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Insecure Review: S5 E4 "Insecure "Faulty, Okay?!"

Much of this episode deals with the fallout of Issa crying into Nathan’s mouth in the second episode of the final season of HBO’s Insecure. It’s been a week since the incident, and Issa is confused by Nathan’s reaction but clearly wants them both to forget this moment even happened. As always hilarity ensues, and it takes Issa a few awkward moments before finally getting a sense of resolution.

More of Nathan’s backstory regarding his diagnosis with Bipolar disorder is explored, as we meet the people he was living with in LA before moving in with Andrew; his cousin, Thomas and his wife Velma. Velma makes it clear through a number of hints that she thinks Nathan just disappeared, and isn’t a source of stability in her and her husband’s lives. It’s clear that Nathan is trying to show his relatives he’s changed, without giving them the added context of his being manic at the time. Granted the choice is his, and you can’t help but hope for the best for him regarding opening up about what was going on with him at the time. With regards to this, it felt a bit ill-timed as Nathan’s diagnosis and establishing him as a character was done in earlier seasons so it feels like we’re being taken back instead of forwards regarding his trajectory on the show.

Much like its title, one thing that was clear throughout the episode was that a lot of the communication between the characters was faulty. It took Nathan and Issa a while to figure out how exactly they could let each other know how they truly felt about each other, as they sought to define what was going on between them. For Nathan, it seems like he was able to move on from Issa asking to just be friends as she picked Lawrence before finding out he and Condola were having a baby. The future of this budding romance seems promising at the end of this episode, but something tells me we haven’t heard the last of Issa and Lawrence, so it will be interesting to see if or how they can keep this up when Lawrence eventually comes around. The line of communication Issa and Molly have with Kelli is also faulty because for people who have been her friends for as long as they have, they don’t seem to understand her very much.

This episode also works to further the narrative that Kelli is having a hard time, but it’s clear to both her and the viewer that Issa and Molly are more focused on their own lives to see their friend is in need. For instance, Kelli makes it clear she is no longer drinking in episode 3, and she still isn’t drinking in this episode - but one wonders about the reasons behind this, and whether Issa and Molly have bothered to check in with one of their closest friends. This is uncharted territory for Insecure, where the focus has been Issa and Molly’s friendship, but since season 3, the show has been keen to remind us that the two women don’t live in a bubble, and are part of a wider friend group with its own issues. Strangely enough, Kelli is able to connect/bond with Resha, Nathan’s coworker over their shared experience of almost dying, which in Kelli’s case we assume to be the error at the reunion at her alma mater. The ladies bond to the point that Kelli invites her onto her podcast, Prenny's Preguntas, which she set up in the aftermath of her experience at the reunion as she sets out to . The vulnerability that Kelli is able to share with Resha is interesting to see, as we have yet to see the same in her own existing friendships, where her needs aren’t taken seriously as she’s seen as the “funny one”. All of this seemingly serves to foreshadow a greater crisis in Kelli’s life in the same vein as Tiffany’s postpartum leading to her going missing in the last episode of season 4. It will be interesting to see just how the writer’s room brings this moment to life on-screen without feeling like they are referencing last season.

All in all this was a filler episode, which didn’t serve to move any of the main character’s storylines much save for Issa. At this point it is unclear why Crenshawn and Issa aren’t getting along, and this felt a bit out of place in an episode that was more focused on the protagonists’ love lives. It felt a bit like a waste of time for a show in its final season, but it’s clear the show wants to close in a big way by setting the characters up like this in the first half of the season, but for now I am cautiously optimistic about where they end up taking us.


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