Insecure Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: "Hella Open"

Photo: Justina Mintz/HBO.
Moving on is hard to do, for some more than others. After last week’s episode, it appears that the hips may have fallen where they may for our LA lovers on HBO’s Insecure. So how is everyone getting on with their life in the aftermath (?). That was the point of episode 3, “Hella Open.”
Not much has changed on Issa’s (Issa Rae) end. She awkwardly fumbles yet another date, with a fine ass man played by R&B singer Luke James. You would think that being in a long-term relationship would have help her in the romance department. Apparently not. The hoe life isn’t for everyone. In the morning, she still has the smoke stain on her wall a noise complaint from her property management. In other words, she’s still losing. The silver lining here is that she has a cute and friendly neighbor named Eddie (Leon Thomas). Keep that in mind.
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At work, things are still going well — for Issa, at least — at East 41st St High School. Their after school program is full of students eager for their services, but Frieda (Lisa Joyce) is distraught about the lack of diversity. Latino students make up 86% of the population at the school but the attendance in their program “doesn’t reflect that.” Given the vice principal’s open bias towards the Latino students, there is clearly some foul play. Issa wants Frieda to just “take the W.”
Lawrence (Jay Ellis) is also enjoying his new job — that isn’t Best Buy, thank god. He is getting along well with his co-workers. They, in turn, are setting him up for a hoe phase of his own. Like his friend Chad (Neil Brown Jr.), they think Lawrence is a sucker for choosing to attend Tasha’s (Dominique Perry) family’s barbecue over “Start Up Saturdays with them — especially since he insists that she’s only a friend, and their day party has led to frivolous sex with at least one of his coworkers.
After taking picking up some furniture and having to carry it herself, Molly (Yvonne Orji) is feeling bad about her non-existent dating life. When Issa comes over to help her put it together, they both decide to dip their toes back into the dating game. Or at the very least, get some dick. We all have needs. Ready to admit her own shortcomings, Issa asks Molly to teach her “how to hoe.” I wish she would have asked me instead. I’m pretty great at it. Anyway, they go to a hole in the wall joint with a generationally diverse crowd. Zaddies and daddies, my favourite kind of function. Issa crashes and burns with every guy talks to. But Molly snags quite the fish on her line. She strikes up a conversation with Lionel (Sterling K. Brown) and gives him her business card. Molly is nothing, if not classy.
Meanwhile in his personal life, Tasha and Lawrence are back into the swing of things now that she has forgiven him for backtracking with Issa. They are clearly a little too comfortable for Lawrence’s taste. He’s trying to lay on the moves for his own sexual needs, but Tasha understands the importance of not missing a moment of Viola Davis during TGIT. Because Insecure appreciates symmetry between characters, Issa’s vibrator also runs out of batteries. I wouldn't wish that one anyone.
Obligatory work update: Molly is shading the privileged white boy at her job, Travis (David Hull), for not working as hard as her. He doesn’t care because he’s a privileged white boy. In a meeting with their boss about about East 41st, Issa gets the praise she’s been craving and Frieda’s white guilt is eating her up inside.
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In her personal life, though, Molly is experiencing some admirable growth. She has lunch with Lionel and it’s going exactly the way she wants it too. He has a great career and is looking for the same things — marriage and kids — that she is. But this is precisely what raises a flag for Molly. Despite Lionel being perfect on paper, the chemistry between him and Molly doesn't exist. He’s coming on a little too strong and after Molly runs into Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson) — her old friend from home — and his wife at a cupcake shop, she understands the importance of letting things flow naturally. After complaining about it to Issa, she realises that Lionel is the male version of the person she used to be before her chosen celibacy. No therapist could have dropped that golden nugget.
Unfortunately, Lawrence is not maturing at all. Being the “good guy” he is, he shows up to Tasha’s family’s barbecue. After doing literally two things — helping to set up some speakers and rolling an elder woman in a wheelchair — he gets overwhelmed and leaves to go to Start Up Saturday. He tells Tasha he has a “work thing” and promises to return. He does not. He needs to die.
Finally willing to do something about that stain on her wall, Issa paints it a very pleasant shade of yellow. Then she gets an idea. It’s time to play cute neighbour Eddie a little visit. Armed with her own phone charger in hand and a made up inquiry about whether or not he left his own at her party, Issa makes her move. It starts off rocky. They head butt one another, Issa declines his request to “titty fuck,” and she can’t get comfortable when they finally end up in missionary position. But eventually, she makes some decent sex happen with Eric. It’s nothing compared to the sex that Tasha and Lawrence have, but I can give Issa an A- for effort. Most importantly, she feels pretty good about it afterward — and that’s all that matters. In a plot twist that I never saw coming, Issa is the only one of our main characters to get off this episode.
Content in her decision to curve Lionel, Molly declines his invitation via text to go see SZA in concert. I respect where she is in her journey, I really do, but watching her send that text was difficult. Keep your morals intact, but don’t be foolish girl. I digress, though. Lawrence is also about to face the consequences of his action and it’s the moment I’ve been waiting for ever since I learned that he lived on Issa’s couch rent free for two years.
The barbecue is over and while Lawrence is still telling bad jokes to his co-workers, Tasha calls him to find out why he stood her up. He stammers through an excuse about being tied up at work but ultimately lands on “I’m not really looking for anything serious,” as his final answer. Apparently he thinks that right after leaving a woman hanging in front of her entire family is a good time to make a decision about his intentions. If your blood is boiling, rest assured. Tasha tells him exactly what he needs to hear. “You a fuckn***a who think he a good dude.” She hangs up in his face and he retreats back into the party. The end.
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Tell me again about about Tasha is just a stupid side chick? Between her and Issa, one of them has the sense to see Lawrence for who he really is, the other is bad at initiating sex. But that’s not business.
See you next week.