The VSB Group Chat: Insecure Season 3, Episode 3, 'Backwards-Like' Recap

Illustration for article titled The VSB Group Chat: Insecure Season 3, Episode 3, 'Backwards-Like' Recap
Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)

Are we getting anywhere with Issa and Daniel as we putt-putt along into episode 3? Welcome back to the shenanigans as we keep the debate and discussion that Insecure inspires going with our weekly chat between Jouelzy and Panama Jackson. Salut.


Jouelzy: They’re rolling HBO’s requirement for explicit sex into dream montages and I don’t know how I am suppose to feel about Issa fantasizing having Hot Cheeto, spicy, crunchy sex with Daniel.

Panama: I cannot tell you how hard I laughed when she asked for the Hot Cheetos. Like, waterworks of joy and amusement befell my soul. On a more serious note though, I find the most problematic thing that Issa does, by far, is eating in the bed. Everything else is just a season in life; eating in bed is a character flaw. I have such a visceral, genuine disdain for this practice. You might as well turn on a flashing neon-light that spells out “Roach Motel.” To quote philosopher king and poet laureate Cam’ron, “that shit’s disgusting.”

Jouelzy: I’ma pot, Molly a pot, Issa a pot and we are calling each other the black kettle, because I want to tap Molly on the shoulder and be like “but Dro...sis.” It wasn’t that long ago that she was fighting with her emotions over the very married, light-skin housecat named Dro. But Molly is a good-ass friend, and we’ve all been that good friend who, out of love, will attempt to guide our homegirls in the right direction even as we knowingly let a negro waste our time. We both don’t need to be perpetually fucked up in the game.

Panama: I’m pretty sure that Molly isn’t done with Dro. Sure, thus far, Insecure has been quite OK with letting folks fall all the way to the wayside in unrealistic fashion *cough* Lawrence *cough*, but Dro gon’ be back. The streets won’t let him chill. And hell, can we get a Tasha appearance somewhere? Whole Foods? Somewheres. I do agree that she’s a good friend, though.

I really want to give a shoutout to my people on the block and Virgil Abloh, in particular, who is having the best year ever with the Insecure placements. We see Molly in the pet spa with the fly Off-White jacket and I was like, “Ooh, I want one.” That’s how you know Molly is rich—that jacket is $900 on sale.

Jouelzy: I saw about seven-eleven hair YouTube tutorials that Felicia Leatherwood and Issa need to produce, cause those 60-second Instagram tutorials are way too short. Issa’s hair typically looks a little more than half done, like she followed a tutorial but her arms got tired during the take down. But this episode she was giving looks and clean parting lines. I loved all her ‘dos!


Panama: I have no real solid response here so I’ll just throw in a “yaasssss” and a “werk” for good measure.

Jouelzy: Molly at work is my favorite storyline on this show. It’s a plus that with the office scenes, we get a few more scenes with her therapist, because Molly’s black woman therapist is the therapy sessions so many of us need but don’t have the health insurance coverage for.


But this black law firm and cutting corners that are truly more costly in time and security in the year of 2018. Filling out billable hours by hand, as in filling out a timesheet as a lawyer at an established law firm, by hand? A courier? In L.A. traffic?

Panama: You can tell this has EndBad Potential. She’s clearly about to have all of the opinions. The quip about the firm probably having shea butter dispensers in the bathroom had me lookin’ at her sideways. But on the real, that would be awesome. It is kind of curious, though, that they made the black law firm issues the equivalent of how we complain about HBCU administration problems. Phillip Banks wouldn’t be having that shit in 2018. Rest in Peace, Uncle Phil.


Jouelzy: Hopefully this job leads Molly in a direction where she can find a way to utilize her strengths and navigate a complicated work space. Give us some insight on intrapersonal, black professional work relationships. I would be all ears for that.

Panama: I don’t know. Molly is even annoying me with all of her complaints and her issues with the black firm. Her homies are right; she seems to be taking issues with the blackness because it’s black. It’s 2018, ain’t nobody got time for that.


Jouelzy: Vanessa let Daniel know that her and her light-skin baby hairs have options in the L.A. streets. Now Daniel has made a hard pivot back to Issa and is laying it on thick with all his teeth grinning at Issa. Does Issa’s friends’ apprehension towards Daniel seem warranted? Warranted before he verbally chop sueyed her dreams and aspirations...

Panama: I agree with folks who think Daniel doesn’t know what he’s doing either, like myself. I say that shit. I’m all in on Daniel Apprehension Squad Gang Gang. AND WHAT IS HIS INCOME STREAM?


Jouelzy: All that beat stubborness and Daniel’s interaction with Khalil says is that Daniel definitely has to have another job. Because the way his ego stepped all over that opportunity with Khalil, when my dude couldn’t tuck his pride in for 30 seconds and play it cool in the studio. A tragedy in Nordic strings.

Panama: I believe it was the book of James, Chapter 4, verse 10 that says, “humble yourselves before the Lord.” Well, I’m gonna toss in a remix from the book of Kendrick, book of DAMN., track 8: BITCH BE HUMBLE. I get it though, everybody wants their art to be appreciated. But Daniel is also stupid. You trying to get a beat on a trap-rapper with some motherfucking nordic strings, no real bop to it, and a bassline that doesn’t stand out. Damn Daniel, do you know what the fuck you’re doing? Survey says? Nope. #IStandWithKhalilsBeat


Jouelzy: Does Spyder talk in Vine memes? Am I too old to catch the reference? Viola Davis titties, tho?

Panama: I have no idea. But I rather enjoyed Spyder in this scene. Also, I’m glad Spyder passed on that shit. Daniel asked the homie to help, when really he just wanted Khalil to get him in the room because his pride couldn’t let him get past the fact that he thinks his art is more important than a check.


Jouelzy: The Beat Crew’s performance at the expo plays on what We Got Y’all is lacking and the exact issue Issa tried to take a roundabout stand for—a group of Latino and black kids merging their cultures for a performance. That might be a Chekov’s gun setup that finally puts some heat into what has otherwise been slow rolling episodes this season.

Panama: I like the Chekov’s gun reference. You on it and shit! And I think that has to be the setup for her leaving or getting a hellafied promotion and changing the whole We Got Y’all game. Like, I love her going through the motions and really thinking about her future and what she wants and what she can be doing more and better. And realizing she’d been there for five years? The look on her face was like, “Dammit.” That, I believe, is called growth. Also, I love Kelli. At the dinner table she is hilarious. I want more Kelli.


Jouelzy: Bless Issa’s whole heart, bank account and credit score with that $750 rent and part-time property management gig. But knowing how accident prone self she is, how is her overseeing an apartment complex gonna go?

Not that that gave Daniel any right to throw noxious verbal jabs when she took him out for a gratitude dinner. Sis is finally coming into her own and Daniel had to take her down a notch because his ego was wounded. Everybody needs a therapist!!


Panama: Issa overseeing a whole-ass apartment complex is so random that I love it. You know that has to go badly at some point if they decide to let that be more of a thing. They could kind of make it just a thing that we know she does but they don’t dwell on it because she’s out here changing lights and shit. But you’re right, Daniel was trippin’ hardbody. He’s mad at himself for blowing a shot and had to take it out on Issa. We’ve all been there, but he went full asshole and you never go full asshole.

Jouelzy: Daniel as a background character was sauve with a cool confidence. Daniel as a developed main character is an emotionally immature man whose pride is his hubris.


Let us bow our head in thanks that they are finally moving their relationship along. I just wish we could have gotten here more expeditiously. This should have been the cliff of last episode. Spreading this awkward not-a-love-story-situationship across three episodes feels lethargic.

Panama: Yeah, I’m enjoying Daniel less and less, especially since that man is working on a Nordic beat like it’s the shit and it ain’t even hot. I don’t know if I trust his ear in music. But if she likes it, I guess I’ll love it. Hopefully we get some explosions in le future.


See y’all next week for after Episode 4!



Is it safe to say at this point we know all there is to know about Daniel? I’m neither for nor against “team Daniel” but I just don’t feel like there is more to his character. I can’t even say he’ll be a memorable character if he disappeared from the show like Lawrence did this season.

The first time Molly mentioned “at my old firm” I knew this new job wasn’t going to go well lol.

Also I REALLY want to know Issa’s salary. Rent will be $750, she’ll be a property manager part time, drives Lyft and still has her regular job... She should be doing well for herself at this point.

There’s only like 4 episodes left this season. I hope they use the remaining episodes don’t drag like these last 3.