Issa Rae Explains That Surprise Ending In The 'Insecure' Premiere

The premiere episode of the HBO show’s final season ended with a bang that gave viewers a lot to say.
Issa and Lawrence call it quits in the premiere episode of "Insecure's" final season.
Issa and Lawrence call it quits in the premiere episode of "Insecure's" final season.
Merie Wallace/HBO; Getty Images

This story contains spoilers.

A lot happened on Sunday night’s episode of “Insecure.” Kelli fake died, and Issa and Molly got robbed by their college “friend.” But the biggest plot point in the season opener was Issa and Lawrence’s breakup.

In the last few minutes of the episode, we see Lawrence picking Issa up from the airport after she and the girls (plus Tiffany’s husband, Derek) visited their alma mater Stanford University. It’s obvious that the vibes are way off between them. Their usual witty, upbeat cadence in their banter isn’t there. Instead, the conversation about what they’ll eat for dinner feels forced and somewhat hard to watch.

Lawrence finally pulls up to drop Issa off at her home, expecting to follow her inside.

“Lawrence, I had a chance to think,” Issa tells her on-again-off-again ex, who is gearing up to be a father to a child that isn’t hers. Her throat is tight. She can’t finish her thought. But she doesn’t have to. The silence says it all.

After a pregnant pause, no pun intended, Lawrence nods his head and regretfully responds, “Yea, I know.”

And just like that, the dream of Issa and Lawrence having a happily ever after together is seemingly squashed.

In a roundtable conversation ahead of the premiere, Rae discussed why it was important for the writers to end that chapter. She emphasized the importance of Issa and Molly’s relationship being the central relationship of “Insecure.”

“That was the most important thing for us to acknowledge and repair. That’s why the Issa and Lawrence decision happens at the end of the episode because Issa needed to figure out where she was with Molly and get that relationship repaired and using that as a foundation to kind of give her the clear head to make a decision about what was best for her,” Rae told HuffPost.

“We had a lot of discussions about that in the room where Issa would be and the idea that she just wants to move forward in her life is indicative of that decision at the end,” she continued. “What you’ll see, even in the second episode, we just wanted to move forward with these characters and see where they ended up.”

Issa and Lawrence reignited their flame in season four's "Lowkey Happy" episode.
Issa and Lawrence reignited their flame in season four's "Lowkey Happy" episode.
Photograph by Merie W. Wallace/HBO

Black Twitter had strong opinions on the break up.

This final season focuses on how the characters grow and move forward with their respective new positions in life. During the roundtable, Rae said she wanted to indicate that the show’s characters continue on, even after we’re no longer able to get a view into their fictional (but all too real) world.

“I wasn’t interested in telling a show where each character stays the same. That’s more sitcom vibes,” she said. “So this journey, again, of figuring oneself out and evolving and evolving with intention was something that we set out for each character. If you look at season one and the end of season five and these characters are the same then we failed.”


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