After disappearing for a month, Nathan returned to Los Angeles and to Issa's life in the season three finale of Insecure. Sure, his ghosting Issa brought out a side to her that many viewers can relate to, but after some light stalking and rummaging through his apartment, Issa came to terms with his actions. While there are no excuses for ghosting anyone, especially after connecting with them on a deep, emotional level, I believe there's a side to his story that deserves our attention: Nathan is struggling with depression.
Nathan (played by Kendrick Sampson) reaches out to Issa on her 30th birthday, and although Molly stops him from ruining her birthday, the two eventually reconnect following the day's festivities. He explains to Issa that he was in a bad place and had to go back to his hometown of Houston to deal with these emotions. He doesn't explicitly say he's depressed, but the look in Nathan's eyes speaks volumes. He's clearly struggling to express himself, and struggling to accept his actions, but the fact that he apologizes and (somewhat) explains what he's going through is huge for the conversation of mental health. The scene not only paved the way for the topic of mental health in season four, but also shows how much it can impact partners, and in this case, Issa.
After witnessing Lawrence's depression previously, it makes sense why Issa didn't immediately let Nathan back into her life, but Nathan's past has yet to really be explored. He left his entire life in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, and we don't know the trauma he went through. The signs were there — his erratic behavior fighting in the Lyft, his reluctance to open up about his past during the pool scene, and of course, the ghosting. Still, Issa calling it a "bad mood" proves how necessary this conversation is. Read on to see how viewers are reacting to Nathan's return, some defending him and some writing him off.