Insecure Review: S4 E8 'Lowkey Happy'
‘Lowkey Happy’ was written by Natasha Rothwell and that’s the reason for it’s brilliance. The episode flowed with an ease that last week’s couldn’t capture with a such a beautiful balance between seriousness and relief that I don’t think any other episode of Insecure has managed before.
‘Lowkey Happy’ is the season’s most intimate episode centred around Issa and Lawrence’s relationship. Their meet-up can be seen as many things; a rekindling, closure or a permanent departure from one another depending on how you interpret it’s final scenes and that is all thanks to Natasha’s brilliant script. Despite the deep history we know they have, this episode allows us to see them in a fresh light. A light which blinds us and has us thinking that maybe… just maybe they should get back together.
This episode is about what Issa and Lawrence want right now, a conversation that we all hoped they would have before jumping into anything. After a few laughs had dispelled the initial tension and they’d finally agreed to speak openly with one another, Lawrence starts it with “I’m wondering what would have happened if we stayed together”. Their dialogue during the restaurant scene stands in sharp contrast to their dynamic in the earlier seasons; disconnected, depressed and attempting to salvage a deficient relationship. This one is honest, measured, mature and wrapped in melancholy because for once, they’re really speaking. Whether it’s Lawrence explaining how much unemployment damaged his self-esteem or Issa describing how she the lack of attention from him coupled with not feeling wanted fostered an environment for her infidelity - there’s a level of accountability and acceptance which we’ve never seen from them before.
This episode may have reignited your belief in ‘the one’ or the ‘wrong time right person’ tropes we cling to when navigating love in this world. Lawrence and Issa’s chemistry is undeniable and this episode we saw why they get along so well - both are incredibly goofy and awkward which means they know exactly how to make each other laugh.
Their run in with TSA bae before they freestyle through the art block is just one example of how well they bounce off of each other. It’s clear that the love they have have each other seems to transcend time and hurt. Though there are hiccups in which they have to learn the new person before them rather than reacting off memory; like when Lawrence presumes her favourite drink, or when Issa lies about not having been to the restaurant before. But overall, they fit in a way that has us believing that they might be each other’s other half.
What almost seems to bring the episode crashing is the moment Issa realises that Lawrence had spoken to Condola. It was a blow for Issa and the hurt was written all over her face even as she tried to be cordial. Is Lawrence playing a game? I’m not sure. But I think this was him trying to figure himself & Candola out as a separate event and Issa is unfortunately a casualty of his confusion.
There are moments they don’t know what to say & somehow the silence seems to do the talking. Their communication throughout the episode was perfect, but letting each other know they don’t want the night to end is where they seemingly struggle. Lawrence is met with moments where he doesn’t really know what to say because Issa didn’t know what time say either. But she‘s the first to speak up by telling him that she wanted to stay, essentially asking him if that was enough for him to cancel his plans with Candola. This clearly shocked him and at one point, he looks a way entirely after tilting his head in surprise. “Tonight made me happy,” he admits to Issa - and most importantly himself. “You make me happy,” Issa responds with more clarity and resolution than Lawrence’s words carried. They both knew what they wanted and for the first time, they both spoke up.
So when Issa decides to stay the night, it doesn’t feel like she’s falling into old habits, it’s almost cathartic. As she swings her top from the night before in a clear plastic bag, her walk home is not one of shame, but of clarity and assurance. Issa’s walks with a bounce that we’ve never seen before, a confidence no-one can take away from her. So will her and Lawrence get back together? I don’t know. But if they do, it’ll be much healthier for both parties.