Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Insecure Intermissions: Perhaps It's Time for a Second of Reflection and 'Chillin', Okay?!'

Sometimes everybody just needs a moment to relax, relate and release, okay?!

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Photo: Merie Wallace/HBO

Every Monday, Very Smart Brothas Senior Editor Panama Jackson and Contributing Freelance Writer Shanelle Genai break down the latest episode of season 5 of HBO’s cultural flashpoint show, Insecure. Okay?! Spoilers ahead.

Panama Jackson: Annnnnnd we’re back. Another episode of Insecure in this final season has aired so our cup runneth over with commentary. This episode was interesting in that it was like two episodes in one that collided at the end (which we’ll get to). We got the all-important girl’s night where Issa, Kelli, Molly, and Tiffany got to laugh, cry and share and then we got a window into where Lawrence and Condola are now—and thankfully, it didn’t make me cringe or pull the covers over my face. In fact, it made me do quite the opposite. I enjoyed this episode. I still have no idea where this season is heading and we have three episodes left, but hey, the destination is the journey, which I may or may not have already said about this episode. What were your big-picture thoughts of the episode?

Shanelle Genai: I definitely loved the girl’s night aspect of this episode. It was particularly heartwarming for me, as someone who, after almost three years, only recently reconnected with my best friends a few weeks back. We had a similar night—sans the weed and Cool Ranch cookies (???)—but the “My Girrrrrlllfrieeeeendsss” vibe was strong, nevertheless. So it was really endearing to see this gang all together again. Also, Tiffany dropped a bomb on them on the lowest of keys when admitting she was moving to Denver. I saw myself in that too because when I told my friends I was moving away, there were all the feels. Anyway, enough about me—let’s talk Lawrence and Conquistador. I miiiiight actually have to start calling her by her real name because their scenes last night were actually admirable. I mean, I still didn’t wanna see it, but it was cute for what it was. Also, Kelli was IMMACULATE in this episode.

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Panama Jackson: Ma’am, Kelli is always immaculate. That will end up being my one big complaint about this show when it’s all said and done—we didn’t get enough of a Kelli storyline.

I enjoyed Condola and Lawrence’s interactions, which look like a best-case scenario for them both; the ability to be in one’s presence without anger or resentment, talking to one another like humans, and learning and listening from one another for the sake of the baby. Also, l really liked that Lawrence left and they didn’t end up falling into that trap of vulnerability and sex that mucks everything up going forward, creating a brand new convo they have to have, yada yada yada. I think the best way I can describe their scenes was like this: I appreciated seeing their ability to co-parent after what was a tumultuous start.

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Shanelle Genai: Yeah. I definitely do appreciate their growth, okay?! Because now, it finally seems like Lawrence is on his way to actually becoming the man he always wanted to be—both on the fiscal and fatherhood-front. And you really do love to see it. What I also loved to see was NATHANIEL deciding to put on his big boy pants at the end and stay in LA and look love right in the face whilst also combatting whatever issues he may still have at the barbershop. BUT—if I’m honest. I really don’t think these two actually love each other LIKE THAT. I think they have love for each other, but I’m just not convinced that their romantic connection is as strong as they want it to be. Like, I think they love each other as friends and for filling the gap in that space of their lives at this point but IDK. I just have a hard time seeing it for them.

Panama Jackson: I can see that, but at least for the time being, this can stop Issa from even peeking down that Lawrence rabbit hole...hopefully. Truth be told, I do think her homies are right: she doesn’t need that right now, especially since she doesn’t quite know what she wants or is doing—and frankly, Lawrence doesn’t right now, either. They both need space, which is why that collision at the end where she decides to call him and he decided to call her back had me like MAMA NOOOOOO. But yes, I’m glad NATHANIEL at least handled that situation better than previous versions of himself otherwise would have.

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Oh, and you mentioned Tiffany and Derek moving to Denver...that was the first sign I saw of some kind of series-wrapping closure type of thing, kind of like on Friends when Monica and Chandler moved to Tulsa or, more relatably, on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when the family decided to move back east. It seems like moving folks away from the nuclear group is always a way to kick off the end of times.

Shanelle Genai: Yeah. To echo what Tiffany said in last night’s episode: telling someone you’re moving does make it feel more real and in this case, the writers showing us that the adventures of our fave girl group will indeed not last forever undoubtedly made it all more real for the fans, too. As you mentioned earlier tho, we are headed into the last three episodes of the season. From the clips of next week, it looks like Crenshawn MIGHT be trying to make amends. How do you think he and Issa’s relationship will pan out, moving forward?

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Panama Jackson: I have no clue. I suppose possibly he could help her get her ArtWalk event altogether and Issa gets to walk off into the sunset with another solid event and her art event career feeling hopeful? I don’t know. I suppose if I had to venture a guess as to where this show ends perhaps Issa and NATHANIEL are solid and she is working steadily on her dreams, Molly finds love and happiness with Taurean, and Kelli’s podcast takes off and she gets a huge deal with Spotify or something and becomes the next big talk show thing (she did mention she was tired of helping rich old white men make money for rich old white men), and Lawrence has found a solid balance in parenting and living life. Of course, it’s possible the biggest earthquake ever happens and they all get swallowed up by the earth, bringing Kelli’s death storyline to a solid and ironic conclusion. I suppose anything is on the table, really.

Shanelle Genai: Ha! There is also the earthquake possibility. Honestly, like you, I am still in the dark about how things wrap up. All in all, though, I just want the best for everyone. Whether it breaks my heart in the process, or ends up involving pairs that I definitely don’t want to see pair back up again, only time will tell. Shout out to Daniel tho; the North still remembers you, my guy.

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New episodes of Insecure premiere every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and HBOMax.