Welcome back to week four of Season 4 of HBO’s Insecure.
Episode 4 opens up with Issa (Issa Rae) working on her Block Party fliers. Sis is lowkey industrious, and it’s good seeing her enjoy her professional life again. (And we love the side-part twists, BT-dubs.) Issa is feeling her job so much, she raps about ScHoolboy Q and Roy Choi. (“We don’t have Roy Choi. He’s not gone be there,” she humbly admits to no one.)
The joy of work and rap is interrupted when Issa hears a knock at the door. It’s Trina (Elle Lorraine), her son Benjamin (Anthony Carr Jr.), and six other tenants staring angrily. “Do I look like a magician to you?” Trina asks rhetorically. But lowkey, Trina does kind of look like a magician with that silly towel on her head and her matching black velveteen robe. Issa says as much with her eyes and face.
It doesn’t help when Benjamin joins in and says, “Do she?” When Issa finally answers no, Trina says she can’t take a shower without water unless magic is involved. Then Trina barges into Issa’s apartment and turns on her kitchen faucet but no water comes out. The action jogs something in Issa’s mind about the date. Must be a maintenance issue but the band of belligerent tenants don’t care, and they too barge into her apartment without invitation. The sole white tenant (played by Laura Kittrell, who wrote the episode) adds that the water shutoff “feels personal.” Issa asks the elderly man in the bunch if he even lives in the building.
Dante (Kevin Kilumbu), the tenant, who behaves like the male Trina, complains that Issa’s apartment smells like flowers like that’s a bad thing. An unnamed tenant (King Kedar) with a deep voice and angry face informs Issa she’s required by law to give him and the dog he doesn’t have a 24-hour notice before a water shutoff. (We googled it. Angry Face/Deep Voice is right.) Dante says Issa is messing up his Airbnb money. Issa then comically informs Dante that Airbnb rentals aren’t allowed in their building. But the tenants aren’t done. Angry Face/Deep Voice asks Issa who raised her and accuses her of treating them like the people in Flint, Michigan. (That’s drastically different, but go off, bruh.) Benjamin adds insult to injury and asks Issa how old she is, apropos of nothing, and Trina laughs. That moment when your side hustle interferes with your day job, amirite?
And this is just the opener. In the next scene, we learn that the Block Party is one month away. We cut to a considerably classier apartment, where Molly (Yvonne Orji) is on the couch with rollers in her hair. She’s pulling an all-nighter, replete with pajamas. We’ve all been there, honey, especially in the era of shelter in place. Sadly, the relatability increases when Molly sniffs her armpit and it’s not fresh. It’s sexy Andrew (Alexander Hodge) at the door and he has to wait while Molly probably spritzes something under her arms and lets him in. He jokes that she took so long to let him in, he thinks another dude is sneaking out. Little does Andrew know, Molly’s other dude is work, and he’s still very much in her apartment. Her case is a beast, Molly tells Andrew, and he responds with a snore sound. “I missed you,” Molly says. Andrew agrees saying it’s been a while. Molly apologizes for her hectic work schedule and thanks Andrew for coming over. They kiss and head to bed.
But Molly can’t relax. Her other boo, work, is on her mind. Andrew senses it immediately and asks Molly if she’s still thinking about her case. Yup! Molly goes back to work leaving Andrew in her bed alone. He falls asleep and, by the time Molly finishes, it’s almost 2:00 a.m. She sweetly kisses him awake, and Andrew rises to the occasion. Hey now!
We then catch up with Issa. She’s working at her kitchen table and answers her phone pretending to be her own assistant. The printer is calling and he needs notes on her Block Party fliers by 5:00 p.m. that day. The only problem is Issa can’t seem to find Condola (Christina Elmore), who was supposed to look over the fliers and make suggestions. Condola isn’t returning her texts or calls. And poor Issa has no idea that Condola is ghosting her because of the argument she had with Lawrence (Jay Ellis) over Thanksgiving. Thanks, Lawrence!
Meanwhile, Molly is back on her grind. This time she’s working in the office with two attorney coworkers, Stacy (Nikiva Dionne) and Felicia (Kelsey Scott). They’re burning the midnight oil and eating take-out Chinese. Molly confesses that the case has kept her from yoga and her pants are getting too tight. The lady lawyers laugh, and BJ (Norman Towns) pokes his head in to say goodnight. When Molly calls him BJ, he informs her he’s going by Bennett now. Stacy and Felicia wonder if there is something between BJ and Molly, but she tells them he’s too young for her and he probably prefers white women. All three women agree once they lay out the evidence — he eats nothing but salads for lunch, plays the guitar, lives in the trendy Silver Lake neighborhood, and went to Princeton for undergrad. They laugh and move on. Felicia says she’s got to go home to cook her kids a proper meal because they’ve been eating pie crust, and Stacy cancels her date with her hookup buddy. Molly hesitates and ultimately decides to cancel her listening party date with Andrew in order to finish up at work. Molly tells Felicia and Stacy that Andrew understands her workload, but does he?
Time passes and Issa is seen driving to the home of Tiffany (Amanda Seales) and Derek (Wade Allain-Marcus). Tiffany has finally had the baby, and everyone is visiting. Issa peeps a nearby parking spot, but before she can back in, someone pulls up and attempts to pull in head first. It’s Molly. And through a series of miscues, both women try to take the spot before Issa eventually and begrudgingly relents and drives away in search of another spot. Hmm. That’s symbolic. Molly wants her way, and Issa keeps compromising. Notice that Issa is listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming and the former FLOTUS is discussing friendships between women? Message!
As Issa walks to Tiffany and Derek’s place from her far-away parking space, she checks her voicemail and it’s Nathan (Kendrick Sampson). He congratulates her on the Block Party and says he think it’s dope that she’s making her dreams come true. Issa tells Molly she is driving her back to her car because she let Molly have the spot. Molly refuses to admit Issa got to the spot first. Always an attorney. Molly changes the subject and asks if she left her yoga mat at Issa’s apartment. Issa says she’ll check and apologizes for missing the last couple of self-care Sundays. Turns out Sundays aren’t good for either Issa or Molly but even though they agree to find another day, it is clear that that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Derek and Lawrence are standing over Baby Simone’s crib and admiring her beauty in a bedroom that is a study in pink on top of pink with more pink. Lawrence doesn’t want to pick up Simone because he dropped a burrito earlier, and Derek agrees. Derek then confesses that he’s worried Simone’s future suitors will dog her the way he dogged women in his younger days. Lawrence says Derek is tripping but he’s right — every woman is somebody’s daughter. Derek also says that even though Simone wasn’t planned, she’s the best mistake he and Tiffany have ever made.
Derek is embracing parenthood more than Tiffany. When the camera cuts to her, she is bemoaning the fakeness of other moms who are all about keeping up appearances. It’s a topic Lawrence and Chad (Neil Brown Jr.) discussed last week. Tiffany, who is drinking rosé, also says the doctors weren’t listening to her when she complained about feeling faint, and it turns out she had a blood clot. Thankfully, Derek advocated for her in the hospital. This is one of the reasons Black expectant mothers have higher mortality rates. But Molly doesn’t want to talk about that. Instead, she uses Tiffany’s story as a segue on how Andrew is the perfect partner for her. Issa jokingly calls Molly Jada Pinkett Smith, but Molly gets offended. Molly takes another dig at Issa about baby clothes and leaves with Tiffany to see Baby Simone.
When they’re alone, Issa asks Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) if Molly has said anything. Issa then confesses to Kelli that Molly has been short-tempered with her, and Kelli says Molly is taking things out on her. Kelli suggests that Issa confront Molly about her attitude, but Issa says Molly “sees her how she sees her.” Before Issa and Kelli can further unpack the issue, Lawrence steps in the other room and motions Issa over for a private chat. Molly spots Issa and Lawrence together from Baby Simone’s window, which overlooks the backyard, and judges Issa. Shortly after, Molly tells Andrew over text she can’t go to the movies that night because she has to work. Molly then asks Tiffany if Issa said something about her and Tiffany says no. She thinks Andrew and Molly would have adorable, Jhene Aiko-like children. But Molly is fixated on Issa. Tiffany says it’s a breakdown in communication — which it is — but Molly says Issa accused her of doing old sh*t but points out that Issa is the one talking to Lawrence in the backyard. Tiffany calls Issa and Lawrence’s relationship “complicated.”
It’s a complication that has Issa and Lawrence shooting the breeze about who Baby Simone looks like — they both agree it’s Kelli — until Issa mentions that she hasn’t been able to reach Condola lately. But before Lawrence can tell Issa that he and Condola are on the outs, Issa’s phone rings and it’s ScHoolboy Q’s team. The Los Angeles native and rapper is backing out of the show without explanation, leaving Issa to scramble and find a new headliner. Issa doesn’t have time to keep talking to Lawrence because she has to go. But that also means she still doesn’t know the truth. Issa also doesn’t have time to explain what’s going on with the Block Party, which means Molly misjudges her and thinks Issa is running off with Lawrence instead of handling her business.
Not even Issa’s mirror reflection can help her. When Issa turns to her, she tells Issa her life is like hers but even more stressful. In a scene reminiscent of the movie Us, Mirror Issa flexes on Issa and chases her away. Issa turns to her phone and makes a series of hilarious calls for a headliner. But Molly is struggling, too. When she and Andrew finally have dinner, Molly is excited about spending the evening together but Andrew has made plans to play poker with his boys after dinner. Molly is mad, but as Andrew explains, he made plans because he figured Molly would have to work like she had been for weeks.
The next day, Issa is still brainstorming and grabbing lunch at a taco truck — Issa loves her tacos — when she discovers a possible headliner on Instagram. Excited, Issa calls Molly in hopes that Molly can connect her with Andrew, who works at Live Nation, so she can secure a much-needed star. Molly, who answers the phone hoping to vent to Issa about her stressful week, is disappointed when she realizes Issa wants a favor and immediately feels used. Molly says she will ask Andrew and see if he can help. But later, when Molly pops over Andrew’s and brings a cake from Porto’s (Take the cake!) and champagne, she and Andrew make up — love those red bottoms, Molly — and Molly decides she’s not going to help Issa after all.
Molly calls Issa, and Issa — thinking that Molly has good news — sings a song about their friendship. Surely, Molly has talked to Andrew, and he’s going to help Issa get that headliner. But nope. Molly says she wants to keep her romance separate from her friendships and has decided to not even ask Andrew for help. Shots fired. A heartbroken and dejected Issa gets off the phone and says she has to work. Now we know why Issa says she doesn’t really f*ck with Molly anymore.
Insecure airs Sundays on HBO at 10 p.m. ET/PT. See you again next week!
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Mekeisha Madden Toby is a Los Angeles-based, award-winning journalist who has been covering television and entertainment for 20-plus years. The Detroit native, wife and mother has written for TV Guide, Essence, CNN.com, Variety, The Detroit News, Shondaland.com, espnW and more. She has been a BGN contributor since 2013.