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S03:E01 On The Run

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1994. With the AIDS epidemic reaching fever pitch, Blanca finds purpose working as a nurse's aide at Roosevelt hospital alongside her new love, Christopher. But Blanca's history with a new patient leads to a challenging ordeal. Meanwhile, Lemar shakes up the ballroom community when he becomes father to the unruly House of Khan forcing the House of Evangelista to consider reassembling.

Original Air Date: May 2, 2021

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Pray Tell:  "OJ's practically a white man!"

Line of the night.

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I'm disappointed to not see the two teenagers from the end of last season - the boy (whose name I forget) and Chilli.

Edited by gatopretoNYC
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I’ve really missed this show! Great to see the old gang together. Papi is quite the executive now! Good for him. I’m worried about Angel smoking that pot laced with crack. Elektra is as imperious as ever. Such fun to see her own that ballroom!

I knew Pray Tell would have to utter the phrase “the wrath of Khan.” 😁

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I've seen the first episode. I was disappointed. Jam-packed with issues, characters, drama...the actors were shoehorned in and out of each scene. It didn't feel organic like earlier seasons, especially season 1. And I thought the scriptwriting was dreadful.

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9 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Pray quitting as emcee was also a blow.  His alcoholism raging was super tough to witness.

Yes, overacting is always difficult to watch.  Girlfriend was playing to the cheap seats!

1 hour ago, pasdetrois said:

I've seen the first episode. I was disappointed. Jam-packed with issues, characters, drama...the actors were shoehorned in and out of each scene. It didn't feel organic like earlier seasons, especially season 1. And I thought the scriptwriting was dreadful.

I feel the same.  I heard this season, the final season is only 7 episodes.  That isn't a lot of time to wrap up storylines about Blanca's education and blossoming romance,  Angel's inevitable crack addiction, Pray's alcoholism, and of course AIDS ravaging NYC in the mid-90's.

The most effective scene was the most quiet.  The four men in the empty funeral home, symbolizing who was there and who wasn't there.  Chills.

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Very disappointed in this episode (and the next). As much as I loved most of the original characters, I was hoping Damon, Papi, and Angel were not a part of this season; would have preferred they were all still in Europe as we left them at the end of Season Two. Other than Papi being seemingly successful, Angel and Damon had not grown at all with experience and had seemed to regress. And Damon being an alcoholic? Why did they even bring him back, just to be gone the next episode. 
The food fight was ridiculous. 
Blanca and Pray Tell’s HIV seems to be very “convenient” - pops up when some drama is needed, but otherwise those two are motoring along seemingly healthy as can be all these years later, especially after how we left Blanca at the end of last season with full blown AIDS. And Pray Tell doing everything wrong health management-wise and still functioning just fine. 
AND if I have to hear that little musical phrase they consistently play whenever there is going to be a deep Afterschool Special moment again, I think I will scream. 
I could go on and on nitpicking, but I guess it all comes down to this: really, really bad scriptwriting and character development. 
I love Season One and Two of this show and have missed it dearly. The actors and characters deserve better than what they have been given so far this season. If this is how it’s gonna be throughout, I wish they would have just ended it with the last episode in Season Two. 

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Electra, as always, gave me everything in life I never knew I needed. 

Her, framing the doorway in that dress was everything.   And then she walked in that gold dress and THAT was everything.

I really do love how this story makes me feel everything. 

I mostly understand HIV and AIDS from hindsight.  But to see your friends dying.  Your young, vibrant friends.  And you have no idea that there are so many medical miracles on the horizon. So depressing and I get a feeling for how it would have felt like a death sentence.

Its interesting that last season we looked at things through the lens of Madonnas song, which was empowering and uplifting.  Now we are looking at things through the lens of the OJ trial, which was incredibly depressing in every way imaginable.  

OJ is the luckiest and least deserving murderer walking the face of the earth.  

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When I saw “1994” come across the screen I said to my Mom, “Nicole & Ron’s murder and the Bronco chase!!!” Low and behold it was the what the characters were talking about. 
 

 

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23 hours ago, Crashcourse said:

Pray Tell:  "OJ's practically a white man!"

I didn't like any of it.  It felt like the characters had all watched OJ: Made in America and The People v. OJ Simpson are were just regurgitating points those shows made better.

I did wonder how Blanca had been living in her house for about seven years by this point and no one has ever given it a paint job.  It's not like the place is required to look dingy and run down.   

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The best part of this episode for me was that immediately after showing footage of the car chase, the first commercial that aired was a local car dealership advertising a new 2021 white Ford Bronco, which made me smirk. The episode was just trash.  All that time spent rehashing the OJ stuff could have been used to fill us in on what’s been going on the last few years. I lived through ‘94, I remember the pop culture moment the chase was vividly, but RM already covered the case more than enough. I didn’t need it eating up half of the premiere.

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Wow, Lemar actually has dialogue for once, and his dance moves are amazing...but Khan is like out of west side story or something, ridiculous and over the top. Why would Lemar suddenly turn out like that? And poor Cubby...when Blanca said she still had a child at home, I thought it was him at first, but no, he's on his way out. Sad... I wish they picked a better actress for his mother, I wasn't convinced by her and her insta-redemption was all a bit too perfect, too easy...

Blanca is gorgeous and so is her new boyfriend—damn! But it's a bit jarring to see her beautiful hair and skin—she looks so radiantly healthy, despite the fact that we last saw her in a wheelchair. Everyone is a drug addict or alcoholic now, and there's this odd atmosphere to the show...the rhythm to the characters lives feels lost. It is like lockdown, I guess. I almost expected/wanted there to be some crossover with American Crime Story, but no, they didn't show Cuba Gooding's OJ on the screen.

The ending ballroom scene looked so bad! They made the whole thing look so small, so empty; all that exposed brick and garage door ruined the illusion.  Is that the entire Khan vs Evangelista storyline; like we won't see ballroom again?  I'm so happy to be with these characters again, but the covid strain is showing.

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I knew from the beginning of the episode that I was going to be disappointed. Who on earth thought that food fight was a good idea? It seemed like a random scene from a terrible 80's sitcom was suddenly inserted into this program by accident.

Also, giving the opening dialogue to Elektra and Lemar was a strange choice. If I was a new viewer, I would have wondered why the acting was so horrible - and then I would have changed the channel after the food fight.

This show is really all over the place. It wants so badly to be a gritty depiction of just how brutal the AIDS crisis was, and how rough queer people of color had it in the late '80s/early '90s. But at the same time, the main characters have fairy tale-level good luck.

Blanca and Pray have made it to '94, seemingly with no health problems whatsoever? And a nurse, who's familiar with Blanca's medical situation, thinks she has so much time left that she should start nursing school?

And of course Blanca has landed herself a ridiculously handsome, significantly younger doctor/AIDS researcher, from a well-off family. One who (in 1994) has absolutely no qualms about her being trans, or having had full-blown AIDS for four years. That's even less believable than the gorgeous lifeguard who magically knew she was trans from looking at her.

Edited by Blakeston
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I know I say this every season, but damn the music for this show is so good!

What I don't understand is why the MC Council was offering prize money at the ball if they didn't have the cash in hand. I'm no economist but that just seemed like a terrible idea.

Watching Pray spiral was so sad. I get why he's self-medicating but it's still sad to watch. I was glad to see him turn down the crack that Lulu and Angel offered him. I'm guessing that Angel not working plus her access to Lulu's drugs means she will become addicted to crack.

RIP Cubby - I hope the show doesn't kill off too many more characters in the final season. I know that would be the realistic thing to do, but knowing that this is the last season, I don't want it to be funeral after funeral of characters we love. I

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16 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

What I don't understand is why the MC Council was offering prize money at the ball if they didn't have the cash in hand. I'm no economist but that just seemed like a terrible idea.

I'm with you.  I didn't understand why they were offering cash prizes they could not afford to make good.  You'd think that would get out pretty quickly and hurt the balls.  I also did not understand why the House of Khan responded to finding this out by trashing the diner.  I mean, presumably that led to all of them being arrested when the diner employees called the police?  It was just so weird. 

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Just now, txhorns79 said:

I'm with you.  I didn't understand why they were offering cash prizes they could not afford to make good.  You'd think that would get out pretty quickly and hurt the balls.  I also did not understand why the House of Khan responded to finding this out by trashing the diner.  I mean, presumably that led to all of them being arrested when the diner employees called the police?  It was just so weird. 

When one of the council members said they were still fundraising, I was so confused. Shouldn't you fundraise X amount of money first and then offer it as the prize once you actually have that amount? And what exactly were they doing to fundraise? I wondered why they didn't just kind of make it like a football pool - everyone who walks in the ball has to pay a $5 entrance fee and however much money is in the pot at the end of the night goes to the grand prize winner. That gives people who are already going to the balls incentive to encourage their friends to participate because the more people who compete, the bigger the prize money awarded will be.

The food fight was even more of a head scratcher. The MC Council doesn't have your money so you trash the diner? What did those poor diner employees do to deserve that? And having a big food fight will not get you your money!

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5 hours ago, Blakeston said:

Blanca and Pray have made it to '94, seemingly with no health problems whatsoever? And a nurse, who's familiar with Blanca's medical situation, thinks she has so much time left that she should start nursing school?

And of course Blanca has landed herself a ridiculously handsome, significantly younger doctor/AIDS researcher, from a well-off family. One who (in 1994) has absolutely no qualms about her being trans, or having had full-blown AIDS for four years. That's even less believable than the gorgeous lifeguard who magically knew she was trans from looking at her.

Given that Pray seemed to have a career and income, I can see him getting a cocktail and making it to 1994 okay (I would have to research when the cocktail came out)*. Blanca on the other hand, as sick as she was in 1990, and being trans, as well as not being financially well off as Pray Tell, her situation surprises me. I think the show runners didn't know they were going to get a 3rd season and wrapped things up at the end of Season 2 so we wouldn't be left hanging, and then had to reset. The idea of Damon being a house father in Europe at the end of Season 2 was too far fetched (he was also too young).

 

*Edited to Add- I did a quick google search and the cocktail didnt come out until 1995. I think a better way to explain Blanca's good health compared to the end of last season was to say she was in an experimental trial and it was working for her.

I didnt think the Dr was significantly younger than Blanca. I think they are the same age- if he is out of residency he is in his late 20s/early 30s, and I think she is in her early 30s. That shirt he was wearing was RIGHT out of 1994, I knew tons of black men his age from that social milieu wearing shirts like that. I have no idea how his parents are going to react to Blanca though- being from that social milieu they would expect him to be with another dr, lawyer, engineer, Ph.D. (MAYBE a nurse)- the fact that Blanca has no formal education is going to shock them more than her being trans or HIV+ (if they find out)....I cannot see this going well.

I think it would be more likely that Blanca's t-cell count was so low she was able to receive disability as the nurse stated at the end of Season 2, and she moved in with Pray Tell/Ricky and helped them out with some light domestic chores in exchange for the familial support.

Angel is headed somewhere I dont like, which is sad. Her and Papi's relationship was truly the sweetest, but I can see them having cracks as he is becoming professionally successful and she is at a stand still. 

1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I wondered why they didn't just kind of make it like a football pool - everyone who walks in the ball has to pay a $5 entrance fee and however much money is in the pot at the end of the night goes to the grand prize winner. That gives people who are already going to the balls incentive to encourage their friends to participate because the more people who compete, the bigger the prize money awarded will be.

Thats how I assumed it would be.

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Its great to have this show back, its music and clothes are always on point and I really love these characters. I have no idea how the show is going to wrap up so many plots that they're setting up, everything from Pray's alcoholism to Blanca going to nursing school, plus the AIDS epidemic getting worse, but its certainly going to be a wild ride. 

So if the Balls are struggling to pay winners, why are they even offering cash prizes? They're the ones in charge, if they want to stop offering cash prizes, cant they just...stop offering cash prizes? Why is it even an option, especially since it only seems like the one house cares about the prize money? Were the balls attendance lagging so they started offering money as incentive? If they are so strapped for cash, they could start charging admission, even if it was just a few bucks person, but if this is all because of the cash prizes, why do they even need the cash prizes in the first place? 

This show has always had a bit of a tonal problem, wanting to be a gritty story about LGBTQ people of color dealing with poverty, oppression, and AIDS, but it also wants to be all camp and glam and fabulous where its characters also have impressive luck when it comes to success but are also struggling and while sometimes those contrasting tones can work, especially when they show how people use the flashy camp to escape the more grim realities of their lives, but then you get stuff like the House of Khan having a food fight with the MC's right next to tragically losing friends to AIDS, it can just lead to serious whiplash. What was even the point of them destroying the diner, the MC's cant give them money that they don't have. 

Is the OJ trail going to be a running thing throughout the show? I know that it was a big deal when he was making his break for it, but did we need to spend so much time watching everyone else watch TV instead of catching up with everything and what's going on with them? It just felt like the people behind The People Vs OJ Simpson still had some thoughts about OJ and his place in society so they just decided to add some more here. 

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Happy that the show is back but disappointed with the premier.

First, that light skinned old looking boy was no means a proper antagonist. The house of Khan failed to impress with their sad little Valentine's day show.

Do you guys remember in the first season when Abundance stole those Royalty costumes from the museum and everyone (rightfully) lost their damn minds?  Now, THAT WAS a show worthy of some money.

Also, shouldn't attacking the elder statesmen of the ball scene get your house banned for life? Why was there a $1,000 prize when there was not a $1,000 to be had among them?

OJ was a thing but it should have only been mentioned in passing. There is a lot to get to in this final season.

Edited by qtpye
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Billy Porter was The View yesterday and mentions 

Spoiler

The series ends in 1998 and the cocktail didn’t arrive until 1996.

This was….strange.  And missing a lot of key information. Aside what was covered with Blanca and Pray Tell, did Angel and Papi get married after that adorable proposal at the end of last season?  This has a 4 year time jump, and with only 7 episodes, I felt they needed less of Khan drama and more of what happened since then.  Part of me really wonders if having a 3 season plan was the goal all along or if COVID forced them to pivot and now say otherwise. 
 

I loved the show the first 2 seasons, but I’m feeling this last season is going to drag.

 

 

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Apparently the writers think that a good way to show the struggles of queer Black people with AIDS in the early 90s is to show them engaging in a huge fight with a shitload of property damage in a NYC diner, and miraculously walking away without any legal repercussions of any kind.

They also never could have made a ruckus in a hospital like that without security being called.

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On 5/3/2021 at 10:01 PM, txhorns79 said:

I did wonder how Blanca had been living in her house for about seven years by this point and no one has ever given it a paint job.  It's not like the place is required to look dingy and run down.   

Or at least just wash the walls, damn!

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I'm disappointed to not see the two teenagers from the end of last season - the boy (whose name I forget) and Chilli.

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really, really bad scriptwriting and character development.

Welcome to the world of long-term Ryan Murphy shows.

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This show is really all over the place. It wants so badly to be a gritty depiction of just how brutal the AIDS crisis was, and how rough queer people of color had it in the late '80s/early '90s. But at the same time, the main characters have fairy tale-level good luck.

Sometimes the show gets the balance right, sometimes it goes too far into happy fantasy land. This episode was the latter.

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Just watched this last night; we've held off starting this season until we could watch them all in one weekend.  We watched the last episode of season two and this first episode of season three and the difference was...staggering.  Wow.  

The end of season two was Blanca's steep decline in health, Pray's happiness with Ricky and his vision to improve the balls/council, Angle & Papi heading off to change the world together...it was heartbreaking and hopeful.  The very end with the two new teens coming under Blanca's wing, to give them roots and to give her renewed purpose, was so moving.

Then we open with a sad new house we're supposed to fear, a completely healthy Blanca (say what?), scene-chewing Prey back in the bottle, Angle turning to drugs, the dumbest food fight I've ever seen...and.....O.J. Simpson????  What the fuck?!  

Ryan Murphy...he can never let a good thing...well, stay good.

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