[Warning: Spoilers for Insecure season 5, episode 5, “Surviving, Okay?!”]
Molly is in a whole new headspace.
These weeks Unsure Episode, “Surviving, Okay ?!” begins with Molly receiving news that her mother, CeeCee (L. Scott Caldwell), is in the hospital after a stroke. As Yvonne Orji tells ET, this situation puts her character in a moment of reflection, regret and thinking about her future.
“I think it’s this feeling of regret. It’s, am I where I want to be? And if something happens to my parents, can they be really proud of me? Have I wasted time? I haven’t done enough” Orji explains of Molly’s first reaction when she saw her mother in the hospital. “I cannot imagine or fathom that at crucial moments in my life I have no parents with me.”
Still in her black, cut-out dress from the night before, after a night out with a man, Molly hurries to be by her family’s side. As soon as she walks into the hospital room, there is an immediate shift when she sees her vulnerable mother. The serene Molly returns, however, when she tells the nurse that she wants to be the first contact as it could be too much for her father and she “can handle it”.
The Molly-centered episode brings many moments of insight, contemplation, and perspective. Orji delves into the episode with ET, sharing if Molly will ever give up control, what makes her happy, and how things will change for her from here to the finale.
ET: Describe how Molly felt when she saw her mother in the hospital?
Yvonne Orji: At the start of season five, this was a growing season for all of us …[When she sees her mom]she thinks, “Why haven’t I achieved these crucial things?” And it’s the regret. It’s the ‘what could I have done’ ‘but so many things are out of your control because you can’t force life. And I think that’s where we’ll find her, just like, “Oh my god, I really need to get my life under control.” My father always said that time is not waiting for anyone. We know that. And I think Molly noticed that my time is running out, time is passing. I have to pull myself together.
Yes, but why is Molly so strict with herself?
She is a warrior. It is very difficult. She’s a woman who likes to be in control and has no one to help her give up on, right? Your brothers are who they are. Your parents are who they are. It’s kind of like there are people in the black community who break the curses of the generations, and the burden of that may be placed on a sibling or two. So she feels obliged to be in a certain place, to do a certain thing, to have a certain way of life, to have certain things, in order to be comfortable not only for herself but also for her parents. And then she thinks, “Is there anything else I could have done?” If reality is you, it probably could have had more grace in it because the answer is no.
Do you think she will ever give up that control?
I think she will learn. It’s not about relinquishing control, it’s about setting priorities. I think she will learn to prioritize what is really, really important, which I think is a really good indicator, really for her to understand, OK, I can want what I want under the circumstances, but am At the end of the day, that’s what counts.
Does Molly ultimately want to be with someone or does she think that she has to be with someone to be happy?
I think it’s a bit of both. She desperately wants companionship. I think we’re built for camaraderie. Even the people who say, “I love being single,” yes, but there is still a need for people to connect with, to be part of the community with. And I think Molly wants love, Molly wants kids. She wants what her parents saw when she learned that her father was cheating. And even then, in the past year, she learned to forgive. She said I thought relationships were only strong if they looked like that. But now I see that my parents’ relationship was strong even if there was a rock and I didn’t know that such a thing could happen. So I think she went away.
There’s a scene where she gets a call from work and says she has personal problems but doesn’t really reveal that her mother is in the hospital. Why doesn’t she just tell her boss that?
I think there are certain things that she wants to hold onto her chest. She wants to prove to herself that she holds things together. If you are a black woman who is boss it’s okay I don’t need any help. I have it, I have it, and your power comes from the need to never let yourself sweat, never drop eggs, never ask for help. And that’s not willpower. It’s actually a weakness not to let people help you. Molly says I don’t want an asterisk. I don’t want them to think I can’t do it. I have to keep my looks too, I have to be strong. But she’s also, I want to work because I want to distract myself from whatever the hell is going on.
Will this situation affect your work?
Yes, as it should be, I mean, every time you deal with something disturbing, it affects your mood, your work, no matter what kind of front you put up. It affects you subconsciously.
This episode was directed by Kerry Washington, who directed it last season. How was it to work and reconnect with Kerry again?
She’s gorgeous. She’s one of my favorite directors or people I should direct because she’s the director of an actor. You, Regina King, Debbie Allen, these directors who were also actors. They leave you room to be the performer, but then they guide you in such a way that it brings out something new in your performance. And that was really nice. Only it leads me to be in the moment. There’s ease that needs to happen in the episode when Molly shows up and she’s wearing last night’s outfit and others are looking at her. She is an amazing dramatic actress, but she is also very funny. But to be able to give me pointers on how to balance when both [comedy and seriousness] in a scene or from one scene to the next.
This episode is about one parent’s health care and we’ve seen Molly tell her parents that they need to plan their estate. What would you like people to take away from this episode?
The show doesn’t shy away from exploring difficult topics. As we get older, the reality of mortality hits us. During the pandemic in particular, we experienced many losses. This season touches on the idea that, whether it happens or not, really this notion of “man, the people we thought were superheroes grow up who, when the unimaginable happens, who did we become?” Changed on and how it us? ” And I think that is exactly this moment for Molly. It hits them like, “Oh my god.” I know it will happen in life because the only thing that is certain in life is that you are no longer alive. But I never thought that it could happen, or that we would even be close to it now. I’m still young I haven’t done anything. I think that’s what happened this episode. We are at that age when you grow up, even if you are 50 you have to do it [be there for] a parent and even that feels like it’s too soon. And those kids in their thirties dealing with being in the hospital for a parent. The immediacy and reality of mortality is so prevalent and so pervasive, and especially at a post-pandemic time when so many people are struggling with losses. I think there is an even more poignant act to touch. And I’m so grateful and proud of the writers that they’re not afraid to tackle this and be the character who went through it and how it changes you. I hope that viewers can either find some kind of peace for anyone who has lost someone or that the community knows that you are not alone.
What can you annoy about what’s in store for Molly in the next few episodes?
I think it’s a trip. I think we’re going to see Molly adapt to the expectations she has of herself that others have of her. I think it’s going to be really interesting to see what she does with her life experiences.
When you think about your journey as Molly, what do you think was the biggest lesson she learned?
It’s okay not to have it all together and not have it all figured out. I think that is difficult. It’s definitely one that you need to hear a lot. But it’s definitely hard when you’re someone who is very cerebral and you think, “I need to know. I need to find out.” And she learns that it’s okay not to have it all together.
New episodes of Unsure airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on HBO.
Reference from etonline