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: Guess who’s bizzack! I suppose since we do this weekly it isn’t a real surprise or anything, but we byke to discuss the latest episode of the final season of Insecure, titled “Surviving, Okay?!” I’m going to make a few quick observations that might sound contradictory: 1) I find this season to be kind of anti-climactic. I’m gonna stop juuuuust shy of boring—Insecure has given us too much over the years ever be considered boring; and 2) I kind of appreciate the lens on what life can look like for thirty-somethings in career, love and life.
When I was a kid, I thought by 30 you were almost dead; as it turns out, folks in their 30s and 40s are still trying to figure the career thing out, relationships are still highly in flux for a not insignificant number of people, and life be lifin’. We get that last part front and center with Molly’s mother ending up in the hospital and the family finding out that she’s had a stroke before, exacerbating the issue. You learn that as you get older, parents keep shit from you that it would be really helpful to know. I’m glad Issa and Nathan found Flavor Flav; Issa and Nathan bore the shit out of me. Where are you at with Insecure thus far?
Shanelle Genai: I, too, am also bored with Issa and Nathan. I can’t explain it, but I am just...emotionally divested from seeing where they go as a couple. Sure, in comparison to all her other beaus, Nathan is arguably the least-drama filled one. (I can’t say that for sure because I have been on the receiving end of ghosting more times than I care to share and that takes a toll on you, no matter how valid the reason.) But still, I can’t help but be a little sad for the way things are going for Issa in the romance department. I want her to finally be the grownup that she is and get into a healthy relationship—but who says healthy has to be boring? I want more fun! I want more sparks! I want more!
Panama Jackson: I think everybody wants sparks and fun. Maybe their brand of healthy is just stable and encouraging. Nathan seems present now and maybe that’s what Issa needs. I do need to point out how ridiculous the hospital was for getting their mama wrong. I did get a few solid laughs out of that sequence of events. “I’m sorry for your upcoming loss,” as Molly’s brother (and family) stared at their untethered family. Whew chile, that would be irritating.
No time like the present to point out the elephant in le room: Issa seeing Lawrence and Condola at the hospital, well, medical center, after a year. First off, they all have an HMO? Condola and Lawrence seem like they have the kind of jobs (and incomes) where the medical plans would be on some PPO gang stuff. So Issa wasn’t the only one surprised to see Lawrence, Condola and ‘Jah up at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.
Shanelle Genai: WHEW CHILE. Surprised is an an understatement. My immediate reaction was, and I quote: “now, ain’t that some sh—.” I love how Insecure refuses to let us linger too long in any feel-good moments and slaps us upside the head with an unexpected or unwelcome twist like that. Medical coverage aside, can we also talk about that dumb look on Lawrence’s face when he saw Issa seeing them? Now THAT got a chuckle outta me. I understand he’s probably still coping with the new realities of his, uhh, reality now but my guy, that baby looks good and grown now. It’s probably paying a bill or two. This is your life now; you gotta see it through, my boy.
Panama Jackson: I mean, I think everybody gets that dumb look on their face when they see the life they could have had—or a reminder of what life was like when you seemed to be enjoying it. Now, obviously this is a setup of some sort for when Issa and Lawrence meet up somewhere while he’s in town before he flies back to San Fran and have one of chose “what if” convos that nobody ever ever needs to have when you already have too much other shit going on. But what is love if you never get closure? And in that same vein, what do you think the future holds for Issa and Lawrence? I’m sure some folks are irritated that Lawrence is even a part of this show any more, but I’ll bet some folks want them to end up together. I’m still trying to find my #TeamLawrence Best Buy shirt.
Shanelle Genai: I truly do believe Lawrence needs to continue diving head first into Daddy Duty and let Issa continue to flourish independent of him. To quote the iconic Michael Harriot: “sometimes, things just end.” I’m not fully convinced that either of them actually need “closure” anymore. I think sometimes seasons change and you just have to learn to be okay with where the wind takes you. Whether that’s back together with the love of your life or apart so you can grow into another role, as you so eloquently put it earlier: life be life’n. And the quicker they come to terms with what things are now, the quicker both of them can possibly find contentment and maybe happiness in whatever comes next. But if we’re talking fa-SHUNS, shout out to Issa’s abs in Molly’s hospital hoe-tire dress. I aspire to have at least half the abs she has in 2022.
Panama Jackson: I do continue to enjoy the fashions that this show puts out there for the ladies of note. They will indeed all be fresh as hell if the feds are watching. Also, I’d like some of that The Blocc merch. I need a Crenshawn t-shirt and a TheBlocc hoodie and I’ll be set. Aight, as I said, this episode was fairly anticlimactic but sometimes you need the episodes that show life moving you from point A to point B. The previews for the next episode look like it will be back on that gang shit, so until then...Final thoughts?
Shanelle Genai: I second and third some The Blocc merch but as far as final thoughts, I’ll leave our faithful readers with this: Crenshwan better be all bark and bite when Issa pulls up next week because Twitter fingers get you no respect in these streets. I need Issa and Nathan to get busy while swinging off a chandelier or something or else I’m gonna start the hashtag #BoycottTeamNathan with no remorse. And finally: JUSTICE FOR BLACK PEOPLE WHO STILL DON’T KNOW HOW TO PLAY SPADES AT THEIR BIG AGES. Yes, I’m still triggered.
New episodes of Insecure premiere every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and HBOMax.