Season 2/ Episode 2/ HBO
In the key of Chance The Rapper:
catchin’ feelings while we recap/make ’em watch that shit again**
Ain’t no kinda beatin’ around the bush when it comes to Molly. Right out the bat we are sitting in the living room with Issa and Molly unpacking this shit, processing what happened, feeling our feels and eating Habenero Oreos to let you know it’s real (I know I’m not the only one that was hoping that scene was one of Issa’s jacked up day dreams). She deadass asked Issa about that awkward goodbye grind that happened at the end of the last episode. How do you even categorize that? It was a combination of “OMG-I-Can’t-Believe-I-Did-That” and “Goodbye” sex with a side of “You was putting in better work at the bank” side-eye.
The side-eye came from me, especially after that wack ass, “I gotta go.” But, no… Issa called it nebulous. You know what, Issa? You’re right. That was some hazy ass, clouded, vague, confusing type sexing. The quick goodbye paired with the cheek kiss?
I’m sorry that you even have to process that shit, Issa. That’s like trying to process processed food. You ever read the ingredients on a pack of ramen noodles and give up after the fifth ingredient? You either choose to eat them shits ’cause you poor and hungry or you grab a can of vegetarian chili because it has to be the least genetically modified choice up in that aisle. Nebulous. Issa wants it to be a good sign, of course she does. Molly is the realest of real homegirls, but even she knows that girl code states, “let her think positively for a second, even if it’s only a second.” The world can come crashing down later, but right now, Issa’s needs any kind of peace she can hold on to. Upset or not Issa, you ain’t have to let your girl sit in ya wet spot for almost two minutes. That’s nasty, girl. Mad disrespectful.
Lawrence got the muscle montage poppin’ off and we see that them baggy ass sweatpants from last season may be gone for good. You calling her back, fam? You texting? Okay, good….wait? Lawrence hittin’ the backspace-backspace-delete-delete as swiftly as he be hittin’ Tasha on a Sunday afternoon. Bruh, you gotta say something. Do something.
While Lawrence is contemplating what to do next, a 30-day burpee challenge or talking to Issa, my girl Molly seems to finally be opening up to Therapy Nana. Molly is going ill on that spiel that Black folks know far too well. She’s working harder and longer than any of her white counterparts, putting money in the pockets of her superiors while getting treated like she’s dispensable and not worth as much as ole white dude making more while doing less. Molly goes in about the good ole boys club and then seems to sit back, deflated. She’s trying to figure out her way in and says it should all work out. Ding, ding, ding. Therapy Nana ain’t about to let this moment go without bringing something to light for Molly.
The word ‘should.’ Simple, yet Therapy Nana says that Molly says it a lot. She refers to the term ‘magical thinking.’ At first, I was thinking that sounds like some good shit. Magical thinking from a magical Black girl? Sprinkle summadat over this way. Nah fam. Therapy Nana broke that shit all the way down. Magical thinking as defined by Therapy Nana is “when we believe what we want can influence the external world, as opposed to accepting things as they are.” Then she goes into the collective plight of Black women; our visibility, our need for Huxtable lookin’ ass relationships. Therapy Nana got Molly (and me) unpacking her shit like she just got back from a 7-day all expense paid Carnival Cruise with daily deals on Coach bags and Groupons for BOGO handmade Ankara maxi skirts. By the end, Molly has her head hung low and her hands tucked in that safe space between her thighs that we use on cold days, days for not punching and anytime we have to hold our shit together. I feel for Molly. That was a bit much, especially to end on some ole “something to think about” type shit. I’d have been on Therapy’s Nana’s floor, booking another hour and crying about my daddy issues.
Same night, it looks like the girl gang is back together in full effect to support Tiffany at her client’s art exhibit. Kelly got the jokes poppin’ off about Issa’s party being lit, with no regard for the fire and no idea about the next day sofa situation between Issa and Lawrence. Kelly that funny homegirl you love but sometimes wanna kick dead in the kneecaps for her lack of couth. At least act like you sorry for running while your girl was dousing flames. You and Thug Yoda. C’mon Kelly. The ladies do what the ladies do, selfies and shit talking while looking at art and doing it big for the culture.
Kelly’s trying to plan the next night out and Issa hit them with the “I ain’t tryna go out like that” line. Fam, we all know what that means. You done slipped back into 2008 mode and found hope in this Lawrence-situation. Issa starts smiling like Obama done came out to the slick soundtrack at a campaign rally. Issa smiling and hoping, saying she and Lawrence talked, acting like there’s a chance for a second term. Kelly and Tiffany staying bipartisan and Molly checking Issa’s
emails receipts. Molly knows good and damned well Lawrence and Issa ain’t spoke a single word since sofa-gate. Tiffany starts smiling and gathering hope and spilling more tea about her own situation than my clumsy ass would if they’d hire me at Teavana. Your husband slept in a hotel for how long? Wait, what? The Perfect couple having problems? Y’all great now? Sounds like some magical thinking to me and Molly’s wrinkled frown line says she ain’t buying it from Tiffany.
Issa gets real about needing to give Lawrence time and admits to her shit. She cheated. He needs time to forgive her and she’s grinning the whole time, cause she’s got hope. Kelly doing Kelly reminds Issa of Lawrence’s bum-tendencies before and urges Issa to keep it stepping (in so many words). Issa’s determined to hold out for a second term, Obama-like come back with Lawrence and Kelly’s uncouthed ass spills the beans about Tasha. Gatdamn, Kelly. I used to be like you. No filter whatsofreakinever. You didn’t even survey the situation before you threw that line out. Issa had no idea Lawrence was getting down like that and this was a shitty way for her to find out. Especially since Tiffany knew and never told Issa. She at least could have told Molly so she could tell Issa. Whether Issa messed up or not, that’s some hard shit to swallow. Molly stay being a real one. Her trollin’ skills are on 10, ’cause she pulled up Tasha’s info on the interwebs within seconds. I had to clap for Issa. She didn’t fall into the trap. Issa refused the petty and didn’t let the blame or judgment shift to Tasha. That’s some grown ass woman shit, right there.
When the camera cuts to Issa in the bathroom, you already know what it is. She ’bout to dry them tears and drop them barz. Oh?! And obviously bring out the petty. Issa said “you puttin’ it down? Then why my nani his snack?” Yoooooooooooooooooooooo. Who-hurt-you barz be the realest. Issa reversing the 2008 hope and is going full Scandal circa season 2 “Defiance” when she tells Molly to pull up Tasha’s online shit. *clutches ankh in the key of Color Purple* Don’t do it, Issa, don’t do it. Molly got the signature Snoop head nod, so you know this trollin’ shit is about to get real.
It’s the next day and Issa is serving body, bangin’ brows, and a good twist out when we see her walking up to someone’s door. I’m praying this ain’t Tasha’s crib, yo. Whew… nah. It’s Chad’s crib, where Lawrence has been crashing. Chad opens the door with a smooth ass cold pressed juice in hand, throwing compliments and dodging the obvious like a champ. Dude ain’t even try to let Issa in. Starts talking about the new juice spot when shit gets even more uncomfortable. Cat got mad avoidance skills. Until Issa asked for Lawrence, he wasn’t saying a damn thing and still didn’t after she asked for him. Then he still wasn’t having it. Gave her the smooth brush off, “nah, he ain’t here” and taking the biggest sip of beet juice I’ve ever seen in my life. Got Issa walking off butt-hurt while giving her a compliment on her hair. Did this cat ask her if she’s using Mane & Tail? Issa stays #hairgoals, but stop it, bro.
It’s the weekend I presume since Lawrence is hugged up with Tasha watchin’ this slave soap opera. I cannot with they’re trash t.v. I utterly cannot deal with her name being Ninny and the master telling her to follow the north star to… I won’t even repeat that shit. Somebody really got some ‘splaining to do. Like I was saying, before The Chained and The Chained Not interrupted me, Lawrence done hit and quit Issa and is boo’d up on the sofa with Tasha looking mighty damned guilty. Tasha peeps the sulking but dismisses it when he throws out that he has a lot on his mind and then her mama texts about the upcoming family cookout. She slid that invite in there real quick, too. Oh, Tasha. Ya’ll been hittin’ it for a bit, but remember this dude JUST took you out on a first date. Hasn’t that been an only date? Shit, Lawrence looks just as surprised as me. Tasha sensed the awkwardness, played it off as casual then Lawrence hits her with the “I just slept with my ex.” Your timing for shit is mad suspect, Lawrence.
How long ya’ll been sitting there with you nursing that beer, bruh? You could’ve had this conversation at least twenty minutes ago and saved Tasha’s brain cells from this ratchet slave drama and saved her the breath of a wasted invitation to a family gathering. Now he on some “it just happened” type shit, like he just slipped and fell in it. Here’s the thing. I’m glad he told her, he needed to tell her, but damn man. You’re timing and explanation of what happened is wack. Tasha’s face… I know that face. That’s the face of hurt when you already knew shit was low-key a pipe dream, but you went with the flow and tried to keep your feelings under control, only to give into them a little and… yep, he ain’t ready for you and you ain’t ready for this bullshit. You had to tell him to go, girl. Take that breather without Lawrence in your space and do what you have to do for you. To the left, Lawrence.
Meanwhile, Issa still in her feelings and contemplating trolling Tasha. Tasha ain’t your business, mama. Lawrence is who you need to get with. Curiosity killed all kinds of cats, Issa. You don’t wanna be that girl. Good for you. Stay off her IG, don’t get in the DMs, brush them teeth, moisturize ya skin, drink water and mind ya business, boo.
The next day, we see Molly in a power suit and her game face dishing out compliments on earrings we know she thinks is tack (tassels) to get the tea on some inside networking opportunities with the good ole boys. Issa and Frieda are meeting with the principal of E. 41st High school and dude smile like he got bbq chicken stuck in his teeth from last night. Dude look like he walks around telling his nephews that ain’t nothing slicker to a can of oil and telling the neighbors kids to tell they mama he said hi. They talk to him about the need for students to attend their program or either they gotta bounce, he says he’s on it and next thing you know, dude talking about how ‘overpopulated’ the school is and that he outta get somebody to build a wall. I knew this cat wasn’t shit, man. Issa and Freida now seem to know it, too.
Now Chad is grilling Lawrence about telling Tasha about him and Issa. I knew this was coming. Chad that problematic fave that owns up to his fuckboi-isms so you at least can respect that he’s real about his shit. He called Lawrence a John Legend-ass dude? I’m dying. I don’t even really know what that means, but I’m weak. Chad is a master of conversation and dominates Lawrence in the old-girl-new-girl chit chat while putting him up out his house by taking him to see an apartment at the same time. Then he slides that low-key compliment about Issa up in there, ’cause Issa looking fahn as fuck and he wondering how shit got to where it is today. The realtor is a cutie, too and of course, Chad already knows this. These dudes start strolling around the apartment, looking and talking and I have never realized how tall Lawrence is or how small Chad is. I don’t know which is which, but Lawrence makes them ceilings look low even in all that natural lighting. Natural lighting that seems to be popular. You betta make up ya mind and get outta ya boys living room with that wack ass air mattress, fam.
Back at E. 41st, Frieda is writhing with emotional issues over Principal Oil Slick’s prejudiced ass comments and Issa looking like she just wants to forget that happened. Frieda? Did you tweet Ava about this, forreal? You watched 13th because you were upset? Bless your little heart. Oil Slick held to his word, though, ’cause that library was packed full of kiddos when they walked in. Kids who look like they want to be there and a teacher who quite swiftly reminds Issa that regardless of your thoughts about public schools, we do in fact have paper… ’cause, you know, it’s a school.
That evening, Molly heads to the hockey game to brush shoulders with the ORWMC (old rich white man’s club) and Issa is sitting at home flipping between reading The Turner House by Angela Flourney and IG trolling her feelings away. I cant lie, @TashMoney289 got some cute ass IG pics, especially the one with the big curls and that green tie up tee. I feel for Molly at this game. Tryna hob-knob with these cats over a hockey game that you’re not even mildly interested in is some bullshit. I know why she’s doing it, but I’m worried. I’d hate for this to backfire on her getting what she truly deserves. Truth is, they seem as interested in her being there as she is to actually be there. Shit is mad awkward.
The next day, Issa and Frieda are coming from another successful “We Got Y’all” session and Principal Oil Slick is telling Latinx students in the hallway to save the Spanish for the bus, on some ole we-speak-English-here shit. Issa keeps giving this dude a pass because kids are coming to tutoring now, but Frieda isn’t having it. Frieda breaks down her AFAM Studies knowledge and turns it on Issa by asking if his behavior would be okay if he was white. Issa knows that shit ain’t right, but she’s willing to choke it back for fear of losing the school. Frieda is done and eventually walks away as they’re both leaving. Issa goes to speak to the principal when he gives her the head nod and dude starts talking out the side of his neck about sticking together and calling folks taco meat. What’s worse? Issa laughed at this dude’s crass ass bigoted joke when he laughed. WTF, Issa? Nah, sis. Nah, fam. You know this shit ain’t right. That look on your face when he finally walked away says it all.
Molly seems to be ending her work day with a sad face, too. Just like I thought, these ole boys weren’t paying any attention to her. The joke fell flat and they could care less. It was a bad day all around for my girls. I don’t even know what to say.
It’s bedtime and Lawrence is on the air mattress looking like he’s contemplating every single decision he’s ever made. Issa is back to trolling/investigating Tasha and damn it… She done Angela Lansbury’d that shit and made the connection between Lawrence and Tasha. The bank. From IG, to FB to Linked In, can’t nobody hide no more. These ain’t the days of Black Planet and Myspace. Ain’t no anonymity in this social media world, fam.
Issa rolls out in the morning with the fatigue jacket on ready to figure this shit out.
Or knock somebody the fuck out, damn! Issa’s daydreaming is at a whole new level. Tasha really ain’t do nothing, boo and you know it. I’m so glad this was just a dream. The bank and the Best Buy being in such close quarters is some shit, though. I’m sure Issa is wondering if this thing with Lawrence and Tasha has been going on longer than just since they’ve been on a break. These cats need to talk, asapually. Huh, look at that… Molly just happened to run into Lawrence in the courtyard of his job while she’s sippin’ on a handcrafted latte. They both looking surprised and awkward. You were at a client meeting in the same area, Molly? What a coincidence. Regardless, Molly is doing a pretty good job of feeling out Lawrence on what’s going on with him and Issa. She’s got Issa’s back and it’s apparent. Which is not to say that Issa wasn’t wrong, she admits to that, but Issa wasn’t out on some ‘smashing all the homies’ shit. She cheated, but she’s not a cheater (chill out Lawrencehive). I think that was some good perspective for Molly to offer up.
Lawrence had the hard pause on whether or not he’d take Issa back. I feel that, too. Issa’s still in the car outside of the bank when we see Tasha walk by and Issa hit the switch on the seat to dodge any eye contact. Then Molly calls and my suspicions are confirmed. She was out there on homegirl recon duty. Molly gave Issa the hard news. Lawrence is done. He’s got the new apartment and as he tells it, there is no more Issa and Lawrence. To add to Issa’s devastation, the security guard thinks she’s sleeping in the parking lot. She ain’t homeless, dude… but with Lawrence officially out on his own, Issa’s heart has to be broken. We see Molly burning the midnight oil at work, but this time she isn’t fucking with the ORWMC, she’s talking via Skype to the woman who transferred to the Chicago office. She’s putting herself out there to make a name with the only other woman in charge now. I see you, Molly. Climb them stairs and when that glass ceiling tries to get in the way, take an alternate route. There are more ways to the top than through some old ass fuckbois.
Now Lawrence is trying to make amends with Tasha and tells her that everything is over between him and Issa. She looks like she’s been crying or just sad for days. Tasha tries to just let things be, saying on her own that the two of them had never been exclusive. She’s got food on the stove and tries to walk away after accepting the apology, but she misses dude and invites him in for dinner. I mean, she was already cooking. He look hungry in them semi baggy ass pre-job sweats that we saw last season. I get it. Shits hard. He didn’t turn it away either. Looks like Issa is tryna make it through the finality of them, too.
Time to say goodbye to some old shit. Goodbye Lawrence’s side of the closet. Goodbye Lawrence’s side of the bed. Goodbye to the questions lingering in your head. Oh, don’t go back to swiping left and right, though. Tryna fuck? Ahhhhh. I mean, I get it. You feeling some kinda way and just want to get rid of the pain and move on. Is this the way to do it, ma? I’mma just say…
Guess we’ll see how it goes down next week. Meanwhile, I’mma hop on Spotify and grab the tracks to this season’s soundtrack.