‘Pose’ Season 2 Premiere: “Silence = Death”; Pray Tell and the House of Evangelista Protest

In the Pose Season 2 premiere, they are now in the ’90s and Madonna’s “Vogue” has taken over radio airplay. Pray Tell got the House of Evangelista involved with activism, and also unleashed on Elektra Abundance because she refused to participate with their protest. The episode showed viewers the glamor, and appropriation, of the ballroom scene as well as the reality of the AIDS epidemic.

Pose Season 2 Premiere
HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 23: Billy Porter, Dominique Jackson, MJ Rodriguez, and Indya Moore | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Pray Tell learns about the importance of activism

Pose Season 2 picked up two years after Season 1 ended. Pray Tell and Blanca Rodriguez go to Hart Island, a place where they bury poor and unclaimed people in mass graves. They find Pray Tell’s former lover’s stone, he kisses it, and they pray. The next time viewers see Pray Tell, he is at another funeral, but this one a very well funded funeral, with AIDS nurse, Judy Kubrak.

They both have attended hundreds of ceremonies for people taken by AIDS, so much that Judy jokes she will buy Pray Tell a toaster when he gets to a thousand. The memorials are becoming so frequent that it’s almost like a family reunion. The Pose Season 2 premiere showed people coming there to gossip, find a date, and laugh. However, Pray Tell seems to start having a tough time dealing with the many funerals.

Therefore, Judy takes him to activism group ACT UP where Pray Tell can use his emotions to generate change. Pray Tell at first refuses to go because he thinks they are privileged and do not understand the black and brown people’s struggle. However, she convinces him to go inside where they are already discussing staging a “die-in” at a Catholic Church because the Church preaches abstinence instead of condoms.

Pray Tell and the House of Evangelista stage a die-in

At their mandatory Friday night dinner, Blanca tried to explain to Pray Tell that progress is being made because of Madonna’s hit song, “Vogue” and their underground scene could become mainstream. Pray Tell told Blanca that Madonna is appropriating their culture, and gave the example of disco music that was stolen from black boys and played elsewhere.

He explains the only real way to make progress is through activism, and Blanca is immediately on board. She gets Ricky, Papi, and Angel to commit also. However, Elektra Abundance, who is only staying in the House of Evangelista because she doesn’t have her own house or rich boyfriend anymore, does not want anything to do with the protest.

Pray Tell, the House of Evangelista, and the ACT UP group all went to the Catholic Church during Sunday Service. Then, the protesters got out of their pews and laid in the aisle where they chanted things including “stop killing us,” and Angel told the Pope that preaching abstinence is a “rejection of sexuality.” The cops entered the church and forced the protestors to leave. Over 100 people ended up getting arrested, including Pray Tell.

Pray Tell annoyed with Elektra Abundance for not participating

Elektra doesn’t care about homophobia and AIDS. She only cares about receiving the money and attention that comes from the ballroom scene, and Pray Tell called her out on her behavior.

When the time came for Pray Tell to announce the winner, he confronted Elektra about not going to the protest and called her selfish. Elektra couldn’t care less about what Pray Tell is telling her and only wanted her trophy. Pray Tell threw it on the ground, breaking it into pieces, and then left the ball early, telling Elektra to wake up.

Elektra went to the House of Evangelista’s Friday dinner the following week, late, of course, still very upset with Pray Tell. She said she wanted nothing to do with the activism or “living like an indentured servant,” so she tells Blanca she’s out of the house.

The Pose Season 2 Premiere ended with Elektra going to Candy and Lulu Ferocity’s apartment. She then walked in announced, not asked, that she would be joining House Ferocity.

Watch Pose Tuesdays at 10 P.M. EST on FX!