Y’all, this has to be the most bittersweet kick-off to a recap ever. Pose, the groundbreaking show on FX is finally back! Not only did they give us episode one, but they also gave us episode two! I’m sure you’ve all missed seeing these characters on your tv as much as I have. What makes this so bittersweet is this is the final season of Pose. Soon we will be mourning the loss of these characters on our TVs, but until then, let’s celebrate them!
It has been a long time since we last saw the cast of Pose. COVID-19 pushed back production by several months. They didn’t miss a beat, though! Episode one opened up with a scene from 1994. The police raided Elektra‘s club. Who was responsible for that? None other than American supervillain, Rudolph Giuliani. That transitioned into a ball scene. Everything was right in the world once I heard Pray Tell’s voice hosting the ball. I’m not sure ASMR works in the traditional sense for me, but rather in the form of Billy Porter’s voice.
One thing I appreciate about Pose is the attention to detail. While we watched the show’s matriarch Blanca wake up next to her new boyfriend, we saw the breaking news on their tv regarding the death of Nicole Brown Simpson. Later in the episode, they even watched the infamous Bronco chase. Maybe the most memorable event of 1994 (aside from my birth, of course), the creators of the show made sure to include that historical event. These details make us feel like we’re back in time, something I appreciate so much about the show.
Episode one was pretty heavy. We watched Pray struggle through addiction and loss. Blanca struggled with life as an empty nester. We saw Cubby, a member of the House of Evangelista lose his battle with AIDS. These storylines are hard to watch, but they are powerful. It reminds us of what living life as a member of the LGBTQ+ community was like in the 80s and 90s as AIDS ran rampant with no assistance from the government. While we can laugh about the Bronco chase scene, it also opened up a conversation about race in America. While many of the family members gathered around the TV believed that OJ Simpson was guilty, Pray Tell argues that we can’t be certain given that being Black in America is a crime on its own. While the point about Oj was moot, the issue of racism in our country is still prevalent today, especially when it comes to law enforcement.
While the storyline was dark at times, there were several happy moments. Blanca is truly thriving with her boyfriend, Christopher. He asks her to meet his family, a huge step for the couple. She is concerned about his family finding out that she is transgender, but Christopher is nothing but supportive. He even offers to help her enroll in college to further her career. Stanning Christopher is required.
While Cubby’s passing was heartbreaking, it did help reunited the House of Evangelista for good. It seems like everyone had gotten caught up with their own lives and they were too busy for one another. Losing Cubby united them and they even took to the ball floor to honor him against the new House of Kahn. They beat the House of Kahn and the episode ended with a beautiful ball scene and Blanca enrolling in college. It was the happy ending we deserved.
The second episode of the season was centered around a theme we saw in episode one. Pray Tell’s addictions had gotten out of hand. Blanca and Nurse Jackie had become especially concerned regarding his drinking and pill-popping. The family has an intervention for Prey on a rooftop while Elektra soaked her feet in a kiddie pool.
Prey wasn’t the only one struggling with drugs. Lulu and Angel started smoking weed laced with crack in episode one. Clearly, the effects were starting to get to them. Papi tried desperately to help Angel realize what she was doing.
Before the family even gave Prey his intervention, they were already concerned about paying for his rehab facility. Elektra figured they could have the cost covered by sweeping the ball. My favorite part of this episode was Elektra’s ball Bootcamp. She really put everyone through the wringer to be in top form to win the prize money.
The ball scene was magical. The House of Evangelista swept the competition. Even Pray performed, which was the best. Everything seemed to be going well until Pray’s friend Castle had a seizer from mixing medication and alcohol. Lemar Kahn of the House of Kahn said some pretty awful things about Castle that resulted in Pray literally fist-fighting him.
After the ball, the family introduced the idea of going to rehab to Pray. Maybe it was because of what happened to Castle, but Pray was initially receptive. It wasn’t until Papi brought up the letters and they read them out loud that Pray began to get defensive. The dinner got combative and Prey ended up hurting everyone in the room with his words. This event carried over to a heartbreaking scene between Ricky and Pray Tell at Prey’s apartment. Ricky had to leave Pray due to his addictions. It was a difficult scene to watch.
Blanca met Christopher’s parents, not once but twice in the episode. The second meeting came after the incident with Prey. Christopher’s mom was combative with her over both dinners. It was the second dinner when Blanca came out as trans. Chris, our king, stood up for Blanca to his mother. It was wholesome and we needed that.
Another heavy episode with a happy ending. After Castle was released from the hospital, he had planned to commit suicide. Pray finds him in a hotel, ready to take the pills, but realizing he would rather live instead. This inspires Pray, and he vows to get sober. He even meets up with Blanca at the hospital to tell her he is ready to get sober. He took their offer to go to rehab upstate.
Wow, talk about a season premier! How are you all feeling after these emotional episodes? Let us know in the comments below!