After a hiatus of 19 months, HBO’s “Insecure” launched season four with “Lowkey Feeling Myself,” an episode whose opening line of dialog turned heads among watchful fans.
In the opening scene, show creator/lead actress, Issa Rae, is having a phone conversation with an unknown individual in a barely lit room as she takes in “Looking for LaToya,” this season’s show-in-show. Revealing little emotion, she states, “Honestly, I don’t fuck with Molly anymore.” The show then segues to a period described as “four months before the block party.”
The day after the show launched, Complex dropped an episode of its “Say Less” podcast featuring Rae. From the start, Rae made it clear that character Issa Dee (Rae) and Molly Carter’s (Yvonne Orji) friendship would be a big theme for the season.
When asked why she chose season four to put their friendship to the test, Rae explained, “From the beginning of the show it’s always been about Issa and Molly. I think audiences have gravitated toward the love relationships the romantic relationships rather. And obviously they play apart but we’ve always known this is a story at its core about Issa and Molly. And I think one of the things we talked about is this transition this season where Issa is going from her 20s to her 30s and Molly is, too, and I think you start to realize who you are and who you’re going to be or who you want to be in your 30s. You start to to act on that. And sometimes the people around you just don’t necessarily align with that. And that can be contrasting.
“And I think specifically this season, Issa who has typically been floundering at work not knowing her purpose, not having a solid career, has found a path and is very work driven this season whereas Molly is in a new relationship and that’s new territory for her.
“And they haven’t really seen each other in these spots. And I think for Molly, she’s used to seeing Issa struggle at work and not necessarily knowing what it is that she wants to do. And Issa is used to Molly f*cking up relationships and I think because because these roles are reversed, they’re puzzle pieces aren’t necessarily fitting at this moment and so they’re forced to address it in away they can’t really understand. They really just want to focus on the little chinks that chip away at your friendship over time.”
When asked how far Rae was willing to push the friction between the characters, she explained, “That’s something that we discussed in the room. We wanted to make it as real as possible. And I think that you’ll see over time that it’s real.”
Rae went on to note, “I’ve never my heart broken by any man but I have had my heart broken by my female friends. Those relationships when they end, it’s hard or getting back together is hard. The hurt lingers, it’s real.”
The friction is underscored by “Looking for LaToya,” which Rae said serves in part as a metaphor for the friendship. Rae explained, “Thinking about the metaphor of Issa and Molly’s friendship as a murder and exploring the question of who killed the friendship and we liked the idea of putting that alongside this show within a show.”
Weighing in on the deterioration of their friendship, the show host who had already viewed the first five episodes, commented, “Watching all five it was interesting to me to pinpoint who is at fault and it seems like it’s almost an even split per week. It’s not always a clear cut person.” When pushed by Rae about which character seem to be more responsible, he added, “I did lean a little towards Molly in later weeks.”
Listen to the episode on Spotify below. It’s also available on iTunes.