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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Insecure Intermissions: Y'all, NATHANIEL Is Making Issa and Us 'Tired, Okay?!'

NATHANIEL is kind of looking to be on some BS at Issa's expense—and Molly is letting her hair down.

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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: Coyotes on leashes, Issa showing perfect form memed-threes with babies up at the HMO and Nathan acting like a basketball...finna bounce? It’s time for another back-and-forth recap session for this final season of Insecure! And folks is ‘Tired, Okay?!’ And by folks, I mostly mean Issa, who is waiting on those three words—“I love you”—back from NATHANIEL, who not only ain’t seeming to be feeling the love for Issa but is talking about dipping out on L.A. And he said the shit so casually, like Issa wasn’t right there. In other news, Molly’s mother woke up from her stroke, which is good, and do I sense sparks in the air between Molly and my fellow Morehouse brother, Taurean???

This episode had some sincerely entertaining moments and some endearing moments. Also, I’m always glad when folks get an opportunity to tell Molly about herself. Growth, okay?! Oh...and Crenshawn kinda sorta put Issa in her place? I feel like she could have pushed back a little bit more, but whatevs; Telfar earrings on BOOM! First, how was your Thanksgiving break and what were your thoughts on the episode??

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Shanelle Genai: I love how you literally touch on almost everything in each episode in just a few sentences; have I ever told you that? But my Thanksgiving was great! I ate good, I slept good, but most importantly, I was surrounded by people who love me—which is more than Issa can say in this episode. I mean, dang NATHANIEL: How hard is it to say those three little words? I mean, I guess it’s hard to say them if you’re not sure you really mean it—which shouldn’t be the case for him since he claims Issa “knows how he feels about her.” Say the words, my guy, it doesn’t take much.

I know Molly’s family almost took a loss with the matriarch of the family going through that stroke last episode, but I really feel like it was Issa’s turn to clench that “L” this go round. Just think about it: seeing Lawrence, Conjugation and baby Elijah at the hospital, then going home to your man who refuses to say “I love you,” THEN to have this work colleague who’s been blasting you double down on their disdain for you (looking at you, Crenshawn—with your fine, angry, Ralph Angel-sounding ass). Issa’s 0-50 at this point and I truly do hate to see it.

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Panama Jackson: She really is 0-50. ‘Cuz even though she won the first daydream, she lost the second one like shit. Like, WHO LOSES IN THEIR OWN DAYDREAMS? Issa, that’s who. Let’s talk about NATHANIEL right quick. So I’ve never been a barber but like, what was he (or anybody else) supposed to do in that situation? I would love a barber to chime in here because I mean, buddy needed a haircut and he was at his barbershop. I suppose they all could have said, “no” and sent him to another barbershop but I don’t know. Also, I’ve seen that play out in real time. Before I lost my hair and ghosted my barber—it was the only way, really—the shop I used to go to had a celebrity barber dude who literally came and went as he chose and had clients waiting all the time. But nobody ever took his cuts. I thought that was crazy then because he’d have a line of folks and they’d all just keep it pushing.

Anyway, NATHANIEL said he would take the heat and then when buddy came back and called him crazy and came for him he immediately is ready to pack it in and head back home (or somewhere else). Also, who the hell tells their boo that they might just up and move like that AND THEN blames them for being all over the place? (I mean, she is, I suppose, but like I said before: you’d think NATHANIEL would be a little more understanding?)

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Shanelle Genai: Yeah, that barber scene was just downright disrespectful. How and why would you use somebody’s bipolar diagnosis against them??! I guess I see why they call him Suge. But anyway, your last point is exactly why I have a problem being #TeamNissa. NATHANIEL literally loves to call everyone else out on their perceived issues, but the minute someone calls him out or even puts a mirror up in front of him to make him actually look at himself and his behavior, his first instinct is to run or get defensive. I’m sorry, but the lack of empathy he shows sometimes is completely off-putting and Issa deserves better. I don’t think they’re compatible. I mean, did you see the sex scene? It was giving all of NOTHING. I need them to break up expeditiously.

Or get a pet coyote, because clearly that’s bothersome. Maybe it’ll help shake things up.

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Panama Jackson: I’m definitely Pet Coyote Gang Gang. I think my neighbor might have one, actually. And yes, that sex scene was blah, which speaks directly to your point.

Shifting gears, as much shit as I give Molly it is good to see her becoming more likable as a person. She’s human and she’s working on her and talking to people and something. Do you think Molly and Taurean are where this show ends in the Molly-verse? We only have like four episodes left, right?

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Shanelle Genai: The jury is still out for me on the pet coyote but as far as Molly and Taurean are concerned, I definitely am somewhat excited to see where this could go. I also like the fact that she’s open to exploring this with someone (relatively) new and not spinning the block with an old flame. I’m not sure if this is the end, per se, but if so, I’m not mad at it. With just four episodes left though, I am having a hard time piecing together a satisfactory resolve for everyone. I know real-life Issa said she had to go back to redo the finale because things just didn’t sit right with her, so here’s hoping that whatever comes of our faves, it’ll be a proper ending for all involved. How do you think things are going to wrap up?

Panama Jackson: I’m with you, honestly. I don’t see where this season is actually going and it’s more than halfway done so I can’t really predict where it might land. Maybe that’s the point? Maybe they’re just living life and that’s that. I do assume Lawrence and Issa have one last conversation or something, especially since NATHANIEL is not giving what needs to be gave and Issa has Lawrence on the brain to some degree. I don’t know, homie. I’m sure they’re trying to take us somewhere and we’ll be right here watching. Any last thoughts?

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Shanelle Genai: Other than the fact that Crenshawn’s ‘Integrity’ sweatshirt was mad ugly? Nah. But I do hope we start picking up what Insecure’s putting down in this final season relatively soon. The people need some sort of closure, okay?! Till next week...

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