Screenshot from HBO's "Insecure"
#TeamIssa or #TeamMolly? (Image via HBO)

Season 4 of ‘Insecure’ Is an Emotional Rollercoaster

The fourth season of the HBO comedy-drama focuses on Issa and Molly’s friendship, as well as important issues like toxic masculinity and postpartum depression. Let’s discuss.

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Screenshot from HBO's "Insecure"

The fourth season of the HBO comedy-drama focuses on Issa and Molly’s friendship, as well as important issues like toxic masculinity and postpartum depression. Let’s discuss.

Season 4 of “Insecure” kicked off in April and I have to say, a lot has happened since. Issa and Molly’s friendship is fading out, and Nathan and Lawrence have returned — not to mention Tiffany might be suffering from postpartum depression. With only one episode left in the season, fans are wondering: Will everything be cleared up in the finale? Or will we have to wait another whole year to get the closure we crave? Only two episodes into Season 4, HBO announced they’re renewing the show for a fifth season. How’s that for Black Girl Magic?

Molly and Issa’s Friendship in Crisis

Their friendship is the most popular subject of the season. These girls have Black Twitter divided between #teamissa and #teammolly. For the most part, I’ve seen Issa supporters. Before I get into whose side I’m on, let’s quickly recap how everything went down.

From the first episode of “Insecure,” Molly and Issa’s relationship hasn’t been constructive. The last big fight they had was at the end of Season 1 when Issa cheated on Lawrence and Molly didn’t like how Issa handled it.

The two have been sneakily dissing each other for a while. Issa throws shots at Molly about her not being able to keep a man because she always finds something wrong. Molly throws subs (makes implications) at Issa for not getting her life together, unlike Molly herself, who is a top corporate lawyer. Molly also got a little jealous when Issa started bonding with Condola. Regardless, Molly was genuinely trying to help Issa pull off her block party, her passion project for the community amidst gentrification.

Things came to blows when Issa asked Molly to ask Andrew, aka Asian Bae, to help her book Vince Staples for the block party. Molly refused, claiming she wanted to establish boundaries in her relationship. Eventually, Molly found out Issa had asked Nathan to ask Andrew for help instead. Molly confronted Issa at the block party, which ended in an explosive argument.

My Thoughts

I was both Team Issa and Team Molly until the block party, unlike the majority of viewers; it is common to sympathize with the protagonist without remembering they can be wrong too. Now, I’m a little bit more Team Issa because of how immaturely Molly acted. She knew it was an important night for Issa, who had spent a lot of time planning.

Both these women are in their early-30s and should have handled the entire situation more maturely, especially considering they’ve been friends for so long. I understand Issa’s frustration, as Molly’s condescending attitude toward Issa is clear. On paper, Molly looks like she has her life perfectly together, whereas Issa lost her job, cheated on her man and nearly burned down her apartment. Still, it’s obvious Molly has her own demons to conquer, particularly in regards to her inability to have a substantial relationship before Andrew.

Nathan’s Return

After going back and forth between Lawrence and Daniel in Season 1 and 2, it was high time Issa found a new love interest. So when a very handsome, light-skinned man with hazel eyes entered the scene (or Issa’s Lyft, to be more exact), it finally allowed her old flames to fade away.

The last time we saw Nathan was at the end of Season 3 when he ghosted Issa. He popped back up at the beginning of Season 4 and slowly started to rekindle their budding romance. However, that’s the problem with Nathan — he pops up, then out. It seems like he’s here to stay this time; granted, it seemed like he was connecting with Issa before … until he wasn’t.

My Thoughts

When he returned, Nathan did admit to Issa he was struggling with his mental health, and it wasn’t as if Issa instantly took him back. In a time when mental health is taken more seriously, I commend actress and co-creator Issa Rae for touching on this topic in “Insecure,” especially in regards to toxic masculinity in the black community. Hopefully, the show further explores these issues so we can truly understand Nathan as a character.

But this doesn’t change the fact that Nathan disappeared without any warning. Even though Issa and Nathan hadn’t known each other for a long time, they were building something special. I have some questions: Has Nathan truly recovered? Is he going to keep having mental breakdowns? If he does have one, is he going to ghost Issa only to restart the relationship again? That wouldn’t be fair to Issa, emotionally or mentally.

Hopefully, Issa and Nathan get to a place where he can open up and share his problems with her, or at least let her know when he needs to take a break. I like Nathan for Issa, compared to Lawrence and Daniel. They both come with baggage and a lot of unwanted memories, and honestly, they’re both f—boys in their own right (especially Daniel!).

Lawrence and Issa’s Reunion

Three seasons! It took three seasons of “Insecure” for Issa and Lawrence to get to a place where they don’t hate each other. They were a couple in Season 1 until they broke up when Issa cheated. In Season 2, Lawrence played games with her until he moved on in Season 3.

Naturally, their dynamic is complicated. They were a couple for five years, and Issa expected to marry and have kids with Lawrence. In the most recent episode, the couple reunited and spent the night together. This isn’t surprising. During Issa’s block party, Condola revealed she and Lawrence had broken up. Even though Lawrence was taking his relationship with Condola seriously, one of her drunken friends let it slip that Lawrence was only a rebound for Condola, as she had recently gotten divorced.

A lot of viewers felt Lawrence deserved the breakup for how he played with Issa’s heart. In Season 2, knowing Issa wanted to get back with him, he used Tasha to get over Issa. Right before meeting Condola, he slept with many women and contracted an STD.

My Thoughts

I haven’t changed my stance on #teamnathan completely, but because Lawrence is a guy, the mainly female audience might be a bit harsher toward him. Let’s not forget Issa did cheat on Lawrence, and although he could’ve handled it better, at the moment all he could feel was betrayal and pain. It looks like with Condola, karma got him for the other girls he’s hurt.

I admit it is nice to see Lawrence and Issa in a good place, laughing at their quirky inside jokes and finally being mature about the whole situation. Realistically, five years of love doesn’t just disappear.

Yet, I don’t see Issa, being in the headspace she’s in now, seriously going back to Lawrence. If anything, it’ll probably be casual. But Episode 8 of “Insecure” did highlight the lasting connection between them. Only time will tell what their future holds.

Tiffany’s Postpartum Depression

This was more of an implicit topic this season, but a very important one to discuss. Many viewers on Twitter and YouTube commented on the drastic change in Tiffany’s character since having a baby. During the block party, Tiffany joked about leaving her baby at the supermarket, which no one called out. When it was time to relieve the babysitter, Tiffany begged her adoring husband to go home without her, pleading that she never gets to stay out anymore.

My Thoughts

It might not be obvious that Tiffany is suffering from postpartum depression; sometimes, the changes in a woman after birth are subtle. People mainly chalk it up to being tired from delivery and having to take care of a newborn, but sometimes we forget the mental and emotional toll it can take on a woman to carry, deliver and then take care of a whole new life — a life-changing experience that is hard to prepare for. I’m glad “Insecure” brought postpartum depression to light and I hope they revisit the subject, especially because it can be detrimental and is often misunderstood.

Unfortunately, it is common for pregnant Black women to not get the same quality of attention and medical care as white women. Black mothers are three times more likely to die after childbirth than white women, and black infants are twice as likely to die as white infants. In an episode from Refinery29’s “Shady” series, host Danielle Cadet interviews Black mothers, women and family members about their horrific experiences in hospitals.

‘Insecure’ co-creator Issa Rae

I admire Issa Rae so much, not just because she’s a black woman, but because she doesn’t conform to the stereotypes of black women. She’s not just the typical hoodrat or nerd. She’s a girl from the hood with a six-figure job, an awkward black girl who can still get down and a bougie girl who loves to give head and has depth. It’s all about layers, and never judging a book by its cover. Issa also proves life doesn’t stop once you hit 30 — that’s when it gets started.

So far, Season 4 has been the most emotionally churning season yet. With COVID-19 affecting filming schedules and fans clamoring for more content, there’s one question left: When will Season 5 of “Insecure” return, and what does it have in store?

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