'Insecure' Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: "Hella Great"
Photo Credit: Photo: HBO
Recap , Television

'Insecure' Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: "Hella Great"

It’s been approximately eight months since black men and women have had something meaningful to argue about on the timeline, in our group chats, and wherever else we manage to escape the white gaze.

Since a thankless hero photoshopped Lawrence’s Best Buy polo hanging from the rafters, forever commemorating his revenge sex after being cheated on, the battle of the genders has largely reverted back to otherwise toxic and one-sided debates.

Courtesy of HBO, Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore’s Insecure provided a much-needed reprieve from such debates throughout its first eight episode run last year. Instead of the feasibility of $200 dates, the morality of fly-out stories gone ary and asinine denials of men being trash, last season, Insecure gave us the chance to engage in disputes that actually made sense to dignify.

We were given fun relationship hypotheticals begging questions like how long is too long to support your partner through unemployment? When, if ever, is it okay to cheat on that bum ass unemployed partner? And how exactly does one heal a broken pussy?

Throughout all of those grave philosophical questions, backshots were given and a hive was born.

As season two premiered, fans found Lawrence right where we left him — blowing Tasha’s back out, trying to sex it away. While every heart in #LawrenceHive skipped a beat when the episode opened with he and Issa in swank restaurant, discussing their feelings and whatnot a couple moments prior, there turned out to be a masterfully executed twist to that scene.

Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO

“It hurts, but hopefully we can move past it,” he says to Issa, as if he hasn’t glowed up since their split. This king, played by Jay Ellis, finally has a presentable haircut, a respectable job, and a woman who calls him daddy with a Z. He doesn’t need to move past anything. God is clearly on his side.

Luckily—and quite brilliantly—that scene dissolves into reality, ultimately assuring the audience it was all a fantasy. What was actually happening was something young singles often struggle with when they’ve been without love for too long.

Daydreaming about Lawrence, Issa found herself on multiple dates bored and frustrated answering the same questions, over the same drinks, at the same restaurant—all punctuated with a hilariously blunt rap verse.

In its opening sequence, the show’s writing staff, spearheaded by Rae herself, duplicated the type of resonant magic that caught our attention last year and has us excited to continue on this year.

Throughout the episode, we find our characters following through on the promises they made to themselves last season. Issa hosts a wine mixer as an elaborate ruse to convince Lawrence she’s doing fine. Molly, played by the always perfect Yvonne Orji, finally seeks therapy. And Lawrence half heartedly navigates his unfulfilling weekend romance with Tasha from the bank.

To no one’s surprise, none of these endeavors are successful. Issa’s house party ends in a house fire, without Lawrence even bothering to make an appearance. Molly is jaded and guarded throughout her therapy sessions, and is further dismayed upon finding out her co-worker, a white man, makes more money than she does. And Lawrence lets the hive down by having random, unwise, pitifully short couch sex with Issa.

Not only did he backslide and betray a good woman who’s known to keep hot sauce in her bag, but dude’s whole body quivered after approximately 19 seconds and 22 to 24 strokes (yes, I counted). While it made for a solid cliffhanger, mediocre sex is no way to win your ex back.

All in all, the episode was as fire as the last eight. And for those keeping track at home, we’ve gotten two music predictions right so far, and we’re only one episode in.

Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO

As I suggested she would, Rae cued “Love Galore” by SZA toward the end of the premier—because great minds think alike and all that. While the episode didn’t include the Cardi B song I imagined it would, “Bodak Yellow,” it did feature “Lick ” by the Bronx born rapper. So I’m counting that too.

Here’s to more bops to come next week, as Lawrence and Issa sort their feelings after having had that “I got food on the stove” sex this week.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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