Pose S01E02

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SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.

So far still so good. The second episode of Pose was just as good as the first. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t just continue to maintain this level of quality, but eventually surpass it as well.

Of all of the characters that make up the cast, I think that Stan got the most character development in this episode. It was done very, very well. Unfortunately, now that we know more about him and have a better idea of who he is, I’m not so sure about his romance with Angel. I still want her to get the fairy tale romance that she wants, but I’m somewhat doubtful that it’s what she will get, though she still could.

I’m afraid that Stan is just using Angel and she’s just an outlet for him to relieve the stresses and pressures of his life. We all knew that he wasn’t “going to the office” when he left home after the fight with his wife. The whole fight showed a lot about who he is and what he values/prioritises; appearances. He pretends in pretty much every aspect of his life. With Angel he doesn’t. However, I think that – at least at this point in the series – he has zero intentions of ceasing to pretend. Angel is his temporary reprieve so that he can go on pretending.

The thing that leads me to believe that perhaps this relationship won’t end badly for Angel, that at some point he will stop pretending and fully embrace his life with her, is that he is fully aware of the facade and is not happy with living that life. What he appreciates about Angel is that she is unapologetically herself despite the world hating her for it. Maybe she will give him the courage to live his life the way that he wants to. Even if that does happen, his possessiveness is worrying.

That he is so bewitched by and infatuated with her is adorable, but that it manifests itself as a desire to control and own her is scary. After her spiel of not being a kept woman I was very disappointed that Angel just accepted becoming exactly that. She spoke about keeping her dignity, but where is the dignity in doing so? At least as a sex worker she was independent. She didn’t even need a place to live, she had the the House of Evangelista and an empowering House Mother in Blanca to guide her.

Eventually Stan’s wife is going to find out about him and Angel and that will be the turning point for their relationship. Either he will leave Angel and go back to pretending, or he will leave his wife (and possibly his job) to be with Angel. He will not be able to have his cake and eat it too forever. It’s too early in the season to say definitively what will happen, especially since I get the feeling that this show may not necessarily be one with happy endings and that’s because of Blanca’s story in this episode.

In a  perfect world people who are discriminated against would not perpetuate that discrimination on other people, particularly those within their own community. Regrettably, this is not a perfect world, it does happen and the LGBT community is no exception. Watching Blanca struggle with the gay bar was hard. I admired her tenacity in confronting their transphobia and determination in fighting back. I was very scared for her when the bouncer violently threw her out of the bar. He was so violently aggressive with her that I believed that he was about to beat her up or something. Thankfully it didn’t come to that.

Even though she was arrested – and unfairly at that – I was certain that she would go back to the gay bar yet again and that once she did they would finally, begrudgingly, serve her. That didn’t happen. She did go back, but she stood outside, looking in dejectedly. There was no happy resolution…She lost. Saddened as I was by that outcome, I did appreciate it. You can’t win every battle in life and that just made the whole thing feel a little more real. But that wasn’t the only lost she suffered in this episode; she once again went up against Elektra in a ball.

I have to say that I really liked Elektra in this episode. Mostly in the scenes at the nail salon and when she bailed Blanca out of jail. She may be a bitter old broad and the two may always be at each other’s throats, but she does respect Blanca. Elektra is not the type to come out and tell her that, though. If not for Elektra pushing Blanca to go back to the balls, I don’t think that Blanca would have.

I still don’t like Dominique Jackson’s acting. I think she’s terrible. She pulls down a scene whenever she starts to “act.” Her facial expressions are either over-exaggerated (when Elektra is mad) or just flat (when Elektra isn’t mad). The way she delivers her lines is so artificial and she does not sound like a real person when she speaks.

On a more positive note, things are looking up for Damon. Not just at school but, romantically. By the end of the episode I felt really bad for distrusting Ricky. He was all cute and charming when he first met Damon, but by the time they were alone together at the pier and he was coming on really strong…I was suspicious of him. He was too quick to talk about loving Damon (whom he’d literally just met) and seemed to only have sex on his mind. I really thought that he would blow off Damon and just find someone who would put out immediately and Lil Papi seemingly confirmed that suspicion when he said that Ricky was a “hit it and quit it” kind of guy.

In fact, when Helena invited Damon to the ballet I was afraid that he would blow it off so that he could spend more time with Ricky. I was glad that Lil Papi said that so that Damon would put his education first. It was misplaced concern, however, because Damon told Ricky later in the episode that he would choose his education over a relationship. Imagine my surprise when Ricky was shown to be sitting at the restaurant waiting on Damon.

It’s kind of problematic that Ricky wanted to be taken along with Damon in his success instead of having aspirations of his own, but Damon is trying to help him so maybe he will clean up his life and have a dream of his own eventually. I was surprised that Damon didn’t try to get him to move into the House of Evangelista since he’s homeless, though. I doubt that Blanca would turn him away. I’m glad that they were able to sort things out and start over as friends.

Random thoughts:

  1. The categories for these balls are all so random.
  2. Very subtle with the crotch grab, Ricky.
  3. Wow. His father was that bad that he legitimately feared that he would kill him.
  4. How are they paying for Damon to go to school?
  5. Damon better tell Blanca that Lil Papi is selling drugs.
  6. I knew Elektra would win.

Pose airs Sundays at 9 PM on FX.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.