September 24, 2023

Welp y’all, it’s the fifth and final season of HBO’s Insecure, one of the most iconic Black shows of this decade. I’m not going to lie…as a fan of Awkward Black Girl, the original web series that started it all, I feel a way. To watch Issa Rae and her cohorts take this show from a homegrown YouTube production, to a gateway that has opened all kinds of Hollywood doors for everyone involved, has been beyond inspiring. It will be exciting to see where they all land next.

Okay, enough fangirling. Let’s get into this recap of Episode 1 – “Reunited, Okay?!”. Spoilers ahead, so if you have not watched the episode…getcho life together before you proceed.

The Gang’s All Here

This episode focuses on the crew, sans Lawrence, returning to Stanford University for their ten-year college reunion. Though we knew the group became friends at college, this trip down memory lane is a great way to kick-off the final season. The group gathers in support of Issa in her excitement at being “flewed out” to be one of several panelist discussing entrepreneurial success. As Issa explains why she’s been selected, we learn that she is the founder and CEO of The BLOCC. No one is shady even though Issa can’t remember the words for her own company’s acronym. Everyone is happy to be celebrating this milestone of adulthood and seem to be on their best behavior.

Reunions are often a mix of awkward hellos with people whose names you can’t remember, partying that reminds you you aren’t as young as you used to be, indifference to old flames (faux or real), and reminiscing of being on the yard. Episode one delivers all of that along with bringing us up to speed from last season. Issa and Molly are tiptoeing through the vestiges of their most recent and worst fallout, Molly is still analyzing her break-up with Andrew, Tiffany and Derek are glad to have a short respite from parenthood, and Kelli…well, she be Kelli-ing. Regardless, they are all geared up for a weekend of fun and celebrating Black excellence.

Awkward Girl in Full Effect

“Mirror Bitch” gives us insight into college-age Issa. Her braces, enthusiasm, and optimistic support of her future self is cute and fuels Issa with the boost she needs to feel prepared for the panel; however, while the other panelists offer platitudes that are hopeful and encouraging for students, Issa provides real answers that aren’t well-received. Imposter Syndrome sets in and she comes off as the lame duck amongst people who are moving and shaking. It is definitely a blow to her ego, but she is able to shake-off the disappointment of her performance.

Awkward Silences

After the panel, Molly and Issa grab a bite to eat. As Molly obsesses over a chance run-in with an old flame and what his flirtation may mean, Issa works hard to keep her thoughts to herself. This makes for a weird conversation between the two that leave us as unsure of their relationship as they are. However, the absence of petty, underhanded remarks does demonstrate that both parties have had some growth in the time we’ve been apart from them. Either that, or they are both afraid that the footing is still too fragile to put their full weight onto the foundation of their relationship. There are just some fights from which friendships never fully recover. I hope that by the end of the season we see them with a stronger bond than ever before.

Laughter is Good Medicine

Issa and Molly’s old classmate sets them up to be robbed at gunpoint. As a result, the two have that moment. You know the moment when friends who have been beefing have something so ridiculous happen that they have to stop, look at each other, and burst out laughing. This moment finally sees the foursome really let their guards down and be at ease with one another.

The next morning at breakfast the group gives Kelli her flowers. Kelli has felt unseen as a result of people’s patchy and unflattering memories of her, and the girls work to let her know how much they love her. Derek sees their behavior as over-the-top, but allows them to have their moment anyway. Molly again seeks Issa’s opinion about her ex-friend-with-benefits and Issa gives her genuine advice rooted in love for a true friend. Issa reminds Molly of who she was in college and that maybe she should find that swag again because it was a good look on her. Molly receives the message the way in which it is intended.

What We Were All Waiting For

Issa returns home and there is Lawrence waiting to pick her up from the airport. I, for one, was relieved, even though that only lasted a moment. Lawrence is chatting about what they should eat and Issa is looking like she’s settled into a realization that no one is really prepared to hear. When they arrive at Issa’s place, she doesn’t have to say much to let Lawrence know she’s not ready for the drama of a baby that does not belong to the both of them. Lawrence is visibly disappointed, but lets Issa go. I don’t know why, but I was rooting for those two. I low-key still am.

See y’all next week!

P.S. If you enjoy Insecure, be on the lookout for the scripted digital series I’m Done Dating from yours truly and Jasmine Hughes, in conjunction with Black With No Chaser, and starring Yvette Garnier. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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