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Revision | Angel and Papi meet happy ending in off-balance sixth episode of season 3 of “Pose”

If you think about it, the hallmark of ‘Pose’ is its competent melodrama. Unlike the romantic forays that permeate the productions of Ryan Murphy and company (see ‘Hollywood’ and even ‘American Horror Story’), the production made a glorious return to ballroom culture of the 1980s and 1990s and brought it back to life. used to not only focus on the glamor of the era, but the myriad prejudices endured by the LGBTQ + community, including transgender members, kicked out of their homes, with no prospect of life and forced into prostitution. So it’s no surprise that each chapter was built as candidly and emotionally as possible, tearing us to tears week after week.

Now, on the way to the penultimate episode of season three, the production decides to complete several arcs and focus on a more upbeat side of the multiple storytelling presented – highlighting the long and arduous relationship between Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel) and Angel (Indya Moore), who had gone through countless problems since the previous chapter, with the discovery that Papi had a child and had decided to take it for himself after his birth mother died. Of course, in a larger perspective, neither of them were to blame for the change in their lives, which is why we haven’t taken Grandpa away from wanting to be with his son, nor from Angel the reason to want to cancel the marriage because she was not ready to be a mother. However, this adversity does not seem to last long and culminates in a self-realization a little too fast for the minuscule pace of the series, banking on frantic endings in favor of a happy ending not as dense as it could be. .

“Something Old, Something New,” as the sixth iteration was titled, doesn’t seem to know exactly how to do it, especially given the number of subplots vying for center stage. In addition to Angel and Papi, we have the blindness issue that gripped Pray Tell (Billy Porter), due to the co-morbidities of HIV, and his understanding that the end is near; as if that weren’t enough, Lulu (Hailie Sahar) faces a complicated and toxic relationship, as well as getting rid of her drug addiction day in and day out; and, on top of all that, Moore’s character decides to go on a long journey trying to convince her father, with whom she has been in contact for many years, to join her for the wedding ceremony (without much success, as would be expected). However, none of the promising storylines seem to make sense after more than an hour of airing, unfolding in abundance and looking for arc developments already complex enough to get us involved.

The episode itself isn’t bad, especially given the chemistry Moore and Bismark enjoy at the altar, and a sort of “post-credits scene” that finally unites them in one lucky family. However, calling it “good” also doesn’t do justice to the incredible gems that Murphy, Steven Canals, and Janet Mock have already given us. Even the management, which takes care of Mock, doesn’t seem as inspired as in the recent past: the camera game only mentions footage from nightly balls and, although it does create a sort of nostalgic melancholy among the protagonists – even more so when it comes to Pray Tell ao Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) – leaves out the jaw-dropping costumes and the celebration of life for familiar inflections and rather repetitive predictability.

As it demonstrates the appreciation of the aforementioned anthological construction, it’s worth noting that the script and direction of the chapter gives way to a multi-faceted fragmentation that leads nowhere. With the exception of the brief declamatory sequence between Angel and her bridesmaids – in which even Elektra (Dominique Jackson), placed in the background, once again reaffirms her ambiguous and overprotective personality – the pieces do not seem to correspond to the natural expected. , leaving humanity aside and rushing to give the public what they want: brief moments of peace and prosperity for marginalized people who are content with the present and cannot think of tomorrow. In fact, the Angel and Papi-centric story, which has dominated the production for quite some time, is a letter of hope to those who have given up on love – a very important aspect, given the central theme of the series. .

Showing itself as a forgettable filler, for lack of another suitable adjective, the sixth and penultimate episode of “Pose” lacks structure and, as much as it tries to recover what has been lost, it forces us to a brutal catharsis which at any other time would work with more conviction than here. Either way, a misunderstanding like this doesn’t erase the shine of the season – and it sure doesn’t make us any less excited for the long-awaited series finale next week.

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