The first season of this HBO comedy hit off with a bang and continued throughout the season. Following Issa as she navigates work and relationships amidst growing into adulthood and figuring out who she is has provided both plenty of laughs and cringe-worthy moments for the audience. The show was a hit, and enough of one to already be secured for a second season along with other first season shows, Divorce and Westworld. let’s take a look at what we got.
Episode 7: “Real as F*ck”
In this episode, we begin by seeing Lawrence (Jay Ellis) suspect something more is going on with Issa and Daniel (Y’lan Noel). While nothing blatant has emerged, he definitely thinks there is something going unsaid. But his focus is initially on a new job offer and the possibilities it could have for him versus his passion for working on his phone app. Decisions, decisions. Issa (Issa Rae) is putting together a fundraiser and asking for support from all her friends. But she gets more than she bargained for when she makes a glib comment to Molly (Yvonne Orji) regarding the idea that therapy might be a good idea for her. Issa tries to play it off like a joke, cause she certainly needs it too, but Molly is upset. And while Issa might have had good intentions, she did not present it very well. Worrying about your friend is one thing and if you genuinely think therapy could be a good idea, don’t make it a joke. Let them know you support them and you’re worried. Though, mental health is a hard issue to discuss, particularly the stigmas behind it.
If that isn’t enough, Daniel shows up and Molly has to run interference to get him to leave. He doesn’t budge and it takes Issa calling him an “itch she needed to scratch” for him to finally do so. Ouch! Of course, Lawrence observes the interaction and pieces of the puzzle continue to fall into place. As more drinks flow, Molly and Issa have it out. Issa then gets rewarded for her work on the fundraiser, and Molly slinks over to Jered’s (Langston Kerman) in hopes of comfort but finds herself remaining out in the cold.
Meanwhile, Issa heads home to celebrate to find Lawrence has completed the puzzle and doesn’t like the picture. She admits it was a one time mistake, and Lawrence storms out. Secrets always have a way of catching up with you, especially when it regards cheating on your partner. It all hits as real as…well you know.
Episode 8, Season Finale: “Broken as F*ck”
In the Season Finale we learn that Issa hasn’t seen or heard from Lawrence for a few days, and it is obvious that it is taking a toll on her. The girls decide to hit the road to get some Malibu time in for Kelli’s (Natasha Rothwell) birthday. The ice is still solid between Issa and Molly, though. With subtle jabs and snide looks, the other girls easily pick up that something is off. Birthday girl Kelli is determined to have a good time and demands everyone do their best to go crazy. But as more drinks go down, the real shit hits the fan. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and eventually people start saying all the stuff they have held back. And boy, they had some shade to throw at each other.
Lawrence in the meantime is staying with a friend and is sick of being sad about his breaking relationship. And everyone knows the cure for broken hearts is strippers, right? He clearly takes a fancy to one of the dancers, but when she drops her prices for sex, he balks. Maybe this really isn’t what he wants? A quick call to Issa and it appears there might be something left to mend. It turns out Issa and Molly make up, as best friends do, and it’s a good thing because Lawrence isn’t interested in doing so.
The evolution of Issa and Lawrence’s relationship has been its own character this season. From his apparent lack of motivation to get a job and Issa’s emotional needs being filled elsewhere with Daniel to the hit and miss of their love connection, it has been a roller coaster all season. First she’s all in and it appears he isn’t. Then he’s all in and she’s already drifted away. While it appeared for a moment that Lawrence might be willing to try again, it is possible that chance is now gone. Interestingly, the relationship dynamic and choices mirror HBO’s other show Divorce quite well. But much like Divorce with the season over, now we can only sit and speculate what could happen in the next season. Will Issa realize who she wants to be and what to do with her job and maybe learn to move on from Lawrence? Will Lawrence realize that Issa is who he wants to be with or will he be on the prowl for new love? Will Molly learn what she wants in a partnership or maybe even attend therapy and figure out who she is? Wow, A new season could easily bring all new insecurities. We’ll have to wait it out and see.