I have to say, I don't think Janet Mock is a great TV writer. And I'm not sure pairing her with Ryan Murphy is the right way to go. The Our Lady J episode last week was much more balanced and consistently strong. That said...
SHIT. I cried buckets. I mean like, tearing up, that slow, silent cry, and full on tight chest, snot, ugly crying.
Even when it first happened, I didn't feel anything. I was actually kind of annoyed at the show for killing Candy instead of Lulu or one of the lesser actors. But then we got to the funeral and I was like... it had to be Candy. As much as I was upset with them for not fully realizing that character's/actress's potential, that was kind of the point. And it was certainly a fitting send off. For all Candy was shortchanged in season 1, this was a display of all that actress is capable of. Seriously, I could not stop crying. I can't say for sure but that hokey device of having Candy's spirit visit with everyone and then the triumphant performance at the end has Ryan Murphy's name all over it. And God damn it if it didn't work for me.
When Candy was talking to Pray, I thought that was a little too easy. To say that Pray saw himself in her and was trying to protect her but was also a little threatened by her and jealous didn't ring true. He walks down the street with a cane like a classy version of a pimp. It's not like he's not living his life proudly. It felt like in Glee where the bully was secretly gay and had a crush on Kurt. Not every homophobic person is actually gay. The idea that you can only hate people who reflect back things you don't like about yourself is simplistic self-help nonsense. For example, it makes more sense for him to be threatened by someone trying to break the rules and dismantle a system he feels he is the caretaker of, a tradition/organization that is such a refuge and support for so many people. If there are no rules, there's no structure and you break the illusion. It doesn't mean anything to win. You might realize how trivial it all is. Like, you have to believe in it or you realize gymnastics is a useless skill that people are torturing themselves to be the best at.
Candy had great moments with everyone but Lulu and her parents really got me. Fuck, I can't even talk about it, it got me so good.
And that final performance was just perfection. I feel like the earlier scenes at the ball were fine. I think the balls have been a little lacking because they're too glossy. I feel all the production values. It doesn't feel real. But the final scene was perfect because it gave Candy the moment she deserved. But obviously it lived in the world of symbolism and dream sequence. So it made sense for it to be this glorious production with all the lights and sparkle. I feel like there needs to be a distinction between the regular balls and the moments that need to stand out for story purposes like when there's a battle or Blanca wins Mother of the Year or something. Does that make sense? Like, they film everything the same way and it shouldn't always look as good as it does.
Anyway, I saved it on the DVR so I can rewatch parts of it when I'm not crying through it. God damn it. When this show is good, it's fantastic.
Shady but I Elektra barely spoke this episode and I don't remember Damon having any lines. I don't think it was an accident that they benched the weaker actors.
Also, if the actor playing Ricky hasn't gotten a different job, I don't understand why he's with Elektra's house. Still makes no sense. If you date someone in college and you break up, you don't transfer schools. He had relationships in the house with people other than Damon.