One of my favorite things about Pose is the way each and every episode teaches the audience about one important, intriguing moment in queer and trans history. Last time, Pray was struggling in the hospital and Federica was shutting Blanca out of her own salon. In episode 7, Blanca and the rest of the community strike back at Federica (and give us a lesson in LGBTQIA+ activist history), Ricky gets some terrible news, and Angel nearly blows her chance for blow. Let’s get into it:
The Great Condom Caper
In 1991, ACT UP activist Peter Staley put up a giant condom over the house of Senator Jesse Helms. Why? Because he was “one of the chief architects of AIDS stigma,” says Staley in a blog post he wrote in 2008. After Federica ends up getting the best of Blanca by telling Page Six that Blanca and others left needles and condoms outside her property, we get a slightly different version of this moment in history.
At the start of the episode, Blanca and Pray notice the “kids” (Damon, Ricky, and Lulu) seem bored and aimless. As the new “elders” of the community, they take it upon themselves to steer the kids in the right direction. They also decide to kill two birds with one stone by asking the kids to put a giant condom over Federica’s house. We later learn that they’re doing it as a form of protest against Federica’s prejudicial behavior against the queer and trans community. The kids end up buying a custom condom balloon and making it happen, though, and it’s absolutely glorious.
By the end of the episode, we learn that Blanca’s won in the suit against Federica. But that doesn’t mean Federica’s done yet. She drops by Blanca’s salon by the end of the episode to warn her about the dangers that might await her when she closes shop at night.
Don’t Blow It, Angel
First of all: Papi and Angel are officially together! They share one adorable scene where Angel invites Papi to join her at a party with others from the modeling industry…but only if he agrees to go as her boyfriend. When they make it, though, one of the guests invites Angel and Papi to partake in some blow. At first, Papi is really against using coke—especially due to Blanca’s rules. But Angel ends up convincing him that it’s okay since it’s “pharmaceutical grade” cocaine. They have a wild night, but almost get caught the next day when Damon walks in on them. Damon ends up agreeing not to tell them when they promise not to do it again.
But when Angel shows up late and hungover to her prestigious shoot with BB, we know she’s definitely taking more. She gets a stern talking to about not blowing her opportunities, but we’ll see if it sticks, or if Angel ends up going down an unfortunate rabbit hole. One other thing: the photographer who shows up to the shoot is none other than the jerk who forced Angel into a nude shoot several episodes back. Guess we’ll see if he keeps her secret.
At one point in the episode, Ricky tells Pray he got a call from his ex, Chris. Unfortunately, Chris tested positive for HIV and he wanted to warn Ricky. Pray tells him he’s got to be an adult and go get tested, and offers to go with him. When Ricky finally goes in to get his results, the doctor is very candid in letting him know he’s also tested positive. Pray holds him in the hallway, and all we can do is wish we could as well.
Until next time!