Pose season 2 premiere recap: Acting Up


Pose is back–bigger, stronger, and sassier as ever!

Pose gave us one hell of a season two premiere, and it did not miss a beat. I am constantly surprised and amazed by how amazing creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy is and how he’s able to produce such riveting, passionate material. The season two premiere wastes no time in continuing the story of Blanca and her house set to the backdrop of late 1980s New York City.

Blanca and Pray Tell kick off the Pose season two premiere by heading off to Hart Island to locate the remains of Pray’s ex-boyfriend. It turns out that his body is just one of many placed in boxes amongst a sea of many others. It’s an emotionally jarring moment as the camera zooms out to show just how many bodies are being disposed of with nothing but a number written outside of their “coffins”.

The emotional hits continue as Blanca learns that her CD-4 cell count is extremely low and her diagnosis is now officially AIDs. It’s a difficult reality to swallow but once again Pose hits the reality point home reminding us that situations like this were the norm at that time. Luckily for Blanca, her doctor is able to give her AZT, a drug that slows down the progression. It’s not a cheap drug readily available to everyone but when rich, white individuals pass away from the condition, they leave behind the drug for others to use.

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The season two premiere of Pose sets the scene as Madonna’s “Vogue” plays throughout the episode reminding us that the 80s have come to an end. At the center of all the fashion is Angel who is convinced by Blanca to try out for the “Fresh Faces” contest. If she wins the modeling contest, it could mean really big things for her.

But that’s all contingent on the fact that no learns about her sexuality, which may be harder to pull off than they think. When she shares her Polaroid pictures, the woman in charge insists that she get professional pictures taken instead if she wants to be taken seriously.

Pray Tell is introduced to a whole new world when a woman named Judy introduces him to a movement known as ACT UP. Side note: This was indeed a real movement from the 80s that eventually garnered fame when it staged a protest at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. All I can say is that if Billy Porter doesn’t snag an Emmy win from just these scenes alone, then the system is flawed!

As we arrive at the day of the ACT UP protest, a few unexpected situations arise including Blanca quitting her job to attend the protest. Furthermore, Blanca made sure to make it clear that her house has to show up to the protest–no matter what. Of course, Elektra chooses to ignore this request which later manifests in her quitting the house and joining a new one out of being petty.

Angel finally gets her professional photographs done, but it comes at a heavy cost. In exchange for taking her photos for free, Angel must pose for a private collection of photos for him after. Things get a bit awkward when he confesses that he’s seen her on the pier and knows what and who she is. And it seems he’s rather intrigued by her because after her photo shoot (where she looks amazing!) he makes her pose in the nude and take everything off. It’s a bit too much to watch and handle.

When Blanca and Papi learn what has happened, they waste no time in beating the crap out of the photographer and retrieving all the pictures he took. Excitingly enough, the photoshoot pictures are a success and place Angel in the top ten of the competition. Yay!

Before ending this recap, I want to take a moment to reflect on the ACT UP protest from this episode of Pose. Protestors enter the St. Patrick’s Cathedral to speak out against the Cardinal who is constantly speaking against their community. In solidarity, the protestors began to lay down in the aisles and refuse to get up until officials drag them out of the church. About 111 people were arrested that day, including Pray Tell, who is extremely passionate about everything that’s going down.

Next. Pose: Ryan Murphy spills details about season 2 with Pattie LuPone. dark

Kudos to Ryan Murphy and his team for shining a positive light on this community and giving them a voice. Pose is something truly beautiful and amazing and I can’t wait to see where the second season takes us.

Pose airs every Tuesday at 10 PM on FX!