“Hella Open” – Insecure review

Chad White

“Hella Open”
Season 2, Episode 3

Go for it! Go for it, hoe!

The best thing about Insecure is its ability to throw characters under the bus. Issa’s been on the receiving end most of the time; Molly too. But Lawrence has been getting off for the most part. He may have lost his girlfriend but he immediately rebounded to another. This on top of getting a better job within the same time frame. Let’s not even mention the awesome new apartment he snagged in less than a few weeks of living on Chad’s couch. So it’s about time Lawrence lost something – anything – that made him what he considers happy.

From the get go, “Hella Open” paints Lawrence as the episode’s de facto “bad guy.” He and Tasha are simply watching television in bed (sans sex) and she’s prepping him for the upcoming family cookout. But sex is the only thing on his mind as he goes in for a kiss that is soon disregarded. His dejected look foreshadows his deception of sorts later in the episode. A more lucrative offer from his coworkers comes about on the same day as the cookout. Lizard brain Lawrence keeps things in check for what seems like at least an hour only to leave Tasha’s family gathering for a work mixer where he has a chance of the random sex he initially wanted. Tangentially, he could’ve easily stayed at the cookout for a bit and moved onto the mixer where he knew his friends would be for a while. It takes this moment – the moment where Lawrence lies to one of two women who have wanted him forever – for Tasha to finally curse him out. She tells him he’s not the good guy he thinks he is. He’s no saint; no shining night.

Being the center of things can be hard though. Like Lawrence, Molly finds herself in relationship troubles – an area in which she doesn’t want to be. But she’s found the perfect guy in Sterling K. Brown’s Lionel. He seems too perfect, leading Molly to ditch him after one brunch. It takes Issa telling her that the two have more similarities than Molly thinks. Not to mention the woman dropped her therapist because she thinks her therapist was putting her life on her. Without someone to talk to, Molly can’t seem to get anything done. A short scene at her office reveals she’s still on the negative end of work stuff having not gotten noticed. But, hey, at least we got more Lil Rel Howery!

Molly and Issa’s conversation on men strikes the same chords as it always does. The main issue is that Molly tries to convince Issa there’s more out there than Tinder guys. Issa suffers from a bout of uncontrollable laughter during the cold open and later laments her boy problems. "There's plenty of brown dicks in the sea" Molly reiterates. "Tryna fuck is hard" Issa retorts. It’s the same thing over and over again. Issa’s sexual thirst gets disgustingly real in two major ways. First, she can’t seem to find batteries when she really needs them for her vibrator. Second, she up and screws a guy she probably doesn’t like very much from her complex. The sex is awkward with physical and verbal reporting from the both of them all the while Jacquee’s “Bed” plays in the background. Issa falls to new lows here even though she just wants to be on her “Halle Berry shit” and just want’s “to feel good.”

Then there’s Frieda. We Got Y’all continues to kill at school but Frieda is worried about the demographics. Issa gets recognition from her boss (finally) but her coworker isn’t having any of it. And that’s where her story stops. As was written in last week’s episode, there might be too much story for ~26 minutes. Perhaps it’s time to take a breather from Frieda or Lawrence in one episode and focus on two fleshed out A and B plots. Also, what’s with the no SZA songs or Regina Hall this episode? They were on a roll with that stuff!

Should you watch “Hella Open?”

With the uneven storytelling but great character work, “Hella Open” depicts a tough life for all of the main characters. Molly should probably take it easy on dating but definitely stay with Lionel. Issa needs to take a break all together. Lawrence may want to play the field and promise himself nothing. Freida needs to chill.