“Insecure” show creator/actress Issa Rae in recent interviews has made it quite clear that season four of the series will examine her character, Issa Dee, and Molly Brown’s (Yvonne Orji) friendship. The title of episode two, “Lowkey Distant,” says it all with the growing fissures in Issa and Molly’s relationship played out throughout the episode.
As described by Rae, Issa and Molly’s friendship roles have become reversed, setting up a dynamic neither one is accustomed to navigating. In the episode, Issa continues to be utterly focused on pulling off her debut block party event and is entering into a new work-related friendship with Condola (Christina Elmore), who is hilariously referred to as Canola Oil on Twitter.
And while episode one had social media in an uproar over Molly’s failings as a friend, in the latest episode, she’s viewed through a more sympathetic lens. In addition to shining a light on Molly’s burgeoning relationship with Andrew Tan (Alexander Hodge), we also see her also adjusting her shark-like posture at work where’s she’s figuring out to how to play the game so as not to alienate key co-workers.
One can debate whether her more collaborative slant was inspired by feelings for her new beau, though whatever the reason, it’s clear she’s come to understand that her previous my-way-or-the-highway approach wasn’t serving her well and made adjustments.
Whether because of her new attitude, growing fatigue or less emotional space, when Molly has a pivotal first-time meeting with Condola at a lunch date with Issa, she decides to go along rather than insist they stick to the original plan that didn’t include Condola. In the same scene, Molly hints at the Canola Oil storm that’s brewing when she side eyes Issa who belies her people-pleasing ways when she rushes to hand her menu over to Condola.
As for whether, Molly is simply jealous of Issa and Condola’s relationship, in a post-show “Wine Down” episode, Orji pushed back on the theory by explaining, “I don’t know how Molly feels about Condola, but I know how Molly feels about Issa. And she is trying to protect her friends and as messy as Molly is, she sees the messiness.” She added, “Molly is not the jealous type,” to which show runner Prentice Penny added, “It’s like when you know your friend, and you’re like, ‘This is not going to end well.'”
And by the way, if by the end of the episode, there’s any doubt Issa’s burgeoning friendship with Condola will be problematic, Lawrence telling her not to mention their brief meeting to his new beau, erases all doubt.
Adding to the growing low key distance between the two, while Issa and Molly are enjoying a “Self Care Sunday” hike, Molly takes a thoroughly satisfying call from Andrew and describes it as work related rather than share the intimate moment with her longtime bestie.
Underlining their relationship role rehearsal, Issa lets Molly know she’s ended things with Calvin aka “TSA Bae” (Reggie Conquest) who we discover is the father of two children with another one on the way. As Molly looks off into the distance rather than react, an exclamation point is added to their diverging paths with the episode’s closing song, KAMAUU’s “Far Rockaway,” a single that opens with the line “I go my own way; You go your own way; I hope we can make a way; These kind of things fade away.”
Judging from episode three’s preview, it appears friction between Issa and Molly will grow, possibly because of the late arrival of her and her brother, Ahmal Dee (Jean Elie ), at an event hosted by Molly. The preview also hints at a potential disconnect between Lawrence and Canola’s values when it comes to material possessions, a dynamic that could emerge at a Friendsgiving hosted by Canola.