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Pose - The Fever & Mother's Day - Double Review

With "The Fever" and "Mother's Day," Pose explored various themes that made characters go through a lot of questioning and self-improvement.

In a way, "The Fever" tackles the issue of body positivity. When Candy (Angelica Ross) walks the ball for a body category, she is humiliated because of her looks, because she isn't woman enough. Angel takes her to see a lady who can inject her with silicone in all the right places, but that has a high cost. Her looks are a big concern for Candy and she even fights about it with Elektra, who is having her own concerns about her sex change surgery.

It turns out her lover, played by Christoper Meloni, does not want her to change. It takes her to reunite with Aphrodite from House Extravaganza (Alexia Garcia), who recently got the surgery herself, to come to terms with the fact that she does want to go through with the sex change, that it is what she wants. There is a lot of battling with image in this episode, particularly around Candy wanting to look more feminine and Elektra figuring out that the image she projects is one thing, but how she sees herself is a whole different ordeal. In the end, Candy gets silicone injections from a cheaper "praticien" but has an allergic reaction to it, leading Elektra to provide her with care and admit to her that she will go through the sex change for herself, despite her lover's opinion. Angel struggles with her image as well and even breaks up with Stan over it, thinking that he just sees her as a fantasy and will get over her once he realizes she isn't as much of a woman as his wife. She ends up getting silicone injections too, as a mean to comfort her in her femininity.

Meanwhile, Damon is down with the flu, but Blanca is worried that he is not just having the flu and thinks he might be seroconverting. She asks him about safe sex and Damon starts questioning Ricky about HIV testing. Blanca complains to Pray Tell about the boys not being safe enough and he admits to her that he no longer gets tested, not wanting to know anymore and opting for careful sex practices instead. But after Blanca lectures him, Pray decides to take the boys to get tested. The virus is on everyone's mind and even though finding out whether they have it or not scares them, they decide go through with the test. Everyone turns out to be negative...except Pray, who hides it from the boys but tells the truth to Blanca. He feels like no one wants to find a cure for the virus, that society wants them all dead, but Blanca tells him they will fight it together.

"The Fever" is very much about image and facing fears, but "Mother's Day" is all about Blanca and mother/daughter relationships. Sure some things happen with Stan and Matt, leading the later to tell Patty about Angel and the wife and lover meeting, but that will really be more explored in the next episode. "Mother's Day" sees Blanca struggling with the death of her mother and wanting to make amend with the only mother she has left: Elektra. Blanca misses her mom and reaches out to her siblings, who reject her and consider her a freak. When she shows up to the funeral, her brother almost throws her out and actually gets violent with her when she tries to take something from her mother's (a recipe notebook) as a memento. So with all that going on, she visits Elektra in the hospital, and points out that the way she treats her children is the reason why no one is with her while she is going through the most important event in her life. That makes Elektra realize that she has been all toughness and no love with her children and that she has to do better.

While Blanca wants to do right by Elektra since she never got the chance to fix her relationship with her mother, she also now is a mother and wants to make sure she fosters good relationships with her children. When her sister knocks on her door, bringing her the notebook she wanted, Blanca is reminded of her time in the kitchen with her mom when she was a child. A nice flashback parallels with Blanca and Damon making pancakes in the kitchen and nurturing the love they have for one another. Just like her mother promised she would love Blanca forever, Blanca promises the same to the family she chose.

These two episodes of Pose continued to deepen the characters of the show and demonstrate how much heart there is in their stories. So far, this season has been nothing but great storytelling. What did you think?


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