Growth, Okay?! Recap
By Luvvie Ajayi Jones
This post is in partnership with HBO. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Going Well - A year has passed since the last episode and there is change all around. The BLOCC has 10,000 followers on Instagram, and Issa wakes up feeling encouraged and hopeful. Issa’s assistant, Koya, is waiting for her in her kitchen fixing her microwavable waffles.
Molly has chopped her hair off, rocking a natural short cut with a part. She’s meditating on “embrace the change.” She even got a dog. And at work, she’s gelling with her colleagues and taking initiative on projects.
Issa throws a book signing for Brit Bennett’s book “The Vanishing Half,” and someone walks up to her to stan. Aaawww.
The girls end their day at Issa’s for a sleepover. They do this so much that Issa even gets Molly her own pillow to use.
Work is going well, and they’re back into their bestie mode. Things are looking up for our boos!
Celebrations - Issa is helping Nathan put together an event to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of his barbershop opening, so they go to dinner at a café to talk possible locations for it. The two are in the friendship groove, so things get awkward then the lights in the place dim and they notice other people being coupley. It’s cool, doe. Because they break the tension by talking about their Friday plans. Hers? To hang with Molly. His? Some mystery plans. Read: a date.
Molly’s parents throw her nephew a birthday party. She rolls up and the first thing she does is ask them if they’ve gotten their estate plan together. Her parents hand her a piece of paper, where they’ve written a bullet list of random things they own, with who will get what. They aren’t taking this seriously, and she’s frustrated. One thing her mom is taking seriously, doe, is her marriage prospects, cuz up walks Herbert, a nerdy church deacon who her mom is tryna set her up with. Dude talmbout he makes Trap songs for the Lord. NO MA’AM. We don’t want.
When they’re alone in the kitchen, Molly tells her mom that she ain’t really into dating at the moment and she’s tryna focus on herself. Her mom presses it and jokes that her dad is gonna have to roll her down the aisle by the time she finally does get married. Ouch. Herbert comes in and plays her a sample of one of his Holy Trap songs. Again: NOPE.
Ambitious - Issa gives a major presentation to funders about Krenshawn, a fashion designer who she wants to create a show around. He hires people who are formerly incarcerated so he’s a man with a purpose. The team at NBW say they are blown away, but that the show idea feels too big for them. They want to pick their own more-experienced designers and artists for the showcase, but none of them are from the community, like Shawn is. Plus, they think it’s expensive and just really ambitious. Issa is not liking the thought, but she nods.
When Issa gets to Molly’s place, she’s ending a phone call with Nathan. Molly marvels at the fact that she’s really friends with an ex-booty call buddy.
Molly gets the download on how the presentation went, and when Issa says Seth wants to replace Krenshawn, she suggests she goes above his head to Nadia, who is his boss, and the person Issa has been talking to for the last six months to possibly fund the show. Good idea! Go to the top! At that point, Herbert sends another picture of his wack self and Issa thinks that surely, gotta be his daddy.
Taking Notes - The next day, Molly joins a dating site and starts filling out the profile. But that gets rough when she gets to the questions of what she’s looking for (“Dating me is like…”). Reflecting on her past relationships and situationships, she realizes she has more questions than answers herself.
Issa meets with Nadia to talk about the event, and Seth pulls up. SURPRISE. Issa was not expecting that. If “lemme add him to the secret email thread” were a person, it’d be Nadia. Issa advocates for Krenshawn, saying that his authenticity is what makes him the best option for the showcase. Yes, this is a BIG deal and risk for NBW but what if it goes really well and they get to say they discovered this new amazing artist? Aight, fine. Seth says IF they go with him, they will need to give notes and edits on the show. Issa agrees.
Krenshawn is hard at work when Issa shows up to tell him the good news: they’re good to go! The show will go on. He’s super hyped about his performance, ready to turn up the levels on all the things he wants to bring to the show. Ummm... wait a minute. There are a few notes. NBW wants him to cut the section on perseverance and get rid of the low riders. They also want him to remove the performance element. Shawn wonders whether he and Issa need to wait for someone who will “understand the vision,” but Issa is adamant that taking notes is better than starting from scratch. They finally have a funder after six months of trying, so they should move forward. He begrudgingly agrees. The show will go on.
Molly calls her mom and apologizes about how she dealt with the estate plan stuff and how she’s been aggressive about it. Her mom says she will stop being afraid and she’ll call the estate planner. Can Molly call Herbert? That’s gonna be a NOPE. Byeeee.
No Notes - The day of the event comes, and Molly goes to see Issa in action. Koya’s checking out the ex-cons, and liking what she sees. BTW, she still don’t trust Molly after the Block Party happenings. Bless! Anywho, Issa is forced to do a media interview, but hastens it up when she sees Koya gesturing for her wildly. What is happening?! Welll, Krenshawn took them NBW notes and basically said “Go to hell!!!” Everything they asked him to cut is there: the low riders, the drummers. All of it. When Issa confronts him and calls him unprofessional, he calls her a sellout. “You said you loved my passion, right? Here it is.” POINTS WERE MADE, Shawn! GOOD POINTS!
The show begins, and the clothes are looking good. The models are killing the runway! Maybe this will go well after all. Wait. The lights cut off, sirens go off, drummers come out. The words “F**K SHACKLES. PERSEVERE.” flash on the walls. *faints* Issa just knows this is the end of her career, as she and Molly watch Seth literally writhing in his seat. He looks like he is in actual pain watching this display. LAWDDD.
After the show, Seth walks up to Issa, who then apologizes. He shocks her by saying Shawn is a “missile,” and he “blew me away.” He loved the show and how it was such a great way to push them out of their comfort zones. He leaves after saying he’s in pain from a bad massage, but he’s looking forward to hearing her other ideas, and funding them. TURN UP!!!
Molly ends her night on a date at a restaurant with a new guy, telling herself “Embrace the change.”
Not Ready - Issa invites Nathan over to chat about the event, and she tells him to spend the night. When they get into bed and start kissing, she bursts into tears. Sis, is his breath hot? What happened?! She thought she was over Lawrence, but clearly, she’s not. Those tears killed that mood so quick, but Nathan hugs her. A bit later, she wakes up and hears the door close as he slips out.
Overall, Molly got a haircut and is looking for a fresh start and renewal in her personal life. She keeps hitting walls when it comes to men, and even if she wanted to focus on herself for a bit (which would be fine. Advisable, even), the pressure from her mom is pushing her towards finding a partner, come hell or high water. But does she know what she wants? Does she know herself enough to know if that person even shows up? Has she healed from all her sh**? Well, we’ll see. But the haircut is giving “new lease on life.”
And Issa. It’s been a year since she saw Lawrence and broke up with him, but she hasn’t spent that time healing from that devastation. I mean, you finally get back to a good place with the man you can’t get off our heart, just to find out he is expecting a child with someone who isn’t even important to him. She seems to have thrown all that energy into building The BLOCC, but no amount of distraction can do the actual healing for you.
Issa and Molly are both confronting the ways they haven’t grown in this episode, regarding their heart. They’re using each other as distractions too, and that isn’t working to help them find the love they want. Work or friendship can’t fix the things you haven’t processed.
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