Just when we thought Molly and Issa were toast, Insecure’s season 4 finale proved us wrong. In the words of Xscape, all they needed from each other was a little understanding.
If you thought Issa and Lawrence were going to ride off into the sunset (aka San Francisco) leaving Molly in the dust, you thought wrong. In a head spinning twist, Lawrence drops a bombshell on Issa that his ex-girlfriend Condola is pregnant and chose to keep the baby with or without his involvement. On Molly’s side of life, she’s thrown for a loop as a frustrated Andrew breaks up with her over of her inability to compromise in their relationship. Though they had been on the outs, Issa and Molly are forced to come together in a search for their friend Tiffany, who temporarily ghosts her husband and young baby while suffering from postpartum depression. It is through these trying turn of events that Issa and Molly rediscover just how vital their friendship is.
Insecure showrunner Prentice Penny revealed via Twitter that Issa and Molly’s friendship is an integral part of the show because “they need each other.” He also reminds us that, like every friendship, they’ve experienced challenges as a natural side effect of growing older and wiser.
Like a lot of Insecure fans, I recognized patterns in Issa and Molly’s strained relationship that mimicked some friendships of my own. They’d each grown accustomed to a version of each other that no longer existed. Molly strived to get her messy love life on solid ground by committing to and being vulnerable with Andrew. Issa finally spread her entrepreneurial wings by finding a career path that spoke to her passion and put her in the driver’s seat. Within this growth, they failed at properly communicating how they felt (remember Molly’s comment about Issa’s life being “messy” at the sponsor mixer?)
While it’s not uncommon for friends to fall out, the key is learning how to come together and lead with forgiveness. The two of them were finally able to do that in the closing scene of the finale episode. Though we didn’t get to see how their conversation played out, we can only assume the meeting at their favorite Ethiopian restaurant was the first step to Issa and Molly finally having a long-overdue conversation about the simmering conflict between them.
For Black women, our friendships are more than comforting. They’re necessary for our survival. We get each other. They’re where we vent about the microaggressions we face at work, and where we go for sound advice about love. They’re our refuge for togetherness and where we’re seen for who we are without having to explain ourselves. Even though I assumed Insecure’s finale was going to be laser-focused on Issa and Lawrence 2.0 and their potential future together, I’m happy it instead turn our attention back to the unique bond between Black female friendships. Because we need each other.
We live in an age where “toxic” is the adjective often attached to people, situations and relationships we’d rather write off than fight for. It would have been easy for Issa or Molly to label the other one the “toxic friend,” convince themselves they’re better off without each other, and move on with their lives without looking back. We’ve all been guilty of doing this a time or two. However, they decided that a future without each other wasn’t what they needed or wanted, and decided to drop their pride to make it work. It was especially refreshing that Molly made the first move this time, inviting Issa to dinner instead of the other way around.
Overall, it’s great that Insecure took this approach to the show and decided to give us such a raw look at the ups and downs that friends go through. Here’s to hoping these besties come back season 5 stronger and wiser than ever.