‘Insecure’ Season 3, Episode 3: The Bad Decision Index

‘Insecure’ Season 3, Episode 3: The Bad Decision Index

Season 3, Episode 3, ‘Backwards-Like’

The title of this week’s episode (“Backwards-Like”) couldn’t be more apt: Issa took some big steps in the wrong direction and so did Molly (though in this Dro-less episode, Molly’s issues are all work-related). But were their missteps enough to knock Daniel from his current reign as Worst Decision Maker in Season 3 thus far? Let’s break it down.

Issa

It has become pretty easy to tell when the writers are faking us out with a daydream surprise, a fantastical interlude that is at first indistinguishable from reality but, it soon becomes apparent, exists only in a character’s imagination. As soon as Issa starts scarfing down those Cheetos while Daniel performs oral sex on her, it’s clear we’ve entered into her wildest dreams. (An antiquated axiom suggests food is the fastest way to a man’s heart, but look at Issa, wooed with some processed cheese doodles.)

What a relief it is to realize Issa and Daniel aren’t hooking up again — and what a let down when it’s clear that in real life they are now sharing a bed together, after Daniel offered her the chance to get off that uncomfortable couch. Boo.

Issa has deluded herself into thinking this current sleeping arrangement is healthy, to the point where she is now considering staying at Daniel’s longer and contemplating a rekindling of their romance. But Molly, Kelli and Tiffany are right there to call her out, as good girlfriends do. “You and Daniel is always the problem,” Molly says. True.

This becomes more apparent when Daniel and Issa go out to eat and clash over their respective flaws. (Again.) In bed, later that night, Daniel breaks the tension by going down on her for real this time, but Issa, reaching a moment of clarity, cuts him off. “I can’t do this,” she says. “It doesn’t feel right.” About time.

Professionally, Issa makes a solid choice. She gives an impressive interview for the property management job, which will offer her a sharply reduced rental rate, despite having zero experience. (I assume she didn’t include the landlords of her old apartment, the site of that Season 2 trash can fire, as a reference.)

At We Got Y’all, however, Issa could have been more forthcoming with a black job candidate about her experiences working at the company. As a private moment between black women, the candidate deserves more warning than Issa’s tepid smile and nod acknowledging that she has worked in this miserable job for five years.

Growth: +1 for taking that flyer from The Beat Crew, a music-based organization with a mission similar to We Got Y’all, except with an ostensibly inclusive staff who seem to really love what they do; +1 for finally realizing she can’t make the same mistakes with Daniel all over again.
Spinning Wheels: -2 for sleeping in Daniel’s bed.
Final Score: 0

“It’s fine, we just did things a different way at my old firm.”

“It’s just that, at my old firm, we used an off-site storage.”

Ugh, Molly. It’s O.K. to complain to your friends about the small annoyances you’re experiencing at the new job — there’s no excuse for a respectable law firm to skimp on basic office necessities. But: You definitely don’t make the above statements in front of your new colleagues. Doing so demonstrates less than favorable attitude and makes you seem ungrateful for the new opportunity. Don’t be the “at my old job” person.

Molly seems to not even be aware of how it sounds — after venting to Issa, Kelli and Tiffany, Issa warns her: “I just hope you’re not complaining like this at your job.” Molly’s response: “Nah, just to y’all.”

Wrong, Molly. So wrong. When she makes her third and biggest faux pas — cracking a joke about another colleague and the stereotype that black people are always late — it blows up right in her face. Someone else corrects her assumption, and another makes a snarky dig that causes everyone but Molly to giggle: “Maybe at her old firm they started every meeting on time.” Ouch.

Growth: 0
Spinning Wheels: -2, for being a perfect example of what not to do when you start a new job.
Final Score: -2

I really feel for Daniel this week. Here he is, trying to take hip-hop to another level with Nordic instrumentation samples and Khalil is being closed-minded and simple, going too heavy on the bass. (Meanwhile, both of them seem to act as though no rap producer before has used strings prominently in a song.) It’s a bold move for Daniel to completely ignore Khalil’s plan and play his own version for Spyder instead — and maybe not the best move. On one hand, Spyder clearly likes it upon first listen; on the other, Khalil is clearly not happy. And for now it seems as though Khalil is the one who holds the key to Daniel getting access to bigger and better artists.

It’s too soon to assert his dominance like that, and he’s very likely soured a career-making opportunity. (A better, if sneakier, tactic might have been to try to get Spyder alone to listen to his version without Khalil there. But ultimately, he should have just played along until he was at a point where he’s not beholden to Khalil’s generosity.)

Growth: 0
Spinning Wheels: -1
Final Score: -1

Worst Decision Maker of the Week: Molly.

Sage Advice of the Week: Issa: “This is the first time that there’s nothing in the way of us getting together. Isn’t that worth exploring?”

Molly, Kelli and Tiffany, in unison: “No.”

Issa: “So y’all just gonna Greek chorus on a [expletive]?”

Molly, Kelli and Tiffany: “Yes!”

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