‘Insecure’ Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: Female Bonding and Beyoncé

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

  • Issa, Molly, Kelli and Tiffany head to Coachella Music Festival for their last hoorah before Tiffany’s baby arrives.
  • Molly struggles to put work aside and enjoy the weekend.
  • Issa reconnects with Nathan at the festival and they literally take their relationship to the next level.
  • Issa runs into an important person from her past when she least expects it.

Will the women’s friendship make it through the weekend? Let’s find out.

issa rae coachella house insecure
Merie W. Wallace/HBO

Episode five of Insecure opens on Issa (Issa Rae) driving around a series of Lyft riders (grandmas, hungover dudes and cute couples). After, she heads to Molly’s (Yvonne Orji) office to drop off sunscreen and other random items, like Cadbury Eggs, she purchased in preparation for their weekend trip to Coachella. It becomes apparent that since Issa left We Got Y’all she’s been supplementing her income by driving Lyft and running errands for Molly. (Gotta respect the hustle.) Issa tries to pump Molly up for the weekend, but Molly tells her to leave so she can get some work done. Then, Molly heads to a meeting where she volunteers to work on a brief over the weekend, even though Coachella is not exactly work-friendly. Coac-hell no.

Later, Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) and Tiffany (Amanda Seales) pick Issa up at her place sans Molly. It turns out that Molly’s trying to bail on the weekend so she can work on her brief. Issa FaceTimes her with a massive guilt trip and somehow convinces her to come by saying they’ll leave early so she can get her work done, aka famous last words.

They arrive at their gorgeous Coachella pad and get settled in. Kelli wastes no time dropping a truth bomb on Issa (“You know who makes no sense or dollars? You.”) and Tiffany joins in asking if Lyft is, like, her real job now. Although Issa wants to go see SZA, Kelli secretly took an edible, and Tiffany needs a nap. By the time Molly arrives, everyone is asleep, and she has enough time to finish her brief.

In the morning, Issa wakes everyone up by banging pans together and gives them a rundown of the day’s schedule. They toast with a shot of rosé, even pregnant as hell Tiffany. As everyone runs off to get ready, Issa gets a text from Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) inviting them all to a Coachella pool party and she yells, “Change of plans!”

issa and crew at coachella pool party insecure
Merie W. Wallace/HBO

They arrive at the party and meet Nathan and his friends. They quickly hit it off and Nathan’s friends offer them molly (the drug, not the person) and edibles. All imbibe except Tiffany (Issa says she only will if Nathan does) and then it’s party time.

Issa and Nathan flirt by the pool and he runs his fingers over her arm. She’s never done molly before and relishes in his touch. Suddenly, she’s overcome and starts passionately kissing him. Meanwhile, Molly tries to flirt with his friend, saying, “I’m Molly and I took molly, which means I’m Molly squared.” The convo takes a turn for the worse when she whines, “I’m single and I’ve been alone for a long time.” Yikes. He dips out and lets another friend listen to Molly’s rant about her relationship status.

In the evening, the crew walks into Coachella and starts watching a concert. Tiffany is annoyed that everyone has coupled off, and when Issa says she needs water, Kelli rushes off to get food, and Molly starts tripping, Tiffany doesn’t hide her frustration. Guess they never learned not to piss off a pregnant woman.

Off on their own and feeling relaxed from the drugs, Issa confronts Nathan about not calling her after their day of fun and he says he thought he may have come on too strong. They talk about starting a music group together (he’ll play triangle) and then hop on the famous Coachella Ferris wheel. She tells him she quit her job and admits she’s “been fronting to everyone” about how scared she is. He asks if she’s still going to do something with music and promises, “You gonna come out of this in a better place. I know it.” The Ferris wheel comes to a halting stop, which isn’t great for Nathan, who’s scared of heights, but then they start going at it and he forgets all about his crippling fear.

While Issa and Nathan get it on via their own version of the Mile-High Club, Kelli starts a fight when she returns to their spot to see a bunch of new-age hippies taking up her prime concert real estate. Tiffany throws water at Kelli and the hippies to get them to stop, but the police step in and handcuff Kelli, Molly, Tiffany and Nathan’s friends. They all get thrown out right as Beyoncé goes on (rude), and Kelli tries to run back in. She immediately gets tased and has an accident. When she regains consciousness, she wails, “Don’t look at me. Remember me different!” Too late, babe.

On the plus side (kinda), they get cell service as they leave, and Molly gets a slew of emails from the partners with last-minute notes on her brief. Scared her cocky colleague might steal her thunder and put the edits in himself, Molly frantically asks if anyone has a laptop on them. Nope. They promptly rush home to get their lives together. Tiffany reveals that she kinda had a bite of a pot brownie and cries, “Don’t judge me!” Issa gets a call from the girls and rushes home to make things right with them because they’re all mad at her for running off with Nathan.

tiffany at coachella insecure
Merie W. Wallace/HBO

Nathan offers to face the music with her, but she says she needs to do this on her own. When she walks into the house, Kelli is pouting on the couch about peeing her pants, Molly is furiously typing her brief (while very high), and Tiffany is crying on the phone to her husband in the hall closet. They all blame her for their evening going wrong and she puts them in check, yelling, “Tiffany, get out of the closet. Molly, stop breathing so hard. Kelli, stop glaring at me like you want me to die.” After the yelling, Issa tells them all they need to sleep it off.

So, they do and when they wake up to find themselves in various states of disarray (Molly, most notably, slept under a zebra rug), they start laughing hysterically. They joke about how high they got, and Kelli laughs that she was so high she thought that she actually got tased. The women look around awkwardly and kindly don’t mention that she actually did.

Tiffany says she wants water but there’s none in the fridge, so Issa offers to take her to the store. She’s quiet and when Issa asks her what’s wrong she says that everything has changed and they’re all just in very different stages in their lives. Issa says they’ll always be friends and she unconvincingly responds, “Yeah, I hope so.” It’s not promising.

In the store, Issa gets a text from Nathan asking if she’s as hungover as he is, when suddenly she runs into Chad (Neil Brown Jr.) and Lawrence (Jay Ellis). (Looks like the Insecure powers that be tricked us.) It’s awkward and she says, “Lawrence…hey,” a beat before the screen goes completely black.

Um, what could this mean for the rest of their Coachella weekend? Is the girls’ friendship going to make it? Are Issa and Nathan a full-on thing now? And where does Lawrence fit into all of this? We’ll find out when Insecure returns for season three, episode six on Sunday, September 16 at 10:30 p.m. PT/ET on HBO.

RELATED: ‘Insecure’ Season 3 Recaps: The Good, the Bad and the Hella Awkward

Lex Goodman

Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.
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