Even though Issa is going in a new direction with a fresh start, Insecure Season 3 Episode 4 unfortunately (and very disappointingly!) does not live up to the hype.
We spend far too long watching Issa talk with Nathan, the man who left her a $100 tip in her "party Lyft" -- but it drags out way longer than it should and ends up becoming egregiously boring rather than tender.
(singing to taco) You are my greatest love!Issa
The scene is set for us as Issa and Nathan banter and bond around food, childhoods, and fresh starts, but it's incredibly drawn out and doesn't give any further insight into Issa's motives.
We already know that Issa is unhappy at her job and that she needs a fresh start. We don't need it reiterated, and yet we still get it reiterated.
Nathan is therefore framed in a light as almost a sort of "savior" for Issa -- she doesn't need that! Maybe he's a reminder for Issa to get her shit together and pursue her own goals, but his "perspective-altering" appearance is very superficial.
Issa: It's Nick, right? Nelson? Nance... ford?
Nathan: I do look like a Nanceford. Nathan.
Issa: I like Nanceford.
He even gets his own version of a sob story with the flooding of his house, and he's framed as a sort of male-version of Issa. However, what Issa needs is not another version of herself.
She needs some independence, a couple of drinks, and the opportunity to pursue a job in music and what she loves. She might need a bit of a nudge, but honestly, her friends could very well do that rather than a man.
Now, it's true that Issa is in a tough place given that she made the tough decision to move out of Daniel's apartment, but it's obvious that they have chemistry. By the time we get the inevitable kiss, Nathan doesn't even seem like a good option for Issa.
Oh, it's dangerous. Have you tried that papaya? It's hella spicy.Issa
We've spent so much of Insecure's three and a half seasons reveling in Issa's insecurities (well, obviously, hence the title) and mistakes that seeing her start anew is truly refreshing.
Insecure has made a name for itself by portraying complicated, joyful, hurtful, often frustrating lives of young Black Americans that appeals to a mass audience.
Issa: Don't you go nowhere, mirror bitch!
Issa's reflection: Where imma go?
However, with this fresh start needs to come that signature Insecure awkwardness and humor, but that doesn't arrive. We finally get the return of Issa's rap (mirror bitch!), but now it just feels like an overused plot device rather than an expression of Issa's personality.
She's moved into a new apartment and finally feels some freedom -- so she raps -- rather than the rapping coming on spontaneously and informing the viewer's impression of Issa in the moment.
Okay, nice floors, nice windows, you've got a nice view! Oh wait, you can see the "Krispy Kreme Hot Donuts" sign from your window! That's gonna be a problem.Molly
Even Molly's struggles are all over the place -- Dro is mentioned but dives in and out (we gotta either have him or leave him!). He's charming but also doesn't provide much character development for our beloved Molly.
Molly also continues with her workplace struggles, but she doesn't grow or change either. It'd be amazing to see a new angle with her or see her break out of her shell. She's always so put together -- our girl deserves a break or a breakdown.
The whole Daniel plotline is also somewhat of a waste, given that we were reintroduced to him in a complicated, nuanced manner, and that was ultimately thrown out of the window when Issa moved out.
Frieda: It finally happened!
Issa: Oh, you got that cat?
Frieda: No, I'm still on the waiting list. Ugh, it's political.
It's frustrating to see characters used and then discarded! Even Frieda was starting to become somewhat of an interesting character as a juxtaposition for Issa at work, but now she probably won't even be in the rest of the season given Issa quitting her job.
Even Dro is an example of this -- was the Molly/Dro storyline just so that Molly could realize she was too good for him? Or is there something more there?
Honestly, I'm hoping that Dro comes back because he complicates Molly's life in a way that's intriguing, relatable, and relevant in a lot of modern relationship contexts.
However, with that, there needs to be some decision on Molly's part. She needs to confront him or make a move instead of going around in circles. Molly clearly loves (or at least likes?) Dro, and he just disappears without a trace.
Here's to hoping that Issa's job search or new job provides a more fruitful narrative in the next half of the season.
Make sure to watch Insecure online -- only four episodes left in this season!
Do you think Issa and Nathan together will grow into a relationship? How do you think Molly will cope with her new job? Let us know in the comments below!
Olivia Popp was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the site in September 2018.