The writers of Insecure said they weren’t going to hold back this season and let’s just say, the opener gave us all that and more. A show that often highlights the ups and downs of navigating adulthood, reminded us last night that while life is hard, dating in this digital age is that much harder.
Considering that much of the first two seasons set up a theme around the characters who made poor decisions and lack critical discernment, we’ve always known that both Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) have struggled with being, well, insecure. But while each of the characters insecurities might make for great television, there is a greater discussion to be had around how the boundaries, or lack of them, only complicate the relationships we have.
Recall Issa’s moment of responding to a message to meet up with Daniel (Y’lan Noel) which led to the breakup of her relationship with Lawrence (Jay Ellis). Or the moment where Molly finds out that her friend Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson) is in fact married.
You would think that these would be perfect times to put text messages on mute right?
Following the season 3 premiere on Sunday, it is clear that both Issa and Molly are starting to gain a better understanding of why perimeters must be set in every relationship you have, whether platonic or sexual.
For Issa, this comes in the form of needing to flesh out what type of relationship her and Daniel have, considering she is now broke and sleeping on his couch while he is having sex with other women. For Issa, it’s understanding that both her and Daniel have a great deal of unresolved history and being under his roof leaves too much open for things to stay neutral between them. In a flirtatious moment where lines were blurred and both of them were feeling some type of way, Daniel tries to kiss Issa with her responding that they “both know better.”
For Molly, who’s storyline is a bit more complicated, boundary setting is difficult when you give someone in your life more access than what might be deserved. As a woman who thrives off recognition and success, being connected to someone who makes you feel seen even under the worst conditions is in fact a problem. In her case, that problem is that she allows Dro to have more access to her life than what is truly deserved. Even with the ultimatum she gives him, we still see her respond to his texts and phone calls. Though it is very fair to say that Dro has been upfront with her about being in an open marriage, it is clear that like Issa, Molly too struggles with knowing and doing better.
But-in all of this, it is safe to say that both Issa and Molly are not fully at fault for where they stand. Throughout most of the series, it should be noted that both Daniel and Dro have played a great role in creating the insecurities that live in these women and very rarely take accountability for that. Even more, they continue to know and understand the ties they have on these women and very rarely take accountability for their actions.
Consider Daniel and his passivity when addressed by Issa about where they stand. Or Dro not comprehending why he needs to give Molly back her house key after telling him that he is no longer welcome to just drop by. Both men are given perfect opportunities to fix the damage they caused yet they continue to operate in ways that some might consider manipulative.
This season, unlike the others, really taps at the idea that becoming or being an insecure person doesn’t just happen by chance. Much of it is who we are connected to and how much access and power we give said person in our life. At the core of this season it reminds us that while yes, relationships are in fact complicated: so is life.
The only thing that makes life a little better is letting others know where they stand in yours.