Written By: Mekeisha Madden Toby
Welcome back to week eight of Season 4 of HBO’s Insecure.
There is a reason Lawrence (Jay Ellis) and Issa (Issa Rae) were together for so long. They’re both awkward. And that is painfully clear when Sunday night’s episode of Insecure, “Lowkey Happy” opened. Lawrence pops a mint into his mouth while waiting for Issa to arrive and nearly chokes on the mint and then Issa walks in, trips and faceplants on the floor. Oh Issa. She tries to recover but all eyes are on her. One man can even be heard yelling, “Did you see her?” Is it just us or is Issa’s fall somehow symbolic?
Lawrence goes over to help Issa but she is too embarrassed to stand up right away. So, she lies there and Lawrence goes back to his seat. Issa finally gets up and a small group of women promptly run into her, nearly knocking her down again. Seriously, the only thing that could’ve been worse would have been if the wedding shower heifers from two episodes ago would’ve been the ones bumping into her. Issa and her lowkey dope af red shoulderless jacket make it to the bar and she and Lawrence joke about the fall. They laugh and Issa compares the atmosphere and the loudness of the bar to a Lizzo concert. Lawrence ordered a drink for Issa in advance. He knows what she likes, or he thinks he does, but Issa tells him she’s not into Prosecco with a splash of whisky anymore. She’s more into Prosecco with a splash of vodka now. Lawrence tries to send it back but Issa keeps the drink. Issa still likes the drink but wanted Lawrence to see her personal growth.
Speaking of change, Lawrence wants to know how Issa’s Block Party went and Issa tells him it was dope. “It almost killed me but I did that sh*t,” Issa says with pride. Lawrence congratulates Issa and they toast their glasses. He apologizes for not being at the Block Party and tells Issa he was in San Francisco interviewing for possible new jobs. Now it is Issa’s turn to shower Lawrence with praise which she does without hesitation. Dude has come a long way professionally and so has Issa. Lawrence says he doesn’t want to be afraid to move on and Issa reveals that she heard about his breakup with Condola (Christina Elmore). He says he figured she would find out. But he’s not the only one with a breakup.
Lawrence learns this when he tells Issa he ran into Molly (Yvonne Orji) at the airport recently and says the vibe was awkward. “It’s probably because we’re not friends anymore,” Issa says. The idea of Issa and Molly not being friends is so inconceivable to Lawrence that he laughs but then he realizes Issa is being serious when he looks at her face. He wants to know what happened but the music gets louder and people start bumping into them. One man literally walks between the two of them to order food. So rude. Issa and Lawrence decide to go and attempt to pay the check but the bartender says the manager comped the drinks because Issa fell on her face. The two finish their drinks and dip. But the night isn’t over and Lawrence wonders if they should go somewhere else instead. He suggests a Latin spot they always wanted to try and Issa pretends she’s never been there but she’s fibbing. Lawrence orders a Lyft and while they wait, they chit chat about Lawrence’s parents and the holidays. The Lyft arrives and Issa is impressed that it’s a high-end car. “Maybe I changed too,” Lawrence says with a smile before opening the car door for her.
The Lyft driver is chattier and nosier than Issa previously feared and is inquiring about Issa and Lawrence’s relationship status. Issa says they wanted a quiet ride but Lawrence tells her it’s impolite to say that. Issa’s so determined to get old girl to leave them alone that she lies and says they’re from Alaska. But it doesn’t work. Instead, the driver asks them if they’re married. Issa yells no and Lawrence laughs. The driver tells them they need to lock it down if they love each other because marriage is the best thing that ever happened to her. Lawrence confesses that he bought a ring and Issa knows he is not kidding. But before she can unpack what he has said, the overstepping driver oversteps again and demands a proposal. She even shines her cellphone light in their faces as if she’s about to video the whole thing. Lawrence politely but sternly asks her to keep her eyes on the road and the drive eventually drops them off.
When they arrive, Lawrence can’t believe Issa has never eaten at this restaurant and she finally comes clean. She had eaten there on a date or two and Lawrence — sensing that Issa has been holding back in an attempt to spare his feelings — tells Issa that they don’t have to walk on eggshells. A relieved Issa says she’s heavy-footed and Lawrence makes a Kirk Franklin joke and says they should stomp. The two laugh and Issa once again asks Lawrence what he wants to discuss. She wonders if he’s sick but Lawrence assures her he is in good health. The host seats them and Lawrence is being indecisive about his meal choices. An impatient Issa can’t take it anymore and orders all of the food she knows Lawrence likes. She smiles and winks and Lawrence admits that he’s impressed. But Issa isn’t fooled. She wants to know what Lawrence wants to talk about and she wants to know now.
So, Lawrence comes clean. He’s been thinking about his relationship with Issa, what happened and what went wrong. The question Condola asked about Lawrence staying with Issa if she hadn’t cheated is clearly on his mind still and so he asks Issa what would have happened if they had stayed together. “Do I give up too easily on things?” Lawrence asks and Issa is gobsmacked. Issa says she doesn’t know the answer to that but she does wish that Lawrence hadn’t given up on them as a couple. Before they can get lost in each other’s eyes and vibes, the waitress (D.J. Mausner) returns with their drinks and takes their menus away. She leaves and the conversation continues.
Lawrence has a question. He wants to know why Issa cheated on him with Daniel (Y’lan Noel) and wonders if it could’ve been any dude. Issa sets the record straight and says it wasn’t going to be a random dude. She cheated with Daniel because he paid attention to her when Lawrence wasn’t. It felt good to feel wanted, Issa adds. Whoa. A taken aback Lawrence asks if things were that bad between them and Issa says yes. She confesses that she would drive around after work just to avoid coming home. Issa apologizes to Lawrence who looks hurt by the admission and continues. Issa says she still wanted to be with Lawrence not Daniel but she had a moment of weakness. Lawrence interrupts and says they had recommitted and Issa must’ve wanted to blow that up. Issa disagrees. She says the breakup devastated her but she was also afraid they’d fall back into their old ways.
The last year they were together, Issa says, Lawrence was in a catatonic state and didn’t want to go out, talk or even have sex. She assumed that Lawrence didn’t want her. Lawrence says he wanted her but when she would get up and go to work, it was a reminder that he was a loser with no job and nowhere to go. He then says when Issa cheated, it allowed him to break up and blame her for everything instead of confronting his own shortcomings. Issa asks if Lawrence really bought a ring and it turns out he did. A still heartbroken Issa goes to the bathroom and Lawrence gets a text from Condola. She texts that she wants to see him tonight instead of their upcoming date a few days later. Lawrence texts that he’s out but will get back to her.
Issa and Lawrence leave and run smack dab into a shamelessly loud and unabashed Calvin (the always hilarious Reggie Conquest) outside. Issa tries to downplay her relationship with Calvin but neither man will let her. Calvin aka TSA Bae introduces Issa and Lawrence to his new boo Mazda and says they’re about to go to the same restaurant. After a few more awkward moments, Calvin and Mazda leave and Lawrence teases Issa mercilessly. He also pretends to ditch her but returns making Calvin’s signature shooting sound. They laugh and go to the Art Walk together and walk through fake clouds. Issa and Lawrence do that word play thing that only they can do by joking about Idris Elba and The Bourne Identity. They also talk about professional happiness and art and Lawrence buys a painting and Issa buys a shirt. While walking around, Condola calls Lawrence and Issa sees her name on his phone. Lawrence confesses that he and Condola are still figuring out what they are to each other and Issa nods quietly. Before leaving, Issa learns that Lawrence lives a few blocks away from her so they take a Lyft home together.
Issa teases Lawrence about having a raggedy bachelor pad so Lawrence tells her she has to come up and see his place. A tickled Issa agrees and is blown away that not only is Lawrence’s place nice, but he has a Mad Men-inspired bar setup and a cleaning lady. He even has their old couch. Issa goes to the bathroom again and Lawrence steps outside and calls Condola back. He says he’ll keep her posted on whether or not he will still be able to see her that night. Lawrence goes back inside and Issa is standing there about to leave. She knows he was talking to Condola. Issa says she better go so that she doesn’t further annoy the Lyft driver and she walks to the door. Lawrence says it was good seeing her and Issa asks what would happen if she stays. She says she is not ready for the night to end yet. Lawrence says that being with her that night made him happy. Issa tops that and says that Lawrence makes her happy in general. Lawrence says me too and Issa walks closer. Lawrence tells her to stay and they kiss. Goodbye Lyft driver.
The two get intimate in a really sweet but passionate love scene that ends with a tender hug. The next morning, they wake up together and Issa mentions San Francisco. Lawrence asks if Issa is going to miss him if he moves and Issa makes a joke about his chicken legs not being able to withstand the city’s hilly terrain. Lawrence offers to drive Issa home but she decides to walk home smiling and thinking about the future. Now that Issa and Lawrence have repaired their relationship, Issa seems ready to repair her bond with Molly. But will Issa and Lawrence get back together? We can’t wait to find out. In the meantime, it’s just nice to know that as our real world burns, this warm and fictional world centered around Issa, black love, romance, friendship, and hope is just what we need. Natasha Rothwell, who costars as Kelli, wrote the episode. Too bad there are only two more installments left.
Insecure airs Sundays on HBO at 10 p.m. ET/PT. See you again next week!
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