We all have that one friend. You know the one: always full of big ideas and big plans, yet can never quite seem to get themselves and their lives together. Usually they are full of talent – not just passion but actual talent –for whatever it is they want to do but for whatever reason (lack of planning, support, mental/emotional/physical issues or just plain laziness) they never seem to get their dreams off the ground. We love them to pieces though and we always encourage them, even if, deep down in that place we don’t look at too closely, we don’t believe they’ll ever live up to their full potential.
So, what happens when they do start to do that? What happens to the dynamics of that relationship when that friend, the constant screw up who we adore and pity in equal measure, does start to get themselves together? What happens when they start to make connections outside of your circle of friends, connections who don’t have the same history and therefore only see what they could be, not what they haven’t been?
In Low-Key Feeling Myself, the season four premier of Insecure, we start to see these very questions play out in the relationship between Issa and Molly. From the first episode of the first season the dynamics of the entire crew have always been very set: Molly, Kelli and Tiffany are all super successful in their chosen fields, even if they weren’t always successful in their personal lives while Issa was their funny, talented, screwed up friend: stuck in a job where there was no chance of growth or change and in a relationship that was the same. However, slowly but surely, the dynamics of the group began to change. It started with Issa jumping outside of her lane and cheating on Lawrence and continued with Tiffany’s pregnancy. Now, with Issa actually finding something that gives her fulfillment that has nothing to do with her man or her friends, things are really taking a turn and the questions are, which of these relationships will survive and grow stronger for it and which will go up in flames?
Issa Rae gives us a tight 45 minutes of wonderful writing for this episode that subtly shifts everyone just a bit in their pre-assigned roles. She knows and loves each of these characters and it shows in how they are presented. We all know that this is somehow going to end in disaster. We all know that someone is going to get hurt in a way that the ladies might not be able to come back from. Yet, while we’re on the edge of our seat waiting for it to happen we also don’t want to see it because we know it’s going to be ugly.
The acting from our four leads is, as always, phenomenal with special shout outs going to Yvonne Orji and newest cast member Christina Elmore in particular as Molly and Condola, respectively. There are several moments with Molly that legit broke my heart and showed how much fear she carries around within her at all times and how deeply insecure she is about her place in Issa’s life in particular and the world in general. As for Ms. Elmore, she is just adorable, empathetic, and her reaction to the big reveal in this episode is so honest and true. I already liked her but this episode sealed Condola and her friendship with Issa as something I am actively rooting for to survive.
With the cracks beginning to show it’s only a matter of time before everything comes tumbling down and I just want to know how bad it’s going to be.
Five Mixers out of Five