Summer Loving: 5 Key Takeaways From Episode 9 of 'Pose' Season 2

Michael Parmelee/FX

Dominique Jackson as Elektra, Hailie Sahar as Lulu, Mj Rodriguez as Blanca and Indya Moore as Angel in season 2 episode 9 of Pose. 

WARNING: Spoilers ahead of season 2, episode 9 of Pose, “Life’s a Beach”

Even just as viewers of Pose, we deserve a break. From deaths to heartbreaking AIDS diagnoses to explosive fights, season 2 has been filled to the brim with real and difficult-to-watch moments that leave us feeling sad and frustrated. This week, though, we were rewarded.

In the penultimate episode of season 2, Ryan Murphy gave our characters a break by giving them the one thing we all need in the boiling heat of summer: a beach trip. This light-hearted, though still occasionally tough, episode saw the ladies of the show living their best lives, even when things were looking particularly rough.

From a miscarriage of justice to one of the best reading sessions of all time, here are our five key takeaways from episode 9 of Pose season 2, “Life’s a Beach.”

Burn, baby, burn: Before we can get to the good, we need to deal with the bad -- namely, Frederica Norman. We’ve known since her arrival earlier this season that Patti Lupone’s character is out for blood, but at the start of this episode, she finally pays Blanca back for all of the trouble she’s causes. The salon that Blanca has fought tooth and nail for has mysteriously burned to the ground, much to Blanca’s shock. Also curious -- Norman had just re-upped her insurance on the building. Listen, it’s not polite to accuse someone of a crime … but then again, Frederica’s not polite. It’s pretty clear that Ms. Norman did what she had to do to get Blanca out of her building. Hopefully we’ll get to see her earn some real justice in next week’s finale. 

Let’s go to the beach: With summer in the city getting everyone down, everyone’s favorite Elektra Abundance-Then-Evangelista-Then-Ferocity-Now-Wintour hatches her very own plan. When a client at the Hellfire Club reveals that he both has a gorgeous Long Island beach home and gets off on being bound and isolated, the Mother of Wintour grabs her girls (Lulu, Angel and Blanca) for their first-ever road trip. Some steps are taken -- Elektra buys an illegal driver’s license, Blanca gets a makeover, and Lulu worries about being clocked at the beach -- before the ladies are cruising down the highway for the Hamptons (while expertly lip-syncing to “Boogie Oogie Oogie” by A Taste of Honey, we may add). 

Baywatch: After making sure that her latex-bound suitor is nice and uncomfortable in his cage in a sweltering garage (which he insists he likes), Elektra takes the girls to the beach for some much-needed relaxation. Blanca, who has never been able to witness the ocean in person, insists that they go for a swim. Despite her protests, Angel agrees, on the condition that they stay together since neither can swim. But, as it turns out, this wasn’t the best idea -- Blanca begins to drown before the Hunkiest Lifeguard on Earth swoops in and saves her. Truly, we weren’t prepared for this much drama on a simple beach trip.

Death-defying romance: Turns out that saving someone’s life can be a big turn-on: during a dinner at a local Blanca runs into her beautiful savior (whose name is Adrian, by the way) and thanks him. He invites her out for a stroll on the beach, which the girls warn her against -- as a trans woman, the odds of her being murdered are high. But she follows her heart and goes with Adrian, who in turn reveals that he both knows and does not care about who Blanca is. They share a tender kiss and begin what seems to be a relationship! Yes, Blanca! After everything she’s been through, it’s nice to finally see our mother get what she really deserves. 

Elektra-icity: This episode may be about Blanca and her moving on after her kids have left the house, but it truly belongs to Elektra. Not only do we get to see her completely demolish a bigoted woman in one of the greatest reading scenes we have seen on television, but we also see her really deal with her own problems head-on. Elektra is feeling guilty that, despite all of her efforts in organizing the funeral, she never got to give Candy a proper goodbye. She spends the trip reassuring and protecting her sisters, and at one point reminding her benefactor of the privilege he holds: “You have the luxury of choosing loneliness,” she reminds him. “For some people, it’s not optional.” But she gets what she needs before our episode ends -- during another epic car-ride lip sync to En Vogue’s “Hold On,” the spirit of Candy once again appears, this time simply to comfort Elektra and join in on the fun. We love to see a happy ending for everyone this episode. 


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