Pose Season 3 premiere recap: The ballroom scene returns for one last hurrah!

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 09: (L-R) Charlayne Woodard, Janet Mock, Angelica Ross, Angel Bismark Curiel, Mj Rodriguez, Dyllón Burnside, Indya Moore and Our Lady J attend the red carpet event for FX's "Pose" at Pacific Design Center on August 09, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 09: (L-R) Charlayne Woodard, Janet Mock, Angelica Ross, Angel Bismark Curiel, Mj Rodriguez, Dyllón Burnside, Indya Moore and Our Lady J attend the red carpet event for FX's "Pose" at Pacific Design Center on August 09, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images) /

Pose Season 3 officially began this past Sunday, marking the beginning of the end of the show’s final season. The two-hour season 3 premiere doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to the emotionally inspiring story Ryan Murphy and company have always sought to tell.

The premiere jumps forward to 1994 when O.J. Simpson’s car chase was the talk of the town, and the world couldn’t decide whose side they were on. Along with Simpson, everyone seemed to be running away from something including Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) and the gang.

Blanca has a new boyfriend named Christopher (Hollywood’s Jeremy Pope), Elektra (Dominque Jackson) runs into issues with her S&M joint thanks to Rudy Giuliani, Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel) is a successful talent agent, and Angel (Indya Moore) is trying to keep her jealous emotions in check.

Lemar (Jason A. Rodriguez), Elektra’s former “child”, is up in everyone’s face ever since starting the House of Khan. There is an unbearable cockiness to Lemar that rubs everyone the wrong way. But it is also what pushes Blanca to return to the ballroom with her family by her side.

Pose Season 3 is off to a promising start, and the two-hour premiere is proof that they intend to go out with a bang (and likely some awards come award season). Now, without further ado, let’s discuss everything that went down in the Season 3 premiere!

Pose Season 3 premiere recap: Pray Tell’s downfall

The most devastating thing about the Pose Season 3 premiere recap is seeing how far Pray Tell (Billy Porter) has fallen. Throughout the 80s, the AIDs epidemic swept the nation, and by the time the 90s rolled around, the devastation was still very much a part of everyone’s lives.

This is especially true for Pray Tell who has been attending funeral after funeral of friends who lost their lives to AIDs. He’s worn down from all the death and feels hopeless that a cure will ever come around to save him from the very fate many of his loved ones have faced.

Cubby (Jeremy McClain), a dear friend of the group, is facing the very same fate as he fights for his life in the hospital. But amidst his final days, the O.J. Simpson drama unfolds, and the entire world seemingly stops. But Pray Tell’s drinking? It’s only just begun.

Pose Season 3 premiere recap: O.J.’s on the run

With O.J.’s car chase on the news, Blanca invites everyone over to watch it live. Pray Tell continues to drink beyond comprehension and expresses his strong opinions about O.J.’s innocence. He claims that because O.J. is beloved by white people, he is essentially “raceless”, and the world has never really viewed him as a Black man. Perhaps they will now because he has potentially committed a crime, but Elektra refuses to believe he’s guilty.

Eventually, Angel and Lulu (Hailie Sahar) join the watch party, but go off and smoke a crack-laced joint in secret. If Papi finds out what Angel is up to, he’s not going to be very happy, and unfortunately, this is just the start of Angel’s drug problems.

Meanwhile, Pray Tell’s drinking worsens, and all those around him can clearly see it’s becoming a detrimental problem. But he refuses to stop because it numbs the pain he’s been feeling over the loss of his friends. He can’t face the tragedy over and over again without some help.

Pose Season 3 premiere recap: House Evangelista is back!

Lemar hasn’t been very kind to the former House Evangelista, and Blanca can’t stand for the backhanded insults anymore. She knows everyone is doing their thing, but she wants them to come back together to revive their former glory and take down Lemar.

The group isn’t convinced that they want to come back, but Blanca gives one of her incredibly inspirational speeches and before long, everyone decides to get onboard. This is just one of many things Blanca is taking on in her life. Along with her relationship with Christopher and bringing back House Evangelista, Blanca reveals she wants to go to school to become a nurse.

He’s incredibly supportive of her desire to and says that he wants her to meet his parents. It’s a huge stepping stone for them, especially because Blanca hasn’t been in a relationship where her transsexuality has been embraced. Christopher has accepted her for who she is, but she can’t expect the same from his parents. She still puts on a brave face and decides she will meet them for Christopher’s sake, but before they can leave, she gets a call about Cubby.

The group heads to the hospital to be by Cubby’s side in his final moments and shares stories of their time with him. It’s an incredibly heartbreaking scene which is compounded with Lemar showing up after Cubby passes away. As expected, Lemar is rude, condescending, and inconsiderate to everyone’s emotions and feelings.

Pray Tell is in pieces over Cubby’s death, but Lemar’s behavior convinces everyone that bringing back House Evangelista and taking down Lemar and the House of Khan is the best way to honor Cubby. And honor Cubby they do! The House comes back with a vengeance and sweeps all the votes. Blanca even lends her support to House Khan’s efforts and reveals that they will be donating their prize money in Cubby’s name.

The first hour ends on a victorious note as the group heads out to dinner and they all get to meet Christopher for the very first time. It’s an adorable and lighthearted moment in a show that often takes some dark plunges which is made even sweeter by Blanca preparing to apply to nursing school!

Pose Season 3 premiere recap: Billy Porter gives the performance of his life

I’m declaring this now–Billy Porter is going to have his best season of any show yet with Pose Season 3. He is so ridiculously talented, and seeing his performance in the season 3 premiere is something to be applauded.

Pray Tell’s spiral continues to worsen as the drinking increases ten-fold and he even begins popping pills. Blanca is convinced that he needs an intervention and brings in someone to talk to the group about how they can help Pray Tell.

The expert suggests that they all write letters to Pray Tell, explaining how they’ve been affected by his drinking. The other thing Blanca believes they should do is put Pray Tell in rehab, but unfortunately, it’s going to cost $2,500/month. There is one way for them to come up with the money quickly, and that’s by sweeping all the money prizes at the next ball. Each round will award them $500, and with five rounds total, they can get exactly what they need.

Elektra decides to take matters into her own hands and gets House Evangelista into proper ball shape from having everyone practice their dance moves to picking out the perfect wardrobe. It’s game time and no one is messing around!

Pose Season 3 premiere recap: Another day, another problem

Meanwhile, Angel and Lulu’s drug addiction is getting a bit out of control, and everyone around them is beginning to notice. Papi, in particular, notices the change in Angel and declares they cannot get married if she doesn’t stop. Elektra tries to appeal to Lulu by saying she needs to get her stuff sorted out and under control.

Blanca finally has that dinner with Christopher’s parents, but it goes downhill when his mother starts asking questions about them having kids. It’s clear there is some hostility there, and Blanca is quick to take notice.

But there isn’t much time to dwell on that because House Evangelista has a ball to win, and money to gather for Pray Tell’s rehab bill. And as expected, they do just that, but unfortunately, their friend Castle (J. Cameron Barnett) collapses and has a seizure.

Later at a family dinner, Pray Tell continues to defend his drinking, which provides the perfect opportunity to address their concerns to him. The whole situation goes south really quick and Pray Tell doesn’t take to any of their concerns lightly. He’s offended, defensive, and resorts to insulting each and every person in the room before storming out of the apartment.

It seems like Pray Tell may be a lost cause, but something rattles within him when Ricky (Dyllon Burnside) tells him he’s moving out. Pray Tell’s first instinct is to insult Ricky, but when it all becomes too real he breaks down completely begging him not to leave just like everyone else has left him.

It’s Billy Porter’s time to shine, and shine he does.

Sadly, Ricky still leaves because he knows that things won’t get better unless Pray Tell gets the help he needs. And speaking of help, Angel pledges to get help for herself and promises Papi she’s going to work towards betterment for the sake of herself and their future marriage.

Blanca has yet another unfortunate interaction with Christopher’s mother, who is shocked (but not really) when Blanca says she is transsexual. His mother’s response is incredibly offensive, but this time instead of sitting quietly, Christopher stands up to his mother. He won’t leave Blanca and he loves her for who she is, if his mother or his father can’t accept that, then they will lose him forever.

Pose Season 3 premiere recap: Pray Tell gets the help he needs

It was a difficult road to get to this point, but Pray Tell decides to finally get some help and begin mending the relationships he’s fractured with his drinking. He goes to Blanca and admits he’s tired of feeling the way he has been, and he’s ready to go to rehab.

Blanca drops him off at the rehab center as Mariah Carey’s “Anytime You Need a Friend” plays in the background. The two friends embrace and say their “I love you’s” before Pray Tell walks away towards a better life.

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That was one emotional season premiere!

Did you enjoy the two-hour season premiere of Pose Season 3? Tell us in the comments below!