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A tense Insecure forces everyone to face the truth

Justina Mintz/courtesy of HBO
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Insecure can be a hard show to watch because it’s so awkward at times. “Hella Disrespectful” is the first time the show has just felt too tense to watch. Conflicts have been bubbling under the surface and they’re forced into the spotlight. From Issa’s tension with Frieda to Molly’s inevitable showdown with Candace, “Hella Disrespectful” doesn’t give viewers a second to relax.


The episode is all about the mistakes each character continues to make. Issa has been trying to live her best ho life, but she hasn’t really been ho-ing from the heart. She’s not over Lawrence; her reaction to his Facebook block and Aparna makes that clear. The argument Lawrence and Issa have tonight has been a long time coming, but the moment still feels raw. They hurl insults at each other that are steeped in resentment over their five-year relationship, rather than their break-up.

Even though Lawrence is employed now, last week he was forced to recognize his app truly was a waste of time. Here, he’s forced to come face to face with Issa and the pain they’ve caused each other. It’s one of two scenes where characters are forced to recognize themselves through Issa. Issa has known Molly and Lawrence for years and they can’t hide the truth from her.

Justina Mintz/courtesy of HBO

Is that what encourages him to bring Aparna to what is clearly an incredibly private party? Maybe. It’s hard for me to believe Tiffany sent out a style guide and made her own fonts, but didn’t mention that it was a sit-down dinner. Issa’s affair is still a sore spot for Lawrence and he clearly still wants to shame her for it. Like Tasha, Aparna is just another girl Lawrence is using and it’ll be a shame when he screws over a coworker like he did Tasha. “Hella Disrespectful” is an episode about repeating mistakes and Lawrence has not learned his lesson.


Neither has Molly. While she may have said Dro was a one time thing, he’s turned into a 17-time thing. There’s no doubt that Dro is a mistake for Molly. Molly wants the magical relationship she thought her parents had, but Dro can never give her that. While he may actually be in an open relationship, he’s definitely breaking the rules of his primary relationship. After her awkward encounter with Molly, it’s hard for me to believe that Candace would be okay with their bathroom tryst. Molly can’t deal with being a secondary partner and she shouldn’t have to settle for that.

Hopefully, she sticks with her decision to end things with Dro, because it’s heartbreaking watching her get played. When Dro tells her to wait before leaving the bathroom, you can see how she used she feels. It doesn’t help that she’s immediately forced to face Issa afterwards. While Issa doesn’t judge Molly and just helps her fix her hair, she doesn’t try to act like she’s okay with what’s happening.

Justina Mintz/courtesy of HBO

Issa has been a difficult character this season, but she at least starts taking agency in “Hella Disrespectful.” She doesn’t just call out Lawrence and Molly, she also deals with Daniel and her job. It’s nice to see Frieda and Issa patch things up, but their plan to confront the principal goes about as expected. He simply laughs at their complaints and they’re left to diverse the program on their own. At least Issa has a plan and the Latino students actually seem interested in the program now. It’s not exactly a win for Issa, but considering everything else that happens in the episode, it’s a small victory.


Even though Lawrence and Issa fight it out this episode, Issa’s fight with Daniel has a bigger impact. In “Hella Blows,” it seemed clear to me that Daniel came on Issa’s face on purpose. I figured, because Issa asked to keep it casual the previous week, Daniel was all in his feelings about the rejection and decided to do some fuckboy shit because of it.

This week, he pretty much confirms that’s exactly what he did. He tells Issa she knows how he felt now and that they’re even. That was Issa’s worst suspicion: that Daniel did it to be disrespectful and make her feel disposable on purpose. I understand why she wouldn’t forgive him for this, but the show has done a great job of building the connection between the two characters. Issa isn’t just losing someone in her ho-tation, but a legitimate friend.


“Hella Disrespectful” is a great penultimate episode and works out some major plot development before the finale. Molly’s work issues haven’t been resolved and she might leave her job. Issa is dealing with gentrification and may have to move. Lawrence is about to ruin his entire office dynamic because he doesn’t know how to take it slow with a woman. While all these storylines happening at once could be overwhelming, everything feels well-paced. It really does feel like anything could happen next Sunday.

Stray Observations

  • Uh oh...Issa turned down a drink at the party. A lot of people speculated that the character might be pregnant since she didn’t use protection with Lawrence. I hope that’s not the case.
  • I screamed when Molly said Dro could keep her keys. Molly, girl!!!
  • Kelli and Sweetie are the only couple I’m rooting for at this point.
  • Candace and Molly’s awkward interaction was way too realistic. That is what polyamory looks like in all its small talk horror.
  • I wish Issa’s brother’s homosexuality had more representation than him just...talking gay? He needs more to do.
  • Molly offering to shoot Daniel in the face with an egg yolk gun is why she’s a real ride-or-die.
  • Aparna seemed WAY TOO EAGER to go with Lawrence once he mentioned his ex. I think she kind of wants to start shit.
  • Ok, Issa trashing her apartment didn’t really resonate for me. I think it would’ve worked if it had been a dream or her imagination, but...I don’t know, poor people don’t tend to break their stuff and risk their security deposits when they have car repairs and higher rent to pay.

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About the author

Ashley Ray-Harris

Ashley Ray-Harris is a Chicago-based pop culture expert and freelance writer. Her work looks at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality and modern culture.