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*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

  • Issa continues to camp out on Daniel’s couch and tries to navigate living with an old flame.
  • Molly is still messing around with Dro, but to her credit, tries to set boundaries.
  • Issa makes a concerted effort to improve We Got Y’all and is severely reprimanded for it.
  • Issa learns there ain’t no party like a Lyft ride party…until someone gets hurt.

In the time that’s passed since the “hella perspective” Issa and company gained in the season two finale, one would assume some personal growth had transpired. Such is not the case in the season three premiere. Let the insecurity begin continue.

Danielle insecure season 3 episode 1
Merie W. Wallace/Courtesy of HBO

The episode opens on Daniel (Y’lan Noel) having very loud and passionate sex with someone we assume is Issa (Issa Rae)…until the camera pans out and we see her attempting to sleep on the couch. (Yep, they’ve moved past the hook-up phase of their relationship and are now temporary roommates.) She gives the camera a WTF look and decides to leave the apartment to make some extra money via her new side-hustle, Lyft driving. She picks up a rider who promptly barfs in her car. The next morning, she contemplates how her life has been reduced to second-hand sex moans and vomit while staring into Daniel’s broken medicine cabinet. When he opens the door (without knocking—rude), she asks him, “Hey, did you know I was here last night?” He groggily answers, “Yeah.” So, clearly, things are going great.

Meanwhile Molly (Yvonne Orji) is sipping mai tais on a pristine white sand beach courtesy of Lloyd, aka Vacation Bae. He’s unaware he’s been relegated to a vacay booty call and tries to make plans to hang out back in L.A. “Oh, you got a visa?” she asks him. His reply? “Um, I’m from Cincinnati.” So that’s definitely a no.

Back at Issa’s workplace, We Got Y’all (aka the opposite of paradise), Patricia (Kathreen Khavari) hands Issa a list of schools to check on because she’s not the least bit interested in doing it herself. It’s full of crossed-out schools that fired them “or something like that.” Frieda (Lisa Joyce) pops in to check on her because Joanne (Catherine Curtin) is making her spy. Issa takes the opportunity to ask her if she’s asked Joanne (or “No-Anne as Frieda calls her) to put her back in the field yet. But, Frieda just started her new position and she doesn’t “feel comfortable rocking the boat.” Womp, womp.

While Issa’s frustration mounts, Daniel is in the studio with 5EVEN (Moustapha Lamine Diop) listening to a comically untalented woman record a “song,” which is basically just her singing “baby, baby, babayyyy” in her nails-on-a-chalkboard voice. But, according to 5EVEN, what she lacks in talent she makes up for in connections to people like Spyder (Roshon Fegan), oh, and squeaky latex pants. 

molly and issa insecure season 3 episode 1
Merie W. Wallace/Courtesy of HBO

Later, Issa picks Molly up at the airport. At first, she gets in the back and pretends to be a rider who wants a “silent ride,” but after getting settled into the front seat she tells Issa, “No shade, but your car still smells like throw up. Trust, my rating will reflect all of that.” Friends: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em, amirite?  

They stop in for a post-vacay catch-up sesh over breakfast, and Issa fills her in on how Daniel has been parading girls in front of her. Molly’s phone rings and it’s Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson), but she silences it and says that vacation has helped put everything in perspective. The short of it? Vacation Bae is beached, Quentin (Lil Rel Howery) has been downgraded, Dro is just her special friend, and her new job better give her benefits if they know what’s good for them. Molly sums it up by announcing, “I’m on some know better, do better sh*t.” Preach. 

Issa’s life, however, is on some “tiptoe sh*t.” She doesn’t feel like she can speak up about anything at home or at work, which is just as miserable as it sounds.

issa rae insecure season 3 episode 1
Merie W. Wallace/Courtesy of HBO

Excited by the prospect of Spyder listening to his music, Daniel visits his sister’s house to pick up a guitar. She calls him out for letting Issa stay at his place while he’s screwing around with some girl named Vanessa. His sister points out that Issa could have stayed anywhere but she chose his place, meaning she probably still has feelings for him. Ding, ding, dinggg!

Back at home, Daniel gets drunk on whiskey and dances to the new beat he just recorded. Issa walks in and makes fun of his moves and asks for a drink. She compliments his guitar playing because she’s “observant.” Just not enough to know what color shirt he’s wearing. They laugh together, and he leans in to kiss her. She brushes off his advances and says she’s staying with him as a friend because they “know better,” oh, and because it’s close to work. And the whole calling him out for sleeping with other chicks? She just wants a heads up, she doesn’t really care.

Meanwhile, Molly is having some fun of her own with Dro. The next morning, they cuddle in bed and he volunteers to make her some pancakes. His wife, Candice (Gabrielle Dennis), calls and he says he’s still at Molly’s and will call her back. There’s that perspective again!

Molly gets out of bed and spits some truth: “Listen, we need to decide whether we’re friends who don’t have sex or acquaintances who do have sex because anything else is a little muddy and I need boundaries.” Her solution is they maintain their sexual relationship, but he doesn’t call her, sleep over or make her breakfast, no matter how much they both like pancakes. Still on that “know better sh*t,” she tells him to leave.

issa s workplace insecure
Merie W. Wallace/Courtesy of HBO

Back to the old grind, Issa checks in with the schools about how their partnership with We’ve Got Y’all is going. The overwhelming feedback is that the students don’t feel properly represented in terms of diversity. She steps into Joanne’s office to try and reason with her and gets severely reprimanded: “You keep overstepping your bounds. Have you noticed every time there’s an issue here lately, you’re involved? You want to be helpful? Get to the root of that.” The coup de grâce? Daniel texts her immediately after with a “heads up,” aka he’s having sex with someone else.

While Issa’s life slumps even lower, Molly gets her nails done. Dro calls her to ask how contract negotiations went. She rolls her eyes since he’s calling right after she said not to, but she does agree to go to dinner with him. He says he’ll see her there and she insists no, she’ll see him there. Yass, girl.

Later that night, Issa calls Molly while she’s getting ready for her “not” date. She’s outside and wants Molly to accompany her while she drives Lyft because Daniel is, um, otherwise disposed. Molly is almost impressed: “Damn, Daniel. Back at it again.” She cozies into the car and tries to grab a Capri Sun, but Issa says they’re for customers only. They pick up two girls going to a club who do get Capri Suns. Then they pick up a really handsome dude named Nathan, who tries to “L.A. bash in [their] party Lyft.” They pick up another man who shades Issa’s Fruit Frenzy Capri Sun flavor, calls Molly “bossy” when she asks him to put on his seat belt, then lights a joint.

Issa says, “Excuse me, sir, can that not be happening?” but he responds, “Nah, you good,” because, as he points out, it’s a party Lyft. Nathan plucks the joint out of the other passenger’s mouth and throws it out the window, which clearly aggravates the other dude because they start punching each other. Molly screams, Issa pulls over, and Nathan runs away while Fruit Frenzy–hater moans in the backseat.  

issa and daniel sit on the couch season 3 epsiode 1
Merie W. Wallace/Courtesy of HBO

The next day Issa comes home and finds Daniel reclining on the couch (aka her bed). She asks why he didn’t text her back last night, and he says he fell asleep. She’s annoyed at his flippant response, so he asks her what the issue is. She replies, “There’s no problem. You’ve been letting me stay here for free…the last thing I want to do is come at you like I’m ungrateful…And I still have feelings for you.” He’s surprised to hear this since she told him she was staying with him because his place is close to her office. Ultimately, she gets candid with him and says, “I came here because I knew you’d be here for me and I really need someone like that in my life right now. It’s not easy for me to admit things when it comes to us because you make it hard…You’re f***ing other girls in front of me like we don’t’ have history.” He’s done with the conversation and walks out.

Back at her place, Molly gets ready for bed and is surprised to find Dro sitting in her living room with two glasses of wine. He says he let himself in because she wasn’t answering. They kiss, but before things get more heated, she asks for her key back. He’s insulted, and Molly is forced to remind him that she’s been trying to set boundaries. Then she lays into him: “Dro. I’m trying to do things better. This is hard for me…You get to have me when you want on your terms. I told you I need to have boundaries. Just because you and Candice get to do whatever and f**k whomever doesn’t mean we all want our sh*t that messy.” He tells her to figure out what she wants and she replies that she wants her key back. He (finally) gives it to her and leaves.  

Issa is licking her wounds on the couch when Daniel comes out and watches TV with her. Her phone informs her that Nathan gave her a $50 tip and Daniel tells her he’s going out. She thanks him for everything and it seems like they’re in a good place—at least for now.

Bored, she heads out to pick up Lyft passengers again because why the hell not?

Will Issa get a place of her own (or succumb to her sexual tension with Daniel)? Will Molly cut ties with Dro for real this time? Will Nathan become Issa’s new bae? Insecure season three, episode two hits HBO next Sunday, August 19, at 10:30 p.m.

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