"Hella Disrespectful" - Insecure review

Chad White

“Hella Disrespectful”
Season 2, Episode 7

...He made me feel special more than he hurt me.

Let’s get this out of the way. The last three reviews of this show have been less than positive because Insecure is settling into a bad groove of insecurity. At least a half dozen story threads are floating about the world with Issa trying to be the best hoe she can be, Molly’s job, Freida’s work issues and anything in between. Storytelling can be tough, especially for a show that needs to do so much in so little time. This season’s penultimate episode – “Hella Disrespectful” – puts everything back on track. The best part about this week’s episode is the position the characters are all left in. The three leads have bad nights, no matter which way you slice it.

First up is Molly. She’s been having a rough go at work but she hopes her “white boy meeting” (to get equal pay) is right around the corner. She goes to Chicago and is wooed by Lil Rel Howery’s character who could be a good fit for her. The meeting itself is suboptimal. All three partners of the company shoot down Molly’s proposal for a pay increase for the moment, even with her substantial contributions to the company. Her week is worsened as Dro’s wife comes back into the picture at a party Tiffany is throwing for Derek. Molly realizes she can’t be the woman Dro talks to at events. She can’t be the one whispers “I’ll be back” to when he heads for the restroom. It hurts her inside and it’s beginning to show on the outside. Molly trying to interject in the dinner conversation is terribly sad and solidifies her as the second woman. At least she finally reconnected with her mother who provides her with the quote from the sublead. It’s just wonderful.

Issa becomes the second woman in a non-existent relationship herself after she finds out Lawrence blocked her. This sends her off on a rap tirade (“5 years by your side and I'm just a button, my nigga? You want to push me, my nigga?”), which only adds fire to the later fight between the two. But should she really be mad? Is it her place to be as mad as he should be? They’re both in the wrong, the argument proves, but Lawrence should have more residual anger than Issa. In her work world, Issa corrects the wrongs she had with Freida on the racists principal front. The two approach Gaines who ominously “allows” We Got Y’all to accept Latino students. Hopefully, the result is shown next week. And, after a spirited discussion with Molly, Issa tries to forgive Daniel. It’s too bad he makes the conversation turn into a fight.

Finally, Lawrence finds another nice woman to date in his coworker Aparna. Their officemates are too into their business but all is well. The two end up going to Derek’s dinner, making for the most awkward scene since the cumshot. Shifting seats, a fight outside and a “how do you know Derek and Tiffany?” question make the well done sequence standout for the series. Again, Lawrence gets the short straw when it comes to storylines but this week put him at his best since his Tasha days.

I forgot to mention this last week but Kevin Bray’s directing in the past two episodes has been nothing short of outstanding. The final moments with Issa in her apartment are terrifyingly gritty. Having the camera focus on Molly’s face during her doubtful moments simply beg for the viewer’s emotion. I love it all. Executive producer Melina Matsoukas does an excellent job too but Bray is in another stratosphere. Prentice Penny’s writing this week, too, deserves praise. There’s a heap of talent behind Insecure. I hope people take notice.

Should you watch “Hella Disrespectful?”

While Insecure has wavered in the past few episodes, “Hella Disrespectful” puts the stories back on track. Watch this episode. The dinner scene alone is enough to warrant a viewing.