Spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, multiply it by ten and what do you get? Liar, liar, liar!
That makes no sense, but who cares, Lawrence is back. All the facts we know are fake, Insecure lied to us, and Lawrence is very much a part of Season 3. You’re either relieved or annoyed? But more important, Issa Rae and her accomplices pulled off a nice facetious marketing scam by getting us to believe that Jay Ellis—Lawrence—would be absent from this season. Lawrence was left out of the trailer. And both Rae and showrunner Prentice Penny kept up the sham by telling fans that his absence was just a reflection of real life. “Once we said, ‘Maybe he’s not in the season,’ it kind of became, ‘Whoa, wow, what does that mean then?’ Once that domino dropped, it just opened us up in so many other ways of how we tell stories,” Penny told Variety in August. Good one.
The#LawrenceHive fans who bow to his Best Buy shirt for better or worse (I’m on Team No One, for the record) subsequently went into deep depression, but now they can breathe after last night.
The last we saw of Lawrence was the painful breakup scene between he and Issa in the Season 2 finale, which opened the door for growth on both ends. We begin to see that this season: Issa stops latching onto Daniel and eventually quits her job at We Got Y’all. She finds a new apartment that comes with a side job as building manager; and she meets a smoldering new man (the starry eyed Nathan, played by Kendrick Sampson), with whom she has a naked pool date and, later, fucks on a ferris wheel at Coachella. Yes, the ideal time for a ghost to come around and disrupt the potential for happiness.
Sunday night’s Episode 5 centered around an adventure at Coachella (Beyoncé or bust,” they repeated), which leads to Issa and her girlfriends taking molly—this gives us good high moments like Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) peeing her pants after getting tased, and Molly proclaiming that, “I don’t wanna be high no more.” At the end of the episode, Issa stops by a grocery store post-Coachella and runs into let-the-bitch-read Chad, who happens to be with... Lawrence!!! Who has successfully tapped into his ex’s radar and popped back up just when Issa’s life cards were beginning to align. Therein lies the twist. And it’s smart, because Lawrence’s reappearance, combined with the show’s marketing of his absence, had the effect of producing the same dreadful chill you feel in life at the sight of an ex.
Not only is Lawrence back, it looks like the next episode is devoted to catching us up on his whereabouts. The Lawrence contingency has been reactivated.
But what about the lies?
“I think what Issa actually said was, ‘We’re taking a break from Lawrence,’” Ellis told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Sunday after the episode aired. “A break doesn’t mean a season. A break could mean an episode, it could mean 30 minutes, it could mean a year. She didn’t actually put a time limit on what the break was. I think that because she said we’re taking a break from Lawrence this season, people ran with what they thought that break was and therefore they thought that break was for the entire season, and that wasn’t the case.”
Sure, although some might say withholding the truth still amounts to a lie. I’m on Team No One and I’m more interested in other things, like Nathan (and the growing fracture between Issa and Tiffany), but either way it’s nice to have Lawrence back, along with all the emotions his character stirs up in people.