Pose: Season 2, Episode 10 “In My Heels” [Season Finale] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Blanca lip-syncing to Whitney Houston's version of the Star Spangled Banner.
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You already know if Janet Mock is writing or directing you are going to be shedding tears. Add in she is doing the season finale? HA! Grab some tissues, we’re crying together.


Network
FX
Director(s) Janet Mock
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Air Date 8/20/2019
Introduced This Episode
Quincy KJ Aikens
Chilly Gia Parr
Jazmin Damaris Lewis

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Season 1

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 2, Episode 9 “Life’s A Beach”Elektra becomes the mother and person we expected to see, after the time jump, as she takes her daughters out to recover from a harsh summer.
Director(s) Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Writer(s) Janet Mock, Our Lady J
Air Date 8/13/2019
Introduced This Episode
Adrian Austin Scott
  • My Name Is Blanca, And This Is My Rock Bottom: Frederica, Blanca
  • When You’re Good To Momma, Momma’s Good To You: Elektra, Blanca, Lulu, Angel
  • So This Is Love?: Adrian, Blanca, Angel, Elektra, Lulu, Candy
Season 2, Episode 10 "In My Heels" [Season Finale]You already know if Janet Mock is writing or directing you are going to be shedding tears. Add in she is doing the season finale? HA! Grab some tissues, we’re crying together.
Director(s) Janet Mock
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Air Date 8/20/2019
Introduced This Episode
Quincy KJ Aikens
Chilly Gia Parr
Jazmin Damaris Lewis
  • Blanca, Pray Tell, Elektra, Lulu, Angel, Lil Papi, Damon, Frederica | A Sickly Mother
  • Lil Papi, Ms. Ford, Angel, Jazmin | When In Doubt, Trust Papi
  • Angel, Lil Papi, Quincy, Chilly, Blanca, Elektra, Pray Tell | There Is More Than One Way To Tell A Happy Ending
Season 2, Episode 8 “Revelations”Line are crossed, secrets exposed, and children reveal themselves to be adults. Which, for Blanca, is one of the challenges she never prepped for.
Director(s) Steven Canals
Writer(s) Steven Canals
Air Date 8/6/2019
Introduced This Episode
Manhattan André Ward
Jack Jack Mizrahi
Castle J. Cameron Barnett
  • Progress For One May Not Be Progress For All:Pray Tell, Manhattan, Jack, Castle, Ricky, Damon, Helena, Blanca, Angel, Lil Papi
  • When The Shade Comes From Acid Rain: Blanca, Damon, Lil Papi, Angel, Blanca, Pray Tell, Ricky
  • They All Grow Up Eventually: Pray Tell, Ricky, Elektra, Blanca, Angel, Damon
Season 2, Episode 5 “What Would Candy Do?”With the opportunity to dance for Madonna coming up, Elektra and Blanca show who they are as Damon and Ricky grow close, once again.
Director(s) Tina Mabry
Writer(s) Steven Canals
Air Date 7/16/2019
  • A New Opportunity: Ricky, Blanca, Elektra, Damon, Helena
  • A Haus Is Not Always A Home: Ricky, Blanca, Elektra, Damon
  • Forgiven, Not Forgotten: Ricky, Damon
Season 2, Episode 6 “Love’s In Need of Love Today”“Love’s In Need of Love Today” is otherworldly in more ways than one as a death scare leads to Pray Tell seeing an old frenemy.
Director(s) Tina Mabry
Writer(s) Our Lady J, Brad Falchuk
Air Date 7/23/2019
  • If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another: Blanca, Pray Tell, Judy
  • Pray Tell, This Is Your Life: Candy, Costas, Pray Tell
  • Singing, Dancing, & A B*** Stealing Pearls:Frederica, Blanca, Pray Tell
Season 2, Episode 7 “Blow”Unlike many times before, the community comes together not when it is down or recoiling, but while standing tall, and with elders watching over them.
Director(s) Jennie Livingston
Writer(s) Janet Mock
Air Date 7/30/2019
  • The Children Need More Than Mothas, They Need Elders: Lulu, Elektra, Blanca, Pray Tell, Damon, Ricky
  • Blanca Might Be The Favorite, But She’s Grown Now: Lulu, Blanca, Pray Tell, Ricky
  • When We Come Together, It Will Be Joyous: Lil Papi, Angel, Federica, Blanca, Ms. Ford
Season 2, Episode 4 "Never Knew Love Like This Before"While Pose has always kept it real to the hairline, it decides to get a bit too real, and you may not be prepared for what comes.
Director(s) Ryan Murphy
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Janet Mock
Air Date 7/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
Darnell Danny Johnson
Vivica Patrice Johnson Chevannes
  • AZT For You & For Me: Blanca, Pray Tell, Judy
  • Sister, You Been On My Mind: Lulu, Candy, Blanca, Pray Tell, Angel, Darnell, Vivica
  • 10s Across The Board: Candy
Season 1/ Episode 1 “Pilot” [Series Premiere]Pose is so wonderful that you’ll wish Ryan Murphy and co. held this for Netflix so that we could get all the episodes in one sitting.
Creator Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Director(s) Ryan Murphy
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Air Date 6/3/2018
Noted Actors
Blanca Mj Rodriguez
Damon Ryan Jamaal Swain
Angel Indya Moore
Stan Evan Peters
Pray Tell Billy Porter
Season 1/ Episode 2 “Access”Finding a way to go beyond surviving but absolutely thriving is either what is pursued or talked about. Though for some, thriving is a suburban fairytale.
Director(s) Ryan Murphy
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Air Date 6/10/2018
Actors Introduced
Ricky Dyllon Burnside
Lil Papi Angel Bismark Curiel
Matt James Van Der Beek
  • A Whole New World: Ricky, Blanca, Damon, Lil’ Papi
  • I’ve Been Waiting For A Girl Like You: Stan, Angel, Matt
  • Pass The Baton: Elektra, Blanca
Season 1/ Episode 3 “Giving and Receiving”It’s Christmas time and as Elektra gives herself a gift, House of Evangelista makes sure everyone gets one. 
Director(s) Nelson Cragg
Writer(s) Janet Mock, Our Lady J
Air Date 6/17/2018
Actors Introduced
Tony Glamo
Costas Johnny Sibilly
Patty Kate Mara
  • Melting Away Like Snowflakes: Helena, Damon, Pray Tell, Blanca
  • A Fish With A Tail: Elektra
  • Merry Christmas: Matt, Stan, Angel, Blanca, Pray Tell, Damon, Ricky, Patty
Season 1/ Episode 4 “The Fever”Elektra and Pray Tell take center stage as realness becomes about more than just the physical but addressing how you feel and are inside.
Director(s) Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Writer(s) Janet Mock
Air Date 6/24/2018
Actors Introduced
Dick Ford Christopher Meloni
Aphrodite Alexia Garcia
Candy Angelica Ross
  • Fears and Insecurities: Damon, Candy, Ricky, Lil Papi, Blanca, Pray Tell, Elektra, Angel
  • Dissatisfaction With Being a Mistress: Stan, Angel
  • The Doctor Will See You Now: Pray Tell, Elektra, Blanca, Aphrodite, Dick Ford, Candy
Season 1/ Episode 5 “Mother’s Day”With news of Blanca’s biological mother dying, so comes a quest for reconciliation, even if some make it harder than others.
Director(s) Silas Howard
Writer(s) Steven Canals
Air Date 7/1/2018
Actors Introduced
Carmen Flor De Liz Perez
Alma Susanna Guzman
Manuel Gil Perez-Abraham
Mami Glenys Javier
Young Blanca Jayden Marine
  • Meet The Wife: Matt, Stan, Patty, Angel
  • A Mother Reborn: Elektra, Blanca, Candy, Lulu
  • The Path To Reconciliation: Blanca, Pray Tell, Carmen, Alma, Manuel
Season 1/ Episode 6 “Love Is The Message”Pray Tell gets center focus as we come upon the final days of his boyfriend, Costas. Though, we also get to see someone try to dust Blanca’s cobwebs.
Director(s) Janet Mock
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Janet Mock
Air Date 7/8/2018
Actors Introduced
Judy Sandra Bernhard
Darius Charles Brice
  • The Fall of Stan Bowes: Patty, Matt, Stan, Angel
  • Mama May Get Some Beef: Blanca, Darius, Lulu, Candy
  • In His Final Days, He Made Me Promise To Love: Blanca, Pray Tell, Costas, Judy
Season 1/ Episode 7 “Pink Slip”As the House of Abundance falls, a new house rises from the ashes. One which takes advantage of what either could be seen as a mistake or right decision by Blanca.
Director(s) Tina Mabry
Writer(s) Our Lady J, Steven Canals
Air Date 7/15/2018
  • Laying Down The Law: Blanca, Lil Papi, Ricky
  • As the Phoenix Dies, New Ones Rise From The Ashes: Elektra, Lulu, Candy, Mr. Ford
  • The End of One Relationship & Start Of Something New: Lil Papi, Angel, Stan, Blanca, Elektra, Lulu, Candy
Season 1/ Episode 8 “Mother of the Year” [Season Finale]The final category is: Mother of the Year and considering all Blanca has done for her children, even her mother, will she win or will there always be next year?
Director(s) Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Air Date 7/22/2018
Actors Introduced
Keenan Blake Morris
  • Love Never Dies: Blanca, Keenan, Pray Tell
  • Family Is Forever: Elektra, Blanca, Angel, Stan, Patty
  • Mother of the Year: Blanca, Lulu, Candy, Pray Tell, Elektra
Season 2, Episode 2 “Worth It”After a long period, years, of making herself smaller, Elektra is reborn. As that happens, Blanca too reaches new heights as she finally opens her nail salon.
Director(s) Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Writer(s) Janet Mock
Air Date 6/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Ms. Norman Patti LuPone
  • She Works Hard For Her Money, So She Expects Luxury:Elektra
  • It Was Due To Happen: Damon, Ricky, Lil Papi, Angel
  • Everything’s Coming Up Blanca!: Ms. Norman, Blanca, Pray Tell, Damon, Ricky
Season 2, Episode 3 “Butterfly/Cocoon”As we are given multiple reasons to celebrate, there is one major blemish that will likely ruin the in-house parade you’ll be having.
Director(s) Janet Mock
Writer(s) Our Lady J
Air Date 6/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Euphoria Peppermint
Ms. Orlando Cecilia Gentili
  • Don’t Tell The Boss, The Client Is Dead!: Euphoria, Ms. Orlando, Elektra, Blanca, Candy
  • Wet N’ Wild: Ms. Ford, Papi, Angel
  • A Papi After My Own Heart: Papi, Angel
Season 2, Episode 1 “Acting Up” [Season Premiere]The ladies of Pose return, and with the AIDS crisis in full effect, those who aren’t about the community and taking advantage of “Vogue” giving spotlight are called out.
Director(s) Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Writer(s) Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Air Date 6/11/2019
  • Someone Must Speak For The Dead: Judy, Pray Tell, Blanca
  • It Can’t All Be Sacrifice: Angel, Lil Papi, Blanca
  • Not All Queer Folk Are Kin Folk: Pray Tell, Elektra, Blanca, Candy, Lulu

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Blanca, Pray Tell, Elektra, Lulu, Angel, Lil Papi, Damon, Frederica | A Sickly Mother

The effects of AIDS are whooping Blanca’s behind in May 1991. Yet, let’s be honest, it’s not just AIDS. It’s Blanca running her salon out of her home and, the biggest issue of all: The isolation. It has been 8 – 9 months since Pray Tell and Blanca talked. Lulu has gotten House Ferocity up and running again, Damon is in Paris, Angel and Lil Papi are living in sin, so while Blanca may see folks occasionally, it isn’t that often. Add in she has stopped going to balls and that makes it, so people see her if they get their nails done.

That changes though when Pray Tell visits and takes that cough and hoarse throat as a sign Blanca needs to be in the hospital. Thus leading to Blanca getting a lot of visitors and thinking she is about to clock out. Especially when Blanca learns Frederica is going to jail for arson. With that, Blanca feels sure she is about to be called home after that good news.

Yet, that isn’t the case. Damon returns, spreads the good news that he has made House of Evangelista international, is negative, and got himself a little goatee. Oh, and he is touring, choreographing music videos, and what have you. Just flourishing.

Commentary

Blanca asking Judy how much longer she has.

We’re not going to jump ahead to the ending, but I still remain transfixed on the idea that Blanca, of all people, a Mother of the Year, with a modest, but a loving house, didn’t have kids knocking on her door with her having to turn folks away. Much less, when she didn’t show up to balls for more than half a year, there weren’t more than the usual suspects showing up. Never mind it took Pray Tell that long, even after their messy fight, to check-in.

But at least when she was in the hospital people visited. Mind you, it is never the other house mothers, because that would be a lot to expect, but at least Elektra and Blanca’s sisters and kids showed up. Bringing us to Damon – I’M MAD WE DID NOT SEE A PICTURE OF HIS KIDS! I get we aren’t likely meeting any of them, but I wanted more story. How did he start a house, what was the ball scene like in other countries, other major cities, and how did it differ from the NYC scene? A lot was left out, which I understand why, but with us likely not going to hear a peep about this show, beyond nominations and awards, until next spring, I’m a little peeved.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. If Blanca was so close to death, where was Candy?

Lil Papi, Ms. Ford, Angel, Jazmin | When In Doubt, Trust Papi

Thanks to some messy ass queen who went to the balls, and was likely mad they never won a trophy with their brick face, Angel gets clocked. Meaning, people know she is trans, and that means all her contracts and work is gone. Making the fact, Lil Papi got some business acumen and told her to save up a blessing. Yet, that doesn’t help Angel feeling like she got knocked on her ass and don’t know what to do next.

After all, being clocked is a major thing for trans women. It’s not just a category and a possible trophy, as shown, it is what provides you access, privilege, and potential livelihood. So to have consistent cash flow just stop like that – it’s devastating. Hence why Angel falls into a bit of a depression but, with a man like Lil Papi by her side, it doesn’t last long.

Why? Well, with what Angel sees in a setback Lil Papi sees an opportunity. How? Well, during Angel’s shoots Lil Papi was networking with the next wave of photographers and big names. Pair that with Ms. Ford seeing beyond the bigotry of the present, she takes Lil Papi under her wing and brings him some of her connections. Not the big stuff, but the smaller campaigns or those who don’t fit how she sees the agency’s brand. Thus allowing Lil Papi to start a boutique dedicated to girls like Angel, Jazmin, and more. Which books it’s first client, a German company, who sees Angel being trans as a way to present edge.

Commentary

Jazmin (Damaris Lewis) and Lil Papi discussing how he can manage her and Angel.
Jazmin (Damaris Lewis) and Lil Papi

I know biologically Angel can’t have kids, but I fully expect her to adopt some, be it legally or for a haus, by the time this show is over. The kind of realness I need from Angel and Lil Papi, is domestic life, 2.5 kids realness. I’m talking full fantasy turned reality.

That aside, note the hustle and just goals Lil Papi is. While his woman worked, he was getting future opportunities in motions so that if the shoe ever dropped from one hand, it would never touch the ground. Also, taking inspiration from Blanca, even though we never saw her hire people from the community, he is looking out for all girls. Whether they are at the piers, in the balls, he even has the gall to approach Elektra. That hustle spirit pushes me further and further to wonder why Blanca didn’t have no kids approaching her, or her children, asking to join the house.

One more thing: I need more from Jazmin. She clearly is a mini-Elektra and not seeing Elektra mold her is a missed opportunity. Especially taking note, she is a dark-skinned woman, and with Candy dying, they could have brought in Jazmin to correct the mistakes made with Candy.

Oh, and shout out to Ms. Ford since I don’t think her working with Angel and Lil Papi was solely about money. It was also about fidelity, on the realest level, and her recognizing Lil Papi was serious. Because, in my mind, Ms. Ford is not about handouts. She, unlike Frederica, was about not just building herself up, but providing opportunities for up and coming talent. A true inspiration.

Angel, Lil Papi, Quincy, Chilly, Blanca, Elektra, Pray Tell | There Is More Than One Way To Tell A Happy Ending

There is so much joyous news, I don’t know where to begin. We could with Angel and Lil Papi getting engaged, and then still being hood as hell by celebrating at iHOP. There is also Elektra winning Mother of the Year then introducing the Emcees, judges, and some house children, walking for categories in drag. However, the big to-do to me is the introduction of Quincy and Chilly. These two 14-year-olds, fresh from the Midwest, have been struggling to survive but have each other. But after Blanca spots them, after a LEGENDARY lip sync of Whitney Houston’s take on the Star-Spangled Banner, they now have a home, and she finally has new children.

Commentary

Chilly (Gia Parr) and Quincy (KJ Aikens) telling Blanca they are 14
Chilly (Gia Parr) and Quincy (KJ Aikens)

All I know is, these two kids better be no more than a year older in season 3. I think from Angel, who is 24, to Blanca, who is 30, to Elektra, who is a woman of a certain age, we’ve gotten a diverse mix of the adult years and being trans. Taking that down to 14-year-olds though? That is next level. Especially bringing up hormones, puberty, and them going to school and dealing with that. The kinds of things which, like a lot of topics on Pose, we may have seen in movies, but often portrayed by cis actors looking for an award or in little indies many likely don’t know. I’d recommend the documentaries Kiki or Check It for examples.

Those two aside, I hope next season matches the lows of this seasons with major highs. One of which is Angel and Lil Papi’s wedding, even though a part of me feels if Angel’s papers don’t match how she identifies, we might be presented a new issue. But at least one which isn’t someone dying. I get the show can’t live in a fantasy world where trans people in the 90s got the same opportunities as cis people, much less downplay the struggles, but death was heavy-handed this season. Hopefully, season 3 can find a nice middle ground.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Despite your review being posted a looong time ago, I’m going to comment on it anyway, even though you most likely won’t read this.

    In regards to nobody noticing Blanca missing from the balls, I wonder if anyone bothered looking for her. Elektra only looks out for Elektra (and occasionally for her children); Pray Tell might have been too busy MC’ing to pay attention to whether she was there or not (plus they were fighting); Lulu was probably too busy rebuilding the House of Ferocity and mourning Candy, so she gets a pass; but I don’t really have an excuse for Angel and Papi, who definitely should have noticed!

    I was o.k. with Miss Ford giving Papi a cubicle and a phone at her agency. But I think it was a bit of a stretch that Miss Ford will “take him under her wing” or whatever Miss Ford said regarding Papi shadowing her or her letting Papi spend part of her day with her. It’s because Papi has the worst grammar and swears a lot, both of which makes him sound so “street” and lower-class. Miss Ford and her agency, on the other hand, is very high class. So I just can’t see Miss Ford wanting Papi with her, representing her agency, in a position/job where he has to talk a lot. It’s o.k. for Angel because all she has to do is smile and look pretty. Maybe if Papi took some sort of English class, then I could see it happening. Or perhaps Elektra could help him talk correctly like she helped Pray Tell, Castle, etc. walk in high heels.

    Regarding next season, I love your idea of focusing on 14-year-olds like Chilly and Quincy! It reminds me of The Wire where they spent the first 3 seasons with the adults and the 4th season in junior high school, and the 4th season was considered their best season! So bring on the The House of Evangelista: The Next Generation!! And you know how there’s NCIS and NCIS: LA? How about Pose and Pose: London (i.e. Damon’s other house)? I’d watch that.

    Even though I did not comment on every review, I always read them, and I always really liked them! Your hard work is definitely appreciated!! Thank You!!

    • I read all comments, it’s just sometimes I’m unsure what to say and then get caught up with something.

      When it comes to Papi and Ms. Ford, I think what has to be recognized is Ms. Ford is very progressive and not just in how some would say, “I have Black and trans friends” but she believes in empowering them. Plus, let’s not forget, Papi does know how to code switch and isn’t competing with Ms. Ford and working with her luxury clients. He is instead taking on things her agency passes on and is also doing some cold calling. Also, one of the major issues the community faced then, even now, is lack of mentorship. So Ms. Ford taking on Papi is not just about intrinsic motive but him also making money for her by spending time on companies she doesn’t want to allocate time to. Never mind, like Angel, he could craft a roster that, when the world becomes more accepting of trans people, she can pull from either by stealing his clients or sharing them. If not, if he stays under her umbrella, making it so her agency can say it has a long history of supporting the community and becomes the place for up and coming models of all kinds.

      Long story short: Ms. Ford is thinking long game and doing what most employers have long divested in doing – training and molding someone from the ground up.

      I LOVED THOSE SEASONS OF THE WIRE! And I think we’re just overdue, in terms of seeing young trans people. Not to disregard the importance of young adults, even older trans folks like Elektra, but to see teens, younger than Damon even, seems equally important, when it comes to representation.

      As for spin-offs? Honestly, I don’t think Damon’s actor is at that point yet where he can command his own show. Also, I don’t see Pose as the kind of show that, like NCIS, Black-ish, and others, can be the basis for a franchise. In my mind, it is the kind of show which goes on for 3 – 5 seasons, says what it needs to, and then needs to end. For while it could very well go into modern-day, I think Ryan Murphy has already said when AIDS medication, in the mid-90s, becomes widely accessible, that is when the show will be at its end. Which, with the time jumps they have, makes it so this likely is a 4 season show and that’s it.

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