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'The end of an era’: ‘Insecure’ cast and fans react to series finale

“We wanted to show love is a choice and it only needs to make sense to you. Everyone’s story is different,” showrunner Prentice Penny tweeted. 
Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) in the season finale of HBO "Insecure."
Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) in the season finale of HBO "Insecure."Merie W Wallace / HBO
/ Source: TODAY

After five seasons, Issa Rae’s hit comedy series “Insecure” aired its final episode Sunday night.

All of the characters fans have watched navigate love, friendships and their careers in Los Angeles ended up in a good place.

The series finale took viewers on an emotional journey as they saw Rae’s character drive past her old apartment building, the Dunes, end her love triangle by choosing Jay Ellis’ character, Lawrence, and heal her unbreakable friendship with Yvonne Orji’s character, Molly. 

They also likely shed a few tears watching Molly tie the knot with Taurean (Leonard Robinson) in a gorgeous Oscar de la Renta wedding dress.

As the final episode debuted, “Insecure” cast members and fans took to social media to express their gratitude for the influential HBO show.

Showrunner and executive producer Prentice Penny explained Issa’s decision to choose Lawrence over Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) on Twitter

“We wanted to show love is a choice and it only needs to make sense to you,” Penny wrote. “Everyone’s story is different.”

Later, he revealed, “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed how the finale was received. I did NOT want to direct it. I was scared of the heat it would get if it didn’t measure up. Which is the exact reason why I know I needed to. So glad y’all received it in the spirit it was made.”

Penny also shared that the team wrote three different versions of the finale.

Rae posted a picture of her getting ready to watch with Orji before the episode started. 

“Here we gooooo! Got my watching buddy!” she wrote. 

 After the finale ended, Rae shared a photo of her posing with Orji and Ellis in their wedding attire. 

“I love y’all. Thank you for 5 seasons,” she wrote to the show’s loyal fanbase. 

Orji joined in on the online celebration. She included a “Shout out to Black women allowing themselves to be celebrated.” She added the hashtag “WeDeserve.” 

When the episode ended, Orji revealed a behind-the-scenes moment from filming. 

“This scene in the bathroom was the final scene I shot as molly,” she said, referring to the heartfelt scene where Issa and Molly embrace. “During one of the takes, @The_A_Prentice told me to go off script and thank @IssaRae for how she changed my life. We were crying for real FOR REAL.” 

Ellis was clearly satisfied with Issa’s final pick.

He tweeted, “It was always her,” with photos of Issa spending time with Lawrence and his son. “The love story some of y’all loved and some of y’all loved to hate.” Ellis also included the hashtag “IssaLaw.” 

He later uploaded a series of photos of the cast. “Costars. Friends. Family…” he wrote. “There are really no words to express the last 6 years but hopefully some pics can do it for me…” 

Natasha Rothwell, who plays fan-favorite Kelli, applauded Penny for his work on the final episode. “DID. THAT. directing the finale. Bra-f—ing-vo.” Rothwell tweeted with multiple praising hand emoji. 

Fans complimented Rae, who co-created “Insecure” with Larry Wilmore, for the show’s success after it began as a YouTube series called “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”

Writer Evette Dionne tweeted, “#InsecureHBO ending feels like the end of an era. It’s the end of the Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl era, a time when we sat in our dorm rooms and watched web series on our laptops, hosted watch parties, donated to GoFundMes to keep those shows going. It’s just…over now,” along with a crying-face emoji. 

“Issa Rae means so much to me,” British author Bolu Babalola began. “I am so grateful to her and #InsecureHBO for broadening out a path for us Black woman TV writers, the awkward Black girls, for showing dark-skinned Black women in all their fullness and power, being sexy, being goofy, being loved, being.” 

Others commented on the powerful connection between Molly and Issa. 

“I didn’t cry until Molly said ‘Thank you for being you, for loving me while I was me,’” one Twitter user shared. “I broke down cause lord knows that is all we need, for our people to love us while we are being us, especially when that ‘us’ isn’t the best version of ourselves.”

Another agreed, writing, “I’m still on a high with how Molly and Issa worked through all of their friendship drama. They didn’t give up each other.” 

Speaking of Molly, she hit a few rough patches throughout the show’s run. But, in the end, her storyline ended on a high note.

“Molly’s character development throughout the series was the best thing,” one viewer gushed

Issa’s character growth in the finale seemed to mirror Rae’s continued success since “Insecure” premiered. 

One viewer complimented the show’s writing and said, “Issa’s career progression has been one of the best storylines on tv.” 

Another pointed out the relatable storytelling on “Insecure.” “I’ve always loved how realistic the timeline is,” one fan wrote. “Issa nem are 33 and JUST beginning to get it all together. You don’t have to have life figured out by 25.” 

It’s safe to say the finale definitely lived up to high expectations. 

“It is rare that a series finale is the actual best episode of a show, especially when that show is already good, but #InsecureHBO did it,” a viewer wrote before thanking Rae, Penny and the entire cast and crew. 

On Monday, Penny further expressed his gratitude for the viewers and their approval of the conclusion.

He included a gif of a woman dancing and said, “Me waking up to people still loving the ending to #InsecureHBO and thankful it wasn’t an Issa type fantasy I created in my head.” 

In March, Rae stopped by TODAY and opened up about how proud she is of the critically acclaimed series. 

She recalled coming up with the idea for the series after “complaining a lot about, like, what I wasn’t seeing on TV. And, you know, this was creating a character and a world to be like, if I can do it, and I know mainstream TV can do it.” 

“I’m definitely ready to let it go,” she said at the time. “I knew that I wanted to end it after five seasons. And I feel like I’m really proud of this season that we’re shooting now. It’s so much fun, and it’s made me appreciate the show in a different way.”