'Insecure' Season 2, Episode 5 recap: "Hella Shook"
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Recap , Television

'Insecure' Season 2, Episode 5 recap: "Hella Shook"

The omnipresent theme throughout last night’s episode of Insecure was hurt feelings. Per usual, these hurt feelings would have been avoided if adult decisions were considered.

Lawrence made the mistake of lurking on Issa’s Facebook page, resulting in him finding out she’s still seeing Daniel, the dude she cheated on him with, before being read by Derek in response to perhaps the least self-aware rant he could have delivered in that moment.

As if he were speaking for the viewers, Derek, played by Wade Allain-Marcus, countered Lawrence’s objections to Issa and Daniel’s ongoing relationship by astutely arguing “this ain’t all on Issa. You spent two years unemployed, not doing shit, letting your woman take care of you...I can see why she’s attracted to a guy who’s out there, making things happen.” A not-so-mysterious silence concluded that exchange.

Photo: Justina Mintz/HBO Photo: Justina Mintz/HBO

While Lawrence’s hurt makes him look silly (if not fully obtuse), given he’s still grappling with the remnants of a triangle the other two points have clearly moved on from, the hurt Molly experiences during ‘Hella Shook’ makes her look downright childish.

Upon finding out her parents’ relationship once wavered, resulting in infidelity on the part of her father, Molly threw a fit and dramatically stormed out of their house full of guests.

A few things are profoundly puzzling about Molly’s reaction when she learned her father had cheated on her mother. For one, that bit of information seems to inexplicably blind her to the fact that she learned it at their vow renewal ceremony, celebrating 35 years of successful marriage.

In fact, context clues indicating when her father faltered were gratuitously dropped for her and the audience once her Aunt KiKi bemoaned “I didn’t think they were going to make it to 5, let alone 35—with what he put my sister though.”  

Clearly, Molly’s parents worked through whatever trauma or heartache they experienced within the first few years of their marriage. They’re fine, yet she’s inconsolable—an emotional response that makes even less sense when considering the fact she was on the frontlines trying to reunite Lawrence and Issa after infidelity ended their relationship.

Most confounding about her dramatics was where they lead her. After making the surprisingly adult decision last week to know herself and understand what she is and is not comfortable with, Molly curiously decided to walk that decision back this week (as I predicted she would), ultimately sleeping with Dro as a way of coping with her father’s sordid history, despite being vehemently opposed to the idea of open marriages a literal day earlier.

On the surface, in the vein of television writing, this sequence makes sense: she believed all relationships should be monogamous, then she found out her father failed in monogamy, so now she’s open to the idea of polyamory.

But further down the hole, the variables are what make this confusing. Variables like how quickly that turn around happened, how sharp it was when it did, and the fact that Molly is either in or around her 30th year of age while responding to her parents’ marital strife with the emotional intelligence of an 8th grader.

On a show with characters as developmentally arrested as Lawrence and Issa, Molly switching—or at the very least ignoring— her inclined outlook on love behind a knee-jerk reaction to a dark spot in a relationship that’s now flourishing was one of the most immature sequences of the series (albeit compelling).

Photo: Justina Mintz/HBO Photo: Justina Mintz/HBO

Ironically, by engineering happiness where she absolutely did not need to and maybe shouldn’t have even wanted to, Molly’s mother exercised more thought in her decision to stay together than her daughter did in her decision to storm out.

The brilliance of Insecure lies in the fact that even though I find Molly to be painfully wrongheaded, I’m now invested in her character the most, as I’m looking forward to her continued therapy sessions throughout the season. Surely, there’s something to be learned in not giving yourself time to unpack your emotions before rashly pivoting your worldview. Hopefully, she’ll learn whichever lesson comes with that pivot sitting across from her therapist with a level head, as opposed to across from Issa with a broken heart.

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