Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)

Wow, it’s the season finale and we got Lawrence, we got Nathan AT THE SAME DAMN TIME, AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!!! It’s Issa (birth)day and everybody’s celebrating, right? On top of that good time—sho nuff—we have reached the conclusion of Insecure’s third season, and must reflect. Was it bad? Was it good? Did this season even make sense to us? Jouelzy and Panama Jackson are back for the final VSB Group Chat review of HBO’s Insecure, Season 3.

Jouelzy: I don’t know that I was really waiting for this or that this even felt like a true season finale. But we got here, some way somehow and I don’t know that I feel good about it. Like this season had an arc that I don’t know that I fully understand and it ended at a point where it was just getting into its stride. Damn, Daniel and them Nordic flutes!

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Panama: I don’t disagree. I’d be hard-pressed to call this a good season. Many of the episodes seemed rather thrown together. Funny enough, Daniel only disappeared four episodes ago but it feels like another time in another space. Hell, by the time this season finale wrapped, I felt like Issa’s credit must have gone up. She got furniture and shit now and it does not look like she’s paying 476 percent interest from Rent-A-Center. Getting her shit together aside, I do not know what the season was really trying to accomplish, short of being a showcase for awesome music and bringing back Chad.

Jouelzy: Maybe the overarching theme was how we all deal with varying wavelengths of depression and anxiety. To be honest, that did not cross my mind until someone mentioned it on Twitter. Wow, maybe *I’m* not good at this. Actually, when I interrogate that train of thought, OK. Issa was dealing with some mild form of depression and whatever Nathan was using as his reason for ghosting on Issa for an entire month was definitely a form of depression. Molly has been depressed but I don’t know that I would call her angstiness depression as opposed to her having a bruised ego and sense of self.

Panama: I’m not saying that you’re reaching since self-care is really high on folks priority list these days and addressing mental wellness is definitely encouraged nowadays. However, I do think you’re trying to make something out of nothing. They’re all going through something, but I don’t feel like it was a woven through story arc. If I had to manufacture a story arc or theme, I’d say it’s this: Some say the end is the beginning...

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Every main character was starting something new and ending something. Somewhere along the way, they found tomorrow. That shit was deep, my nigga.

Jouelzy: OK, so the actual episode is centered around Issa’s birthday and all of her looks were slayed down! I’m happy for her and her very cute hairdos. The strength of the show really is the dynamic and friendship between Issa and Molly. It’s real and I enjoy every aspect of it even when they argue, pull each other’s card and generally dole out advice they’re too good to take themselves.

Panama: Their friendship does read as genuine; I appreciate their bond. I do agree that Issa was providing some slayage this episode. Work, hunty. Did I just say that out loud? I think I did.

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Jouelzy: Molly was very right and kind of wrong to cock block Nathan on Issa’s birthday. Yes, Issa is an adult and has the right to make her own decisions, but Nathan’s appearance after a month of nothingness would have derailed Issa’s entire day if not week. And as the friend who was tasked with ensuring you spent your birthday happy, I can’t say I wouldn’t make the same decision for a very close friend.

Panama: I knew this was going to end up blowing up in Molly’s face even though she absolutely did the right thing, maybe. Molly made an executive decision, and while I’m sure Issa is pissed, she’ll eventually get why it was the right call. Meanwhile, this nigga Nathan don’ showed back up with a gotdamn plant. Do folks really want foliage after you ghosted them for a month? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. If anything, Molly was in the right for that shit. He better show up with Beyoncé tickets next time though I’m not sure what his pockets are looking like. He’s a barber without a shop and a haircut without a line.

Jouelzy: Issa had a point about Molly’s negativity and she overall is probably the character with the most to lose but the least amount of growth since season 1. While we can argue about how little Molly has grown, I do appreciate her finally letting out a slice of vulnerability and apologizing to Asian Andrew, who seems like such a fitting match because he doesn’t back down or allow himself to be walked over.

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How do you feel about Lawrence’s daddy? Did he put a battery in his son’s back with the “young folks don’t want to work on relationships” speech?

Panama: Shoutout to Dresser from The Five Heartbeats showing up 25 years later with a son. In The Five Heartbeats, though, his wife was Brenda and they had a daughter named Monica, so Sylvia must be his second wife. Tangent? Thy name is Panama. Also, Asian Andrew with the silky coif was doing so much while doing so little at the same time.

Jouelzy: Something has to be said about everyone gathering at a graveyard screening of The Last Dragon. Whew, what a beautiful black-ass time and Chad seems to have slithered his way back into his fiancee’s good graces. I’m happy for the man, even if he deduces a woman he clearly loves to how well her neck works. Chad’s caring is telling you to put oil in your hair cause you look ashy, so there’s that.

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Panama: Chad might be the realest character on the show, driven entirely by the truth, the light and the way. Also, that man needs his boo back, cuz apparently nobody does it better. Nigga. Nigga.

Jouelzy: But Lawrence and Issa, their interactions seem to be highlighting how well they know each other and complement each other in a very quirky way that I keep saying I really hope they do not get back together. Yeah, they work, but they work best when they’re apart. Something in me doesn’t trust them to be better back together.

But yeah, that curveball with them both linking up with Condola after her movie event—Issa to collaborate on the block party and Lawrence on a date where he can put his dad’s advice into motion—that should be an interesting setup for next season.

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Panama: It seems a bit lazy to keep showing how well Lawrence and Issa get along. Unless they’re getting back together I’d prefer not to drag those two down the path towards togetherness where they rediscover their struggles. Either let them make it or let them break it. Toot it and boot it. Shake and bake. Something like that. It’s late.

Jouelzy: Molly’s judgment is um, welp, yeah that would be a strong “no.” The homophobia really jumped out when she ran into Enterprise Jared and a guy that turned out to be his brother. I feel like Insecure takes noted care when it comes to representation and colorism because it was real cute to see Jared with a chocolate sister.

Panama: You know what I was wondering? Why was it so pressing for her to run back to tell Issa that Jared is gay. Like, it consumed her whole-ass being so much so that she had to skedaddle there with the quickness just to let it be known. Isn’t that a bit immature acting? Just to be wrong as hell though they definitely wanted us to THINK he might be gay.

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Jouelzy: So what advice do you have for Molly and your Morehouse brother Taurean because he is a complete and total asshole if not straight bitch to Molly. Sure she needs to take some responsibility in this matter because she played herself, but ole boy dropping off a case to work with the other women he constantly undermines is superbly petty.

Panama: Eh. She’s petty too. They all know how to play the game...of life. I think Issa asking her if she wanted to be the associate that nobody likes was a great read. And it was very telling. They all talk shit about Taurean, but at the end of the day, those other two ladies were just fine working with him. So what does that really say? Maybe they’re all suck. Molly should go for hers, but accept that it can be lonely at the top.

Jouelzy: Nathan finally makes it back to Issa and I get it, most of us have gone through some form of mental health crisis where we need to seek a moment of deep solace. But also, you have to own the people you hurt when you’re careless. It would be one thing if Issa never hit him, but he ghosted her in a moment where they were both possibly in troubled water. We all know better than to trust Nathan, even if we have some empathy for him.

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Panama: THROW HIM BACK, ISSA!!! ISSA, YOU IN DANGER GIRL!!!!

Jouelzy: Here we are, at the end of season 3. It was great kicking it with y’all even when the season dragged and we were suffering through a character we once thought would be more dynamic and he turned out to be a dud with a cute but toothy smile. I like the show, because as much as it can be about nothing sometimes white folks got their Friends, some of y’all swear Seinfield was great; that’s what Insecure does for me. It’s representation, it’s an examination of self and our own contradictions; it’s black girls being unlikeable and mundane while color-blocking the fuck out of some work outfits. And I will most definitely be campaigning that Kelli gets her sex scene next season. On that, I’m out!

Panama: “You ain’t a window, nigga!” sums up season 3 for me. How? I have no idea, but it was my favorite line of the the season finale. Kelli for president.