Backwards-Like Recap

By Luvvie Ajayi

Written by Issa Rae
Directed by Prentice Penny

Heart wants - Daniel wakes up Issa, who is in his bed, now that she can sleep there and not the couch for once. She?s encroaching on his side of the bed and she says it?s because he got the good pillow and grabs it from under him. Under her pillow is hella chip crumbs, doe, and she says it?s what the heart wants. His question, ?what else does the heart want?? leads to him going down on her as she eats more chips but then that is just her overactive imagination. The real answer she gives him is that her heart needs to get to work.

Molly?s bougie is at an all-time high, as she gets her dog, Flava Flav, a facial. Issa is looking forward to getting her own place even though she will miss Daniel?s place. Molly wonders why she?ll miss the couch and she begrudgingly admits that she is now sleeping in the bed even though they haven?t done anything. Her friends' side-eye is immediately activated.

Issa and Frieda are manning a We Got Y'all table at a job fair, and they both agree that they won?t give white candidates consideration.

Promising - Molly starts her first day at her law firm, which is a change from the last because it?s an all-Black staff. She gets shown her new office, which has floor to ceiling windows, so this is looking promising. Daniel is at Khalil?s playing some of his beats for him. He likes it and thinks Spider would too if they make certain changes. Those changes basically strip the music down and Daniel doesn?t want to protest. Khalil says they?ll play it for Spider in a few days.

For the Kids - At the job fair for We Got Yall, Frieda thinks it?s going very well. Issa steps away for a second and watches some kids perform in the auditorium: The Beat Crew. Afterwards, she goes to give them props and finds out what they do. The program encourages kids to get into the arts and helps them do it. She?s so inspired and she takes their flyer with her.

At Molly?s job, her assistant tells her they don?t use DocuSign and they stick to couriers. What in the 2005 hell is that? Who uses couriers only? And those runs happen at 9am, noon and 5pm.

Consideration - Issa goes to the building where she is being considered for property manager and when asked what her experience doing something like it is, she doesn?t have a great answer. Can she plunge a toilet? Will she be able to be on call? And also, it?s part time. He shows her the apartment she could rent, which usually goes for $1,500 but for her as property manager, would be $750. There IS a bathroom mirror. Does she want it?

Daniel and Issa are at the laundromat, and he vents about how his music is being simplified by Khalil. She advices him to let them edit his music so he can get to the next level, where he can then have more control. They have a soft moment, but she interrupts it to say she has a job offer and she can move out. So wayment. How many jobs is she gonna have? We Got Y?all full time, property managing part time and driving Lyft. Plus, she stays locking herself out his apartment. How?s she gonna manage all of that? She says she?ll figure it out, so she can stop ?bumming? at his place. He tells her she is not a bother and he likes her presence. Aawww. These two are adorable. All this flirting.

One of Molly?s coworkers asked her if she wants to go for a walk for lunch, but she has to work through it. Her coworker offers to help her. Cool! She?s about to get into her office but the path is basically packed with boxes of files. Turns out? her office is used as a storage there. Bruh? nah.

Group Chat - The girls get together for drinks to catch up and Molly is not happy about this new job, where there?s no electronic signatures and her office is basically a warehouse. She was expecting more from the Black business but jankiness has her feeling slightly dejected. Tiffany agrees. Kelli and Issa think she might be giving them too hard of a time because they?re a black company. What is it about us trusting our skinfolk when it comes to money? Kelli even admits that her accountant is white. Ma?am! Any who, they tell Molly to be patient, just like how Tiffany has to be with the growing human in her stomach, who is the reason why she gets left out of group chats.

Kelli tells Issa that she can get the apartment, since it is one that is finally in her budget. It just only has a toilet in the bathroom, but the YMCA next door could be where she showers. She says she will pass on that and just stay with Daniel. No, she ain?t sleeping WITH him even though she?s sleeping next to him. The girls say they?re concerned about how this is gonna end up, which is badly.

At We Got Y'all, Frieda and Issa are interviewing a black woman named Antoinette for one of their positions. Frieda leaves the room to go grab on Joanne and Issa is left with the candidate. Antoinette asks her how she likes it and Issa gives her a very polite answer. Back at her desk, she ends up on the Beat Crew website. In a meeting, Molly makes a joke about "CP time," and it doesn?t go over well. Someone else makes an underhanded comment about maybe her old firm used to start meetings on time. That pours cool water on her joy.

Bombing Again - In the studio with Khalil, Spider shows up to listen to what they got. What Khalil edited is now what he plays, but the original track instead. Spider likes it and Khalil is pissed so he says they made another version. Daniel has to play that version, and Spider likes it too. He doesn?t know how to pick one. Khalil flips the script and says he has something else entirely for him. Welp, Daniel messed that up entirely. Shoulda listened to Issa.

Truth Hurts - Daniel and Issa go eat, and it honestly looks like a date. Daniel?s cranky and she tries to lighten the mood. It works. She is the one treating him to this dinner to drop the news that she?s taking the property manager job. He looks disappointed, doe. He tells her what happened in the studio and Issa asks the good question of why he?d play the track when the man who knows Spider?s taste already told him what to play. Ego. He?s an artist and he?s sensitive about his sh*t. So, what now? Maybe apologize to Khalil? He laughs in her face because he doesn?t think she should give him career advice. BRUH that?s some a**holish thing to say to the friend who is trying to cheer you up and is actually giving you decent advice. Ouch. But he points out that she doesn?t really know what it?s like to care a lot about your work. However true it may be, that had to hurt.

Not Right - Later that night, as they lay in bed, with their backs turned to each other, he says he was just upset about the studio incident. He turns to her back and starts kissing her back. She turns around and the two-start kissing. This time, him going down is not just a fantasy. But she isn?t enjoying it. She pulls him back up cuz it doesn?t feel right. PLUS, HE AIN?T REALLY APOLOGIZE. She turns back over in the bed.

Issa taking the property management job is ill-informed. Yes, I am Team Get Out of Daniel?s House but not if she will be fired or quit soon, forcing her to have to get back on the couch. He?s giving her the leeway to stay with him, so she might as well plan what she wants to do for real and go after it.

That brings up the critique Daniel threw in her face. Although it was somewhat callous how he did it, he makes a good point. Issa?s job at We Got Y'all has now taken away the one decent part about working in that place: helping kids. The moment they took her out of the field and relegated her to working phones, she started resenting that job. How she lit up seeing the kids of The Beat Crew, and then hearing their mission, it is clear that she needs to take a risk and go after a job there. This property management thing is not a good decision but she?s making it because she wants a change.

Which brings us to Daniel. His ego made him sabotage a good opportunity, where he could have built a solid relationship with a respected producer. Instead, he thought he was so good that he knew Spider?s taste better than the person who collaborates the closest with him. I get it. He didn?t want someone else to edit his work, but he bit his nose off to spite his face. And Issa might not get a lot of things right, but she was right to give him the advice she did and question his bad decision.

Molly and this new job, which started off looking good but is now looking shoddy. I might have to quit a job that doesn?t let me sign documents electronically. It?s like how I almost quit my retirement fund carrier because they don?t let me pay invoices electronically. Even so, what she needs is to stop comparing everything to her old job, out loud anyway. She basically got shamed with it.

All of them are in career shambles in one way or the other. Bless up.

This post is in partnership with HBO. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.