During the first episode of the final season of HBO’s “Insecure,” we encounter “Issu Returns,” a college-age version of Issa, looking at her in the bathroom mirror.
Issa doesn’t tear his reflection this time. Instead, they catch up, and she looks at herself condescendingly. “I forgot how cute I look with turns,” Issa tells her reflection. And the younger version of herself is amazed at who she has become. “Issa ?! Is that me? ”She asks.
After a minute admiring their teeth, they awkwardly cut each other off, as if both are thinking and doing the same thing. In this tango, you can say that while Issa does not look the way she used to – she now has more auburn hair color and does not wear suspenders – in essence, she looks a lot like the girl she used to be.
“Return of Issa” was the most literal reflection of the past in the episode, which takes place on the 10-year reunion of Issa and her Los Angeles-based team at Stanford, on their long-standing soil. The crew looks better than ever. Kelly and Tiffany at Gucci? Yes. (Tiffany wore only pink and green throughout the series.) Issa and Molly in cool Stanford sweaters? Aesthetics that I can subscribe to.
It was a weekend that involved a lot of time travel. We’ve seen Issa from college admire but at the same time a little disappointed with the current Issa. Later on in the alumni panel, the current Issa worries that in the future, Issa will have time to do what she wants to do. Molly finds herself reminiscing about her younger and more optimistic personality. Kelly flies too far into a future where she is no longer there and doesn’t like her legacy. The characters look back to see how far they have come and where they want to go.
The episode also used fragments of the recent past. Last season, we left Issa stranded with Lawrence, who recently found out that his ex-Condole was pregnant. At the time, Issa was considering moving to San Francisco with Lawrence, who had just found a job there. Pregnancy was a brick in the window of their relationship.
Issa and Molly’s relationship that viewers are staring at was on thin ice, and the weight of their love life threatened to break it. Gone are their dreamy party scenes – now there was only awkwardness.
This week there was movement in each of these directions. Issa and Molly agree on what they want: move forward, overcome the obstacles in front of them. They stopped trying things on, they know more about who they are not and what they do not want in their life. “I know that you are now an experienced lawyer,” reflects Issa. “No, I never really wanted to be a lawyer,” Issa replied that day with a confidence that eluded her young self.
During the panel, Issa is joined onstage by the filmmaker, startup founder and Coca-Cola advertising art director – all alumni. Issa was brought in as an entrepreneur and founder of The Blocc – we don’t know much about the company (and it’s unclear if she knows either), but I love it.
When the moderator asks the panelists when they found stability in their lives, Issa has no answer. She is honest with her audience and tells them that she is insecure and might be wasting her time, but she also talks to herself. As if hearing her talk about her latest endeavor herself, she begins to understand the risks involved in it like never before.
Throughout the episode, Issa is so focused on her future and past that she cannot be present in the present. When asked what her company name means, she stutters, unable to remember. She now has her own company, but still runs apartments and drives Lyft. Issa seems to have a hard time coming to terms with all this, but I got the impression that she will eventually do it. This is not Game of Thrones.
Back at the house, Molly, three months after her breakup with Andrew, tries to be a good friend to Issa, because that’s what Molly needs from her. After fighting last season, Molly now seems ready to appreciate the friendship, gently asking Issa, “Will we be okay?”
Molly also seems to fall into campus memories. While walking with Issa, she recalls the confidence she had before. “First year of training, we thought we figured it all out.” The fire that used to define her, her tenacity and ambition, is missing. But I doubt it’s gone forever.
Kelly, on the other hand, is believed to be dead by the organizers of the reunion – she was marked as deceased on the program and even appeared in a commemorative video. (GS Boyz’s “Stanky Legg” plays as a tribute when her face appears.)
At first, she thinks it might be beneficial for her to “disconnect from the network,” but then something else happens. When she realizes that she is only remembered because of her allergy to cabbage and a hard, smelly leg, it stops being fun for her. … Usually Kelly went with the flow, but maybe it’s time to go against the flow.
When the girls go to Reggie Gold, an old hangout in Oakland, Kelly isn’t as excited as the other girls. She is clearly alarmed and interrupts the singing of The Dream’s “I Luv Your Girl,” a ritual on the way to the club, to let them know why she doesn’t feel the party atmosphere. She is quickly fired. Maybe pretending to be dead, too close for her to get home.
The next morning at the diner, they pay Kelly an appropriate tribute. As they leave, Molly and Issa walk past three giggling girls, one of whom carries a banner that reads “Take Action.” The girls apologize for bumping into them. Issa looks back at them as if they seem familiar, it was like their young men walking past them. As these girls leave after them, Issa and Molly tell each other that they want to move forward.
Issa then continues to do so. When she flies home, Lawrence waits for her at the Los Angeles airport in a black hoodie, with regret and regret. (Yes, I’m still mad at Lawrence for getting pregnant with Condole while trying to fix Issa’s situation.)
What distinguishes Lawrence’s pity is that Issa is no longer willing to take part in it. She breaks up with him, and he immediately understands. The parting was quiet – no argument or shock, only the understanding of two adults. It was a more mature and clean breakup than their first traumatic breakup.
Time is running out for Insecure, and perhaps the premiere seemed to suggest that maibes and half-steps, when the characters ponder the direction of their lives, went beyond adolescence. There is not much time left to be insecure.