In With the New: 5 Key Takeaways From 'Pose' Season 2 Finale

Michael Parmelee/FX
Mj Rodriguez as Blanca in the season 2 finale of Pose. 

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the Pose season 2 finale, "In My Heels"

We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve scratched our heads and said “Are you really putting a giant condom over a house?” But now, it’s over: Pose’s second season came to a stunning conclusion on Tuesday night. Fear not, though: Pose will be back for a third season next year.

The finale took all the storylines we’ve been following and tied them up, while simultaneously leaving just enough room in some to wonder what’s going to happen next. From some heart-wrenching moments, to the formation of a new family, here are our five key takeaways from the season 2 finale of Pose.

Spreading infection: We open on yet another flash forward -- it’s May of 1991, and Blanca’s not looking great. Her kids are out of the house and taking the world by storm, she’s attempting to keep her nail salon alive in her apartment, she hasn’t been attending any of the balls and she’s coughing up a storm. After some expositional dialogue from Pray Tell, Blanca is rushed to the hospital, where things suddenly seem extremely dire (Blanca goes as far as to dictate her will to Pray). Lucky for us, the show knows that Blanca’s death in a season 2 finale would likely be too much sorrow to bear -- with some inspiring words from Nurse Judy, Blanca fights off her infection, but keeps in mind how low her T cell count truly is.

A mile in their heels: Meanwhile, Elektra Abundance-Then-Evangelista-Then-Ferocity-Now-Wintour (It looks like she’s finally staying in one house!) is pissed off. When Pray confronts her, asking why she and the other girls haven’t been coming to the balls, Elektra bitingly tells him that the women of the ballroom scene are tired of being judged with every step they take, especially by a judge’s panel made up mainly of men. So, to show some support, the council of emcees comes up with an idea -- in a special category, they will be forced to walk in a “Butch Queen First Time in Drags at a Ball” category, while the women judge them. Everyone is down to perform, except for Pray; the ceremony master struggles with his inner-femininity, and he’s not sure that he’ll be able to subject himself to the judgment. But after getting an excellent pep talk from Ricky, Pray’s tune seems to change.

Model behavior: Things aren’t going great for Angel, either. The star hasn’t booked any modeling gigs in months and learns that she has been outed as a trans woman to the modeling world, who refuses to accept her. But Lil Papi isn’t satisfied seeing his lover hang her head in defeat, so he decides to take action by founding his own talent agency. After signing a few ballroom girls, he brings the idea to Ms. Ford, who says that if he can book someone a gig in two weeks time, he will have the support of her company. Leave it to Papi, who succeeds -- he books Angel for a German modeling campaign, where they know exactly who she is and accept her for it. And in one of the best scenes on the show, an overwhelmed Angel decides that she wants to spend the rest of her life with Papi. Of course, in classic Papi fashion, Angel doesn’t even get to finish before he agrees -- looks like we’re gonna have a wedding next season!

One hell of a ball: Listen. Pose’s ball scenes are always sickening. But the season 2 finale offered up everything we want to see in a ballroom category -- instead of merely showing glimpses, the episode shows every category in its entirety, including Mother of the Year, where Elektra takes the coveted prize. Then, in a moment of absolute glory, Blanca appears in a wheelchair, with her loving children Damon (who now has his own ball family in Paris!) and Angel assisting her in a lip sync extravaganza to Whitney Houston’s iconic performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Needless to say, she wins the category handily. And finally, Elektra emcees the final event as the men offer up their best femme realness. She cuts each of them down to size properly, but offers up the uplifting message that needs to be heard: “We should all do this more,” she says. “If we did, we would make a better world.”

A new family: As the episode wraps, it’s clear that despite her triumph, Blanca can’t help but feel a little melancholy -- the newly engaged Angel and Papi are off to Berlin, Damon is likely headed back to Europe, and she is back to being an empty nester. That is, until two 14-year-old children catch her attention, wandering outside the ball. Their names are Chris and Chilly, and they’re homeless, living out on the piers and trying to survive. Blanca, in her endless wisdom, sees that her work is not yet finished and offers to take them in as her children. As Pray Tell meets her outside, and meets the two newest Evangelistas, the camera pans up and reveals the final ending quote of the season, this time from Pray himself. “Houses are homes to all the little boys and girls who never had one,” he said back in season 1. “They keep coming every day just as sure as the sun rises.”

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