Can we talk about Issa, Lawrence, and the last 3 minutes of the ‘Insecure’ premiere? Some of us need a moment.

The show’s premiere episode saved the answer to the question on everyone’s mind until the last minute

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Three minutes?!

After Insecure’s cliffhanger last season that threw both a break baby and matching baby mama into the mix, three minutes is all we got of the Lawrence and Issa saga in Sunday’s premiere. Three minutes!

I felt like I was passed a big, fat blunt, (in a state where it’s legal, of course) only to have it snatched from my lips before I could even inhale. Too soon! Too quick! I needed more! 

Screenshot of Insecure, Episode 1 Season 5. (Credit: HBO Max)

Lord knows that after going a long, hard year without any Insecure episodes, I’m not complaining. (He knows my heart.) Lord knows that I don’t want none of that “I said what I said” smoke from Issa Rae. But in the words of the Will Smith Pursuit of Happiness gif, ‘Please Help.’

Help me get over all the hopes and dreams for Issa and Lawrence that were shattered quickly and decisively in those three minutes. 

This is a cry for help! Not a complaint. This is me using my words (like my mama taught me) to express, communicate, and verbalize that maybe, perhaps, I might just be a feign for this show and those three minutes might not have given me my Issa and Lawrence fix. 

I, like many, need a moment to process. 

Screenshot of Insecure, Episode 1 Season 5. (Credit: HBO Max)

My inner Insecure feign was jonesing for a montage of Issa and Lawrence working through this latest obstacle. I just knew we were going to see a back and forth where we’d sit with our popcorn like Micheal Jackson and watch Lawrence and Issa deliberate on the decision before them. 

I wanted to see Lawrence fight for their relationship, telling Issa how he knows it will be difficult, but that he’d do everything he could to preserve the beauty of their relationship. Or, in my wildest dreams, I wanted Condola to be like, nevermind, so they could live happily ever after (Bad, I know).

But for the first 27 minutes, they handed us the newspaper with most of the front page stories cut out, talkin’ bout “I’m gon’ give you the rest later.” And before we could even realize what was happening, the rest had come and gone, and it was over. The decision had been made. Next. 

Insecure really set us up with the feel good kiss in minute one, then dropped us flat on our asses, back into reality in minute three. (They ain’t care nothing about our little feelings.) 

I understand it. I do. 

But still. I think we all needed a moment to grieve for the relationship that was, as Jemele Hill put it, both “beautiful and impossible.” (Sigh.)

Now, even though I wanted to see Lawrence and Issa together, I truly do understand Issa’s decision. I think we all do. Each of us has the right to go after the life we envision. We aren’t simply passengers in life, required to accept whatever happens to us. We get to be in the driver’s seat sometimes and make decisions. We get to decide what does and doesn’t work for us. 

Screenshot of Insecure, Episode 1 Season 5. (Credit: HBO Max)

Issa did that. 

No, it wouldn’t have been impossible for her to watch Lawrence go through the experience of becoming a father while still being by his side, and him by hers. But it would absolutely be difficult. That type of news adds a strain to any relationship, and relationships are already difficult enough. 

And while I am team Lawrence (while simultaneously also being team Nathan #makeitmakesense), I can understand and respect the difficult choice of moving on from something you love in search of a love and life that resonates with you more–especially as a woman in your 30s! So watching Issa do this was an empowering reminder to 30+ women that we can always choose us. 

As Issa reminded Molly during the episode, we still have time. Just move forward. It’s that energy that Issa seemed to take with her into her decision to part ways with Lawrence. 

As women, especially Black women, the world wants to convince us that we have an expiration date. And sometimes we ingest this energy and fear, and we rush to make choices that don’t fit for us simply because we think we’re running out of time. But making decisions that are wrong for us can never serve us no matter how much or how little time we have. 

I think Issa’s decision in this episode was a celebration of that sentiment. Her decision to leave gave voice to the idea that we must always do what feels right for us. Forget the outside noise. Forget the fear. Forget what other people are saying. What does moving forward look like for you? 

Screenshot of Insecure, Episode 1 Season 5. (Credit: HBO Max)

And so, in a situation like Issa and Lawrence’s, there is no right or wrong choice. There’s only the question of what decision resonates with Issa and what doesn’t. If being with Lawrence felt right given the reality of this new baby, then Issa could have stayed. If not, then her choice makes sense.

No matter if Issa were to leave or stay, the reality of what she’d be facing will carry with it some bitter reality either way. Leaving won’t make her any less sad, and staying wouldn’t make the situation any less real. The only question is, how does she want her bitter? With something new or with what the love she already knows? 

The choice is always ours, but there’s going to be bitter either way. That’s life. 

In the meantime, while she’s figuring it out, I’m here for the deep dive back into the Issa and Molly friendship. They truly might be the real soulmate story in this whole thing. Their laughter this episode reminded us that the best part of friendship is finding humor even in the worst of times. 

And honestly, this is the reality for many women. After a break up, when the hope for love with someone shatters, and it seems like there’s nothing left. There’s always our homegirls. 

Our soul tribe.

And us. We always have ourselves. Not losing yourself in a relationship is always a win.

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