Insecure review: As Issa tries to move out, Daniel finally lets her in


On the latest episode of Insecure, Daniel tries to level up his music career and Issa tries to level up–pretty much everything else.

La la la la… wait ‘til Issa gets her money right

Issa is still crashing on Daniel’s couch while Daniel stays at Vanessa’s house for a few days. Vanessa seems uninterested in Daniel and further puts him off when she mentions being a proponent of #LightskinLove (1. I definitely didn’t know that was a thing, 2. CRINGE).

Issa tries to get her own apartment but her applications keep getting rejected. Issa goes to Kelli for financial advice and Kelli tells her that because of her poor credit score and low savings she isn’t in a place where she can move out on her own. Reluctantly, Issa asks Daniel if she can stay with him for a couple more weeks. Daniel agrees to let Issa stay for one more week but lies and says Vanessa is uncomfortable with Issa being around. In an effort to show her appreciation, Issa cleans Daniel’s place. She also applies for a property management position at another apartment she’s interested in.

Issa’s job is also in an awkward place. Joanne gathers the We Got Y’all team to discuss redesigning the company logo. Although many of Issa’s coworkers note that company’s logo and name are racially insensitive and visually unappealing, they later tell Issa that it’s her responsibility to speak up for Black people as the only Black employee. Issa tries to encourage Joanne to hire more Black people and offers to help, but Joanne isn’t receptive.

Daniel tries to make a music industry connection with a local rapper called Spyder. After his friend bails on him, Issa accompanies Daniel to the club to meet Spyder. At the club, Issa and Daniel run into an old high school friend, Khalil, who is now a well-known music producer. Things are clearly awkward between Daniel and Khalil and Issa tries to help by playing wing woman. Khalil does eventually introduce Daniel to Spyder but the meeting is more awkward than productive and the two have to leave the club after a shooting occurs.

After the club, Issa and Daniel talk and Daniel shares that he’s frustrated with where he is in his music career. Issa suggests he work with Khalil instead of competing with him. Daniel admits that he likes having Issa around and says she can stay as long as she needs to. After they get back to Daniel’s place Daniel finally gets up the nerve to call Khalil and suggest they collaborate. Khalil agrees to listen to some of Daniel’s music. Daniel also offers to let Issa use his bed so she doesn’t have to keep sleeping on his uncomfortable couch. The episode ends with Issa getting a call back to interview for the property management position she applied for.

Episode review

This is probably one the shortest episodes of Insecure ever, but I loved how much it zeroed in on Issa and Daniel’s lives and the growth they’re experiencing both individually and together.

Issa and Daniel’s relationship got progressively more awkward as season 2 ended and season three started. Despite the tension and the fact that neither of these two adults knows how to use their words, Issa and Daniel’s friendship remains intact. The dynamic between them in this episode is similar to what we got from their interactions during season one before they slept together. It’s nice to see that even though Issa isn’t where she wants to be in life she can still support her friends.

I love the glimpses into Daniel’s personal life we’re getting this time around. For the first two seasons, we mostly saw him through Issa’s eyes, whether he was the itch she needed to scratch, a friend with benefits, a guy she was mad at or her roommate. Now we’re finally getting to see Daniel in his element outside of his friendship with Issa and his life is actually pretty interesting.

What’s cool about learning more about Daniel is that we’re also observing how some of the personality traits he’s displayed with Issa play out in other areas of his life. For example, a big part of the reason why Daniel and Issa’s living arrangement has been so uncomfortable is Daniel’s male pride and his unwillingness to communicate his feelings. “Familiar-Like” shows how this same pride holds Daniel back in his music career and how letting go of that pride (even momentarily) can push him forward.

Issa’s professional life continues to be frustrating to watch. This time, however, it’s less because of Issa and more because of her colleagues. The argument that one Black person should be the voice for all Black people is tired, so, so tired. That Issa’s coworkers would imply such a thing shows how clueless they are to the amount of emotional labor it takes to exist in a society that’s bent on making it as hard as possible for Black people to succeed.

Issa was right to balk at the idea that she should be the one to take Joanne to task for her racist business model, especially given the precarious situation her job is in right now. It’s not Issa’s responsibility to fix everything that’s wrong at We Got Y’all, especially when her privileged, white coworkers share many of her concerns and are in a better position to speak up.

In any case, Issa’s struggle to get on her feet after pretty much losing all security continues in this episode but, with this new job opportunity on the horizon, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. It’s obvious that the right thing for Issa to do would be to take the job and move out of Daniel’s house. With Daniel finally opening up to Issa, she may not be as eager to leave. Not leaving, of course, would be a huge mistake.

Issa and Daniel may be in a better place friendship-wise, but Issa desperately needs to spend some time alone figuring her life out. We’ve seen over the last few seasons that when Issa gets comfortable she makes decisions that may feel good in the short term but can be damaging to her personally and professionally in the long run. If Issa’s really trying to know better and do better, she’ll have to fight that sense of complacency and go for something bigger.

Related Story. Insecure: Issa and Molly Stumble on the Way to Doing Better. light

Other thoughts:

  • I do want to address my premature assumption that Issa would be moving into her own place this episode. I jumped to that conclusion for two reasons.
    • With Daniel making it clear that he didn’t want Issa around, I thought maybe she’d settle for a lesser apartment just to be out of his hair.
    • Daniel never struck me as a messy guy, so the fact that he has weed in his toaster and bugs in his kitchen is surprising to me.
  • Did anyone else need a glass of cold water after Daniel beatboxed in Issa’s ear? No, just me?
  • Daniel’s beats were slightly better this episode, but I’m still not convinced music production is his calling.