By Luvvie Ajay
Issa No — Issa is going around Inglewood to restaurants and artists to see if they’ll be a part of the block party but no one is here for this event but her. She is getting nothing but “NO” as a response. Later on, she tells Molly she’s putting it on hold, because it’s too hard and the person who convinced her she could do it (Nathan) is gone anyway. Molly tells her that her coworker Torian is being salty at her, after she took the reins on their case and pitched it herself to the partners. Issa asks her best friend to consider whether what she did to him was shady, but Molly says there’s a double standard that comes to being assertive in business if you’re a woman. Anywho, Issa’s birthday is coming up, and it needs to be drama free so Molly is gonna plan the day for her friend, with surprise celebration.
Zaddy — Lawrence meets up with his dad, Marcus, who is a busy businessman there on a trip. As he helps his dad with his new smartphone, which is an upgrade from the old school flips, he gets the much-needed advice that relationships are work. Lawrence’s parents might look like they have their sh*t together but when they started dating, they both showed up with all the baggage. But shout out to ZADDY Walker, wise and fine AF!
Upgrade — At work, Molly is called into the conference room where the partners are with Torian. They give her the good news that they have a new major client who is priority and that she is co-lead, along with Torian on it. She is clearly thrilled, and he is clearly not. Issa has an interview at the Beat Crew, and when asked what happened with her old job, she says it wasn’t aligned with her passion. The guy said he’ll get back to her and she’s geeked about the prospect. It looks promising.
Birthday Bish — On Issa’s birthday, Molly shows up to her apartment to pick her up. Right then, she sees Nathan walking up with flowers. Being the protective bestie she is, Molly tells him to scram! How dare you randomly show up after a month of absence on her birthday?? Foolishment. Nope. Bye!
Molly blindfolds Issa and walks her to a park and when she takes the blindfold off, it’s a movie in a park: The Last Dragon. This is year 30 so she gotta do it different. They run into Lawrence, who is meeting up with his boys and The Last Dragon nerds unite and have a moment. As he walks away, Issa’s look lingers a bit, and BFF notices.
Dirty 30 — Kelly is inside holding a space for them. Good news? Tiffany is making her godmother. They’re all 30. Single. Black. Thriving. Wait, but wasn’t Kelly hanging with Pocket Bae she called “The Black One?” Yes, until she realized he doesn’t give oral sex. NOPE. Exit stage left. What happened to The Asian, Molly? He ain’t work out either. Kelly finds some old conquests around and goes off wandering to see if there’s some new booty she can procure. Because: priorities.
Lawrence walks up to his boys and sees Chad holding a purse. Oh that’s what we on, now? Nah. It’s his woman, Leah's, purse. That relationship he lost because he was a cheating-ass dude? Well, he got it back after begging like a Keith Sweat song, apologizing to her family and watching some of her fave TV shows. All of that was worth it if it meant he didn’t have to start from scratch with someone else. And get this: they are engaged again.
Old Friend — The event kicks off, and it is a Black-ass movie night, for Black folks, organized by Stacy, one of Tiffany’s friends. Molly’s in the concession line and runs into Jared, the lover she had who she stopped talking to because he told her he’s dabbled in sex with men. They start talking and a dude walks up to Jared to tell him where their blanket is. OH. Is he on a date? With a dude? Welp.
Molly is so frazzled she runs into Lawrence. She tells Issa she ran into Jared and he’s fully gay. Hmmm… assumptions ruin lives. Kelly comes back mad because she found her ex Quantrell and now they’re a couple again. Only Kelly would be upset that she reignited an old flame. I love her.
Coupling — The movie is on and they’re into it and candy appears next to Issa’s face. It’s Lawrence, handing it to her to wish her a happy birthday. He sits down next to her and they chat for a little bit til he goes back to his boys. As the movie wraps, Issa realizes how far they had to come to have a night of noir fun and she doesn’t think it’s fair. Just then, Jared and his boy walk up. His boy? His brother. And the 2 women they’re with? Their girlfriends. OOP.
As the girls walk out, Issa goes to the event host, who she met previously at Tiffany’s baby shower. How did she make it all happen? By not quitting. Stacy says she just focused on getting YESses even as the NOs came through.
Negative Nancy — Molly and Issa are having a sleepover and Issa says she thinks she’s gonna do the Block Party after all. Molly is not as enthused and then drops the bomb about Nathan showing up and her telling him to get lost. Issa gets pissed and tells her friend she’s just been so negative lately. At work, and in general. If she keeps burning bridges in her wake, there will be no one on her side when she does make it to that coveted top.
The Setup — At work, Molly approaches Torian about the case they’re on. He tells her that she can handle the case all by herself because he’s recused himself from it and has joined the two women Molly previously shafted on their case. This is not a victory; this is a setup.
Issa meets up with Stacy to talk about the Block Party, because she is clearly someone she needs to brainstorm with and have on her team if she will make this Block Party a reality. The two part on great terms, and Stacy tells Issa she has a date. Issa gets home and there are flowers outside her door. Molly calls “The Asian One” (Andrew) and he is not that happy to hear from her (for good reason). She says she’s calling to say she can be hard on people and she’s been unfair to other people. This is a proper apology phone call, and he softens up to her.
Chances — Lawrence waits for his date and it’s Stacy! Aw sh*t. She tells him she thought they were done once she mentioned she was divorced. He makes light of it, because everyone has baggage. I see he’s been listening to Zaddy Marcus.
Nathan and Issa finally meet up. Where has he been this past month? He says he went back to Houston because he was dealing with a lot of stuff, and he sometimes makes a habit of disappearing when he is going through life’s struggles. He admits he was wrong for ghosting her. All he can say is he’s sorry and that he wants them to talk now that he’s back for good. Issa is not pressed to talk, and she walks away and says she needs to think.
Home — In her apartment, Issa pulls out a vinyl record. She starts unpacking all her boxes and putting her art on the walls. She takes plastic off her couch and at the end of the night, it feels like she has made a home out of her place. She is looking happy and settled, for the first time in a long time.
First of damn all, I AM PISSED AT NATHAN! What in the hell? How do you just disappear for a month and come back talmbout you were going through things? As if everyone doesn’t go through things? Being MIA is not the way to handle life, and I still don’t fully believe he was just going through something. You don’t bury your head in the sand and leave the folks who care about you wondering if you’re even alive. There has to be more to his absence cuz what kinda shenanigans has you ghosting someone you supposedly care about when all you coulda done is send one text that says “I’m fine. I just need to go away for a few weeks to clear my head?” In the words of Zion’s mama, Sister Lauryn Hill: “It could all be so simple. But you’d rather make it hard.”
I do love the fact that Issa didn’t just jump back in his arms. She was really measured and mature about her reaction to him. She didn’t fall into the puppy love trap, nor did she slice his pinky toe off. She’s taking her time to figure out if what he said is good enough for her to accept. I’m here for it.
Furthermore, I’m seeing Issa’s growth. From the advice she’s been giving to her friends, to her dealings with these men who are hellbent on being fckbois, to deciding not to give up on the Block Party because the community needs it. Our girl is growing up and showing that she isn’t always on Team Bad Decisions. Issa is miles away from where she was when the season started. She began on the couch in a lover’s house, hating her job and everything about what she was entangled in. She was newly heart-broken and didn’t seem to have direction. Now, she’s interviewing for jobs and might be close to getting one she would love. She has her own apartment, and she has a passion project. Plus, she’s distancing herself from tempting male vagabondery. Lemme find out 30 done made Issa get her life together. I’m here for it.
Molly, on the other hand, can’t seem to find her footing. She is supposed to be the friend with her act together but things seem to be falling apart. At her new law firm, she’s becoming a pariah because she didn’t learn to share in kindergarten. Plus, her need for title and status is adversely affecting her relationships at the workplace. Those same relationships are clutch when moving through the world of business. And Issa was right in that her friend has been in a very negative space. She doesn’t do the encouraging thing well and that’s because she’s not happy with herself and she projects all of her misery on others. It seems Issa is pointing that out to her, though, because of that apology she gave to Andrew. Let’s hope she can keep that going. Also: some extra therapy sessions might not hurt.
Lawrence is giving love a chance and realizing that he hasn’t had real expectations on what it looks like to date. There are no baggage-less people. Some just have carry-on while some are gonna take extra strength to life. He must have met Stacy at Tiffany’s shower. I’m just nervous for when it somehow gets to Issa that her new friend is the one her ex-boyfriend is beginning to date. Let it not unravel any of her progress.
As Season 3 of Insecure ends, Issa is feeling hopeful about her space, Molly is feeling convicted about her attitude and Lawrence is feeling open to the possibilities of new partnership. The 30s are here and you gotta move different. May the mistakes and dumbassery of our 20s not follow us into the decade where adulting truly begins.
This post is in partnership with HBO. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.