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“Insecure” Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Boundaries Are Hard

“Insecure” Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Boundaries Are Hard

This season, read weekly recaps of HBO’s “Insecure” every Monday on The 94 Percent!

Before we dive into things, I have a few words for the #LawrenceHive:


The birthday-forgetting, just-re-entered-the-workforce-after-several-years-of-unemployment adonis is gone. Representation matters, even if you’re ashy with bum tendencies, so I completely understand the range of emotions many of you are feeling right now. Get on Hootie Hoo and seek comfort in your fellow brothers during this time of uncertainty. Throw the whole petition away.

Warm regards,


Episode one of season three, titled “Better-Like,” is all about boundaries. Issa is navigating her new living situation with Daniel, who graciously allows her to stay on his couch until she gets back on her feet, and trying to get back in her bosses good graces at work. Molly is living her best life, vacationing before she starts her new job, treating men like accessories, and figuring out how to proceed with Dro.

The episode opens up with strong-backed, fine-ass Daniel dicking down someone who is not Issa. It’s a girl named Vanessa, who appears to be sticking around for a while, according to the previews for episode two. Issa is sleeping on Daniel’s vintage-y and obviously uncomfortable sofa. Beggars can’t be choosers. Distracted by the strokes, Issa hops into her car-turned-Lyft. Homegirl done fixed her car and got herself a side gig! Bravo!

Molly, on the other hand, is living her best life! She’s on a beach somewhere in her finest protective style like all Black women do on vacation. She’s being served a fruity cocktail by Lloyd, her vacation peen. Lloyd suggests linking up again in the future whenever he visits Los Angeles. She seems mildly interested in the prospect. Molly is turning over a new leaf, and you can’t help but root for her.

Back in the States, Issa is about to drop some bars when she’s interrupted by Daniel wanting to use his bathroom in his own house. The audacity! The awkwardness of the day doesn’t end in the bathroom. Issa is now on desk duty at work, hoping to get back into the good graces of her boss, Joanne. She hopes to get some assistance from Frieda, but Frieda doesn’t want to do too much since she just got promoted.

Now that we’re not following Lawrence’s character anymore, we get to see more of Daniel. Yay! There is not a single woman on earth mad about that. Daniel appears to be a pretty legit producer. He’s not one of those Soundcloud artists you’ve dated in the past. He does well enough to be self-sufficient and let the homeless sleep in his living room. Dawn Richard, formerly of Danity Kane and Dirty Money, makes a cameo in some Fashion Nova PU high-waisted pants during one of Daniel’s studio sessions. Go her.

Molly is back from vacation, so it’s only natural to want to catch up with her bestie. You know how you’re brand new after a trip? There’s nothing like a passport stamp to make you act brand new. Nobody can tell you nothing, because you’re operating on a higher wavelength. Molly professes that she will be doing better, because she now knows better. Vacation peen will stay vacation peen. She’s not messing with Quentin, the pastor-bodied Black lawyer from the Chicago office of her former firm. And she is also trying to convince Issa (and America) that Dro has been demoted to a fuck buddy. Ok, girl.

One of the best parts of shows like “Insecure” and “Dear White People” is the show-within-a-show, highlighting a take-off of a real-life popular show. This season’s show is a reboot of ”Kevin.” Think if every mid-90s Black sitcom came together and had a baby. It stars some of our favorites: Erika Alexander of “Living Single,” Darryl M. Bell of “A Different World,” and Bill Bellamy. It’s going to be hard to top “Due North” from season two, but the “Kevin” show is right on time since everyone and there mama wants to reboot classic shows and movies in real life right now.

After catching up with Molly, Issa returns to Daniel’s house and couch to find Daniel riffing on his guitar. Daniel tries to make a move, and Issa rebuffs. CAN.WE.TALK.ABOUT.GROWTH?! Issa is really trying to keep things friendly, and that shocks Daniel. He is all kinds of perplexed. The person he has sexual history with, who also asked to live with him (Because living with her best friend isn’t an option for some reason.), doesn’t want to have sex with him? What?! That’s the thing about boundaries. The past can’t be your reference for what is happening in the present. Forget about what we used to do. This is how things are happening moving forward.

Hennessy makes you make poor decisions like receiving cunnilingus on your kitchen counter. The morning after Molly and Dro hook up, Dro is trying make breakfast, but he receives a call from his wife Candace. Reality sets back in for Molly. Side note: Did anyone catch Dro telling Candace on the phone he’s still at Molly’s place, which confirms that Candace is in the know. It was unclear last season, but it’s clear as day now! This is a real-deal open marriage.

Molly isn’t trying to be a mistress, even though that’s not who she’d really be in context of this open marriage that the Peñas have. She asks Dro straight up for her sanity: “What are we?” They move forward deciding to be acquaintances who happen to have sex. Molly requests that he stops doing the things that boyfriends do like checking in daily and going on dates. There will be no pancakes sizzling on the griddle today or any day. I want to be proud of Molly, but this fuck buddy thing only works when there’s no feelings involved from BOTH parties.

That’s the thing about boundaries. The past can’t be your reference for what is happening in the present.

Back at work, Issa tries to take initiative by following up with schools that no longer partner with the non-profit. The underserved schools don’t care for the white savior and tone-deaf vibes of We Got Y’all. Issa shares this insight with her boss. Joanne is not thrilled. Any progress that Issa has made is  now in the crapper. I find it funny that Joanne is annoyed. She’s clearly more upset that her struggling Black female employee called out that her organization is well-meaning, but lowkey problematic and wildly ineffective.

Dro mustn’t understand what being a fuck buddy entails, because he invites Molly out to celebrate that she successfully negotiated her contract at her new job. THIS IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS. She accepts the invitation, but is quickly distracted by Issa’s horrible plan to turn her Lyft into a party Lyft. Is this even a real thing? I’m looking at the app right now. This is not a real thing! Issa and Molly pick up a pair of care-free, club-bound friends who remind them of their younger selves, an attractive guy who is obviously from the Mid-Atlantic (Because all he does is complain about L.A.), and some guy who is undoubtedly from L.A. The party Lyft ends disastrously.

Back at Daniel’s crib, Issa tries to have an honest moment with Daniel about why she asked to stay with him. The conversation doesn’t end well. If Issa is trying to just be roommates, he’ll govern himself accordingly.

The next night, Molly is in her house minding her own business, only to find Dro in her common area unannounced and uninvited. Again: DRO, THIS IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS. This is not how any of this works. Molly spells out her boundaries again because Dro clearly didn’t get it the morning of the almost pancake breakfast. She tries to slip in a dig at his marriage, and Dro hits her with something to the effect of: “I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but you’re not my girl.” I felt that in my chest! Molly gets her keys back. Adios, Dro!

Issa’s night is less confrontational, She’s watching “Kevin.” Daniel watches with her for a few moments before he heads out for the night, which will probably end with sex with Vanessa. He bids good night to his, and I quote, “Roommate.” I felt that in my chest too.

Do you think Issa and Molly will be able to maintain their boundaries with Daniel and Dro, respectively? Comment below!

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