Monday, November 28

‘Insecure’ Season 5 Episode 9 Recap: “Okay ?!”

With just one episode before Unsafe It’s “Get out, okay?” I was hoping this week’s Insecure delivery would cover a lot of ground. As Condola tells Lawrence before leaving the Tiffany & Derek going-away party: “This is the last time you’re going to see everyone for a while. You should make the most of it. ” And the show does just that. While this was the funniest, messiest, and most action-packed episode of the season, it also manages to effectively throw our core love stories off an emotional cliff. The penultimate episode has it all!

After being noticeably absent for Simone’s birthday earlier in the season, Issa and Molly are joined by Nathan, Taurean, and literally everyone else in celebrating their friendships with Tiffany and Derek as they prepare to move to Denver. The show often makes the DuBois family milestones a bonding point for our characters, many of whom were introduced or connected through the couple, which has a surprising effect this week. Character interactions that have been teased all season can finally happen in a way that feels natural to the story, and we can see how different each dynamic plays out.

The unspoken tension between Issa and Nathan begins early and subtly. The episode begins when they see a rental home that is everything they are looking for and more. Close to both jobs. Two bedrooms for an office, a guest room, or a room to cool off when they have meat. Nathan isn’t convinced they’ll need the space, which isn’t surprising considering the main reason he suggested moving in together was to save money. But when Issa jokes that the half bathroom should be a dedicated space for his disgusting masculine bathroom habits, he puts his experience of living with Lawrence aside when Nathan replies, “I don’t know what kind of men you’ve been living with.” The first of some omissions Nathan detects, in what turns into a complete love triangle.

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Driven by more misinterpreted bad advice from his hilarious friend Chad, Lawrence agrees to attend the Tiff & Derek party primarily to fight for his relationship with Issa. I’m not a fan of Chad, but he makes a good point about Nathan’s laissez-faire approach to life. In addition to being passive, man is very easily influenced. Return box. Fight for Ol ‘Girl. I would have loved to see Lawrence get the kind of therapy Molly is committed to, or at least not take the advice of a friend who never memorized the love of her name.

This episode perfectly encompasses the awkward and the dramatic. Taurean misjudges the atmosphere of the show and is embarrassed that he brought groceries, but decides to take them with Molly to celebrate his manufacturing partner at their company. (By the way, all his co-workers know that they are fucking.) These two and their antics break the tension in this episode over and over again, stating the obvious and overreacting to… everything. “Why did this get tense?” to a regional barbecue that turned into a cock sizing contest between Lawrence and Nathan. “Wow, bitch! That was weird!” after Condola and Issa meet in the kitchen. And “Oh shit!” when Dro appears randomly with a younger clone of his ex-wife.

Of all the meetings in the episode, most are going well and are handled maturely! It is a true testament to where all the characters are emotionally. Condola and Issa have an awkward meeting in the kitchen. They are both polite. Issa is obviously joking. Dro and Molly meet at the bar. It is cordial. Molly is drugged and bluntly explains their relationship when Taurean appears as a meerkat, handling it with empathy and honesty.

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Although Nathan and Lawrence? Beef on site. Before the barbecue incident, Issa blurted out that Lawrence moved back to town a while ago. Another omission. Should I have told Nathan? Probably. Because he seemed surprised. She suggests they have more drinks to change the subject.

After the barbecue incident, instead of talking to Issa, Nathan reverts to his evasive communication style and is distant and silent with her, so irritable that he rejects macarons! His frustrations are incited by his co-worker Aric, his equivalent in Chad / Quoia, who is there to collect the keys to the store and also tells Nathan that he has his back if Lawrence continues to be disrespectful. Cooler heads briefly prevailed.

The writer of the episode and UnsafeShowrunner Prentice Penny makes an appearance as event staff (“Move, tartar!”) Before the funniest sequence of the episode. Molly and Taurean have the sandwiches and they follow the sandwiches to their source in the kitchen and begin to inhale h’ors dourves. To avoid being caught, they hide in a closet. Molly becomes vulnerable from being afraid of getting hurt because she likes it (and she says some things about guys who get tired of her that sound a lot like The Old Molly!), And Taurean reassures her with a joke. They connect on the spot!

After exchanging glances all night, Lawrence and Issa finally cross paths when he nearly corners her next to the garbage. We’ve all had a lot of time to think about how this would turn out. Issa has had many fantasies about it. And… none were like that. Lawrence spills his guts at the worst possible time and place, asking about her call last month, declaring that he loves her and that he can’t be happy without her, and asking her – without an answer – if she’s happy … he’s right when Nathan walks up.

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Molly & Taurean’s postcoital bliss is shattered when the tension between Issa & Nathan, Nathan & Lawrence, and Lawrence & Issa overflows and the men begin to fight. Molly, Issa, and Taurean physically break things, but not before Nathan directs some of his anger at Issa and walks away just to calm himself down.

Molly checks that Issa is okay. Again no answer. And THAT is where we stay going into the season finale. I’d take another jump in time for more resolution, but I’m confident Unsafe to get us where we need to be before we say goodbye.

Additional thoughts:

  • Ahmal, Issa’s brother, is very funny. Non-gay people-here for my-man-Rolando in 3-drink pipe! He also gives Nathan the alley-oop to talk about the apartment search with Issa when Lawrence is trying to be a suspect. Great little brother duties!
  • Tiffany’s clearly read the entire Denver wikipedia page. Unique urban park, multiple professional teams, 300 days of sunlight! She is trying!
  • Lawrence and Chad are such a toxic combination! They’re the most immature main characters on the show and those two together make a hilarious echo chamber to watch in action. But seeing Chad unsure that he was actually friends with Derek and wanting to make sure his eel skin briefcase (???) was well received, humanized him A LITTLE and added some depth to all the bravery.

Rebecca O’Neal is a comedian and writer in Brooklyn. Watch his jokes onComedy Central.

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