It’s not every TV show that can reach its climax with a character lip-synching to Whitney Houston’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner, but “Pose” not only pulls off this performance with show-stopping style, it does so with emotional honesty. This triumphant ballroom moment is also a callback to the boldest narrative choice this season, resulting in a well-crafted arc that is both meaningful and thrilling.
In the finale “In My Heels,” House of Evangelista mother Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) has just emerged from a debilitating stint in the hospital stemming from her HIV. Although she’s weak, she attends the Mother’s Day Ball and enters the lip-synch contest Candy’s Sweet Refrain while being pushed in a wheelchair. By the end of the national anthem, she’s ripped off her frumpy sweater and lap blanket, abandoned her chair, and finishes standing proudly in a dazzling red ensemble.