Spoilers for season 4 of HBO’s Insecure.
Throughout the show, we have seen Issa struggle and try to find her way, having to lift herself back up after the many times she’s fallen. We’ve seen it all. From always having to speak up for the Black community at a job she hated, to feeling so unwanted and unsatisfied in her relationship with Lawrence that she cheated on him. Issa has been through a lot, but so has her best friend Molly.
Molly has been through her own emotional rollercoaster. From countless failed relationships to being undermined at work, and even finding out that her father cheated on her mother, Molly has had to rise up from many challenges that her own life has thrown at her. In a way, their constant struggles have always brought Issa and Molly together as the women reflected on life and gave each other advice on how it could possibly be better.
This series has been a refreshing take on the friendship of two young Black women in a humorous and quirky way. I have always been able to relate to Issa and Molly’s friendship, especially because I associated it with what my best friend and I have. Throughout our 10+ years of friendship, we’ve attended university together, become part of each other’s families, and have helped each other through multiple breakups. Now, friends also fight, we’ve all been there. But when it comes to Issa and Molly, I’m sure the audience of this dramedy wasn’t expecting season four to showcase the downfall of their friendship.
As the season started playing out, I finally understood how the sly remarks and missed phone calls could somehow cause small arguments and then eventually lead to one of the biggest blowouts of the show. What really went wrong, you will ask? I would say the lack of communication.
Issa and Molly have always prided themselves in their Self-Care Sundays, where they would update each other on life and what have you. However, after their Sunday hike at the beginning of the season, the two never got back to their weekly ritual. They would often miss each other’s phone calls and it was hard to witness how they weren’t showing up for each other and they both felt the same way.
It was definitely about the timing. While Molly was dealing with her new relationship with her bae Andrew, Issa was busy planning an entire Block Party festival event. Both of these things take time and energy, so it was no surprise the two were not speaking regularly. But this lack of communication caused tensions to rise and that’s when the drama started. In episode three, the women started taking jabs at each other for their past relationships at the supermarket. It was a very cringe-worthy moment in their friendship, but this was also when they silently acknowledged that there was something wrong. Each woman in their own stubbornness did not want to confront the other.
I definitely could relate to this moment in my own friendship. There have been times throughout the years when we each get so caught up in our own lives that it becomes difficult to keep up with each other. One of our biggest fights happened due to a similar lack of communication and I was sad to see Issa and Molly going down the same path. Communication is key. When something is wrong, we talk through these issues and make time for the people we care about.
Boundaries are also important. It was respectable of Molly to set boundaries and say no when Issa asked her if she could ask Andrew (Molly’s boyfriend who works at Live Nation) to help her find a headliner for her block party. Was it the right move on Molly’s end? I personally think friends should help each other out no matter what. Instead of letting it come to that, they should have talked about whatever was going on.
Real friends help and support each other no matter what. When I need a break from my family, I can always count on my friend. When I need her to do me a favor or connect me with someone, I can always expect her to do so because that’s the way it’s always been. But when Molly didn’t want to help Issa this made me question her integrity and whether or not she still cares for Issa’s success.
When Molly found out that Issa still had Andrew’s help through another mutual friend, Molly was so upset that she publicly confronted Issa at her own event. This was a massive blowout where the two insulted each other and said some pretty hurtful things. Now, it’s ok to express honesty. If Molly was upset about Issa’s lack of boundaries, it was her right to say so. Just maybe in a different, less public, setting. Real friends tell each other how it is, even if it’s something the other person may not want to hear but is important. Just be straight up! Don’t judge or insult your friends, just be honest with them.
After big fights like this one, someone always has to be the bigger person and reach out to the other one for forgiveness. When Issa reached out to Molly she was met with hesitancy and uncertainty on Molly’s end. It’s questionable whether things will be able to work out between the two women, especially at the end of the episode when Molly is dealing with a breakup and Issa is dealing with the drama of dating her ex-boyfriend.
Sometimes love isn’t enough. These kinds of long term friendships would not be possible without communication, support, and honesty. Support your friends! As I witness the downfall of Issa and Molly’s friendship, I see opportunities for learning about how to be a better friend and become immensely grateful for my own friendship.
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