Insecure Recap: All in a Day’s Work


Out, Okay?!
Season 5 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating 4 stars


Out, Okay?!
Season 5 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace/HBO

Well, folks, it’s down to the wire — the penultimate episode of Insecure. Last week, we saw two of Issa’s imagined possible futures. Now, we get to see if she’ll take Molly’s advice and choose what will make her happy.

Issa and Nathan are touring a new apartment that they love and is perfectly situated between Nathan’s shop, NBW’s offices, and Crenshawn’s studio. They can see themselves building a life together there. They decide to apply, but the realtor tells them he’s already rented it. Point one to the universe.

At Molly’s law office, Taurean meekly admits that he’s been offered a partnership at the firm after a private meeting. Molly hugs him enthusiastically, drawing some looks from her other female colleagues in her excitement. She tries to cover by inviting them into the embrace, but of course, it’s awkward and weird and doesn’t work for even a second. When Molly and Taurean walk away in separate directions, their colleagues clock them immediately. “They definitely fucking right?” “Yup.”

Over at his new place, Lawrence is looking at listings for apartments with Chad. But he’s not keen to leave. He’s decided that if he moves again, he wants a place that has everything he’s looking for. Exasperated, Chad tells him he’s bought Derek a new briefcase as his going-away present. But Lawrence says he doesn’t think he’ll be going to the party Derek and Tiffany are throwing because Issa will probably be there. Derek tells him that he’s not sure why Issa’s presence would bother him, given that he didn’t fight for their relationship when she ended it. Lawrence counters that he couldn’t make Issa be with him. But Derek insists that Lawrence often lets life happen to him and that if it had been him in that situation, nothing would have stopped him from getting Issa back. From the look on Lawrence’s face, that option didn’t occur to him.

At Derek and Tiffany’s going-away party, their home is done up in style, and their beautifully decorated backyard is full of people who love them. Issa and Nathan join Kelli, Tiffany, and Derek at a cocktail table and announce their plans to move in together. As Nathan heads off to take a call, Tiffany laments that she won’t get to see their new place because she’ll be in Denver. Not that she doesn’t love Denver, of course. “I read there’s over 300 days of sunlight so … you know. That’s a thing.”

Just then, Molly arrives with Taurean on her arm. She introduces him to the group, and naturally Tiffany zooms in on the gift he’s brought with him. Hilariously, he tells her it’s trash. When Molly takes him aside to ask if he’s okay, Taurean admits that he misread the party’s vibe and brought edibles to share. He’s embarrassed. Molly tells him that it’s okay and she’ll take one with him as a way for them to celebrate that he’s made partner. He agrees, and they each pop a gummy — which we know will lead to shenanigans.

Lawrence and Condola arrive with baby Elijah, and they’re all smiles. Co-parenting looks good on them. Lawrence spots Issa across the party and seems steeled to approach her, but his face falls when Nathan approaches her table. It doesn’t go unnoticed by Condola.

Over at Issa and Nathan’s table, it’s Issa’s turn to notice Lawrence and his happy little family. Nathan notices too and asks if Lawrence came down from San Fransisco just for the party. Issa sheepishly admits that Lawrence moved back to L.A. a while ago. The conversation is over, but the uneasy feeling is primed to boil over soon.

Tiffany and Derek gather their guests to give a toast that clarifies that Tiffany is not about that Denver life. But interrupting the awkwardness of the moment is none other than Dro, who shows up (out of the blue!) with a woman who isn’t his wife on his arm. Molly understandably freaks, but the edibles make her a little loud about her bewilderment.

After the toast, the men all step aside to chat. Derek says that most of all, he’ll miss L.A.’s food. Taurean, still high, says he’d love some barbecue. Nathan says that while L.A. has great weather, the barbecue isn’t great. Dro and Lawrence defend the city’s honor from a “transplant,” rattling off a list of local barbecue joints. Nathan admits that he’s from Texas, and Derek defends him, pointing out Texas is known for its good barbecue.

And then things take a turn. For reasons one can only interpret as the inevitable state of being a man, Lawrence picks at Nathan, saying that he stands by his barbecue assessment and that people only write it off because they haven’t been in the city long enough. Nathan retorts that people generally prefer Texas barbecue once they’ve had it. Lawrence responds that the barbecue must not have been good enough to keep them there. There’s a brief but tense pause in the volleying, but it’s enough for Issa’s brother Ahmal to redirect the conversation and ask when Nathan is free to give him a cut. But Nathan says he’s not free — he and Issa are still looking at apartments, which puts Lawrence into a visible shock.

Tiffany takes the women aside into the house to tell them that she’ll be back in L.A. for Molly’s birthday. They all agree to make an effort to see each other more, but especially for their birthdays. After Molly’s high leads to a fit of unexplained laughter, the women are interrupted by Condola, who’s come into the kitchen to fetch a bottle for Elijah. It’s awkward, but Issa makes an effort to be kind to Condola and finally tells her congratulations. Condola reciprocates by saying she’d heard about how well the art walk went. It’s a tense but cordial interaction.

Still extremely high, Molly approaches Dro and tells him she heard about his divorce. He apologizes for how things ended with them and admits he could have handled it better. When Taurean approaches, Molly explains the entire messy affair by way of introducing the two men. But given that Taurean is also high, he takes it in stride. Dro smartly sees himself out.

Over on the other side of the party, Nathan is back to being moody and distant with Issa. But Lawrence and Condola are still doing well. She tells Lawrence that she spoke to Issa and that she’s glad it happened because she hates having awkward energy with people. With Elijah ready for bed, Condola decides to leave but encourages Lawrence to stay. “This is the last time you’re going to see everybody for a while. You should make the most of it.” It might just be a reference to the end of the series, but it feels like something more ominous is afoot!

Outside the party, Nathan meets up with Aric to hand over the keys to the shop. He’s still upset and tells Aric that he feels disrespected by Lawrence’s approach. Aric tells him he’s happy to back him up if he wants to run up on him, but Nathan declines. He appreciates the gesture, but he’s going to keep it cordial.

Later in the evening, Molly and Taurean are still rolling and have a severe case of the munchies. They deduce that the hors d’oeuvres come from the kitchen and sneak in to feast. When Molly spots a waiter coming back with an empty tray, they turn to an adjacent closet to hide. In the darkness of the small room, Molly opens up and tells Taurean that she’s worried about how easy things have been with him. Given her track record, she’s waiting for the other shoe to fall. She feels like she messes up her relationships and she’s scared that if things fall apart between them, she’ll be devastated. Taurean tells her she shouldn’t worry because he started off hating her, but now he likes her very much. And then they fuck in the closet because this is Insecure.

On her way back to join the party, Issa runs into Lawrence. He asks if they can talk for a minute and asks why she called him last month. Issa tells him that while she did mean to call him, it was a mistake. Lawrence tells her that he understands why she ended things between them but that his situation is different now, and he doesn’t want to feel like he didn’t fight for her. Issa tells him she’s not sure fighting would have mattered. But Lawrence is insistent and asks her if she’s happy because he’s not happy without her. He loves her.

By the laws of television physics, Nathan appears. It’s unclear if he heard Lawrence’s declaration of love, but it is clear that he’s pissed. Issa tries to deescalate the situation, but Nathan is wounded, and Lawrence provokes him. As people gather, the men try to put hands on each other, but Molly, Issa, and Taurean pull them apart. When they’re finally separated, Nathan blows up at Issa. She tries to comfort him, but he says he needs a minute and walks away. Lawrence is nowhere to be found. Instead, Issa is left alone at the party — the center of a spotlight she never asked for.

With one episode to go, it’s unclear how all these plotlines will get resolved without double the runtime and quite a few time jumps. But we’ll have to trust the Insecure team to land the plane. It feels impossible to imagine that after all this time, we’re headed right back to where we began with Issa and Lawrence, but only time will tell.

Week’s Best Woot Woots

• “Only n- - - - I know still growing after 30.” — Chad

• “You know how you are. Sitting back letting life happen to you like you on the dock of the bay.” — Chad

• “Let’s order some food. N- - - - really in the mood for a quiche” —Chad

• “How many times you had braces?” “Twice. The first time didn’t take. They say that’s normal though.” —Nathan/Issa

• “Don’t make friends with my mom.” “Too late. We text.” — Issa // Kelli

• “I read somewhere that Denver has 0.001 Black people per capita. So for every person, there’s only .001 Black people. You bout to be a fraction n- - - -.” — Chad

Insecure Recap: All in a Day’s Work