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Lawrence's return showcases Insecure's ensemble in a rewarding episode

Issa Rae (left), Jay Ellis
Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)
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Okay. Lawrence came back and the show didn’t implode. I know some of us were disappointed about Lawrence’s return, but I think anyone can admit that this was a great episode of Insecure. Season three has focused on some major changes paying off for Molly and Issa, but the show’s ensemble has always been strong. With Lawrence back, it feels like we’re seeing Molly and Issa step back into the consequences of their recent decisions. Reality comes crashing down around them: Molly can’t distract herself with her job and is forced to confront Dro. Issa gets real with Nathan, but realizes things aren’t as great as they seem. “Ready-Like” hits a lot of notes that last week’s episode, “High-Like,” missed.


I almost wish this episode aired before “High-Like.” Nearly everything that was missing there is featured in “Ready-Like.” It is a smooth reveal: Of course, the audience assumed Issa, Molly and Kelli would be throwing the baby shower. The fact that Molly and Issa didn’t even offer gives weight to Tiffany’s speech from last week. Natasha Rothwell is always perfect as Kelli, but she displays a range here we’ve never seen. It’s heartbreaking when Kelli realizes Tiffany dismisses her. It was sad to see her lightskinnt cupcakes ignored. Tiffany was also genuinely hurt when Kelli left the party early. This friendship is finally being examined and the payoff is rewarding.

Natasha Rothwell
Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)

Beyond that, “Ready-Like” is incredibly well-scripted. It doesn’t just give us the Tiffany, Kelli, Molly, and Issa confrontation we’ve been waiting for, it also re-introduces Lawrence in an incredibly satisfying way. That one scene with Derek, Chad and Lawrence grabbing a drink and updating us on their lives made it immediately clear why their relationship is so great for the show. They have a natural chemistry with one another and, just like Issa and her crew, they’re all at very different stages in life.

Jay Ellis
Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)

Derek is expecting his first child, which we already knew and is kind of boring. Near the end of last season, the show hinted at issues between Derek and Tiffany, but it hasn’t been referenced again. This pair doesn’t need to be more interesting, but it wouldn’t hurt if they had to deal with a little bit of drama. Meanwhile, Chad is dealing with a whole lot of drama. He was apparently left at the altar because he “tittyfucked two strippers.” This is an amazing development and I hope this means we’ll see so much more of Chad.

Finally, there’s Lawrence. What has Lawrence been doing? Well, more of the same. He’s been working and fucking. A lot. In fact, it turns out he has chlamydia. I like that Issa Rae threw this in for all the people asking about consequences for the characters’ condom-less sex, but it’s also an easy turning point to mark for Lawrence. Sure, he could be enjoying the bachelor lifestyle, but it’s clearly starting to lose some of its glamor. Issa already knows she’s ready for something real, but Lawrence is just moving on from Issa’s betrayal. Even though he says he wouldn’t take Issa back, he’s quick to defend her when Chad calls her a hoe (she’s only guilty of doing hoe shit, thank you). They still have chemistry and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another rebound sex situation happen.

Saunas Jackson
Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)

Dro and Molly on the other hand? That chemistry is gone forever. Molly tries to be polite, but Dro doesn’t entertain that for a moment. Molly wasn’t wrong to set boundaries with Dro and it’s ridiculous that he’d be this upset with her for being an adult about her feelings. She’s not trying to make pancakes and fall in love with a guy who has a pregnant wife. That’s absolutely fair. On top of disrespecting her boundaries, it’s telling that Dro is able to be so rude to her. We still don’t know the extent of Dro’s feelings for Molly, but this chips away at the idea that he had deeper feelings for her than he was letting on. While I’d like to believe his wife getting pregnant means they’re happy and in love, couples have children for a lot of reasons and it might not point to stability. If this is really it for Molly and Dro, I hope she’s done with the drama, because this new guy seems promising.


Of course, Molly almost blocks this blessing because she doesn’t want to date outside of her race. It’s an interesting topic and Issa Rae even wrote about it in her book (to much controversy). Essentially, she writes that black women have a hard time finding black men to settle down with, so they should date outside of their race to expand their options. Molly and Issa both make good points, but Molly is being close-minded. But, that’s nothing new for her. We all remember when she broke up with a guy for being bisexual. Or her stance on blowjobs. Molly can be pretty backwards on some things, but she does decide to go on the date. It’s growth.

Then, there’s Issa and Insecure’s first real “mystery.” What the hell happened to Nathan? First, Nathan is distracted and all about “is this real?” pillowtalk, then he disappears. Issa gets a suspicious call from Lyft telling her that there’s been an investigation. Was Nathan arrested? Did he snitch on her somehow and she’s going to lose her job? Did he ghost her because of the guilt? It’s a great cliffhanger and we all knew Nathan was too good to be true. With two episodes left, there’s definitely going to be a great reveal.


Stray Observations

  • Seriously, Chad was so great.
  • Issa’s outfit at the baby shower was GORGEOUS.
  • Anyone who doesn’t have their voicemail set up is suspect.
  • I’m glad Tiffany has some friends who are excited about her pregnancy though. Those portraits were hilarious and I’m glad the Crazy Crew are indulging her wishes.
  • I would’ve eaten your cupcakes, Kelli.

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About the author

Ashley Ray-Harris

Ashley Ray-Harris is a stand-up comic and writer.