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Insecure Review: S5 E2 'Growth, Okay?!'

This week, the writers’ room continues their streak of giving what we as fans of the HBO show have always wanted to see since the beginning of the show; a look into what a successful Issa looks like. The Blocc is quite literally hot, Issa’s got a power suit on and we’re getting the sense that things are finally falling into alignment for her. Thus far, we’ve only really gotten the sense that Molly’s career is thriving and she’s doing what she loves, so it’s interesting to put Issa, who’s professional life has left much to be desired in a situation where she’s somewhat established herself.

The episode really digs into this theme by asking “how else are we gon’ get experience, if we’re never given the opportunity?”, reflecting on the hurdles people of colour, specifically black people, face when trying to navigate the working world. We have now fast-forwarded a year, and Issa has been working on establishing her company, the Blocc and promoting black people in fields we’re usually underrepresented in, such as fashion and literature. This culminates in the fashion show Issa’s been planning this episode showcasing designs by a former convict, Crenshawn. As always, chaos ensues, and things hilariously go off script as Crenshawn sticks to what feels right to him despite being asked to do otherwise by Issa due to sponsorship’s request. In the end, NBW loves the show, and are happy Crenshawn (and by extension Issa) stuck to what felt best to him. Even after this, the Blocc is set to soar to even greater heights as Issa is promised more funding for her future projects by NBW. This moment harkens back to the season opener, where Issa openly questioned her instincts and ability to trust them.

Aside from this Issa and Nathan have fallen into a comfortable friendship, even though they’ve seen each other naked (multiple times). You get the sense that there’s still a slow burn between them when the lights are dimmed to set the scene at a restaurant, but the characters quickly let it be known they’re trying to cultivate a friendship instead.

Yet again, Insecure is able to tackle a delicate subject without it ever feeling forced. Molly is trying to get her parents to put their estate in order as they’re getting older, and both the writers and the character of Molly handle it with nuance, appreciating just how difficult it can be to acknowledge one’s mortality.

The hesitance Molly’s mother approaches estate planning is mirrored in Molly's attempt at retracing her steps romantically, as she questions her behaviour in the past before giving a dating app another go. All of this is hilariously interwoven with Molly’s mother trying to matchmake her with a man from Molly’s childhood, who became a deacon at 15. The relatability of Insecure continues, and somehow this feels like a story one too many of us have heard. After it had been established last season that Molly can be pretty intense in her relationships, we’re shown how throwing caution to wind may be her best bet at finding love as she “embraced the change” and went on her first date post-Asian bae.

Molly and Issa are in a much better place a year on, and Molly even tries her hand at singing the best friend song Issa wrote her. Though she gets it wrong, it follows on from the last episode in giving the impression that she really is trying to be a more present friend to Issa. The change in Molly’s attitude to Issa’s career is evident when she appreciates how much work Issa had put into the fashion show, and that it was paying off. They’re finally able to laugh at the events that took place at the Block Party, and all fears about their reconciliation being temporary are washed away.

In the final scene, we get a glimpse into Issa’s psyche and she finally breaks down and cries, mid-hooking up with Nathan. Though her professional life is starting to pick up, breaking up with Lawrence wasn’t what she wanted to do, but what she had to do. On a show that’s constantly worked to subvert the audience’s expectations, and go against the norm, this made the moment feel all the more poignant. Issa is now in a position where she’s wondering if she’ll truly have it all while trying to define what “all” means for her. All in all, this felt like a fun filler episode, setting the scene for what is sure to be a fitting ending to Insecure journey.



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