encounter, but once they get past the politeness and uncomfortable positions, it all ends well. Issa might just be getting the hang of this single life. Thanks again, Gossip Girl.

Issa’s “Hella Open” Status: Officially open for business

Molly

While Issa spends a good deal of her time getting back on the saddle making a fool of herself, Molly does things in a way that are so effortlessly Molly that you almost forget why Molly’s life isn’t perfectly together. Then she Mollys it up, and you remember. In this case, things are going as well as possible work-wise; she seems to be making the double workload work, though she does sometimes take her other frustrations out on oblivious Travis. However, there are little personal things, like the fact that she has no one to help her carry a bookshelf from CB2 (and thirsty Issa isn’t exactly the key to helping her assemble it as well) or putting “pause” on her therapy because she thinks Dr. Pine is projecting her own black woman stuff on her. (She’s not, but that’s a breakthrough for another episode.)

Enter Sterling K. Brown as Lionel, a man Molly meets as a result of Issa poorly flirting with his wingman. He’s got a good job, he’s got a good relationship with his family, he’s easy for Molly to talk to, and, well, he’s got the looks and charms of Sterling K. Brown. Lionel and Molly hit things off perfectly, to the point where he’s talking about “hypotheticals” about fastforwarding through the awkward first date stuff and straight to love and marriage. Every woman watching the episode is ready for him to propose right then and there, but Insecure exists in a magical world where Sterling K. Brown can just roll up as a character’s (and audience’s) dream man and then get ghosted for being too perfect. In fact, Molly and Issa realize he’s basically the male Molly — though he looks like he has it a lot more put together than her. In fact, the only thing Molly has put together by the end of this episode is her bookshelf, courtesy of two white assemblers.

Molly’s “Hella Open” Status: Open enough to turn down Sterling K. Brown and SZA tickets

Lawrence

The signs were all there. Sure, Lawrence was looking good, really good, but the man couldn’t tell things to Issa or Tasha straight, and so many of his decisions were based in his lack of desire to just rip off the Band-Aid and be a damn grown-up. It would have been a mess if he got away with that kind of behavior all season — especially for Tasha, just so you know — but thankfully, this episode has him called out for it.

Yes, this is a Team Tasha Zone right here, and after the season’s first two episodes found Tasha falling for Lawrence and his less than ideal qualities, “Hella Open” finally has her read Lawrence for the… trifling man he is. (She calls him something else, and while it’s hella appropriate, it’s not exactly PG.) It starts with something as simple as Lawrence trying to initiate sex while Tasha is clearly trying to have a chill night of TV (it’s TGIT, after all) as though he learned nothing from his conversations with the woman after he told her he had sex with Issa. Lawrence can’t pretend he doesn’t know Tasha wants at least something more than just a hookup, but he still does, even when he brings chairs for her family’s huge barbecue.

Of course, Lawrence chooses that as the time to hang with his co-workers at a mixer notorious for sloppy tech startup hookups, ditching Tasha and the barbecue early on for “a work thing” and avoiding actually telling her the truth until the last possible minute. You know the phrase “fake it ‘til you make it?” Lawrence couldn’t even fake a day of being into Tasha like that before he decided to drop her, and as she calls him post-barbecue and he gives ther the whole “I’m just not looking to get into anything serious” bit, Tasha drops a little knowledge on him – specifically how he “ghosted” her while she was with her family, and while she knew they were never serious, he still “fronted” like he was. He really shouldn’t have apologized about Issa, or even told her about it, if he wasn’t planning to keep things moving forward. So she tells him how trifling he is, with the point that it’s even worse because he “thinks he’s a good guy.” She’s not wrong, but Lawrence probably isn’t going to think about that as he immediately moves on.

Lawrence’s “Hella Open” Status: Open to white girls

Keeping things “Hella Open” proves to be just as messy as a lot of other things in season two, and while Issa may finally be getting on track, things can just as easily derail. That fainting spell could have been paint fumes, but considering she and Lawrence didn’t use a condom on their quickie hookup in the premiere, you know it could be something else. And if so, pray that Lawrence finds a way to grow up between now and that revelation. Sure, Molly could help Issa raise this hypothetical baby, but considering their failed attempt at assembling a bookcase, it could be a struggle.