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S03.E07: Series Finale

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When Blanca discovers an HIV clinical trial is denying access to people of color she joins ACT UP in an effort to get Pray Tell the medication.

Original Air Date: June 6, 2021

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Ok Blanca is confusing me.  First she's advocating for Pray Tell and other minority patients to be part of the trial.  Then, with the help of her doctor boyfriend, the hospital administrator agrees for her and Pray Tell to be part of the trial, as well working to get other minority patients included.  Next thing I see is her bringing up the Tuskegee experiment and saying she doesn't trust the trial.

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2 hours ago, Crashcourse said:

Ok Blanca is confusing me.  First she's advocating for Pray Tell and other minority patients to be part of the trial.  Then, with the help of her doctor boyfriend, the hospital administrator agrees for her and Pray Tell to be part of the trial, as well working to get other minority patients included.  Next thing I see is her bringing up the Tuskegee experiment and saying she doesn't trust the trial.

She wasn't currently sick, so she didn't think she needed to add more medications to her regimen, whereas Pray Tell was dying.  She wasn't desperate on her own behalf.

I'm glad to see that in the future no one was wearing those ash-filled necklaces. I was afraid they would all feel compelled to do so until they died. (So Pray was actually doing Elektra a favor by denying her one.)

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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Slightly paraphrased:

Ricky: Pray Tell said he had extra (cocktail) drugs. I went over there every few days and he would give me more.

Doctor Christopher: No way the doctors in the study would give him extra.

Ricky: I thought maybe he swiped some extra.  

Nurse Judy: No way he would have been able to steal any.

Ricky: Oh, no. Oh, no. Pray Tell (who has unexpectedly died, despite being on the cocktail), what did you do?

Elektra and the others: Could we have some more clues?

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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Elektra shitting on the cosmos and ordering 4 Blue Label scotches was a favorite moment.

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On 6/6/2021 at 11:16 PM, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Elektra and others: Could we have some more clues?

Ha. As soon as Ricky showed his lesion, I knew what would happen so  that's exactly how I felt in that scene.  It's pretty obvious what happened, everyone! I will say, though, that was the first time the death really hit me.  I thought Dyllón Burnside was quietly terrific in this episode. 

In fact, the one thing I can say about this third season is that it made me a believer in the talents of actors (Angel Curiel and Burnside) that I might not have thought were as strong as the rest of the cast in earlier seasons.  But if I felt anything this season, it was largely because of them.

I don't know how I feel about this season being so focused on Pray.  The two hour premiere.  The episode where he went home and now the two hour finale. 

Elektra is making money in webcamming now?  I remember what the internet was like in 1998.  It wasn't very fast.  I know the technology existed but was webcamming really a thing that could be commercialized back then?

Edited by Irlandesa
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I was underwhelmed by this. There was certainly some emotion in seeing Pray die, and seeing (presumably) the last of these characters, and it was nice to see Blanca become part of the trial and remain healthy. But when you take things too far into wish-fulfillment land, it feels more like the writers are jerking us off than anything else.

One thing that really bothered me was the idea that Pray, on his death bed, would be allowed into the trial - and upon being given the pills would rise up and suddenly start feeling like a twenty-something again. Either those pills were magic, or the placebo effect can cure AIDS-related pneumonia in someone who has no immune system. Sure, Ryan Murphy.

And this happened after Christopher explained that starting the trial after you get sick is too late!

Someone watching this episode might come away thinking that the cocktail is a surefire way to survive AIDS indefinitely, which is a dangerous belief.

And let's not forget the takeaway that working with the mob is a great way to achieve all your dreams, and save the world at the same time!

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Elektra is making money in webcamming now?  I remember what the internet was like in 1998.  It wasn't very fast.  I know the technology existed but was webcamming really a thing that could be commercialized back then?

It existed, but...no. But given the revisionist wish fulfillment fantasy element of this season, just go with it.

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Sure, Ryan Murphy

This could be one of the taglines for this season.

Pretty much agree with everything @Blakeston said in their post.

Not the best of send-offs, but it is what it is. A decent good-bye to the characters, but could have been better.

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14 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

One thing that really bothered me was the idea that Pray, on his death bed, would be allowed into the trial - and upon being given the pills would rise up and suddenly start feeling like a twenty-something again.

Yeah.  That struck me too.  80 people is a relatively small trial.  They probably have pretty strict criteria about who can join.  And the fact that Pray has other conditions would probably make him ineligible for this trial.  Blanca would likely qualify because her one condition is HIV.  Whereas Pray had pneumonia and lymphoma.  What about the lymphoma?  Did his getting better cure that cancer too?  I guess I don't know enough about the HIV related diseases he had but I haven't forgotten about it. Anyway, it's unlikely they would have let him in the trial because of those conditions.  They could throw off the effectiveness results of a drug that was specifically targeting HIV.

And then Pray got to have a beautiful death so there was no evidence about what he was doing.  They didn't address what happens with Ricky either.  Now that Pray is dead, his pipeline to the drugs was cut off.

 

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Yeah, Seeing Pray restored to full health bothered me too. At the very least, the cocktail can’t cure glaucoma so seeing him with 2 functioning eyes after the big deal about him losing his vision bugged.

I was underwhelmed by the ball performance as well. The Diana Ross song felt like a rehash.

1998 Angel was simply gorgeous from head to toe at that lunch. That was Indya’s color.

It was so bloated and meh but I’ll still miss this show anyway.

 

 

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OK I admit it, when the entire choir was in black with their backs to the audience, I started sobbing. 😭 That was a beautifully moving scene.

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....Thats it?  Covid killed Pray Tell, not AIDS.  Some really powerful material--if we were actually allowed to follow Act UP! over the years, see Blanca navigate nursing school as a transwoman of color who was HIV positive, that would have been amazing.  I love Blanca so much, I wish we got to see so much more of her this season.  Pray Tell's story was incredibly predictable--I knew he would give his meds to Ricky, and the second he left the ball alone it was obvious he was about to die (thankfully he wasn't murdered in the street which was my initial fear.)  His initial complete recovery (even from the cancer...) was incredulous, and yeah both Pray and Blanca needed to stop smoking.  I recall in The Hours how one of the main characters, a gay man who was once dying of AIDS got the cocktail in time to save his life, but was still disabled by everything that the virus did to his body.  That is a realistic outcome of how Pray might have wound up if he lived, not instantly restored to full health.  At least Ricky didn't sing some horrible song to revive him ala the ridiculous ending to Rent.

I feel like maybe in the ending scene Blanca could have said something like 'I just got off the phone with Damon, he's on his way here, should be just a couple minutes...) We still wouldn't see him, but at least we could imagine they would. 

We fast forwarded to the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (or at least to the point where cocktails were available in the U.S.) but Pray's death was told in slow motion.  Clearly they tried to do justice to/celebrate the characters and the stories this season, but the rushing to end the show because a new pandemic shut them down really cost the narrative a great deal and didn't allow the show to really build up to and earn something the way it could have if we got 4-5 seasons that were written as tightly as S1.  I just wanted more. 

Edited by Glade
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4 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Yeah.  That struck me too.  80 people is a relatively small trial.  They probably have pretty strict criteria about who can join.  And the fact that Pray has other conditions would probably make him ineligible for this trial.  Blanca would likely qualify because her one condition is HIV.  Whereas Pray had pneumonia and lymphoma.  What about the lymphoma?  Did his getting better cure that cancer too?  I guess I don't know enough about the HIV related diseases he had but I haven't forgotten about it. Anyway, it's unlikely they would have let him in the trial because of those conditions.  They could throw off the effectiveness results of a drug that was specifically targeting HIV.

And then Pray got to have a beautiful death so there was no evidence about what he was doing.  They didn't address what happens with Ricky either.  Now that Pray is dead, his pipeline to the drugs was cut off.

 

And now the results of the very small study will indicate that the cocktail didn't save Pray, which could influence whether other people at his stage of the disease are even offered the drug regimen.

I'll assume that someone will grab the remainder of Pray's drugs for Ricky, but he'll soon run out, and then what?

 

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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6 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

1998 Angel was simply gorgeous from head to toe at that lunch. That was Indya’s color.

I know, right? Why couldn't they have styled her similarly for her wedding!

I was a little taken aback when Elektra ordered hard liquor for everyone at the table. We've heard so much about how hard Angel and Lulu have struggled to maintain their sobriety, but I guess that's not a thing anymore. Maybe Angel was right about how she couldn't stay sober while raising a kid!

2 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

And now the results of the very small study will indicate that the cocktail didn't save Pray, which could influence whether other people at his stage of the disease are even offered the drug regimen.

I'll assume that someone will grab the remainder of Pray's drugs for Ricky, but he'll soon run out, and then what?

This was another thing that bugged. We clearly weren't meant to think this through. 

Funny how Pray was talking about survivor's guilt earlier in the episode. He sacrificed his life so that Ricky could get just a few months worth of drugs - and then be stuck with a horrific case of survivor's guilt. Judy should have just let Ricky believe that Pray swiped some extra pills.

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5 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

And now the results of the very small study will indicate that the cocktail didn't save Pray, which could influence whether other people at his stage of the disease are even offered the drug regimen.

On that, I'm going to assume his doctors/the researchers will be told he wasn't taking his meds and he'll be listed as a "drop out" in the study so his success on the cocktail won't show up in the results but neither will his death.

Edited by Irlandesa
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I loved this show. Seasons One and Two, watched repeatedly, helped get me through some dark times during the pandemic. The underlying theme of chosen family made me happy and hopeful. The characters became “friends” to me. I really, really loved this show. I had all the episodes downloaded on my phone and when I needed to destress I watched. 
This final season was a disservice to all that came before; pure fantasy and farce. The saddest part of the final episode was not Pray’s death, but the ladies’ lunch. The characters made it quite clear they were no longer a family but had each gone their separate ways, not even keeping close touch. So sad.

This season will not be downloaded onto my phone for future watch. I’m just gonna make believe that the series ended with the final show of season two which provided a much better, realistic and hopeful ending. 

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10 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

She wasn't currently sick, so she didn't think she needed to add more medications to her regimen, whereas Pray Tell was dying.  She wasn't desperate on her own behalf.

But my point was that initially she was all up in the hospital administrator's face demanding that minority patients have the drug.   Shortly afterwards she's basically saying that minority patients might be used like guinea pigs like the men in the Tuskegee study.  She just wasn't making any sense, at least not to me.

Blanca's acting improved this season but, looking back on the series, I wish more characters had played a more prominent role.  I'm thinking specifically of Lulu.    

I have to say, the finale had me feeling kind of blah.  Everyone (except Pray, of course. and perhaps Ricky) got their fantasy ending, and as much as Elektra snarked on Sex and the City, that's kinda how they wound up.  

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6 hours ago, Glade said:

We fast forwarded to the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (or at least to the point where cocktails were available in the U.S.) but Pray's death was told in slow motion.  Clearly they tried to do justice to/celebrate the characters and the stories this season, but the rushing to end the show because a new pandemic shut them down really cost the narrative a great deal and didn't allow the show to really build up to and earn something the way it could have if we got 4-5 seasons that were written as tightly as S1.  I just wanted more. 

Yeah, the obvious fucked up production had its hands all over this season but they also just made bizarre choices. Blanca getting that letter from Damon just made the creative choices at the beginning of the season make less sense. Like he became a drunk AND recovered between seasons just for him to relapse off screen and then seemingly I guess recover again and open three dance studios? Like wouldn't it have just been easier to have Googled a tour happening at the time period and have him be a dancer on it? Especially if you're going to give him a last second happening ending?

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This final season was a disservice to all that came before; pure fantasy and farce. The saddest part of the final episode was not Pray’s death, but the ladies’ lunch. The characters made it quite clear they were no longer a family but had each gone their separate ways, not even keeping close touch. So sad.

For a season built on a lot of fantasy, I liked that touch of realism of them breaking off into different directions. The ballroom scene held them together and when they each left, they parted ways with no malice. It's like when you have these intense friendships in college and you graduate and move on and you stay in contact here and there but do not have that central hub of activity tying you together.

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Elektra is making money in webcamming now?  I remember what the internet was like in 1998.  It wasn't very fast.  I know the technology existed but was webcamming really a thing that could be commercialized back then?

Honestly, it would've made more sense if Elektra Abundance had gone into directing porn or something, like a ChiChi LaRue-esque character. She could even make a joke about how she's been directing men how to fuck all her life so might as well do it front of a camera.

I get the reference they were making to Diana Ross's Central Park concert being rained out and whatnot, but I wish they had chosen to do her song "The Boss" or even "Love Hangover" since they used that song a bunch in Paris is Burning a lot.

Edited by BloggerAloud
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8 minutes ago, BloggerAloud said:

Like he became a drunk AND recovered between seasons just for him to relapse off screen and then seemingly I guess recover again and open three dance studios? Like wouldn't it have just been easier to have Googled a tour happening at the time period and have him be a dancer on it? Especially if you're going to give him a last second happening ending?

Oh man you must have missed the post credits scene where they fast forwarded to when texting was a thing and Blanca got a text saying he went bankrupt and lost his studios. Poor Damon, such an offscreen roller coaster for him!

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I'll  steal a line from the Handmaid's Tale forum who said they were "whelmed." 

The good: you can tell that most of the actors improved from the pilot and became better performers.  Mj Rodriguez who I thought was passable at best at the pilot really came into her element this season and she'll be on to better things as her career rolls on.

The bad: almost everything story wise.  And it starts with the 5 main writers/creators being listed as the writers of the script.

It was made pretty clear that Pray Tell was going to die but that was a bit much that he and Blanca enter the trial (and there are major questions on how they managed to get in assuming it has been running a few weeks messing up the metrics) by a thinly veiled threat.  But then Pray Tell's glaucoma disappeared?  Everything about ACT UP was sped through and there was a 4 year timeline told in less than 2 hours.  I was reading an article from the L.A. Times that Rodridguez didn't realize they were filming this as a final season until early on and I tend to believe her.  

Finally, they became the people that who sort of despised them not even a decade ago: "the ladies who lunch."  While I liked the snark about the Sex and the City's lack of diversity (though was it really part of the cultural landscape in its first season?) it shows that in some ways they drifted apart to their new lives.  Which is fine and normal, if they were not selling the "we are family through and through."

Surprised Electra never got killed by the mob.  But webcam girls?  in 1998? I'll assume her clients had some amazing T1 connections at the time became most of us were rocking 56 Kbps dial up modems.  

 

5 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

 

I'll assume that someone will grab the remainder of Pray's drugs for Ricky, but he'll soon run out, and then what?

 

There was a mention that the costs of the drugs dropped after a few months so I'll fanwalk that Electra was covering the costs. 

 

Pose became another show that was outstanding in the beginning but like the writer's strike of 2008, became a victim of unavoidable circumstances and sort of limped to a bizarre ending that may satisfy some, but didn't do enough for others. 

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I don't think Damon opened three dance studios.  His new, older man owned three dance studios and Damon taught in them.  So if he breaks up with him, he's back with very little.

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9 minutes ago, BloggerAloud said:

The ballroom scene held them together and when they each left, they parted ways with no malice. It's like when you have these intense friendships in college and you graduate and move on and you stay in contact here and there but do not have that central hub of activity tying you together

i understand what you’re saying- but I think that’s the difference between “close friends” and “chosen family”, especially for these characters that do NOT have the relationships with their biological family/family of origin because of their queerness/status as outsiders etc.

I understand what @Juneau Gal is saying as well. When people don’t have a biological or legal family (now Papi/Angel/Beto are a legal family), the “family of choice” becomes much more important socially and emotionally, and the loss of that family is even more tragic.

 

I haven’t seen the episode yet, I wanted to give it my FULL attention and when I realized it was two hours I knew I needed to wait.

 

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My quibbles with this season aside Blanca’s strut off in that fabulous pink coat was epic.

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1 minute ago, txhorns79 said:

I thought it was strange when Pray Tell's mother told Blanca that she was like a mother to Pray.  I never saw them that way.  If anything, I saw Pray as a parent figure to Blanca, and wasn't quite sure where Pray's mother was coming from with that comment. 

I agree with you. I always saw them as the very best of friends with Pray having a bit of a mentoring role due to his being older and in the scene longer than Blanca. If anything I would have called it a very loving brother/sister relationship. 

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Adding to my comment above re:Pray and Blanca: THAT is a story I would have liked to have seen the show explore. How did Pray and Blanca become so close? 

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16 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I thought it was strange when Pray Tell's mother told Blanca that she was like a mother to Pray.

Yes, I didn't understand this at all. I thought of Pray as her BFF, a surrogate uncle to her family, and a brother/sister vibe from interactions with Elektra.  Even the ending reinforced that he was the mentor to Blanca. What a strange scene.

I did love "My Love Is Your Love" playing at the end. It was touching.

I do not believe that Angel and Blanca did not keep in touch every  single day between 1996 and 1998.  I could see how perhaps Lulu faded away from the bunch and maybe Elektra did not keep close contact with Angel, but I cannot see Angel getting through motherhood without Blanca guiding her way.

I also can't believe Blanca wouldn't be carrying Pray's locket with her every day. I am so disappointed at how little thought was put in to this season. Pose deserved better.

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5 hours ago, Crashcourse said:

But my point was that initially she was all up in the hospital administrator's face demanding that minority patients have the drug.   Shortly afterwards she's basically saying that minority patients might be used like guinea pigs like the men in the Tuskegee study.  She just wasn't making any sense, at least not to me.

Yes, it made it seem like she only cared about guinea pigs if she were the potential guinea pig-but I still think it had to do with not being so concerned about being that guinea pig if dying soon was your only other choice.  I do agree that the disconnect was jarring.

5 hours ago, Crashcourse said:

I have to say, the finale had me feeling kind of blah.  Everyone (except Pray, of course. and perhaps Ricky) got their fantasy ending, and as much as Elektra snarked on Sex and the City, that's kinda how they wound up.  

I do wonder how Ricky is supporting himself as a House Father.  And where are he and his children living?  I don't think we can assume that Elektra is bankrolling everyone.

Also, did anyone find it funny that Christopher moved permanently into Blanca's not-so-nice apartment when his lease ran out, instead of them looking for a nicer place together?  What is she doing with all those extra rooms?  (At least with the money that a doctor is saving on rent, they should be able to buy a nice condo someday.)  I guess they are too realistic to think that lightning could strike twice and that they could successfully marry, but it doesn't seem like Christopher has proposed, either, and based on Blanca's past comments surrounding Angel's marriage, she would probably loved to at least be engaged. 

5 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

On that, I'm going to assume his doctors/the researchers will be told he wasn't taking his meds and he'll be listed as a "drop out" in the study so his success on the cocktail won't show up in the results but neither will his death.

I assumed they wouldn't tell, on the off chance that Ricky could get in trouble.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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10 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I do wonder how Ricky is supporting himself as a House Father.  And where are he and his children living?  I don't think we can assume that Elektra is bankrolling everyone.

I'm assuming he moved into Pray Tell's apartment.

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13 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Also, did anyone find it funny that Christopher moved permanently into Blanca's not-so-nice apartment when his lease ran out, instead of them looking for a nicer place together? 

Yet another thing that made no sense.  Honestly, I waiting for the other shoe to drop on Blanca's relationship with the good doc, because it seemed too good to be true.   

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20 minutes ago, AgentRXS said:

I'm assuming he moved into Pray Tell's apartment.

Which raised another question to me.  How did Pray Tell afford that place?  Even if it was rent controlled, I'm not sure he had a paying job, did he?  I know he designed clothes and obviously was a talented tailor, but I don't recall him ever saying how he made money.   

33 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Also, did anyone find it funny that Christopher moved permanently into Blanca's not-so-nice apartment when his lease ran out, instead of them looking for a nicer place together?  What is she doing with all those extra rooms?  (At least with the money that a doctor is saving on rent, they should be able to buy a nice condo someday.)  I guess they are too realistic to think that lightning could strike twice and that they could successfully marry, but  it doesn't seem like Christopher has proposed, either, and based on Blanca's past comments surrounding Angel's marriage, she would probably loved to at least be engaged. 

Blanca's apartment will forever be a mystery to me.  Elektra pays for all new furniture, but no one considers painting the place or even washing the walls so it doesn't look so dingy and run down.    

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46 minutes ago, AgentRXS said:

I do not believe that Angel and Blanca did not keep in touch every  single day between 1996 and 1998.  I could see how perhaps Lulu faded away from the bunch and maybe Elektra did not keep close contact with Angel, but I cannot see Angel getting through motherhood without Blanca guiding her way.

I also can't believe Blanca wouldn't be carrying Pray's locket with her every day. I am so disappointed at how little thought was put in to this season. Pose deserved better.

That Sex & The City scene was pure exposition to explain what everyone had been doing in the two years we skipped in the finale. And if it made it seem like these women didn't stay in touch?  Oh well...

You're right, Pose deserved better.

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59 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

Which raised another question to me.  How did Pray Tell afford that place?  Even if it was rent controlled, I'm not sure he had a paying job, did he?  I know he designed clothes and obviously was a talented tailor, but I don't recall him ever saying how he made money.   

IIRC, the only paying job we ever saw or heard about was spraying cologne at a department store.

It would have been so easy for them to say that he worked in the fashion industry, and it actually would have been believable. (A lot more believable than Elektra being the queen of webcams in 1998, or even Lulu being an up-and-coming accountant.)

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49 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

IIRC, the only paying job we ever saw or heard about was spraying cologne at a department store.

It would have been so easy for them to say that he worked in the fashion industry, and it actually would have been believable. (A lot more believable than Elektra being the queen of webcams in 1998, or even Lulu being an up-and-coming accountant.)

Now leave Lulu alone, LOL.  Actually, I can believe her having a "head for numbers" and succeeding in her field. 

But yeah, I forgot that we saw Pray in the department store spraying cologne and looking desperate and disgusted.  The only borough I've visited in NYC is Manhattan and I know it's expensive to live there, but are we supposed to believe that he's living in a fabulous apartment in Manhattan?  The writers could have easily explained that his fashion business took off and he was no longer working in the department store.   

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2 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

I'm assuming he moved into Pray Tell's apartment.

I doubt that was a multi-bedroom apartment that could house a ball family, even if Ricki could afford to live there.

 

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16 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Did his getting better cure that cancer too?  I guess I don't know enough about the HIV related diseases he had but I haven't forgotten about it. Anyway, it's unlikely they would have let him in the trial because of those conditions.  They could throw off the effectiveness results of a drug that was specifically targeting HIV.

And then Pray got to have a beautiful death so there was no evidence about what he was doing.  They didn't address what happens with Ricky either.  Now that Pray is dead, his pipeline to the drugs was cut off.

 

16 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

Yeah, Seeing Pray restored to full health bothered me too. At the very least, the cocktail can’t cure glaucoma so seeing him with 2 functioning eyes after the big deal about him losing his vision bugged.

 

9 hours ago, Blakeston said:

Funny how Pray was talking about survivor's guilt earlier in the episode. He sacrificed his life so that Ricky could get just a few months worth of drugs - and then be stuck with a horrific case of survivor's guilt. Judy should have just let Ricky believe that Pray swiped some extra pills.

This whole part of the finale took me right out of it.  I loved Pray and didn't want him to die, but all of this was too much to overlook.  I also found it odd that none of the NYC family went to Pittsburgh to go to his funeral.  We didn't need to see the funeral, but I just find it incredulous not even Blanca went to say goodbye and meet his mother.  I'm sure Pray told her he and his mother made amends when he mentioned his aunt was his POA.

 

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6 hours ago, Juneau Gal said:

Adding to my comment above re:Pray and Blanca: THAT is a story I would have liked to have seen the show explore. How did Pray and Blanca become so close? 

Chiming in to say I would have loved for the writers to explore their relationship. For me, they were the core of the show, its heart.

 

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8 hours ago, Crashcourse said:

But my point was that initially she was all up in the hospital administrator's face demanding that minority patients have the drug.   Shortly afterwards she's basically saying that minority patients might be used like guinea pigs like the men in the Tuskegee study.  She just wasn't making any sense, at least not to me.

I had the EXACT same reaction to those scenes! First she is utterly outraged that only 2 of the 80 patients in the study are Black or Latino, and she threatens the hospital administrator to let Pray in, and then as soon as the woman says OK, we will allow you & Pray to join the study in the very next scene Blanca is complaining that "well doctors experiment on Black people and don't you remember Tuskeegee?" Bitch what!? You literally just browbeat that woman into letting Pray in by complaining that people in your community were dying and they needed to be in the study. 🤷‍♀️🤨

It felt like those scenes were written by two different people who did not compare notes.

Edited by Cotypubby
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3 hours ago, Crashcourse said:

Now leave Lulu alone, LOL.  Actually, I can believe her having a "head for numbers" and succeeding in her field. 

I can too. I'm so happy that Lulu had a happy ending. I liked her character, but felt as if she was always being overlooked (in the way Ricky kind of was early on in the series). And when there was focus on her, Lulu was always being dumped on, had substance abuse issues because a bf hooked her on the stuff, etc.

 

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4 hours ago, Crashcourse said:

Now leave Lulu alone, LOL.  Actually, I can believe her having a "head for numbers" and succeeding in her field. 

But yeah, I forgot that we saw Pray in the department store spraying cologne and looking desperate and disgusted.  The only borough I've visited in NYC is Manhattan and I know it's expensive to live there, but are we supposed to believe that he's living in a fabulous apartment in Manhattan?  The writers could have easily explained that his fashion business took off and he was no longer working in the department store.   

Was Manhattan really expensive in the ‘80s and mid-90s though? With the high crime rate, crack and AIDS epidemic rampant, I don’t see it being super expensive…definitely not like now.  I thought prices exploded after the Great Gentrification  of the late 90s.
And I trust that even if he lived out of a cardboard box, he’d make it look fabulous so I fanwank that away.

 
 

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15 minutes ago, AgentRXS said:

Was Manhattan really expensive in the ‘80s and mid-90s though? With the high crime rate, crack and AIDS epidemic rampant, I don’t see it being super expensive…definitely not like now.  

Parts of Manhattan have always been desirable and expensive, like Park Avenue in the 70s and 80s and the Upper East Side.  Now there certainly were undesirable areas of Manhattan in the 80s/90s that have gentrified like Harlem, but it wasn't like the whole borough was a version of Escape from New York until the late 90s.  And honestly, who was declining to live in Manhattan because of AIDS?  

I think at some point, I can just write off the season as mostly wish fulfillment.  I wouldn't have been shocked if Christopher came up with a magical fertility treatment that somehow allowed Blanca to birth a child.   

   

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I kinda just wanted it to end with Pray Tell blowing out the candles after he came home from their last big show at the ball. I'd rather make up my own tales of how everyone wound up. *shrugs* 

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10 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

  And honestly, who was declining to live in Manhattan because of AIDS?  

Being from Florida, I used to know a lot of old gay men that said they left New York because too many people they knew were dying from it and that they were nervous about living in the epicenter. Not that New Yorkers ever needed an excuse to move here LOL.

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I had the EXACT same reaction to those scenes! First she is utterly outraged that only 2 of the 80 patients in the study are Black or Latino, and she threatens the hospital administrator to let Pray in, and then as soon as the woman says OK, we will allow you & Pray to join the study in the very next scene Blanca is complaining that "well doctors experiment on Black people and don't you remember Tuskeegee?" Bitch what!? You literally just browbeat that woman into letting Pray in by complaining that people in your community were dying and they needed to be in the study. 🤷‍♀️🤨

It felt like those scenes were written by two different people who did not compare notes.

Yes, this threw me off too and gave me an indication of how terrible the rest of the finale is going to go. Nothing ends in a more WTF fashion than a RM production.

 

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We've heard so much about how hard Angel and Lulu have struggled to maintain their sobriety, but I guess that's not a thing anymore. 

Like Pray's cancer and glaucoma. Or Ricky's drug source. Or Blanca's apartment (I thought it looked repainted at the end, but maybe that was the rose-colored glasses that came with the ending). 

I assumed that Pray's mother was projecting when she spoke with Blanca. Also assuaging some of her guilt that her son didn't have a mother for many years.

All the anvils and loopholes and dropped stories didn't take me completely out of watching this, but they did something, because I was completely unemotional. No tears. Happy for the core group. Happy for MJ because her acting had improved so much over the course of the series. Happy for Billy if he was happy with this. Very glad the show existed. But I think whoever said this was the RM effect had it right. Jamming all those years and developments into one episode wasn't going to allow for a deeply satisfying viewing experience, so I guess I'll take what I got.

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1 hour ago, AgentRXS said:

Being from Florida, I used to know a lot of old gay men that said they left New York because too many people they knew were dying from it and that they were nervous about living in the epicenter. Not that New Yorkers ever needed an excuse to move here LOL.

I see your point.  I was thinking more that I can't imagine someone declining to move to Manhattan because of AIDS. 

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12 hours ago, BingeyKohan said:

Oh man you must have missed the post credits scene where they fast forwarded to when texting was a thing and Blanca got a text saying he went bankrupt and lost his studios. Poor Damon, such an offscreen roller coaster for him!

STOP, I hate this. Lmao. I'm assuming the actor must've made amends with the writers between ep 2 and 7, as they sure retconned that off-screen alcoholism very quickly. I guess it's feasible that he recovered between 94 and 98, I say as if applying logic to Ryan Murphy projects ever works. I was grateful and surprised the finale had any Damon reference at all and I don't know why they couldn't have started with dance studio daddy, but I guess they felt like they had to give him something bad to justify his sudden departure and create a conflict to resolve in the flash forward? Mostly just felt like the writers had a grudge against the actor, though.

10 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

I thought it was strange when Pray Tell's mother told Blanca that she was like a mother to Pray.  I never saw them that way.  If anything, I saw Pray as a parent figure to Blanca, and wasn't quite sure where Pray's mother was coming from with that comment. 

That was very odd, but I think it was the show's clunky way of acknowledging Blanca became the most important woman in Pray's life and provider of the emotional intimacy his mom had denied him.

It was a weird finale in that none of the characters were really in it? Angel and Papi in particular were reduced to glorified extras, which was weird. Yes they already got their happy sendoff, but then they spent all 2 hours of the finale loitering in the background. That moment where Papi gently wrapped his arms around Blanca before she handed out Pray's ashes made me wish they had gotten a final conversation or two. The first hour was essentially a Pray/Blanca bottle episode, which I really enjoyed, but talk about strange episode placement spending half of your series finale on a relationship between 2 characters in a show built on ensemble dynamics. Papi, Angel, Lulu, and even Elektra were barely window dressing. That luncheon was an excuse to let every non-Blanca character state their plot resolution in one scene. The clear exception was Ricky - Dyllon was the obvious MVP this episode and poured his soul into his performance. I didn't expect him to get all the focus and closure he had in the finale. I was so delighted to see him thriving in the epilogue that I was willing to handwave the fact that they just gave Ricky the end of Damon's S2 arc, lol.

Apart from Pray's death, you could've switched this episode out for any other episode this season and the order wouldn't really matter. Last episode should've been the finale with the 1998 epilogue right after Angel/Papi's beach scene.

I have adored this show, especially the absolute gem of S2, and the countless lovely actors it brought to my attention. I'm sad COVID and FX fucked Pose over and made the ending so sloppy and discombobulated, but I'm excited to see what everyone in the cast does next. I'd watch Angel C, Indya, and Dyllon in pretty much anything!

Edited by SnarkEnthusiast
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My assumption is that Ricky and the new generation Evangelistas moved into Blanca’s apartment, and she and Christopher moved  somewhere else. Why not?

I just don’t understand why TPTB didn’t use all ten episodes allotted per season. The same happened with Game of Thrones’s last season. Just don’t get it.

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Well everyone, I think we all learned a valuable lesson from this show...working for the mob is the best way to solve all of your problems. 

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3 hours ago, tljgator said:

I kinda just wanted it to end with Pray Tell blowing out the candles after he came home from their last big show at the ball. I'd rather make up my own tales of how everyone wound up. *shrugs* 

This would have been the perfect ending, tbh.

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