Insecure Recap: Say My Name


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


Surviving, Okay?!
Season 5 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating 5 stars
Photo: Glen Wilson/HBO

After Issa’s big night with Nathan last week, we start this episode with Molly finally getting her own on a date with a faceless hookup — namely because she’s sitting on it. When she’s no longer in flagrante, Molly (Yvonne Orji) checks her phone and is met with numerous missed calls from her family.

Molly’s father, aunt, and brothers are waiting nervously to hear from the doctor at the hospital. When he approaches, he tells them there’s nothing more he can do for her mom, Carol (L. Scott Caldwell), and that they should all say their goodbyes. It’s coming out of nowhere, and the family is understandably upset. But when they enter the hospital room, the woman on the ventilator is … not Carol. At first, the doctor tries to comfort them by saying that strokes can really age someone, but Molly, still in her gorgeous and revealing date-night dress, steps in to tell him that the woman in the room is a stranger. When they turn to exit the room, they’re met by a family of black doppelgängers. It’s … awkward.

Eventually, they get to Carol, but she’s unconscious. Molly’s dad, David (Gregg Daniel), is too upset to talk to the nurse, so once again, Molly takes charge. She follows behind the nurse as she leaves the room and asks to be included in any contact about her mother’s condition. After the last few weeks of trying to get her parents to plan their estate, she seems ready to deal with the responsibility of making decisions about her mother’s care and taking the burden off her father.

On the other side of town, Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) is bringing Issa (Issa Rae) coffee in bed at his place after their night together. They sync schedules for the day and realize they’re both free except for Issa’s lunch reservations with Molly. When she calls to cancel to spend the day with Nathan, she finds out about the emergency at the hospital.

Despite her protest, Nathan takes Issa to meet Molly at the hospital and agrees to be available when she needs him. Molly gets Issa up to date on her mom’s condition and tells her that she’s trying to help her family keep it all together. Like a good friend, Issa asks Molly what she needs, and they settle on a quick trip to Molly’s apartment for a change of clothes.

In the meantime, they swap outfits in the bathroom. Issa feels herself in Molly’s gorgeous black dress, and they have a quick moment of needed levity as they tease each other. But then Molly tells Issa that she appreciates her support during the difficult day she’s having, and they exchange heartfelt I Love Yous. While I wish we’d seen more of the journey it took to get them back to a good place, it’s a nice reminder that these two have been through so much together, and their relationship is deep, strong, and battle-tested.

In the car with Nathan, Issa tells him that Carol’s health scare prompted her to call her own mother and leave a message. He admits he did the same. Then they make it over to Molly’s. As Issa picks out clothes to take back to the hospital, Nathan points out that Molly’s dog Flavor Flav needs food and a walk. Issa is unconcerned but agrees to take him out.

Back in the hospital cafeteria, Molly discovers that her parents never settled their affairs. But just as she’s about to protest, she gets a call from work. Taurean (Leonard Robinson) is trying to sync up about a project they’re both working on for the partners. While Molly had called in earlier to take a personal day, the message clearly hadn’t been delivered. But instead of telling him what’s really going on, Molly insists she’ll have her work ready by the deadline.

As Issa and Nathan take Flavor Flav for his walk, her mom, Lila (Wendy Raquel Robinson), returns her call on FaceTime and thanks to her for the loving message she left for her. Then she uses the pretext of spending more time together to rope her into a biblical book club. Noticing Issa’s glances offscreen, she deduces Issa has company, ropes Nathan into the call, and immediately asks if he’s Issa’s boyfriend. Excellent mom vibes all around. Issa, of course, is mortified, but she seems mollified when Nathan answers that yes, he is.

Absent Lila’s goading, Nathan confirms that he’s happy to be her boyfriend, and he doesn’t consider it too soon. Issa apologizes for her mother and says she thinks Lila must be on the outs with the boyfriend because she’s been “all over the place.” Nathan gives a knowing look that she catches. She asks for an explanation, but he dodges sweetly as Flavor Flav ditches his leash and RUNS AWAY!

In the hospital, Molly’s playing an ill-advised game of backseat Web-MD. The nurse tells her that they don’t have the information they need to decide a course of treatment yet. She adds that the procedure Molly is requesting isn’t an option because Carol has had a stroke before. It’s the second time in the episode that she’s getting crucial information about her parents’ well-being at the last minute. David admits that they decided not to tell the kids because they didn’t want them to worry, but Molly is understandably upset. She feels that it’s her job to take care of her mom and dad but can’t if she doesn’t have all the information.

The rest of the family is out when the doctor returns, but Molly takes the update anyway: Carol may be paralyzed. When the family gets back from their coffee run, Molly delivers the news. But, notably, she chooses to deliver the news instead of the doctor. Despite her frustration with how her parents have handled their concerns as they age, she’s doing the same thing — carrying it all on her own shoulders.

Just as Issa and Nathan have exhausted their search for Flavor Flav, the intrepid pup returns of his own accord. Filled with relief, Issa thanks Nathan for his patience with her, telling him it’s why she loves him. The moment hits with a whimper. She clearly hadn’t intended to say those words right then. But as she waits for him to reciprocate, Nathan merely kisses her. Yikes on bikes!

When Issa makes it back to Molly at the hospital, Molly laments that she didn’t do more for her mother. She says that all Carol wanted was to see her get married and have some kids. Issa tells her that there’s nothing more she could have done and that Molly should be proud of her life and that she’s been doing a good job with her “supremely intelligent” dog. She tells Molly that these things are out of their control any way and promises that Molly will “always [be] in her loop.” Heavy-handed as the moment is, it’s a nice reminder to hold the ones you love close. As the show closes out the first half of its final season, we’re setting the stage for the importance of identifying and cherishing the people who hold value to us.

After their chat, Issa gets up to get Molly some coffee, and in the hallway, she sees none other than Condola and baby Eli … and Lawrence. They lock eyes for a moment before Issa strides off, clearly shaken. Lawrence seems to be just as thrown. It is, after all, the first time they’ve seen each other since their break up over a year ago, and it feels fair to say that these are less than ideal circumstances. There’s no telling what comes next.

Week’s Best Woot Woots

• “You know who this woman looks like, though? I was thinking Stevie’s mama. You remember Stevie? With the throat lumps?” — Aunt Kiki

• “Sorry for your upcoming loss.” — Curtis Carter

• “She got a weak immune system. Says it’s because her mom only fed her Trix yogurt growing up.” — Issa

• “Hey, what you doing? Reading a book wit’yo reading ass?” — Issa

• “Wait, did you fuck in this? Cause I fucked in that!” —Issa

• “Wow! You look like a model!” “Sorry, she’s high.” —Patient/Orderly

• “Damn, Molly look just like her mama!” “Yeah, they got the same ankles.” — Nathan/Issa

• “Well he a house dog, he know what to do.” — Issa

• “It’s a Christian series. They say it takes a while to get into, but once they get to the gates! That’s when it really picks up.” — Lila

• “I see, I see. You got a nice smile. You all Steph Curry with it!” — Lila

• “Uh-uh, I can’t post this. Look at my eyebrows.” — Issa

Insecure Recap: Say My Name