So far Insecure’s final season has centered around Issa’s career decisions and Lawrence’s experience as a new father, but until “Surviving, Okay?!,” Molly’s latest arc hadn’t really been established. She was worried about reconciling with Issa and re-entering the dating world after Andrew, but she shaved her head and adopted a new worldview, allowing those things to happen naturally. Molly might not be focused on finding her next husband, but she is certainly having fun as this week’s very sexy intro scene shows us.
It seems like Molly will have to consider the importance of her career versus her family. She refuses to put work off, but Molly’s emotional state has always been closely tied to her family. Issa puts some distance between herself and her parents’ lives, but Molly started spiraling when she found out about her dad’s affair. It’ll be difficult for her to maintain her workload while dealing with her mom’s stroke. We also know how much Molly’s family depends on her mom, which adds even more weight to to the events in “Surviving, Okay?!” While most of the hospital scenes are played for laughs, Molly has to consider what it would mean if she lost her mom.
Molly’s new haircut might make her more chill when it comes to relationships, but she still doesn’t play when it comes to her family. Molly immediately turns into Dr. WebMD and takes over everything. She finds out her parents have been hiding things and understandably lashes out, but this doesn’t feel like the old, judgmental version of Molly. She wants to make sure her parents have everything in order. Her father is overwhelmed and her brothers are more concerned with paprika and girls.
Thankfully, Molly doesn’t need to wonder if she and Issa are back to normal during all of this. Any issues of lingering awkwardness between the two are resolved when Issa makes it clear they’ll always be there for each other. The scene where they change clothes is particularly intimate. Rather than a brightly lit public bathroom, Kerry Washington’s direction brings them into a small, dim space. Of course, it’s funny they trade clothes they both had sex in, but there’s also a nod to Issa and Molly finally stepping into each other’s shoes; resolving the judgement and jealousy that caused their friendship to dissolve.
Molly, Issa, and her family could gladly take over the narrative in “Surviving, Okay?!,” but the episode also gives us a look at where Nathan and Issa stand. Issa says she wants to take things slow, but also rushes into saying “I love you” to a confused Nathan who can’t say it back. Issa comments on her mom not knowing what she wants and Nathan seems to think this also applies to Issa, but I don’t think that’s the case.
Issa does know what she wants. She saw it in a vision seasons ago: a husband, a child, a family. The thing is, that vision starred Lawrence. Issa is trying to force Nathan into the role she saw for Lawrence and that’s not going to work. That parallel becomes clear when Issa literally runs into Lawrence, Condola, and the future she wanted at the hospital. While it’s unclear if Lawrence and Condola are back together, Issa and Lawrence seeing each other is certainly enough to shake Issa. Maybe it’ll make her realize she really is rushing things with Nathan.
Even though I’m not a fan of their relationship, I am happy Nathan had enough sense to not say “I love you.” The two can barely have a straightforward conversation about whether they should spend the day together or not. Nathan is a nice guy who gives you a ride to the hospital and helps you look for your friend’s dog, but the two just don’t have a spark. When Nathan was telling his boring story about the dog he lost growing up, I just wanted Issa to run back to the hospital and be there for Molly. After Issa saw Lawrence, I just wanted her to make a loop around the floor and run back to Molly so they could scream about this discovery.
Molly and Issa are still Insecure’s best love story and “Surviving, Okay?!” is a wonderful chapter in the evolution of their friendship. When it comes to romance, I’d rather see Issa spelling her name on TSA Bae’s face or arguing with Crenshawn than whatever is happening with Nathan. Nathan’s character has been built around how flighty he is and it’s difficult to place emotional stakes on him when it feels like he could ghost at any moment.
- As someone with a best friend who has a dog that I rarely acknowledge, I understand Issa going “Oh, she loves that thing” and “Isn’t it a housedog?” about Flavor Flav. That is just not a responsibility Issa has ever bothered herself with!
- I loved the shots introducing Nathan’s bedroom. Everything felt very “modern male in a temporary apartment,” from the bare walls to the thrift store lamp.
- “Lord, why you trying to call her home?” This line was hilarious. They found some great comedic moments in the hospital scenes.
- Issa introduced Nathan to her mom, so I guess they’re really dating or whatever.
- I think Molly is afraid to tell her coworkers about her mom because she thinks they’ll view it as a weakness? Girl, stop worrying about that and take some time off.