TV and Movies

Lowkey Trying – Insecure Season 4, Episode 9 Recap

This post is in partnership with HBO. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Insecure season 4 lowkey striving

Getting to Know – Issa and Lawrence are sitting across from each other on the couch in his apartment, looking satisfied. They’re hanging out, sexing, laying around, being horndogs, working next to each other. They don’t seem to be getting enough of each other’s company, and it’s actually cute.

At one point, Issa gets a text from Nathan, and she’s compelled to be honest with Lawrence. She tells him that someone she used to date, but is now just friends with, has asked her to help him move apartments. Butttt she’s willing to bypass it if it makes him uncomfortable. Oooo confessions. Those ain’t for folks who are just f*ck buddies. She’s really digging ex-Best Buy bae. Lawrence says he doesn’t mind, and when she asks him what their “this” is, he turns the question around. “What do you want it to be?” Well, it can’t be anything but this if Condola’s still in the picture, calling and sh*t. He assures her that’s done.

But what about San Francisco? Is he going? Who knows? He still has an interview before he can even figure out what that could be.

Fix it – Molly is in therapy venting about Issa and Andrew to Dr. Rhonda and showing that she isn’t that great at self-reflection. She’s still blaming everyone else for everything and not taking accountability for her parts in conflict. Dr. Rhonda points out her pattern of putting up walls when she feels like people did something wrong and asks her the real question of whether she thinks her relationship with Issa is worth fighting for. If that is her best friend, is she really going to stand staunchly mad or work on fixing it? Everybody needs a Dr. Rhonda.

Issa calling Kelli Insecure 409

Issa calls Kelli and gets her voicemail (which for some reason is in Spanish). Kelli is hilarious, even when she isn’t there. Our girl needs advice and desperation drives her to call Ahmal. She tells him she’s seeing Lawrence again but wonders if she should still be dealing with Nathan, even as platonic friends. Her brother offers nothing but pettiness, so she hangs up. She then calls Molly.

Olive Branch – Molly is in the car when she picks up, not sounding thrilled to hear from her best friend. Issa asks if they can meet up and talk because she needs her, only in this moment, since she and Lawrence have begun something. Molly’s response? To go clean off about how Issa is still selfish and only wants to ever talk about herself. WELL DAMNNN.

But then, it all happened in Issa’s head. Whew. Yet and still, she calls her anyway, but it goes to voicemail. She leaves a message asking if they can meet up and Molly sees it as she walks out of her therapy session.

At the diner, Issa is so nervous that the waitress suggests alcohol. Perfect. Mimosa, light on the orange juice. When Molly shows up, it’s mad awkward. Issa’s voice gets all high pitched, the tell-tale sign of someone out of their comfort zone.

Issa and Molly at diner - Insecure 409

They talk and it is all polite. Neither one broaches the subject of the Block Party. Their convo stays at the surface as they catch up on everything but the truth. Everything is “fine.” But it’s tense. I was uncomfortable by proxy. At the end of their meal, Issa insists on paying, noting that she probably owes her after 10 years. Issa mentions that she’s helping Nathan move at the end of the week. As they leave, Issa says, “I love you, girl” and Molly says it back. But it’s weird.

When Molly gets back to Andrew’s place, she says brunch was fine. He asks if they talked about the Block Party, but she says nope. He thinks she should have said something and met Issa halfway, and she gets upset at him. Why should she put in that work? Well, because SHE extended the olive branch by inviting her to brunch. Lawd.

Anywho, he asks if she wants to go to a Clippers game with him and his brother and Leah. Molly declines and tells him to have fun without her.

Went Well – Issa and Quoia just secured another sponsor for their next event: a cycle studio. It’s impressive because they don’t have a venue, date or a plan, and they already got folks signing up to underwrite. Aight then! Issa gets a call from Lawrence, who is in San Francisco for a final interview. How did it go? Really well. Uh oh.

She says she met up with Molly for brunch. How did that go? She thinks it went well, even though they didn’t talk through things. She thinks all they need is a few “Self-Care Sundays” and they’ll be back to themselves. Uh oh.

Issa gets to Nathan’s new apartment building and he buzzes her in. She’s practicing how she is gonna say hey to make sure she’s not coming across as too friendly or suggestive. When he lets her in the apartment, she awkwardly daps him up and I howled! Once inside, when he got close to her by the packed boxes, she slides out and makes distance by going across the room.

Issa and Nathan packing Insecure 409

Moving Through – Nathan says him and a few barbers are buying out the barber shop he cuts hair in. Aight, everybody’s making moves. He gets close to her again and she moves once more and tells him that she’s seeing Lawrence again. His response: “The one you cheated on?” Ouch. She forgot she gave him that tea. Nathan clearly has disdain for Ex-Best Buy bae and doesn’t hide it. Issa, feeling defensive of her new-old boo says, “At least he knows how to use his words and doesn’t disappear.” OUCH.

Well, since she’s bringing that up, he tells her he went back home to Houston because he was struggling mentally. It was there that he got the diagnosis that he is bipolar. Whew. She feels bad and apologizes for not seeing it when they were close, but he says it’s because he hid it well. He thanks her for being there for him, even when she didn’t know, and they laugh at their sentimentality. Aww.

Food Fight – Molly walks into Andrew’s with food. When she asks, he tells her he had fun at the game with his brother. He then questions if she plans to never be in the same room with his brother because of what happened in Mexico? Because… that’s going to be tough. He lied, this time, and told him she was working and couldn’t make the outing, but is that going to happen every time they are invited out? Lawd.

Before Molly can answer, in walks Issa and Nathan. Whoops. They apparently showed up earlier than planned and they feel the tension in the air, so they offer to get the rest of his boxes and bounce. But, Molly, with a lot of hesitation, invites them to stay for dinner. Issa and Nathan are about to politely decline, but hunger pains are real, and they need food, so they stay.

Molly and Andrea Insecure 409

As they eat Chinese food takeout, they find out Nathan has never had guacamole. He said it reminds him of baby food. Damn. I can’t unknow that. Issa asks Molly if she remembers her first apartment, which was the epitome of janky, and the girls reminisce about it. It was there that Issa invented a drinking game where you think of a celebrity, guess their height, if you’re wrong, you drink. They decide to play it.

Losing – Everyone loses the first round because no one knew Bernie Sanders is 6 feet tall. Knock me out my own chair. I could have sworn that man was 5’7 with Timbs on. Everyone drinks, emptying the wine bottle. Andrew gets up to grab another bottle when Molly sends him a text that says, “See I’m trying with her.”

Too bad she accidentally sent it to Issa. BRUHHHH!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!

Issa replies to the text and walks out and Molly goes after her. Instead of apologizing, Molly says she is just being honest, because their interactions have been forced. Issa retorts that she can’t be the only one putting in effort. Molly: “Maybe who you are now and who I am now just don’t fit anymore.” Issa, with tears in her eyes says, “Ok.” Molly replies with “Ok,” as if she was expecting more, but what else can her “friend” say?

Issa gets into her Lyft and leaves.

Mannnnnnnn, my feelings are hurt for Issa. The tears in her eyes, as she looked at her ex-best friend, who basically said they don’t fit anymore, punched a G in the chest.

I think Molly has played the bigger role in the demise of their friendship and it was apparent at the end of this episode. She was the one who ignited the fight at the Block Party between them, she’s the one who came at Issa’s head on a day that she should have been celebrating her. Issa still reached out to her first. Molly hasn’t been putting in the work, just erecting walls of ego and stubbornness, and instead of trying to salvage it all, she’s more interested in holding a grudge.

What is the gift of that much pride? Losing love, even if that love is non-romantic. Some of our best love stories are the ones we have with our girlfriends and Molly took scissors to this one. What Issa felt was rejection and she had a right to.

Molly, girl. I’m pissed at you. This lack of accountability is already permeating her relationship with Andrew, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him walk away too. Ugh. Do better, Miss Carter.

Lawrence and this San Francisco thing. That smile he had on the other end of the phone looked both celebratory and conflicted. I think he was offered the job, and now he’s going to have to put a stop to his budding refresh with Issa. That’s going to be tough, because for once, they are being open and honest and willing to dig in. I just want Issa to have nice things, like lasting purpose and perpetual penis at the same time.

I can’t believe we only have 1 more episode left on Insecure. I’m not ready!!!

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  1. B.RICH
    June 8, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    “You wanna be right, or do you wanna be in a relationship”

    We know where Molly firmly stands on that in regards to Andrew (and Victor) and Issa.

  2. AppleJacks
    June 8, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    It’s become increasingly difficult to watch “Molly” on screen this season. She sucks the life out of every scene she’s been in all season long. She’s been developed into a completely unlikeable character who needs to be redeemed.

    • Trina
      June 8, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      AGREED! 100%

    • June 8, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Yes. But the title of the series “Insecure” which reflects who Molly really is. She is an insecure Black woman who needs therapy. She knows she needs help but she wants everyone else to own her problems. She is a narcissist and that is never a good combo for a Black woman.

  3. Absurdist
    June 8, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    I’m all in on the notion of Andrew going all peace out on Molly. She seems determined to burn everything to the ground, which I guess is just as well.

    Kelli’s last name is “Prenny?” That’s cute. But I’m guessing that we’re leaving Tiffany’s post-partum mental health issues off to the side for the time being to focus on the clearly pointed Issa triangle cliffhanger, which i understand, but still find a bit disappointing.

    On another off-topic note, how about that Yvonne Orji comedy special?

  4. Absurdist
    June 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    And going back through the seasons to refresh, I found myself wondering what happened to Molly’s French bulldog?

  5. Absurdist
    June 8, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    One thing I was just reminded of on re-watch: so much of this episode, Kerry Washington has Molly framed in single shots, pointing to how Molly’s isolating herself from everyone. Interesting cinematic choices are being mad.

  6. Trina
    June 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Molly is that trash friend no one needs. She doesn’t extend grace and that’s big for me with all relationships. What’s that saying? With friends like this, who needs enemies. Molly is on one #TeamIssa all the way!

  7. Li
    June 8, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Er mah gerd. Molly aint tryin AT ALL. Talkin bout ‘who she is now…’ girl. She wants people to jump thorugh the hoops that she keeps changing around. I hope that her work with the therapist gets her together. Cuz Asian Bae is not feelin it either. I think Molly has some jealousy issues too…but we shall see. Love Yvonne, Molly can kick rocks.

    and Nathan….lawd. Good for figuring it out, but hes at the beginning of a long road – and his mental issues don’t excuse his behaviour – like… carrier pigeon or somethin – i got some issues im tryna work out…i’ll be back? Nah.

  8. June 8, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Issa needs to leave Nathan alone. But where would the drama of this series be if she didn’t?
    It would be very interesting to see Lawrence rescue Issa when Nathan has another bipolar episode. Her eyes are wide shut when it comes to Nathan. Being bipolar is a serious matter. Next episode should be Low-key Crazy if she keeps in communication with Nathan!