This Week’s Most Devastating “Pose” Reads: “Butterfly/Cocoon” Edition

The Pose “Reading Is Fundamental” Library is open. This week: “Butterfly/Cocoon”
Previously: “Worth It“

As opposed to the thick, meaty tomes of Pose’s last two episodes, this one was more of a light beach read. Rivalries were put on hold as frenemies lent a helping hand to members of their community in dire need of it. So let’s just cut to the chase with this week’s Reading Is Fundamental Excellence in Shade Award: The winner is this woman’s facial expressions:

She’s the fixer Candy takes Elektra to after what goes down goes the fuck down. You may recall she was the same shady lady who gave Candy lethal butt injections in Season 1.

We’re not sure we’d call what she’s doing “acting,” but it’s fantastic and we want it to never end. (The woman is actually Cecilia Gentili, assistant director of public affairs at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which makes her even more badass.)

Remember last week when we were like, “Elektra’s poppers-and-coke-loving client is totally going to end up dead soon”? Welp…

This show applies foreshadowing like Candy applies eyeshadow: heavily, dramatically, and up to the brow.


Elektra leaves her client Paul tied up with a gas mask full of poppers because it’s 1990 and we’re having fun.

Here’s a word of advice for when you’re next bound and gagged while high on God knows what: Make sure you’re not on your back. Paul chokes on his own vomit, leaving Elektra with a disaster of epic, racially motivated proportions to clean up.

I love when Pose turns into a caper—which is surprisingly often. Just last week we had Elektra rounding up the Ballroom Avengers, though the mood now is a bit more somber. To deter Elektra from going to the police, Candy takes her to an old friend (special guest star and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Peppermint), who could speak firsthand to the cruelty of the criminal justice system.

So then it’s time to seek out the help of Candy’s archnemesis, who helps them mummify Paul’s dead-but-we-still-would body.

Sure, this story line seems a bit out-there, but it’s actually based on the very true story of Dorian Corey, best known for teaching the children about reading and shade in Paris Is Burning.

Elektra commits to living with the physical manifestation of her guilt—Paul’s mummified body—by putting it in her closet, which closes the “Cocoon” circle of this episode. Meanwhile, Angel is spreading her wings and preparing to fly like Mariah Carey’s 1997 masterpiece, Butterfly. She’s feeling herself and has honestly never looked better than when serving this banjee girl realness.

Angel rides her cheekbones to success, landing a cosmetics campaign!

But her budding romance with your boyfriend and mine, Lil Papi, is put on hold—

—though that’s not going to stop our man from trying.

You go get her, Papi!


The Evangelista kids are adorable, and we really hope Blanca wins Mother of the Year again.

We feel Damon’s coming into her kweendom and are so proud, though we sincerely miss his fabulous dance teacher from last season.

Cheers to the girls putting aside their animosity—Elektra legit fucked up both Candy’s and Blanca’s dinners not too long ago—and helping a sister out when she’s in need, driving home the moral of our story:

Again, and always: Lil Papi.

Lil. Goddamn. Papi.

Lil “You follow your dreams and don’t let me hold you back, girl” Papi.

Usually an angry man in a wife beater at a kitchen table pointing at a woman is cause for alarm, but not when he’s yelling about you fulfilling your dreams. Like Damon said:


The Library is now closed.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He’s formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat

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