The third season of HBO’s hit comedy has finally come to end after 8 episodes and Issa and the audience have surely been on an interesting story. Viewers were gifted with a drug-filled trip to Coachella, wild Lyft rides, and more questionable romantic endeavors. While the season offers plenty of laughs, the Issa Rae-created series is in serious danger of repeating itself if it doesn’t undergo some changes in its next season.
Issa ends the season on a good note but, despite only having eight episodes, it took too long to get there. The Daniel saga lasted longer than necessary to only bring Lawrence back into the picture. And while Nathan is new and refreshing, having him disappear and Lawrence return removed some of the focus off of Issa’s next journey without Lawrence. Issa takes a giant leap in quitting her job at We Got Y’all to find something new and more suitable to her, even deciding to plan a block party for the community. It’s all amazing and crazy ,yet it’s still somehow connected to Issa’s relationships as she doubts she fulfill what she’s sought to do if the person who encouraged her to do it, Nathan, isn’t around. While the finale feels very triumphant in that Issa ultimately focuses on doing better in her own life, finally getting this moment in the finale wasn’t enough.
In the same way, Molly figures out that she’s been assuming the worst in people before they are allowed any opportunity to prove their true intentions at the very end. After starting off the season so well in dropping Dro, Molly continuously makes shady decisions concerning her colleagues and write Andrew off for a dumb comment that she knew was true. She’s dug herself a hole she might not be able to get out of at work, but at least Andrew is amazing enough, so far, that he’s willing to give Molly another chance. While Molly eventually sees that her pessimistic attitude negatively affects all aspects of her life, going through the same routine viewers are already well aware of made this revelation less satisfying.
Despite the Lawrence-hive’s demands, the character’s reappearance doesn’t do much for the story, especially in giving him a new love interest outside the circle of women who know. He’s tasked with deciding if he would be interesting in pursuing a relationship with Issa again and eventually decides against it. That’s great, but it doesn’t provide any justification for bring him back into a story that perfectly moved on from him in season two. Lawrence is not a bad character, or even terrible for Issa, but it’s time to realize that he’s no longer essential to the narrative.
The best part of the season are the moments when the foursome get together and have unforgettable nights out or tackle their new stage in life together. But there isn’t enough. Kelli and Tiffany bring a fresh take to the main girls’ chaos yet they only get few opportunities to shine. Issa and Molly are at their best when it’s focused on their friendship but this season provides too few of these essential moments to the show. Romance is great, but it becomes tiring if it seems to replace the central purpose of the show to portray friendship between black women as they navigate their lives as adults. This season felt like a step backwards but the series hasn’t fallen enough to be able to move forward in coming seasons.