I Am Somebody: 'Pose' Delivers Powerful, Tragic Episode As Principal Character Exits [Recap]

July 10 2019

We are back! Now I know why the show took a hiatus last week: the creators wanted to make sure we had enough tears stored up to prevent dehydration.

So, let’s grab our tissue boxes and get into Season 2, Episode 4 shall we…

*MAJOR spoilers ahead*

Pray Tell (Billy Porter) is back! The episode opens with him reading Candy (Angelica Ross) for filth as usual at another ball, but this time, the crowd is on her side as she reminds him that she is a star and deserves some respect. Next, Pray gets tricked into meeting with Dr. Judy (Sandra Bernhard) and Blanca about what he thinks is the Annual AIDS Cabaret that they put on at the hospital, but it’s really about them convincing Pray to start taking AZT to help treat his HIV. Pray refuses to take the drugs and says that he prefers the more holistic approach of eating a pound of butter a day. At the bi-monthly meeting with the other ballroom emcees, one of the other emcees mentions that the individual moments of silence for the people of the community is getting out of hand so they suggest just having one moment for everyone to which Pray Tell asks if it’s really come to that, realizing that the death rate in their community is increasing at an alarming rate. During the meeting, Candy pops up to state her case about having a lip-syncing category, which Pray and the other emcees deny. After some more back and forth between Candy and Pray, she threatens to stab him before storming out.

At the next ball, we find out from Lulu (Hailie Sahar) that Candy has missed her last two shifts at the club and that she normally checks in with Lulu after taking a trick but she hadn’t done that either. Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) goes with Lulu to the motel to look for Candy but the man at the front desk refuses to help them locate Candy. Blanca leaves her number and a picture of Candy with him and begs him to call her if he sees Candy and he begrudgingly agrees. Blanca goes home and gathers her children together to organize a search party for Candy, but before they can even leave the house, the man at the motel calls Blanca to inform her that the maid found Candy dead in a room. Blanca calls Lulu and Electra (Dominique Jackson) over to break the terrible news to them and after Electra reminds them that NYPD is not going to do their best at finding the killer of a trans Black woman, a distraught Angel (Indya Moore) lashes out stating that something needs to be done because it is May and 11 transgender women have already been killed since January. The four women decide to give Candy’s life the celebration she deserves, so Electra and Blanca enlist Dr. Judy’s help to get Candy’s body while Angel reaches out to Candy’s parents to inform them of the bad news.

Photo: Macall Polay/FX Photo: Macall Polay/FX

At the funeral home, the funeral director shares that he embalmed Candy’s body free of charge because Candy had been a regular at the funerals the past few months and always made sure to greet him by name and he appreciated that. When the ladies saw Candy’s body in the casket though, they knew they couldn’t let Candy be buried with terrible makeup and a church wig, so they spent the two hours before the service fixing her up. During the funeral, Angel is beating herself up because she couldn’t get Lulu or Candy’s parents to come to the service, but Blanca reminds her that people grieve in their own ways. Pray opens the service by reminding everyone that he and Candy rarely got along but that no matter what, she was still his sister and that Candy really didn’t care for funerals because they were nothing but a room filled with people that never had the opportunity to share how much they cared for the one in the casket. After Pray’s speech, he sits, and Candy gets to have a moment with some of those that mattered most to her:

Candy and Pray

-She lets him know that she forgives him for all the arguments.

-Asks him why he was so hard on her and he admits that it was because she was unapologetic, Black, loud and femme, all the things he tries so desperately to hide about himself in the real world. He was always jealous of her bravery.

Candy and Angel

-Candy tells Angel that she did right by her by inviting her parents.

-Tells her to let her death be a lesson to her and to not go back to life working at The Piers or the tollbooths.

-Candy encourages her to continue pursuing modeling. She tells her to be the first to break the door down for the rest.

Candy and Lulu

-Candy reminds Lulu of the times they had together and reminds her that they weren’t all bad. In a super poetic moment, she lets her know that time will heal their relationship more then they ever could when she was alive.

Candy and her parents

-Candy and her mom have a heart-to-heart about acceptance, Candy’s mom didn’t understand how to raise a child like Candy.

-Candy thanks her father for seeing her, even in times when he didn’t understand her.

Pray closes Candy’s funeral out by announcing with the other emcees that at every ball they are going to have a lip-syncing category in honor of Candy called “Candy’s Sweet Refrain.” The pallbearers come forward to wheel Candy’s body out, but instead, they wheel her into the ballroom where she lip syncs to Stephanie Mills' “I Never Knew Love Like This Before” to an adoring crowd and she gets her trophy. Encouraged by Candy’s life, Pray reveals to Blanca that he has decided to start fighting for his and shows Blanca his AZT pills. As the episode ends, we see Blanca and Pray taking their pills together.

Ballroom Highlights 


  • Can we talk about Pray Tell’s fashions for a moment?!?! The suit at Candy’s funeral, the outfits at the balls, THE HOUSEDRESS! I swear Billy Porter is bringing his own closet to work.
  • When Candy stepped out of her casket for her final performance…. where is my tissue box????
  • Pray Tell to the woman in the birdcage at the ball, “I would give you your trophy but you ain’t got no arms b----h!” EVERYTHING.



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Photo:  Macall Polay/FX