Whew chile! This was one hell of a week! Somebody graduates, secrets are exposed, and a house splits up. Let’s get into it, shall we…

We open the show with Pray Tell (Billy Porter) giving Ricky (Dyllon Burnside) a tutorial on living with HIV by telling him what vitamins to take, the type of diet he should have, etc. After hanging out, Ricky asks Pray if he could sleepover, saying that Elektra (Dominique Jackson) likes to bring her boyfriends over and things get a little weird, so Pray offers up his couch and goes to bed. In the middle of the night, Ricky sneaks into bed with Pray, seduces him, and the pair have an extremely hot and heavy sex session. Pray meets up with the other ballroom emcees for their bi-monthly meeting with a little extra pep in his step. The emcees notice Pray’s glow and light attitude towards things and ask him what’s going on. Pray proceeds to tell them that he has taken a lover–a young lover! At first, he refuses to tell them who it is but after some encouragement from the group, he shocks them by admitting it’s Ricky. They chastise him for robbing the cradle but then they give him sound advice on how to tell Blanca because they know keeping that secret from her is going to tear him up inside.

Angel (Indya Moore) and Papi (Angel Curiel) are celebrating her magazine spread and the photographer not blowing up her cover when Papi tells Angel that he has a surprise for her. He takes her to this apartment in the heart of The Village and tells her that it’s hers if she wants it. Angel reminisces on her first apartment and how it was given to her by a man so she could be on retainer for him as his little plaything, but this time she’d be doing it for herself. Angel and Papi look out the window and realize they can see the piers where she used to turn tricks and he used to deal drugs and they both realize they have come a long way.

Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain) and Ricky are hanging out before the family dinner at Blanca’s and when Ricky asks where the rest of the family is Damon informs him that it’s just the two of them for dinner tonight. Damon kisses Ricky and tells him that he is ready to take him back, but before they can reconcile, Ricky shares with Damon his positive status. Damon struggles with understanding the news and Ricky finally confesses that he did mess around with Chris. Ricky admits that he needs to grow up, which is why he has been spending time with Pray Tell. When Damon asks Ricky why he went to Pray with his status instead of him, Ricky all but says out loud that he and Pray are sleeping together. Ricky apologizes and tells Damon that he never meant to expose him to HIV. Damon loses it and tells Ricky to get out.

It’s graduation day for Damon and he gives the performance of his life at his recital. After the performance, Helena (Charlayne Woodard) stops Blanca and tells her that she is the reason Damon was such an excellent student because Blanca believed in Damon more than he did. She tells Blanca that she has the makings of a legend because she isn’t afraid to leave her mark on the world. At the house for Damon’s graduation party, the wine is flowing, and tensions are as high as Angel is. After interrupting Damon’s speech, a couple of times, Angel and Damon get into a heated argument and Damon exposes Angel’s drug problem. Angel denies it and Blanca refuses to believe it even after Lulu (Hailie Sahar) says that she caught Angel in the bathroom doing cocaine the day before, which leads to Damon calling Blanca out for being a hypocrite and showing favoritism towards her children. Pray tries to come to Blanca’s defense, which leads to Damon accusing Pray of keeping Ricky’s positive status a secret from Blanca and him calling Pray a whore for sleeping with Damon. Pray charges Damon but Elektra and Blanca stop him before he can get to Damon. Pray admits that he and Ricky are sleeping together, and Elektra and Blanca chastise Pray for breaking house rules –“a house father/mother will never sleep with their children.” Pray reminds them all that he and Ricky are both grown and consenting adults and leaves.

At the ball, Papi and Angel see Blanca at the bar by herself. Blanca asks Angel straight up if she is on drugs and Angel lies once again. Damon joins them but things get heated once again when Damon realizes that Blanca is still taking Angel at her word. Damon accuses Blanca of holding her children to different standards. It’s time for Damon’s category and he slaysssssss the competitions. He accepts his trophy and leaves the ballroom without acknowledging Blanca. After the ball, Damon is approached by a woman who works with a well-known choreographer.

Blanca confronts Pray outside and he tells her that she does hold people to different standards. He uses Blanca’s treatment of Angel and her drug problem and Ricky and Damon sleeping together under her roof as examples of behaviors she turns a blind eye to, but she doesn’t accept Pray sleeping with Ricky. Blanca accuses Pray of taking advantage of Ricky who is in an extremely negative headspace having just found out he tested positive for HIV. Pray admits that he does love the attention he is getting from Ricky. He’s 45 years old, single, and it’s nice to have some attention occasionally; it doesn’t happen every day. Pray accuses Blanca of being mad because she let her sex drive die because of her positive status and is mad at Pray for not doing the same. Blanca reminds him that as a female living with the virus it is a different experience for her than him. Pray lets her know that he never meant to hurt anybody, especially her.

Ricky comes home to a drunk and passed out Pray. When he tries to comfort him, Pray admits that Blanca was like a mother to him as well and he blew that relationship. As Ricky puts Pray to bed, Pray tells Ricky that he knows he won’t be there when he wakes up, just like all the others. When morning comes, Pray is pleasantly surprised to see Ricky still there with a hearty breakfast waiting for him.

Angel and Blanca meet at a diner and Angel finally comes clean to Blanca about doing drugs and tells Blanca she and Papi are moving out. Blanca comes home to Damon packing his stuff and still giving her the silent treatment. She apologizes to him for not believing him when he told her about Angel. Damon tells her about his encounter after the ball and that he has been asked to go on tour in Europe for a year, possibly even longer. She is proud of him but also sad that all of her children are moving out and moving on. Blanca seeks Elektra for advice on how to get over her empty nest syndrome and Elektra tells her that she raised her children well and that there are always more children to raise. As the episode ends, we see Blanca’s children moving out and Blanca breaking down during her first dinner home alone without her children.

Ballroom Highlights

  • Look at Lil Papi winning trophies!
  • Elektra shined once again this episode, first when she pronounced “Remy Martin” as “Remy Mar-tan” during the big house blow up, and then when she allowed Blanca to embrace her after their mother-daughter talk.
  • …did y’all know Helena is Will’s Aunt Janice (the one that married the white guy) on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? 



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Photo: FX