INSECURE Review: “Hella Shook”

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So this week’s episode of INSECURE, “Hella Shook” started with a shocker: Issa and Daniel are officially messing around. Actually, it’s not much of a shocker, we all figured something would happen, but the progression of them meeting at the restaurant last week to Issa at his doorstep this week was quick! When Molly questions her, Issa claims that she’s not interested in anything more than sex with him and that he’s just another dude in her “ho-tation” roster. Issa excitedly shows Molly a new potential dude in her life, a Latino guy she met on social media.

Later, we see that Issa’s date with her new bae goes exceedingly well, with them talking past midnight and Issa offering to stay even later. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this dapper older (I think) gentleman. Maybe he’ll just be another guy in Issa’s life that she can call when she’s bored. Or maybe social media app bae will be Issa’s new Lawrence by the end of the season. Okay, I doubt that but…

At work, Frieda’s been giving Issa that cold shoulder, clearly upset about something. Frieda tells Issa that she’s disappointed that Issa is going along with Gaines and that she’s being racist. Issa argues that since black people can’t be racist, Frieda shouldn’t be looking down on her. Frieda argues that because Issa and Gaines holds the power in this situation, then indeed she is. We leave off wondering both why Issa is allowing Gaines to mistreat his students, but also why the heck Frieda won’t say anything herself since she’s so upset about it.

Meanwhile Lawrence has been called in for the dreaded LA jury duty where he has a lot of time to discover unfortunate things on social media. He gets invited to Derek’s 30th birthday party, which will probably set up some nice drama later on considering Derek is Tiffany’s husband – and Tiffany and Issa are friends. We can only assume that things are going to be messy later on. While scrolling through IG, he also sees Issa and Daniel in a picture while they were at the restaurant last week. He zoomed in and everything to find them in the background — his investigation skills are phenomenal.

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As Molly prepares for her parent’s elaborate vow renewal, she’s approached by Dro (married bae in an open relationship), checking in with her after last week’s Kiss N’ Grind. Molly lets him know that even though she’s been thinking about him, she doesn’t feel comfortable messing with a married man. Dro tells her that no matter what; they’ll always be good. But ya’ll know that this is some BS.

At her parent’s vow renewal, Molly brings boring ‘ole Lionel (he’s not boring, but Molly definitely isn’t attracted to him). However, it’s hard for Molly to cope with the fact that she’s trying to make it work with Dro also attending the party. Molly tells her friend that she’s giving Lionel a chance, especially if she wants to find someone that will help her get married like her parents.

Speaking of her parents, at the party, Molly learns that her parents aren’t the picture perfect couple she thought them to be. One of her aunts, probably a little tipsy, admits that she didn’t think her parents would last five years, let alone 35. As her other aunts usher her away, her drunken aunt mentions something about “everything that he (being her father) put her (being her mother) through.” Hmmm… I guess appearances are deceiving. You can bet your bottom dollar that this is the only excuse Molly needs to pursue Mr. Married.

A frustrated Lawrence consults with Derek about Issa being back with Daniel. Clearly not over her, Lawrence worries that Issa had been cheating on him with Daniel for their entire relationship, musing that girls are way sneakier at this kind of stuff. In a surprise twist of events, Derek calls Lawrence out, saying that Issa’s not the only person at fault (this is where I stood up for a slow clap). He tells Lawrence that while it doesn’t necessarily justify cheating, it makes sense why Issa would be attracted to someone else during a time where Lawrence had been unemployed and slacking for two years. I imagine that these are the seeds being planted that will bring the two back together.

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Issa is hit up by neighbor bae, who starts sending her racy Snaps at work. On her way home, Issa, texting way too much and barely paying attention to the road, gets in a car accident after a d**k pic from neighbor bae steals her attention.

Back at the party, Molly confronts her brother about her father cheating on her mother. She’s devastated, claiming that all of this is “fake”, and storms out of the party. Yes it’s an overreaction, but Molly’s standard of relationships has been destroyed. Everything she thought that she was working towards is fake (in her eyes) and the man she held up on a pedestal has flaws. Dro is there to save the day, taking her home and letting her know that he’s on her side. Making it to her place, Molly invites Dro back in and the two have the sex that she’s been after since the beginning of the season.

Back at the crash site, Daniel rushes to the rescue. Issa worries that Daniel is starting to have more than friends with benefits feelings for her, and immediately shuts it down, admitting that she’s seeing other people and wants to make sure that he’s seeing other people. We can all tell that Daniel’s shook by this news, but he plays it off well. I’m actually happy about this conclusion, because I was not interested in seeing Issa hopping into another relationship so quickly.

Finally, we find Lawrence alone at home stalking Issa’s social media page. Lawrence, fresh from the realization that he wasn’t the perfect boyfriend himself, is probably accepting the fact that he would like to be with Issa again.

You know who I feel bad for? Daniel. Just a little bit. I didn’t pay much attention to him last season and had him just pegged as the d**k that ruined it all, but now I see he’s really feeling Issa and shows up for her during her time of need. I’m definitely not claiming that Issa needs to be in a relationship with him – god no – but dang! Can Daniel get a little love? On the opposite note, kudos to Issa for being real with him and letting him know this ain’t going farther than it actually is. I probably would’ve kept it a secret myself, so it’s cool to see Issa being honest and accepting the consequences that come with that.

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So there are probably going to be a million think pieces that come out about Issa and Frieda’s relationship at work, and if what Issa is doing is wrong. Well, duh, it is. There’s no way that Issa should feel comfortable working for a man who’s openly mistreating another group of color at school, especially since he has the power in the situation to set up his Latino students for failure. I mean, just as we want other POCs to look out for us, we usually do the same. I think that Issa deserves to be called out on looking the other way on a jacked up situation just to get ahead. However, I also see the side where Frieda saying “I expected more from you” is off putting, and I’ve heard the argument that black people (specifically black women) shouldn’t always be responsible for the progression of other people all the time. We also shouldn’t always be responsible for “the fight” while others sit back and do nothing (which is kind of what Frieda is doing). I don’t know, but either way the conversation this episode brought forth is interesting, and insightful – a conversation you don’t really see often.

Where the beginning of the season started off slower, today’s episode showed a progression of speed. While I actually enjoyed the slower episodes of the earlier season, it’s obvious that the Dominos are beginning to fall and consequences to everyone’s actions are about to be exposed.

I also enjoyed watching Molly finally losing her composure – her whole world being shattered. To be honest, I never really knew that her father was the standard of which she compared all men. What’s a bit frustrating about her is that I feel as though every week she has a new “rule” when it comes to dating. Two weeks ago they couldn’t be too boring and now this week they should be more like her father. But I guess that’s the point of her character, she’s a polished woman who’s a hot mess in dating. She’s been striving for the ideal relationship because she wants what her parents have, but internally that’s not what excites her. Now, hooking up with Dro was fun and exciting, but I’m guessing it’s going to lead to some hurt feelings down the road. I mean, at the end of the day Molly, he’s not your man. But if she doesn’t catch any real feelings she should be able to survive.

I think my only issue this episode is the Molly/work storyline. Every episode we get a small piece of her feeling unhappy at work, or dealing with being underpaid, but it hasn’t paid off quite yet. That’s fine, I know these things take time, but I haven’t seen that story moving forward yet. Maybe it’ll all add up at the end (which I won’t be surprised if that’s how it’s played) but I’d like to see a little bit more of that, especially since episode one revolved around Molly on the crusade to receiving equal wages. Also, we know that she’s helping out another office on the side, but we don’t see much of that either. I’m definitely hoping to get more Molly workplace payoff down the road.

TB-TV-Grade-A-

Season 2, Episode 5 (S02E05)
Insecure airs Sundays at 1030PM on HBO

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Writer based in LA. Just trying to write good stuff while deep conditioning my hair.
Keep up with all of Vanessa’s reviews here.

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