Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Insecure dedicates itself to black female friendships in a strong finale

Issa Ray and Jay Ellis
Issa Ray and Jay Ellis

“Broken As Fuck” is a declarative end for Insecure’s first season. While the show has been picked up for a second season, the finale brings some relationships to definitive conclusions. Issa may be a character plagued by her inability to make decisions, but Insecure’s first season has made it clear that her circumstances are entirely different from when we first saw her in the pilot. It would’ve been easy for the show to fall back on the safety of its lightheartedness and reunite both Issa and Lawrence and Issa and Molly, but “Broken As Fuck” isn’t playing any games. Issa and Lawrence are done.

The episode picks up almost exactly where “Real As Fuck” left off. Issa is incredibly depressed, her apartment is a mess and she hasn’t stopped calling Lawrence to apologize. Until Issa shows up at Lawrence’s office, I thought there was a chance they might get back together. But the moment Lawrence sees Issa––standing there with a bag of toothpaste and shaving cream––the truth is clear. Jay Ellis sells Lawrence’s disdain and exhaustion in mere glances. Issa’s jokes and smiles barely register with him and he gives her absolutely no leeway. The moment feels similar to Molly’s final interaction with Jared; Lawrence is tired and he has completely closed the door on their relationship. “Stop fucking calling me. I’m done.” is his only reply to their old “I’m in this” mantra.

Issa Rae
Issa Rae

Similarly, Issa checks in with Molly after their fight last episode, but Molly’s tone with Issa feels just as distant as Lawrence’s. Issa tries to lighten the mood with a “Bitch, you still mad?,” but of course Molly is still mad. Issa still hasn’t actually apologized for anything she said to Molly and even on this call can’t seem to accept blame for what she did wrong. Issa clearly takes her relationship with Molly for granted––something we’ve known since the pilot when they get in a fight––but, Molly is no longer willing to play along. One of Issa’s biggest imperfections is her inability to admit her own faults and, here, she doesn’t even seem to realize that she has anything to apologize for at all. Issa seems to think she can just go on Kelli’s birthday trip and this will magically heal her relationship with Molly.

What does bring their relationship back together is Issa’s dedication to Molly when Kelli and Tiffany try to come for her. Molly’s pettiness is clear from the moment their vacation begins as she refuses to even sleep on the same floor as Issa and spends the night wilding out at the club with a “baby of a man.” Molly embraces the worst of what Issa said about her in the hopes of proving that she’s “new Molly” who doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Kelli and Tiffany quickly point out that this is what Molly has always done. Maybe she’s doing it for new reasons now––to spite Issa––but, in the end, she isn’t proving anything to anyone. Issa immediately jumps in to point out the issues Tiffany and Kelli both have, but this is cut short when the truth about Lawrence is revealed.

Molly is moved to help Issa and Issa finally apologizes. Their car ride is sweet and feels like genuine forgiveness between friends. Even when Issa asks, “so we’re good” as if to confirm, Molly points out that she’s driving her back home at two A.M., so yes, they’re good. Their friendship only needs to speak in actions. Molly is there to drive Issa and she’s there to give her a bottle of wine and cradle her head when Issa realizes Lawrence has moved out. While Issa declares she’ll be with Molly as she figures it out, Molly’s dedication to Issa during her breakup is also clear. I’m happy that Insecure decided to end the season with Issa and Molly reuniting. It cements the fact that black female friendship is the cornerstone of the show and no matter who these women are dating, their experiences and feelings are the real story.


I suppose Lawrence and Issa could get back together next season, but nothing in this episode suggests that they should. Lawrence spends the episode with his boys while deciding he’s over his “R&B singing, in-your-feelings-type-nigga” persona. Of course, strip clubs are the worst place for a newly single guy to be. The experience quickly proves to be too much as he realizes nothing in the VIP room of a strip club is based on genuine attraction. The moment drives him to call Issa, but the call never feels truly like a desire to forgive and move on. Of course, Issa rushes home only to find Lawrence has taken all of his things. He leaves his Best Buy shirt, which is a wonderfully passive aggressive, petty move. We cut to Lawrence and Tasha fucking. Like, there’s really no other way to describe that scene. It was just straight up, hardcore fucking. While it’s clearly just a way for Lawrence to work through his anger rather than genuine feelings for Tasha, it ends any hopes of Lawrence still feeling any sense of responsibility towards Issa.

The final reveal––that Lawrence has moved out––is excellently done. I thought his phone call would at least lead to a final conversation between Issa and Lawrence. It’s easy to feel that Issa deserves closure, but that’s not how things work in the real world. There’s nothing else to be said between them and the episode’s final moments are far more poignant than any break-up closure. The couch Issa and Lawrence grew to love each other on and eventually threw out is still sitting on the curb. The last time Issa sat on the couch, she was with Lawrence after they rededicated themselves to each other and their relationship. Now it’s just her and Molly as Issa gets ready to explore single life.


Insecure’s dedication to its central friendship has been the strongest part of its debut season. In its finale, the show clearly knows its strengths and weaknesses and has masterfully blended these elements in only eight smart, emotional, and hilarious episodes. Insecure is a show that has elevated modern black female narratives on television, but has proven itself as a quality successor to the history of shows like Living Single and Girlfriends.

Finale grade: A

Season grade: A-

Stray Observations

  • “Don’t forget to call yourself and say thank you. I know I will” - Never change, Frieda.
  • “Do whatever you want Issa. You always do anyway.” - Molly was so cold on that phone call and her fake rush to end the call was perfect. Yvonne Orji may be the MVP of the season.
  • “There’s a casita? What is a casita?”
    ”Sorry, she doesn’t have nice things.”
  • ”You ever see someone scream themselves awake?”
  • “My bad, I was reading your eyebrows” - Natasha Rothwell definitely deserves a shout out for her work this episode. I need a Kelli in my life.
  • “Are you Jill Scott?”
  • “I have like, a week left on my trial subscription to Tidal” - Oh, Molly, stop sleeping with these boys!
  • “It’ll be about you if you get hit or have a baby.”
    ”Do you listen to yourself?”
    ”All the time, I have a podcast.”
  • “Worst case scenario, girl. I’m just trying to keep you woke”
  • It has been so fun reviewing this show! I can’t wait for season two and be sure to check out the Awkward Black Girl web series over hiatus!
  • Make sure to check out Insecure’s official Spotify page for this week’s playlist. Solange and Raphael Saadiq truly outdid themselves in the finale.