By Luvvie Ajayi
Written by Dayna Lynne North
Directed by Stella Meghie
Fresh Start - Issa’s got her new spot, and is back with her raps cuz she finally has a bathroom mirror again. Daniel stops by to drop off the last of her stuff and he looks like he’s already missing her. Those Puss-in-Boots eyes he was giving told me that. She thanks him with a hug and he bounces. He looks slightly salty, doe.
Molly comes bearing gifts: an inflatable mattress, a plant and some Hennessy. She’s such a good friend. Issa’s afraid to see this all as a fresh start because she thinks she’ll jinx it. Molly vents about how work is still kinda weird. But back to this fresh start: Molly makes Issa dump her old relics: her Zane book, forever21 earrings and mixtape CDs from Lawrence. Fresh means letting go. There is a knock at the door and it’s one of the building’s tenants upset about “squirrels in the walls.” Wait what?
At home, Flava Flav the dog makes his way on to Molly’s bed. That’s her only cuddle buddy. Meanwhile, Issa digs all the stuff she trashed out. In her box, she finds her high school rap journal.
Looking Up - At work, Molly seems voiceless in a meeting. People are talking over her and not taking her contributions seriously. Afterwards, she goes up to her coworkers and showers them with compliments and they find common ground. At work, Frieda tells Issa that Joanne is gonna let her go back to working with kids. Sweet!
Issa goes to grab some tacos when she runs into Nathan, the best Lyft rider. Unfortunately, he startles her and the taco falls. OUCH. The two start talking, and Issa’s brother texts her cuz he just arrived at LAX. Meanwhile, she’s nowhere close to it. She clearly ain’t gon make it to pick him up because she would rather hang with the cutie in front of her (and I ain’t even mad).
As they walk around, Nathan roasts all things L.A. but Issa is riding for her city. She gives him a mini tour and they get to know each other better. He’s a barber from Houston who has a great sense of humor. Issa then gets a text from Frieda saying she will tell her about her new assignment around 3 pm.
Excuses - At therapy, Molly’s going off about how she can’t get no shine at her new firm. Her therapist wonders if she should just focus on being good instead of the pecking order. She’s wary of being stagnant after Dro-Gate but she’s never even mentioned it in one of her sessions. Ma’am. You can’t just hide the dirt from the person who is supposed to help you clean it up.
Truth or Dare - The spontaneous lunch date continues, as Issa and Nathan continue to stroll through L.A. They start playing truth or dare and Issa picks “truth.” He asks her when her last relationship was, and she admits her 5-year relationship ended because she cheated. Honesty hour, indeed. He replies with, “We all got something. You just gotta grow from it.” Come on, Supersoul Conversations! They’re strolling through the hood but when she says she grew up elsewhere, he suggests they go. Issa does not protest so she calls Frieda and says she won’t make it back cuz she ain’t feeling well. HEY NOW!
Issa and Nathan show up to a grand house, and he calls her bougie. That house was barely lived in by her cuz her parents got divorced when she was 16 years old. The DARE from Nathan? Break into the house. She doesn’t need to because the gate isn’t locked. Issa’s dare for Nathan? Go skinny dipping in that pool. He accepts the challenge (praise God for those abs and buns). WHEW!!! He dares her to do the same and she accepts. AW SNAP!!!
Make Moves - Naked as they are, they get even more intimate as Issa tells him she has a rap journal and sometimes she raps in the mirror. She asks him for more of his truths and he admits he’s never had a real relationship. And his apartment flooded during Hurricane Harvey and that is what spurred him to make the move to L.A. He just picked up and made the move, and he encourages her to do the same. Not happy with the job? Make a move. Right then, homeowner returns, sees them in the pool and they run out with their clothes in their hands. Back in Issa’s car, they wonder what to do next.
Molly decides to be helpful at work and offers to pitch in on one of her colleague’s cases.
Tacos and Kisses - Issa and Nathan go back for the tacos they ordered hours before, which are now cold. She uses this as an excuse to invite him over to her place to use her microwave. She ain’t got no furniture so they’re sitting on her boxes but that’s fine. Cuz they don’t need plush things. The two start kissing when a knock comes at the door. It’s a little boy who says he’s been sent by his mama who is locked out her apartment. HA! Nathan kisses her as he walks out and says they should go out again. Y'ALL BETTER.
The two ladies at the firm approach Molly about the case she asked to pitch in on and when she says she can’t meet with them that night, they get slightly funny acting. Especially as one of her male colleagues calls her into his office. What is that shade I detect from them?
Free - Issa sees the pile of stuff she was fighting throwing out and realizes she doesn’t need them. She takes this trash out immediately. At work, Frieda tells Issa that she has been assigned to a middle school, and gets the shock of her life. Our girl tells her that she is quitting and walks out, looking as free as she’s ever looked.
I am so here for the Issa-Nathan connection! Getchu a man who will fight for you in your car, and then pop up randomly in your life again so you know it’s real. What are the odds that they’d run into each other again? And then they played Adult Ditch Day, which was like dates 1-3. At this point, they can be considered to be on date 4. They got vulnerable, they challenged each other and they laughed. I see real promise here. He was even able to encourage her to step outside her comfort zone and take that leap she was afraid to do: quit her job, which makes her miserable.
Now, that was a bold move. I just ask what her plan is to stay afloat. This property management job is part time so how is she going to make up the lost dollars? The Practical Patty in me is always wondering where the regular coinage will come from as people pursue their dreams. But then again, Issa is single with no kids. Her fail is just her fail. Go for it.
Now Molly and this job. I don’t know why it ain’t curling all the way over. Is she not being patient enough or is it not a good fit? Her therapist was right to call her out, though. Maybe she shouldn’t be so concerned with coming in and ranking high, and just work her way up. Maybe she needs to look at this as truly a fresh start.
Issa has finally accepted hers.
This post is in partnership with HBO. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.