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Season 3 Episode 5 “High-Like” Recap: Beyoncé or Bust



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 a completely new space; she has quit her job at We Got Y’all, moved into her own apartment, is on the brink of a new romance with Nathan, and is amped for a much-needed girls trip with Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany.

I know, I know - last week I claimed that episode four, “Fresh-Like,” was my favorite of the season, but then...last night happened. Again, my expectations were wildly surpassed and I spent much of the 30 minutes it takes to watch Insecure in hysterics, seeing as this episode was an example of the show at it’s comical best. If you only think you’ll have time to watch one episode of Insecure, let episode five, “High-Like” be it. Somewhere in between cracking audiences up, Issa Rae managed to tackle important and realistic topics such as, the fear of outgrowing your friends, the thrill of a new relationship, the pain and confusion of running into your ex, and the indescribable joy that comes with being with your best girlfriends. As if all of this was not enough, the episode is also jam-packed with several Beyoncé references; what could be better?

In “High-Like,” Issa, Molly, Kelli, and a very pregnant Tiffany have rented out an AirBnb for the weekend while at Coachella, rightfully renamed Beychella in anticipation of Beyoncé’s headlining set. The women deserve this vacation. Issa has quit her job and is a bit on edge after her last whirlwind date with Nathan. Molly is still struggling to balance power dynamics in her new office, taking on extra work for the weekend in order to prove herself to her boss and one-up a coworker. Kelli is still managing Issa’s finances while trying to get into some trouble of her own. And Tiffany is transitioning into the next phase of her life as a mother, worried that her friends have already gotten used to leaving her out. The only thing keeping all of them sane right now is the anticipation of seeing Beyoncé live in concert, hence their weekend motto “Beyoncé or Bust.” Unfortunately, the lure of festival vices, (aka an assortment of drugs and alcohol) allures the women and the weekend quickly and hysterically derails into chaos.

The good: Issa and Nathan meet up at a party, share a little more about themselves, and end up having steamy sex while stuck on a ferris wheel.

The bad: Kelli gets into a physical fight while trying to save her prime spot with a clear view of Beyoncé, but ends up losing the spot, getting tazed, and missing Queen B’s performance in the process.

The ugly: A hungover Issa goes into a convenience store the next morning searching for water, but instead, ends up running into LAWRENCE.

YES, Lawrence is back and I am still working on picking my jaw up off the floor. This return may not have been so shocking if it wasn’t for the rumors originally swarming around social media, but then confirmed by Issa Rae and showrunner Prentice Penny, that Lawrence would not be returning for season three.

For those that need a refresher, Lawrence is Issa’s (character Issa, not show creator Issa) ex-boyfriend. In season 2, their rocky relationship came to an official end after four years of complacency and suppressed emotions. He and Issa talked, apologized, admitted their individual faults, and got the closure they needed to end the relationship in a healthy way - or so we thought. When Issa realizes that it really is Lawrence she is standing face to face within this random 7/11, things get very awkward. The two are friendly, but the tension between them radiates off the screen. There is some unfinished business here, but Issa is knee-deep into her fresh start, and I fear that conversing with Lawrence is going to set her several feet back.

If you’re anything like me, you’re also not looking forward to a Lawrence return. Issa is just starting to realign the pieces of her life; she is following her heart, standing up for herself, and having a ton of fun! Let’s all hope that she has enough strength to avoid rekindling a relationship with her ex, and stays clear-headed enough to keep marching towards the next steps in her life. Regardless of what happens with Lawrence, Nathan, or even Daniel, I want Issa to continue prioritizing her own happiness and never forget that her girls, and Beyoncé, will always have her back.