Criticism | Billy Porter shines in 4th episode of final season of ‘Pose’

It has been a long and amazing journey for our beloved protagonists of ‘Pose’, easily one of Ryan Murphy’s and society’s best productions – and one of those complex and passionate characters is undoubtedly Pray Tell, mastered by the winner of the Emmy Awards. Billy Porter.

Beginning as the master of ceremonies in the ballroom frequented by Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), Electra (Dominique Jackson), Angel (Indya Moore) and so many others, Pray Tell plunged into a magnificent and captivating arc of fall and redemption. , becoming a villain and as a young man many elements, from the traumatic and abusive childhood to the loves he found in New York City and being diagnosed with HIV / AIDS. Now, in “Take Me To Church,” the fourth episode of the work’s final season, your time has come to face some ghosts from the past, return to your homeland and understand, in any way possible, what led you to walk away with such conviction from mother and friends.

It’s no surprise that for a chapter as important as this, creator and showrunner Janet Mock himself returned to directing and writing – even more for lending his skillful hands to the incredible. first album “On the Run”. Despite the obstacles he encounters along the way, including an unstable pace and unnecessary aesthetic choices, Mock turns the iteration into an ode to life and a metaphysical repair of issues that have yet to be resolved, even twenty years later. And that’s how it all comes together like a role reversal and a narrative that, as obvious as it may seem, still manages to make us cry for the indescribable performances of each actor and actress.

The most interesting part, unbelievable as it may sound, comes down to the meticulous and relatively daring drive, which, backed up by dramatic formulas, does not allow them to appear with the ease imagined. While Jackson took the reins of an “origin story” for Elektra last week, Porter is doing his best to follow those anthological steps – but is focusing more on ending a subplot that calls for a conclusion. . After all, throughout the series, audiences were in touch with certain aspects of his childhood and adolescence, until the point where he no longer felt welcomed by the birth community and decided to start over. in one of the main urban centers on the planet. Mock, taking this premise into account, transforms the viscerality of the city into a suburban and Catholic aspiration that values ​​simplicity and traditionalism.

Between flagrant symmetries and metaphorical subtlety which demonstrates the two sides of the same character, the plot is in the background and forgets itself. One would imagine that, deciding to visit his mother (Anna Maria Horsford) after finding out that he was only six months old, there would be a confrontation over Pray Tell’s sexual orientation and the fact that he has contracted HIV / AIDS. In turn, the two were also expected to forgive each other for the mistakes they had made and rediscover the joy of a long-broken family – why, she even convinces him to go to the church where he sang. one last time, allowing him to show all your fragility through the Gospel.

The relationship between the two is somewhat circular and “forced”, so to speak, preferring to end up in fabulous happiness than in poignant reality. But the bonds with his aunt (lived majestically by Jackée Harry) and an unacceptable ex-lover, Vernon (Norm Lewis) are the momentary advances that make everything even more complex, flirting with a raw nostalgia that he does not never takes shape. Pray Tell’s reflections on the past are confined to a brief, frustrating streak in which he and Vernon kiss for the first time and attract mean looks from people who technically should respect and not judge others.

Print critiques of religious fanaticism and controversial Catholicism ideologies, Mock, Steven Canals and Brad Falchuk, all contributing to the storyline, do not mock indefensible extremisms, but open the doors to an exploration of the preeminent mindset of the 1980s and 1990s. , in which taboos about HIV / AIDS and the LGBTQIA + community ruled a patriarchal and stagnant society over time (not that it is much different today, although we have evolved considerably). However, more than just throwing commentary galore, we see an analysis that, even scratching the surface, is already a good start to what needs to be discussed today and which dates back decades ago.

The third season of “ Pose ” may have slipped at times in this new episode, but it still has a lot of potential to give avid fans a more than deserved grand finale – saying goodbye to memorable characters and that, with the most absolute certainty, they will miss you.

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