‘Insecure’ Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: “Hella Blows”

Insecure, Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, HBO, Hella BlowsBy Jenn and Daren


This week’s episode of Insecure was…enlightening.

What Happened?

“Hella Blows” opens with Issa trying to drive her raggedy ass ride down the street (even though the front looks like crumpled paper). Then, she and Molly have an awkward conversation about how much it is going to cost Issa to get it fixed. This is one of those moments where Issa is (again!) reminded that Molly makes more money than her and is generally unaware of the exorbitant costs most Black millennials face.

Molly comes out of her sexual tryst with Dro with complicated feelings. She tries to have an adult conversation with Dro about how different things feel now, but they just end up having sex again. It seems like he is avoiding the conversation and she is being too nice to press the issue.

Lawrence, on the other hand, seems to be finding a new romantic interest in his co-worker Aparna. The two are clearly interested in each other but playing it cool. Meanwhile, at work, Lawrence has been dealing with further undermining of his “Woot Woot” app (y’know, the one he worked on all those years he was bumming off of Issa).

At the end of the episode, Issa and Daniel are hooking up when he…let’s one go…in her eye. She storms out of the apartment. Then, the poor toodah had to ride in a Uber carpool home.

Theme 1: Sexual freedom isn’t free

Daren: Issa’s “hoetation” has stalled just like her busted car parked firmly in front of her apartment complex. She feels threatened when Daniel is unavailable for her. She boldy knocks on her neighbor’s door without texting first like his body is literally supposed to be on call for her 24/7. One thing is clear: she’s only comfortable with her own sexual freedom, not any of her partners’. I think she needs a good friend (**cough** Molly**cough**) to get her together.

Also, it seems like Issa is using sexual encounters to distract herself from emotional issues. She has a guy that she is clearly attracted to that genuinely likes her as a person and she dismisses him when he says he wants to wait to get sexual? And she skipped out on getting a good meal?

Jenn: The interesting thing about Issa (and Lawrence) at this point is that everything she is doing to be independently sexual and non-monogamous seems to be failing. I think the show is getting at the deeper issue that jumping into sexual escapades with partners who you really don’t know well – especially when it is in reaction to a broken heart or other life circumstance – will never go well. That, to me, is the real reason why Issa and Lawrence and even Molly to a certain degree can’t figure out this sex/relationship balance thing.

Also, I want Issa to do her ho thing. But, at the same time, I need her to get her life together. She isn’t taking care of her mental and emotional health. I feel like that’s why she blew up on Daniel so hard.

Theme 2: The trouble with open relationships

Daren: Molly is doing her best to play the “responsible adult” role, but she keeps succumbing to her desires. And I don’t see nuthin wrong with that … as long as she can come out of her sexual encounters comfortable with her decisions. But she is clearly uncomfortable.

Molly is interesting to watch right now because she is clearly battling between holding onto her picture of a perfect relationship and opening her mind to alternatives. And in seeing her ignore her mother’s phone calls and then get left alone in a romantic bubble bath, Molly is clearly unsatisfied with what she has.

Jenn: I really just don’t think Dro is in an open relationship. I think that nigga is a lie. The end.

Theme 3: Tokenism in the workplace

Jenn: Listen, I am not here for Lawrence or any of his office woes. He wanted to join the corporate workforce so badly, he can have this shit. I do think it is interesting when you juxtapose Lawrence’s office experience with Issa’s: she is navigating her own issues with race and Latinx-antagonism. In some ways, Issa is being tokenized at work too. Her white friend expects her to be more work because she is Black. And, while Issa’s politics toward Brown students has been foul, the framing suggests that the while friend is the “savior” or the “ally” who is guiltless and can bring Issa around.

The experiences both Lawrence and Issa are having are marginalizing and anti-Black.

Daren: I love what Issa is doing with Lawrence’s character. At work, he’s facing the downside of being an “Affirmative Action” hire. He’s openly fetishized for the “cool” of his Blackness (where DID he get those shoes?), but this position causes his superiors to treat him like a child. As if he can’t keep up with everyone else. And as an extension of that, he finds common ground with Aparna, who faces similar struggles because of her womanhood.

And yes, Lawrence is a fuck boy. But I’m glad that things are looking up for him in the romance department. The more I think about it, the more I feel like Issa and Lawrence just aren’t a good match for each other. There really isn’t any good reason to hope for them to get back together.


Photo credit: HBO

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