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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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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