When I was 24 years old, a co-worker of mine felt like giving me her opinion of people my age. “I never date 24-year-olds,” she said. “They think they know everything.” At the time, the observation offended me because I almost certainly thought she was throwing shade my way. As a matter of fact, I know she was, but that was almost 12 years ago, and the reason I still think about this brief exchange is that not only did it turn out to be true for me throughout my entire 20s—it turned out to be true for so many 20-somethings I know, and it’s true of the 20-somethings we see on Insecure.
This was made crystal clear in last night’s season finale, which broke the stories of Molly, Lawrence and Issa into separate parts to focus on one month in their lives.
We begin with 30 days with Lawrence. By the looks of it, his transition into life after Issa looks like it’s coming along just fine. When he’s not watching Due North with his boys Derek and Chad on his new TV in his new apartment, he’s making home-cooked meals for his new love interest, Aparna. There’s only one problem: Lawrence continues to let other people do his thinking for him.
When Lawrence mentions to Chad and Derek that Aparna had a thing with a co-worker of his, both guys tell him what he needs to do to dead it instead of asking him what he is going to do. This is because they are both confident that there is only one way to deal with that type of situation, and it’s by Lawrence putting his foot down. But Lawrence isn’t a put-your-foot-down type of cat, which is why when he tries to be that guy with Aparna, it goes horribly wrong.
While stuck in traffic, Lawrence notices Aparna laughing at something she sees on her phone. Lawrence assumes it’s a message or post from Colin, the co-worker Aparna used to sleep with (not date, as he inaccurately describes it to Chad and Derek), and makes a slick comment about it. Aparna, who is clearly the more seasoned single person between her and Lawrence, is fed up and gets out of the car just as Issa is calling Lawrence to come get his stuff. The moment is fitting for a man who thinks the new girl is a cure for the ex-girl, when, more often than not, they’re a cover-up for our unfinished business.
Molly’s 30-day journey looks like it’s going along well. Her career is on the rise now that she’s finally interviewing at other firms. One in particular is described as a black firm in which the partners she interviews with are all black, a stark contrast with her current firm, where the partners are all white. Her confidant during this whole process is her associate, Quentin (Lil Rel Howery), who is skilled in the art of being a good friend while also making it obvious that he would like to be something more to Molly.
Molly knows what time it is but is unsure how to handle Quentin’s intentions. For this, she confides in both Issa and her therapist. When Molly tells Issa that Quentin is not her type, Issa does what any of our friends would do and asks to see a picture. When Issa sees Quentin, she understands Molly’s hesitation: Molly’s type is more Al B. Sure, as evidenced by her infatuation with Dro, and Quentin is more Dave Hollister. Molly’s therapist takes a more professional approach and tells her just because she thinks Quentin doesn’t seem like the guy she should be with doesn’t mean he couldn’t be the right guy for her.
Molly is open to that advice but is momentarily distracted by a text message from dusty-ass Dro saying that he misses her. But Molly locks in and the next day decides to give Quentin that “could” the therapist was talking about. Unfortunately, Quentin didn’t give Lawrence-like backshots to Molly because not only do we learn the sex was meh, but we later see Molly trying on lingerie and answering the door in one of the pieces to greet Dro. The lesson is clear: It’s nice to date friends, but they still have to make us weak in the knees.
For Issa’s 30-day journey, it’s time for her to move out of the apartment she shared with Lawrence. It’s important to note that the reason Issa is moving is not about self-care but, rather, that the rent’s going up and she is getting priced out. To ease the moving process, she has a sidewalk sale of all her old stuff. It’s business as usual for her until someone asks how much for the couch she’s selling. It’s a reminder to Issa that some things are priceless, and that couch is one of them, so instead of selling it, she calls Lawrence and leaves him a voice message offering it to him. Coincidentally, a couch is exactly what Aparna told Lawrence he should get instead of speakers, and this is how we end up with Lawrence and Issa in the kitchen.
This showdown between Issa and Lawrence is literally and figuratively not as dark as the one they had in the previous episode. The last time they squared off was after both of them probably had a couple of drinks apiece one evening. This time, Lawrence and Issa are clearheaded and seeing each other at a time of day when the sunlight is pouring through their windows. And whereas their last conversation consisted of expletive-laced tirades that they probably didn’t mean but wanted to get out of their systems, this conversation was the addendum they needed to move forward from each other. The “I love yous” they exchange are familiar to anyone who has said those three words to someone right before they say goodbye for a long time, if not forever.
Of all the episodes in season 2, the season finale was the one lowest on drama and controversy, but also the most accurate depiction of the life Insecure represents. Life as an adult begins in our 20s, which can be both empowering and deceiving. We think we know what to do simply because we’re not kids anymore, when, in fact, we just make grown-up mistakes. For all the drama Insecure serves us through its characters fucking up, it’s refreshing to see an episode in which the focus wasn’t on those moments. Unlike season 1's finale, which ended with that iconic (yeah, I said it) scene of Lawrence giving Tasha that work like he needed a second job, season 2’s final montage focused on Lawrence, Molly and Issa and doors.
Lawrence opened the door to Issa with a friend request on Facebook. Molly opened the door to Dro, which gives us a hint that she’s not ready to do better, even if she knows better, which is a common disconnect we experience in our 20s. And Issa knocking on the door of Daniel’s place suggests that she still has a lot to learn about what it is to have someone in our system. She is ready to move on from Lawrence, but Daniel? Not so much. As Issa walks inside, the camera pans away to show a bird’s-eye view of the Los Angeles skyline. The message was not loud, but it was clear: Issa, Lawrence and Molly know more about life than they did at the beginning of the season, but they still don’t know that they don’t know it all, and more mistakes are on the horizon.