Insecure Recap: The Big One


Faulty, Okay?!
Season 5 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating 4 stars


Faulty, Okay?!
Season 5 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: HBO Max

Last week was rough, but we made it through. This week we’re back to catching up with Issa (Issa Rae) and Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) after their rough night together in episode two. If you recall, Issa invited Nathan to stay the night *shimmies* and … things did not go too well. Now, it’s awkward between them.

When the episode opens, Nathan’s barbershop, The Clips, is having a community beach event. Molly (Yvonne Orji) and Kelly (Natasha Rothwell) roll up ready to look cute and have fun, but Issa’s mind is on Nathan and the pushback she’s getting from Crenshawn (Kofi Siriboe) for officially partnering with NBW.

When they find Nathan and his friends, Issa is her characteristically gawky self, working hard to undo the awkwardness between them. It doesn’t work. Nathan doesn’t seem to want to talk to her. Thankfully, Kelly and Molly are more than happy to go off with Nathan’s friends and entertain themselves. Kelly’s still on her wellness journey, but Molly is taking numbers.

They start up a game of spades (points to Issa, I can’t play either!), and all is going well until Issa spots Nathan getting a little close to the scantily clad Resha (Brittney Ayona Clemons). Resha calls her over to say hi before running off into the ocean, and Issa makes a rude remark about her body. I’m not saying I’m above it, but I wish the moment hadn’t passed without Nathan defending her. Resha is nice and has never been anything but kind. Without getting too much into the weeds, there’s class friction happening in that moment that I would have liked to see Issa explore more internally.

Anyway, Issa tries to check in with Nathan because even she can tell that things are awkward as fuck. He tells her cooly that nothing has changed for him and they’re still friends … and then there’s an earthquake. In case of a tsunami, they have to evacuate the beach. So everyone makes a quick plan to meet at a nearby bar.

On the ride over, Nathan tells his friends that Issa isn’t his girlfriend and fills them in on what happened the other night. They tell him he has “let me cry on your shoulder energy” and that he’s been friend-zoned (barf). Either way, they’re both more focused on Molly.

Over in Issa’s car, Crenshawn is still throwing shots for The Blocc on Twitter. Quoia (Courtney Taylor) is already on the phone, ready to send the Beyhive after him. But despite how annoyed she is, Issa tells her that it isn’t worth the drama.

In the backseat, Kelly and Resha are bonding so Issa takes the opportunity to text Molly (also in the backseat) and fill her in on the state of things with Nathan. She tells her she suspects Nathan and Resha are sleeping together, so, like a real bestie, Molly just turns to Resha and asks. Resha says no, but she can hook them up if she’s interested. Pleased but disheartened, Issa concludes that it must mean Nathan isn’t into her either.

At the bar, the men are fighting over Molly, to her delight. Issa asks Nathan why he left her alone, and he tells her (while wearing a T-shirt with holes in the collar) that he didn’t think they had expectations for each other and that he shouldn’t have kissed her. It’s a valid point, but overall not a great excuse for ditching someone you claim to care about. They leave it at that.

Nathan’s cousin Thomas and his wife walk in, and it’s immediately clear there’s a story there. But for now, we learn that Nathan lived with them before he moved in with Andrew. The group gets a table and settles in to eat. Thomas tells a story about how unreliable Nathan used to be, backed up by his wife. It’s meant in jest, and the table receives it that way, but it’s obviously a sore spot for Nathan. Seeing that, Issa sticks up for him with a bad tree metaphor. As usual, she makes it weird, but Nathan seems to appreciate the effort. In the end, they all decide to head to a party that 🎶Jason Derulo🎶 is throwing.

On the car ride over, Issa discovers that Crenshawn is still going, igniting a tiny little shitstorm against her on Twitter: #IssaFraud. She sends him a text that essentially says he’s not being very grateful for her help (yikes) which he predictably publishes on Twitter. On the other hand, Molly is cuddled up with Aric (Curtis Hamilton) and looking cute in the backseat.

At the party, Aric is on the phone trying to get everyone into the party while Issa and Quoia confab over text. Quoia advises Issa to let it die down because the internet has a short attention span. Aric can only get one person in, so he takes Molly, who finds a backdoor to let the rest of them in. At that, Thomas heads out, saying he’s ready to call it a night. Nathan follows him, saying he knows his wife, Velma, isn’t his biggest fan, and they can just say so plainly.

Nathan says he knows Velma doesn’t like him because she kicked him out when he lived with them. But Thomas admits that he was the one who didn’t feel comfortable having him around anymore. Velma agreed to take the blame to preserve his and Nathan’s relationship. As Thomas tells it, Nathan had shown up to their house without notice, would disappear for days at a time, and leave their doors unlocked. He was worried about the safety of his children. Thomas apologizes for not being truthful earlier and admits that he didn’t know how to handle it. Nathan is visibly upset and tells Thomas that he isn’t like that anymore. As Thomas leaves, Issa approaches, and Nathan tells her he needs a minute.

After a while, Issa joins him and asks if he’s okay. He tells her that while he didn’t know it at the time, he was in the midst of a manic episode when he lived with his cousin. He still hasn’t told him about his diagnosis. He had invited him out to show him that he’d gotten his life together. Frustrated, he says that he can’t change how other people see him, including Issa.

She tells him that her outburst when they were in bed wasn’t about him and that she was just overwhelmed with the stress of the past year. She tells him that she feels like she’s still waiting for the other shoe to drop. She says she’s scared to get her hopes up and has been afraid to look stupid by admitting it, but that she doesn’t want to just be his friend. He tells her that he feels the same and pulls her in for a kiss.

And right then … you guessed it — another earthquake. But at least they’ve gotten through the rough patch.

Week’s Best Woot Woots

• “Folks straight up frolicking out here. I didn’t even know we frolicked.” — Nathan’s friend

• “There’s niggas in bulk out here; it’s like Costco.” — Molly

• “I should ask him what my tears taste like. I know they salty.” — Issa

• “All the Blacks had the same idea. Damn, we are a monolith!” — Kelli

• “I am not about to argue with someone who went to scared straight for high school.” — Issa

• “Ain’t nobody teaching you Spades at your big age.” — Kelli

• “I can’t be in another tsunami y’all. I basically died.” “I did too!” — Resha/Kelli

• “You know I can buzz down on him. I’m in the Hive.” — Quoia

• “He be gone with the wind, like a little light-skinned leaf.” — Velma

• “Dis nigga focused on the wrong cat.” — Molly

• “She said come around back but hurry because Jason just started doing close-up magic.” — Issa

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