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HBO's Insecure Season 3 Episode 4 “Fresh-Like” Recap : Team Nathan!

photo: courtesy HBO

photo: courtesy HBO

If you didn’t already know, Insecure is back. The show follows late 20-something-year-old Issa, the namesake of real-life show creator and writer Issa Rae, as she tries to maneuver complicated relationships, challenging friendships, and a fizzling career in rapidly gentrifying Southern Los Angeles. The most recent episode finds Issa in what may be the best position she’s been in all season, Molly still faltering at work and therapy, and Daniel out of sight and out of mind.

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I can easily admit that this was my favorite episode of Insecure that we’ve gotten to see all summer. Episode 4, titled “Fresh-Like,” was a huge turning point for our favorite girl, Issa. It marked the return of her iconic mirror rap sessions, a whirlwind date with Nathan, the cute Lyft driver from episode 1, and the day that she finally quit her job at “We Got Y’all,” the worst fictional non-profit to ever exist. With the help of her best friend Molly, Issa moves into her new apartment and is forced to throw out some of the old relishes she has been holding onto; old mixtapes from her ex-boyfriend Daniel, a box of Forever 21 earrings, and a Zane erotica novel that we can assume she has been holding on to for way too long. In a moment of weakness, Issa fishes out the aforementioned items, but they do not stay in her new apartment for long. A new place means a new start. While strolling down memory lane, she also comes across her old rap journal from school and I can’t help but feel that it is a sign from the universe that she is in the right place, at the right time. As if things couldn’t get better, Issa ends up running into Nathan, beautiful beautiful BEAUTIFUL Nathan. The two fall into a deep but playful conversation and end up playing hooky all day, even calling out of work to extend their time together. Instead, they opt for a romantic and fun-filled tour through Issa’s favorite parts of Los Angeles, ultimately ending with a skinny dip at Issa’s old family home’s pool (a.k.a. trespassing), some tacos, and heading back to Issa’s unfurnished place under the guise of needing to use the microwave.

Although their fun is eventually cut short, the two promise to see each other again, and by the end of the night, Nathan has already made a big enough impact on Issa that she goes into work the next day and quits!

Yas Issa!!! Such a big leap of faith! It was definitely time to move on..

As usual, while Molly is pushing Issa towards her best life, she is struggling on the path towards her own. On the plus side, she is still attending therapy after a lot of initial hesitation. Earlier in season 2, she refused and was offended by, the suggestion of needing therapy because of all the negative stigma that surrounded it. In her mind, since she “wasn’t crazy,” there was no need to tell a stranger all of her business. As we know, therapy can be an essential part of self-care and no one who attends it is weak for doing so. It took Molly a little bit longer to come to this conclusion, but the fact that she is still on her therapist’s couch is a sign that she has not given up on its’ mental benefits. On the negative side, however, Molly is still keeping certain aspects of her life from the therapist, including her messy relationship with Dro, which has been one of the biggest stressors in her life.

She is also still having difficulty navigating the politics at her new office, siding with the same men who speak over her in meetings, rather than the women who are trying to support her. She wants to do her best, but as pointed out by her therapist, is prioritizing her rank over her work. Her need to be “in” is trumping her opportunities to build connections, especially with the other women at her firm who suffer from the same microaggressions and misogynistic slights.

I keep telling myself that her time will come; on Insecure glow-ups seem to happen one character at a time.

Unlike Molly, Issa thrived in this episode because she embraced her fresh new start. She has landed a new apartment, a new potential love interest, a new work environment and is determined to take full advantage of all of them. Of course, there are concerns as to how she will financially support herself on a part-time salary, especially with that horrifyingly low credit score we found out about in episode two, but now that Issa is intent on taking back her life, a lot of my worries for her have melted away. Change on this level can seem extremely daunting, but often times it’s necessary in order to realign our life goals. Looking around at Issa’s new furniture-less apartment, I was filled with pride for her. This is an opportunity to grow in a totally new space; free of lingering stresses or negative memories. Her experience can serve as inspiration for anyone itching for a do-over in their own life. Of course, your definition of change does not have to include quitting your job or moving into a new home, but even the smallest step towards a goal can spark your own little revolution.