While there was plenty of action in Insecure‘s “Lowkey Losin’ It” episode, the two most pivotal scene were phone conversations between Issa Dee (Issa Rae) and Molly Carter (Yvonne Orji) that caused the fissures in their friendship to escalate into a visible foundational crack.
On the one hand, while the episode title no doubt is a reference to the loss of Issa’s block party headliner and her scramble to replace him, it also reflects mounting perhaps irreparable issues in her friendship with Molly.
Phone call No. 1
Phone call No. 1 takes place when Issa finds out her block party headliner, ScHoolboy Q, has mysteriously cancelled. Issa reaches out to Molly who’s at work. When Molly sees it’s Issa, she’s less than thrilled, but answers anyway. “Hey girl, do you have a second? I really want to talk to you,” Issa asks. With a relieved look on her face, Molly answers, “Okay yea, me too. Girl, this week has been a lot. I just feel like I’m juggling so much.”
Quickly skating past Molly’s complaints, Issa replies, “Damn sorry girl. Well this will just take a second. My headliner dropped out, it’s a whole thing. But, when the lord opens one door, he opens an Instagram, and I found this artist that’s repped by Live Nation. And I was like, I know someone who works there. Look at me knowing people. So you think you can ask Andrew to hook me up?”
By now, Molly understands Issa is not calling not to bond over girl talk, but to ask for help and her face begins to fill with impatience. Switching into lawyer mode, she begins quizzing Issa on why the artist dropped out and whether Issa violated the terms of the contract. “Okay were you late on any of the payments,” Molly queries. When Issa explains all payments were up to date, Molly is unrelenting when she asks, Did you do anything on your side that could have voided the contract because something must have happened.” The conversation ends with Molly reluctantly agreeing to ask her boyfriend, Andrew Tan (Alexander Hodge), to help.
Phone call No. 2
Following a meet up with Andrew that includes a heart-to-heart exchange about the future of their relationship, Molly calls Issa and lets her know she didn’t ask Andrew about the artist and doesn’t plan to. A stunned Issa responds, “I don’t understand. Did you all break up?” Molly explains, “Actually I just think it’s best for me to keep those parts of my life separate.” A still shocked Issa answers, “Separate? What does that mean?” Molly responds, “It means this relationship is really important to me and I want to protect that. Does that make sense?”
Following that frosty exchange, for the first time in the season it’s no longer hard to imagine why Issa in episode one is so cool when she states, “I don’t f*ck with Molly anymore.”
Show founder Rae has been very clear the season will focus on the deterioration of Issa and Molly’s friendship and in this episode the social media fall out following the calls has led to last year’s #lawrencehive hashtag transforming into #teamissa versus #teammolly.
Those who are #teamissa view Molly’s unwillingness to help Issa as unforgivable according to their friendship rule book. After all, Issa was only looking for an introduction, no big deal! At the same time, Molly’s unwillingness to provide an assist was also seen as further confirmation that Molly is only saying no because she resents seeing her friend strike out on her own and accomplish something meaningful.
All of this is just icing on the cake for viewers who’ve always seen Molly as difficult and overly judgmental. Within the episode, Molly forcing Issa to give up a parking spot that was rightfully hers is interpreted as a perfect reflection of Molly’s overly fixed personality.
Piling on, commentators pointed out her messy relationship last year with Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson), and concluded she’s a hypocrite for judging Issa’s ongoing “friendship” with Lawrence (Jay Ellis). It doesn’t help that #teamissa viewers see Molly’s relationship with Andrew as doomed and therefore not worthy of protection from friends looking for favors.
Note to friends: if you calling to ask for a favor, at least FAKE like you’re interested in your friend’s life first. Just sayin 👀🤷🏾♀️ #InsecureHBO— Yvonne Orji (@YvonneOrji) May 4, 2020
Viewers who are #TEAMMOLLY see Molly’s refusal to provide Issa an introduction is as reasonable behavior among mature adults especially given the poor state of their relationship (see Orji’s tweet above), which has grown so testy they’ve reverted to talking to friends about each other rather than have a face to face.
Molly fans also viewed her relationship with Andrew as having potential and worthy of protection from Issa’s chaotic way of doing things, and in their support, Rae has said part of what’s disrupted their normal dynamic is Molly entering into a meaningful intimate relationship for the first time in her life.
Molly supporters also pointed at her improved relationships with co-workers as evidence she’s showing greater growth and maturity than Issa. As for accusations that Molly is a generally problematic friend, one commenter fired back with a list of the times she’s been there for Issa during seasons one through three (and it’s not a small list!)
Even though fans are taking sides, “Insecure” show runner Prentence Penny is taking a neutral approach. On Twitter, Penny referenced two comments, one describing Issa as “mad irresponsible” and the other viewing Molly as “judgmental asf and irresponsible.”
Rather than co-sign one comment over the over, Penny concluded, “These texts summarize how we approached the season” or according to a second tweet, “Is anyone ACTUALLY wrong this season?”