'Insecure' Finale: I'm Not Sure Why I Love You, But I Do
Let me first explain that that title doesn’t apply to my feelings on Insecure … exactly. I, and everyone else reading this (because everyone reading this is watching Insecure, yes?), should love it because it’s a well-written, well-acted, well-directed series that takes a significant degree of care to develop characters we don’t always get to see on most shows. And also, they dedicate the care needed to make sure those characters actually look good, because racism is a pervasive son of a bitch.
But those things aren’t why you love a show. Those are the reasons on paper you’d love a show. What makes you love a show is when you find yourself shouting, “GODDAMMIT, MOLLY WHAT ARE YOU DOING,” and really mean it. And guys, I really meant it.
Let’s get real, Molly and Issa are both fucking up. Molly possibly to a greater degree, but we can’t be sure of that yet. So in the spirit of Kellie (who everyone acknowledges is the best), we should start with what they’ve done well. Issa recovered well enough from her fumbles at both work and home. She managed to repair her friendship with Frida after trying to ignore Principal Racism’s blatant bias against Latino students only to fall into a second debacle by having additional study sessions on weekends. For Latinos only. And once you say it out loud, you hear it. Luckily Issa keeps her job, and seems legitimately happy when Frida lands the supervisor position. Plus she somehow cleaned up the apartment she destroyed just a week ago, so she’s clearly more active than I am.
She’s also decided to live by herself for a while in an apartment not filled with memories of Lawrence. Which is good. The closure conversation she had with Lawrence? Look, my feelings on Lawrence as a character have been made clear. But I will argue that the conversation they had about genuinely wanting to have been better for the other felt like the most accurate break-up conversation depicted on screen. He should have been able to get his shit together earlier; she should have been more patient. Both of them should have been better able to express the pain and anger all of those things were causing. But at the end of it, they tried. And they tried to recognize that in each other. They will not be having the happily wedded bliss Issa briefly imagines, but they’re on their way to friends at least.
Molly, in the meantime, has been fairly publicly taking meetings with other law firms. And because any time a woman is dissatisfied with anything, people demand a list of the ways she tried to fix it, so far she has:
— worked her ass off for years
— taken on more work than her colleagues
— asked for a meeting with her bosses to ask for a raise
— looked for opportunities at other law firms that might value her
And for all of that, her bosses responded by giving her a star. Like a pat-on-the-head paper star. This isn’t a case of a woman refusing to stand up for herself and negotiate. This is the case of people expecting a woman to settle for less. And Molly has proven she’s too smart to do that.
Except for Dro. Because GODDAMMIT, MOLLY.
I mean, far be it from me to judge a woman about who she takes to bed. But it is difficult to see someone in whose happiness you are invested do something destructive to herself. This isn’t a case of her having some casual fun. Or of her knowing the limitations of the relationship and accepting them. She is unhappy with the way the relationship makes her feel at least a significant portion of the time, but can’t stop doing it. Which is, to be fair, part of the show’s charm. People are complicated, emotions are tricky. No one is either all good or bad. Not even that asshole Lawrence. So if Molly feels like Dro is the person she wants to be with right now, we, as the audience, will just have to accept that. While quietly pointing out under our breath that this is not what her therapist meant by not paying attention to “should.”
It feels additionally disappointing to watch Molly backslide after making what appeared to be a clean break. She was focused on making herself happy, in accepting that she won’t have a plan for everything, and that happiness doesn’t have to find her in exactly the way she imagined (ahem
Clinton Quentin (sorry, Quentin!)) Watching Molly continue her relationship with Dro would be as bad as watching Issa continue her relationship with Daniel despite the fact that we all know goddamn well they aren’t good for each other. They-
/double checks the tape/
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