Why ‘Insecure’s Breakup Feels So Heartbreakingly Real

Justina Mintz/HBO

The Insecure Season 2 finale is composed of three different vignettes, each of which is a glimpse into 30 days with Lawrence, Molly, and Issa. (Spoilers ahead.) Within those vignettes, each character experiences a great deal of changes, including Tiffany and Kelli, but the biggest shock is that Issa and Lawrence are broken up on Insecure, maybe for good. Lawrence's month climaxes in him standing outside of Issa's door, and it appears he may be there to profess his undying love for her. It turns out that he does do that, but Lawrence and Issa's scene in the Season 2 finale reveals how much they've grown, as they decides not to be together for now

In many ways, the Season 2 finale of Insecure almost proves that nobody has actually learned from their past: Molly ends up opening the door to Dro, welcoming a potentially disappointing relationship back into her life, and Issa goes back to Daniel. This might be enough regression — or at the very least, stagnation — to make some viewers wary of the show's third season (well, if it weren't so good, maybe), but the fact that Lawrence and Issa both own up to their flaws allows for a glimmer of hope in the form of a heartbreaking end to a longterm relationship.

Sure, it sucks when a couple who actually love one another just can't make it work, but that's oftentimes the reality of adult relationships, and really, Lawrence needed to take some responsibility. Throughout both seasons of Insecure, Issa has always been the one feeling guilty about her role in her relationship with Lawrence. Meanwhile, Lawrence continued to blame Issa for the end of their relationship without understanding his role in it. Each of his subsequent relationships, first with Tasha and then with Aparna, ended with him being unaware of the repercussions of his actions, as well. With Tasha, he led her on to think he was serious about their relationship, and with Aparna, he rebuked her for remaining friendly with an ex and then failed to admit to his trust issues.

It's so satisfying, then, to hear him say to Issa in the season finale, "I just feel like I'm f*cking everything up right now," because really, he is... but only as much as every other character on Insecure is, though. ‌

In their bare apartment which Issa was moving out of, she and Lawrence are finally able to bare their souls to one another, and it's the first time that Lawrence has apologized to Issa. It seems that he's been humbled and it's a nice moment when he's no longer acting like the-one-who-was-wronged, so he and Issa can find common ground, admitting to the ways they'd disappointed one another. After Issa tells him that she didn't know how to "be better" for herself, let alone the two of them, Lawrence responds, "Well that makes two of us."

Even after they discuss how much they both screwed up in the relationship, it still seems like there could be a chance that they get back together, especially after telling each other "I love you." Even Issa thinks it's possible, and she has a vision of her and Lawrence's future together, much like Emma Stone's character's vision towards the end of La La Land. And even though Issa and Lawrence do make an adorable baby in that vision, they both know that it can — and should — just be a fantasy.

Let's face it, if Lawrence had dropped to one knee and proposed to Issa like audiences were momentarily tricked to believe he did, the show wouldn't realistically portray the messiness of relationships (of all kinds) as Insecure is so apt to doing. Yes, it's looking like Season 3 will be more of the same messy realness, and that's exactly what it should be.