In case you were worried about Issa (Issa Rae) after her sexual faux pas with Daniel (Y’lan Noel), she can see! Despite what I firmly believe was a gross overreaction, our protagonist was not blinded by the semen of her lover. But I’m willing to bet that Issa wishes she didn’t have to see some of the things she encountered in episode 7. Let’s discuss.
One of the things I was looking forward to in the wake of Issa’s unexpected ‘facial’ was her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) affirming that Issa was doing the most. To my unpleasant surprise, Molly is also offended that Daniel ejaculated in Issa’s face. She tells Issa over the phone that Daniel was trying to act out some Pornhub fantasy that is unacceptable for the real world. I strongly disagree. Issa feels “disrespected” and “embarrassed.” I feel like I've been warped into an alternate reality where jizz in the face is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. Anyway, in an attempt to let her friend know that she isn’t the only one feeling uncomfortable with her love life, Molly admits to Issa that she’s still seeing Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson). Issa is concerned about the same thing we are: is this going to help Molly get the relationship she wants? Molly feels judged and claps back about Issa getting a facial. They agree to let each other live their own lives and not judge one another.
With her car still out of commission, Issa is commuting to work on the bus and sees one of the Latino students who robbed We Got Yall of their snacks at East 41st Street High School. He is studying for a standardized test and when Issa offers him additional support through her program, he admits that he hasn’t attended We Got Yall because Vice Principal Gaines (A. Russell Andrews) told him and his friends that the program was full. It wasn't. I thought he was just ashamed to show is face in the wake of his petty theft.
Lawrence (Jay Ellis) is clearly sleeping with his new coworker Aparna (Jasmine Kaur), the same one who compassionately told him that Woot Woot was trash in episode 6. It slips out that they have been spending time together outside of the office and Lawrence scrambles to make it clear that they just “hung out.” When they see each other in the stairwell, Lawrence claims that he doesn’t want people in his business and that he won’t be rushing into anything too fast. He’s lying and he doesn’t even know it. He invites Aparna to come along to Derek’s (Wade Allain-Marcus) birthday party. Inviting your office fling to a birthday party with all of your ex’s friends is not what you do with someone you are trying to take it slow with. And yes, he is going to regret it.
But first, you should know that Molly is supporting Issa’s post-ejaculate crisis over the phone because she’s back in Chicago for work. After introducing her to the joy’s of Garrett’s popcorn (a Chicago delicacy. Don’t argue.), her co-worker Quentin (Lil Rel) makes his intentions with Molly very clear. He wants to date her. I can’t be sure, but I’m pretty sure the young people would say I’m ‘shipping’ the two of them. In other words, I like where this is headed.
Unfortunately, this new romantic prospect is about the only good thing to come out of this episode. Issa finally admits to Frieda (Lisa Joyce) that she was wrong for ignoring Mr. Gaine’s discrimination towards Latino students. In fact, she confronts him about it after school and he insists that his biases aren’t a big deal since no one is dead as a result of them. Seriously.
Molly decides to pay it forward upon her return to LA. She turns Dro on to Garrett's popcorn. But she feels some type of way when she realizes that his wife Candice will be attending Derek’s birthday party as well. So if you’re keeping count, she is the second person heading into this event with some baggage.We might as well address the third right now. Tiffany (Amanda Seales) let’s Issa know Lawrence will be in attendance with a friendly text. Because any mention of your ex is a good enough reason to give their Facebook page a casual once over, Issa tries to search for him on the social media site. It is then that she discovers just how much distance is between her and Lawrence. If you'll recall, he's blocked her. It's safe to say tensions will be pretty high at Derek's soiree.
But let’s get back to Molly for a second because this is sure to be important in a future episode. Despite making some very convincing arguments to the partners at her law firm, they refuse to give Molly a raise. It’s a heartbreaking moment for Molly and an important nod to the ways in which Black women are affected by the wage gap. I love that Insecure is taking this issue so seriously.
Because Insecure insists on handling fellatious ejaculation with the same reverence that my friends and I did in high school before we were willing to admit that we were giving blow jobs, it’s also taking Issa’s cum-on-her-face moment seriously. Daniel calls Issa and she confesses how embarrassed and angry she is that he came without regard to the location of her face. He apologizes. And even though he has done nothing wrong, it's sincere. The conversation is going well until he makes a comment about him and Issa being “even.” This is what Daniel meant: “You slept with me and then called me an itch in front of your broke boyfriend. I nutted in your eye by mistake. We’ve both caused the other disappointment and discomfort. We're even.” This is what Issa heard: “I nutted in your eye as a humiliation tactic to get revenge on you for sleeping with me and then calling me an itch. We're even.” After a few choice expletives, Issa hangs up on him. I should go ahead and put it out there that Issa is my least favorite character after Lawrence? [insert eye roll]
And on the heels of this huge miscommunication, we finally arrive at Derek’s birthday party. To set the scene: it’s not a real party. It’s a dinner party — which means intimate conversations and a seating chart made by Tiffany herself. Remember the dude that fingered Kelli under the table a couple of episodes ago? Him and Kelli are still going strong. He’s her date for the night. Who said romance is dead? A dateless Molly finally sees Candice for the first time since she started sleeping with Dro. They make awkward small talk and she feels isolated when she’s seated at the head of the table alone, opposite the happy couple. Issa has brought her brother along as her date and isn’t in a festive mood after her phone call with Daniel. Things go from bad to worse for her when Lawrence strolls in late with Aparna. Not only is Issa’s vibe killed, Tiffany’s seating arrangement is ruined.
Issa steps outside to get some air after her and Lawrence's relationship is referenced one too many times. I don’t blame her. With some urging from Molly, Lawrence follows her out and tries to explain himself. This is a trend with Lawrence: he makes a really bad decision, realizes how it hurts a woman in his life, and then offers an apology based on his intentions instead of the actual impact. Issa isn’t interested this trending topic. Things between them get bad, fast. She calls him out for brining Aparna and blocking her on Facebook. He claps back about not wanting to see pictures of Daniel, even if Issa didn’t post them herself. He spitefully asks who else she cheated on him with, claiming that he can’t account for what she was doing in their relationship. Issa takes a cheap shot at Tasha (Dominique Perry). Lawrence calls Daniel a fake producer and Issa his jump off (a phrase for a casual fling that no one has used seriously since 2011). Lawrence doesn’t know how low of a blow it is when he suggests that Daniel isn’t a gentleman. Issa doesn’t know how low of a blow it is when she brings up Lawrence’s failed app, Woot Woot. Lawrence calls her a “fuckin hoe” — the most overused insult by hurt men everywhere — and storms off with Aparna. I told you, it's bad.
Back inside, Molly catches up with Dro in outside of the restrooms. It’s the first time they’ve been able to speak privately and she feels silly for being jealous of him and Candice. Dro insists that what what he has with Molly is still real — which, to be fair, is the premise of polyamory, that a person can have something special with more than one person. To prove it, they sleep together on the bathroom sink. But their love bubble is quickly burst when he tells Molly to hang back and re-join the party a few minutes after him so they don't raise suspicion with his wife... who is in the next room. So maybe romance is dead.
When Molly leaves the bathroom, Issa is on her way in. Issa still has the tag on her dress because she plans on returning it. Molly has freshly-fucked wild hair from sleeping with a married man. They both hold up their end of the bargain and refuse to judge each other. Even when everything else is a shit show, friendship always wins on Insecure. In fact this tender moment between the two women might have been the catalyst for Molly to call her mom and ask her once again why she stayed with Molly’s father who cheated. The matriarch has no answer except that she loves him. And this is enough of a push for Molly to end things with Dro when he texts her later that night. Good for her.
To end her less than perfect night, Issa gets a rent increase notice from her property manager. She looks at the stain on her ceiling. It's all too much. She goes into a rage and destroys her apartment. I think it’s safe to say that she’s fed up. But how is she going to afford new furniture and repairs when she can't even buy a dress for a dinner party?