Bouch is Back (Insecure S4E9)
Updated: Jun 22
After three seasons of uncomfortable avoidance and things unsaid, we finally get to see the good in Lawrence and Issa’s relationship. Episode 9 opens with the two of them vibe-ing and reconnecting on the piece of furniture that was always at the center of their relationship – the couch. Here, they make love and eat and talk about the prickly things that could hinder their progress. When we’re first introduced to them as a couple, the couch was a source of negative emotions. This was the place where Lawrence sat and felt sorry for himself. It was where Issa saw him after a day of working at a job she hated. The couch was a physical manifestation of all their failures. Issa cheated on Lawrence on a couch. When they tried to work on things, an old couch was left on the curb and a new couch was bought. Now, they’re finding each other again on the couch and falling back into the easy ebb of their old relationship before life got in the way. Many cheered when Issa and Lawrence’s lovemaking appeared on our screens, but others were displeased.
Recently, Nathan has also reappeared in Issa’s life. He presents himself as a friend, helping her find a headliner for the block party and offering that disarming support audiences grew to love from Nathan. On the couch, Issa tests the waters of Lawrence’s comfort by being transparent with him about who Nathan is and that she’s still in contact with him. Issa struggles with whether to keep the Nathan door open as things become more consistent with Lawrence. Since their relationship ended because of infidelity, Lawrence could still have some lingering jealousy and distrust issues. It seems, though, that Issa was ready to bed her past with Nathan. She arrived at his apartment distant and clearly trying to establish boundaries for friendship.
Last season, Nathan was sort of the catalyst for Issa to become the person she’s grown into. He did give her the idea for the block party. He continues to reinforce the good in her and when she’s doubtful of herself, he reminds her to accept the good happening in her life, to live in the present. Of course, these are tactics that any self-help book that a person struggling with mental illness might pick up. Is bipolar an excuse for popping out of someone’s life, then popping back in? I’m reminded of All the Bright Places. Finch, a character who also had bipolar disorder, frequently jumped in and out of his close friends’ lives. They were bothered by it but grew accustomed to it. Is that something that Issa will have to grow accustomed to? Is Lawrence the better option for her own sanity?
Communication was a huge issue when Lawrence and Issa were together. Will they fall into old patterns of not disclosing everything to one another? Also, it can’t be ignored that Nathan grows Issa in many ways that Lawrence couldn’t. This season’s Issa has come a long way and regardless of who she chooses, for the first time, she’s flourishing on her own.