Issa vs. Molly: Who Was Right in the ‘Insecure’ Season 4 Feud?

BFFs Issa Molly Insecure Season 4 Feud
HBO

With the conclusion of Insecures roller coaster of a fourth season, there is quite a bit to unpack.

Early on, Issa (Issa Rae) befriended Condola (Christina Elmore), a consultant guiding the former through planning her Inglewood block party. But there was a twist: Condola turned out to be the new lover of Lawrence (Jay Ellis), Issa’s boyfriend of five years!

Other dramas followed suit, including the return of Issa’s former lover Nathan (Kendrick Sampson). As Issa rekindled her relationship with Lawrence, who inevitably broke up with Condola, Nathan revealed to Issa his ongoing feelings for her, further fueling the conflict. By the end of the season, a shocking reveal threw this already messy situation into overdrive.

'Insecure' Finale: How Will Issa Handle That Lawrence Bombshell? (RECAP)See Also

'Insecure' Finale: How Will Issa Handle That Lawrence Bombshell? (RECAP)

And did Issa truly repair her fractured friendship with BFF Molly? Or is it all over?

But the most important conflict wasn’t romantic in nature at all. It instead had to do with the slow and painful demise of Issa’s relationship with her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji). Their feud was explicitly foreshadowed in the prologue of the season premiere, when Issa exclaimed to a mystery caller that she didn’t “really f**k with Molly anymore.” The rest of the episodes went back through the developments that led to Issa and Molly’s tension, revealing a mostly avoidable series of events.

From their respective points of view, each of the parties involved in the mess both seemed to think they were the victim of the other’s transgressions. But is that really the case?

Below, we recap the Issa vs. Molly feud timeline to ultimately conclude who of the two, if either, was in the right.

Awkward Lunch Condola Insecure Season 4
HBO

Old Habits Die Hard

In the beginning of the season, we found both Issa and Molly stuck in a cycle of their most flawed habits.

Issa entangled herself in a friendship with Condola, the woman now sleeping with her former lover. She maintained this friendship despite realizing how complicated it was. She even went out of her way at times to have friendly exchanges with ex-boyfriend Lawrence despite his new relationship (an obvious recipe for disaster). By her own admission, it seemed she was attracting drama into her own life without regard for her sanity or stability.

Meanwhile, Molly found more and more things to nitpick and become outraged over in her otherwise picture perfect relationship with Andrew (Alexander Hodge), creating problems often when they were not there. Her desire to always be right about everything as it pertains to issues with Andrew, Issa, and others in her life certainly did not help Molly to realize and admit her own faults.

Issa Molly Shopping Insecure Season 4
HBO

Call Outs and (Not So Subtle) Shade

Eventually, Issa and Molly noticed inconsistent patterns in each other’s behavior and called each other out on multiple awkward occasions.

Molly got on Issa for her chaotic ways, concluding that her friend loved consistently having mess in her life. Issa responded that Molly seemed to have found some reward in being unhappy, given how often she resorted to creating nonexistent relationship problems in her own head. The (not so subtle) shade was further complicated by how increasingly busy Issa became in her professional life. This obviously bothered Molly, who was used to a more reliant and habitually down on her luck version of her best friend.

Issa Kelli Insecure Season 4
HBO

Going Behind One Another’s Back

As Issa and Molly grew more distant, they eventually resorted to talking about one another with their friends, a telltale sign of broken bonds in any relationship.

Issa went to Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) for details about what, if anything, Molly had been saying about their beef behind her back. Kelli suggested Issa take the first step in trying to hash things out if she was so concerned about the friendship. Meanwhile, Molly turned to Tiffany (Amanda Seales) to air her grievances with Issa, remarking on her always messy ways and self-centered disposition. The inability to communicate further drove a wooden stake into the heart of their relationship.

Insecure Season 4 Block Party
HBO

The Block Party

On top of her ongoing tension with Molly, Issa ran into problems in her professional life, further complicating things for her personally. After her block party’s headlining act fell through, she needed major help in finding a new artist. She eventually decided to tap Andrew’s guidance through Molly given his professional position in the music industry.

But by the time of Issa’s approaching block party, neither she nor Molly had taken the necessary steps to squash their beef. So when Issa contacted Molly to relay her message of need, the latter was frustrated that Issa would think it appropriate to ask for such a huge favor when they were on bad terms. Molly thus refused access to her well-connected boyfriend and derided Issa for her inability to handle her own problems like an adult.

Issa Molly Fight Block Party Insecure Season 4
HBO

An Explosion of Tensions

Issa eventually secured a new headlining act for her block party by contacting Andrew through ex-beau Nathan since the two lived together. Even Molly was ultimately impressed with Issa’s event and growth as a professional before realizing that Issa went behind her back to get access to Andrew’s music contacts. (It is arguable if that is really what happened.)

Having received this information from Andrew near the end of the block party, Molly exploded on Issa for her “betrayal,” and the tensions the two so desperately tried to avoid finally flooded to the surface. The former besties nearly exchanged much more than words before the surrounding crowd exploded in hilarious chaos in reaction to the altercation. With that, Issa’s much anticipated event unfortunately ended in disaster.

Issa Molly Lunch Insecure Season 4
HBO

Failed Attempts to Make Amends

Despite the events of the block party, Issa still made the first attempt to make amends, reaching out to Molly to set up lunch and mimosas. While it was obvious both parties needed to unpack what happened between them, they instead fell into the trappings of an old friendship, with surface level conversations and small talk.

Later on over food and wine at Nathan and Andrew’s place, Issa and Molly continued to make attempts at this superficial cordiality, playing drinking games while reminiscing about old memories. But any progress came tumbling down after Molly accidentally sent a shady text meant for Andrew to Issa, whom the message was about. After this flub, the two women ultimately realized that they were moving in vastly different directions and their friendship was no longer what it used to be. Instead of staying behind to grovel for forgiveness (as Molly wanted), Issa wiped her hands clean of the mess and admirably went her own way.

Issa Encounter Molly Insecure Season 4
HBO

Ultimately, Issa Was Right

At the beginning of the season, the fault for their declining friendship was evenly distributed between Issa and Molly. But it became clearer over time that Issa was mostly in the right, eventually taking the first steps to fix things and be the bigger person, despite Molly’s stubbornness. Her inability to be open-minded and self-reflective, as well as her uncalled-for outburst at Issa’s first public event, further implicated Molly as the “wrong” friend in their ongoing feud.

Though the season concluded with Issa and Molly meeting at their favorite Ethiopian spot in the aftermath of their respective heartbreaks, bonding in their temporary moments of need may not be enough to heal the more permanent damage to their relationship (that was mostly caused by Molly). We’ll have to wait for Season 5 to find out how the deeper issues in their friendship will eventually be resolved.