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Issa Rae (#110 of 8)

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 8, “Hella Perspective”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 8, “Hella Perspective”

Justina Mintz/HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 8, “Hella Perspective”

Written by Issa Rae and directed by Melina Matsoukas, “Hella Perspective” is Insecure’s most beautifully shot and structurally ambitious episode to date. The season-two finale is divided into three 30-day vignettes focusing on each of the show’s main characters: Lawrence (Jay Ellis), Molly (Yvonne Orji), and Issa (Issa Rae). The cyclical, nonlinear timeline of “Hella Perspective”—each section loops back to the marathon in which Lawrence and Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) are participating—is central to the episode and strays from the usual format of the HBO series. In lieu of traditional establishing shots, visual and aural cues lead one scene into the next, whether it’s through specific objects, sounds, or even a character’s sightline. These transitions lend the episode a dreamy, albeit rushed, quality.

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 7, “Hella Disrespectful”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 7, “Hella Disrespectful”

Justina Mintz/HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 7, “Hella Disrespectful”

After the end of this week’s episode of Insecure, Natasha Rothwell, who plays Kelli and is also one of the show’s writers, joins Issa Rae for “Wine Down,” the weekly post-show discussion that airs on HBO. Rothwell describes Issa as a human game of Jenga, with the writers taking pieces from the character over the course of “Hella Disrespect” until she’s spent and unstable. As Rothwell puts it, “It’s gotta crumble at some point.”

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 6, “Hella Blows”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 6, “Hella Blows”

Justina Mintz/HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 6, “Hella Blows”

There’s a moment in Insecure’s first season when Issa (Issa Rae) is greeted by a chorus of children who, having found a video of Issa displaying her amateur rapping skills online, gleefully parrot their instructor’s lyrics back to her: “Maybe it’s really rough/Maybe it had enough/Broken pussy!” The series may navigate the less raucous aspects of work and romance, but its this adherence to the risqué—and, at times, the downright gross—that’s helped cement the show’s silly, sometimes absurd tone. It also proves that a little raunch doesn’t necessarily diminish earnestness.

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 5, “Hella Shook”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 5, “Hella Shook”

Justina Mintz/HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 5, “Hella Shook”

There comes a moment in “Hella Shook” when each of Insecure’s protagonists must ask themselves a very important question: Am I really living my best life? This question is incited by a variety of questionable behavior, whether it’s a dick pic-prompted car crash, a bout of aggressive Facebook stalking, or misguidedly holding out for Mr. Right. Unfortunately for Issa (Issa Rae), Lawrence (Jay Ellis), and Molly (Yvonne Orji), the answer to the question is a resounding “probably not.”

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 4, “Hella LA”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 4, “Hella LA”

Justina Mintz/HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 4, “Hella LA”

The latest episode of HBO’s Insecure finds all three of the show’s protagonists single and, more than in any other episode up to this point, ready to mingle. For Issa (Issa Rae), a new romantic possibility comes in the form of Daniel (Y’lan Noel), who makes his first appearance here since last season. Molly (Yvonne Orji), meanwhile, is considering an even bigger shakeup in the way she thinks about and values dating: polyamory.

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 3, “Hella Open”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 3, “Hella Open”

Justina Mintz/HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 3, “Hella Open”

Ever since Issa Dee’s (Issa Rae) philandering last season, many Insecure viewers have situated themselves firmly in one of two camps: #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence. Even though Molly (Yvonne Orji) did her best to defend her friend in last week’s episode—Issa cheated, but she’s not a cheater—Issa’s indiscretions made her the less sympathetic of the recently uncoupled pair. Moreover, it’s easy to root for the character who’s starting to get his shit together; since the start of the season, we’ve seen Lawrence (Jay Ellis) officially end things with Issa, get in better shape, and find his own place.

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 2, “Hella Questions”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 2, “Hella Questions”

Justina Mintz/HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 2, “Hella Questions”

“You frame a lot of things in your life with ’should,’” Dr. Rhonda Pine (Denise Dowse) says to Molly (Yvonne Orji) toward the beginning of “Hella Questions,” the latest episode of Insecure. The therapy session is considerably different from the one we saw in “Hella Great,” in which a tight-lipped Molly assured her therapist that everything was fine. Spurred by the realization that she’s making less money than Travis (David Hull), her colleague and physical manifestation of white male mediocrity, Molly begins to open up to Dr. Pine, revealing more about herself than she realizes. Dr. Pine asks Molly if she’s heard of “magical thinking,” which is, as she puts it, when we believe what we want will influence the external world as opposed to accepting things as they are. “If those ’shoulds’ didn’t come to fruition,” she asks, “would you feel comfortable with your life looking a different way?”

Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 1, “Hella Great”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 1, “Hella Great”

HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 1, “Hella Great”

It’s nighttime in Los Angeles. Or, to more accurately locate the universe of HBO’s Insecure, it’s nighttime in Inglewood. That’s evident upon watching the opening moments of the show’s second season, which feature a number of familiar establishing shots from the South L.A. neighborhood. One can’t help but notice that the introduction to “Hella Great” bears a striking resemblance to that of the show’s pilot. Each contains requisite shots of locales like Randy’s Donuts and the Forum, and in the background blares a cherry-picked track (Kendrick’s “Alright” in season one, NxWorries’s “Scared Money” here).