Insecure’s Jay Ellis Muses Over Lawrence’s Breakup Playlist — and If He and Issa Are Still Endgame

Insecure delivered K-Ci-&-JoJo-singing-and-stomping-in-the-rain-level heartbreak in the final moments of the HBO comedy’s Season 5 premiere when Issa broke up with Lawrence after contemplating their relationship.

The show’s leading heroine just couldn’t cope with her boyfriend expecting a baby with someone else, leaving him brokenhearted and down one very expensive car ride from LAX.

“She drives Lyft,” Jay Ellis, who plays Lawrence, jokingly tells TVLine. “She knows what that ride cost.”

Although we didn’t see Lawrence during that lonely drive back home, Ellis has a few ideas about which velvety-voiced singers he likely turned to for some much-needed emotional catharsis. Canadian crooner Daniel Cesar and breakup song chanteuse Toni Braxton both make the cut, as does Mary J. Blige’s seminal heartbreak anthem “Not Gon’ Cry,” which Ellis notes he “probably listened to 22 times.”

With Lawrence and Issa’s relationship effectively over, their potential to be each other’s endgame now feels far-fetched.

“There was definitely a time where they were endgame, especially at the end of Season 4,” Ellis says of the pair. “It was like nothing was going to get in the way… until the biggest thing that could get in the way got in the way,” referring to his child with Condola, “which is also a beautiful gift to Lawrence’s life.”

“They’ve had so many complications in their relationship that it’s been a lot. Is this one more of those things that they can get through? I don’t know,” he adds. “Lawrence believes that Issa’s endgame for him, and I think Issa feels the same way, [but] I don’t think that he’s going to try to force the woman he loves into this arrangement knowing that it could potentially make her unhappy.”


Episode 3, airing this Sunday at 10/9c, will explore who Lawrence is outside of his relationship with Issa. With a baby on the way and a new job in San Francisco, viewers will see him struggle with what it means to co-parent while living in a different city than his kid — which is much easier said than done.

“He has an idea in his head of what he thinks it’s going to be, but Condola feels differently, especially as the one who’s doing it by herself every single day,” Ellis teases of the upcoming half-hour. “Lawrence still has some learning to do. He’s going to figure out what it means to be a dad [and] to co-parent in this kid’s life.”

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