The category is: comeback season. Pose’s second season premiered last Tuesday on FX with Indya Moore shining high and bright with an impactful narrative.

Set two years after the events of the first season, Madonna’s “Vogue” has just been released, signaling a new hope for New York City’s underground ballroom scene, at least according to Blanca (MJ Rodriguez). On the other hand, Blanca’s t-cell count has fallen below 200, changing her initial diagnosis of being HIV-positive to having AIDS.

The contrast between her hope for the community and her diminishing health propels the House of Evangelista into new realms. It also gives the actors and actresses of Pose a chance to shine and flex their acting chops.

Indya Moore made themselves a front-runner for the Emmy’s supporting actress award. Their character, Angel, is encouraged by Blanca to quit doing sex work and start modeling. Although Angel has minimal experience and a less-than-stellar portfolio, she’s got the look. A talent agent decides to give her a shot, connecting her with a professional photographer who ends up noticing Angel from the piers where Angel escorts men.

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The scene draws inspiration from Octavia St. Laurent, who was a prominent figure in the trans community and in ballroom culture. As shown in Paris is Burning, which Pose is loosely based on, she aspires to be a model and tries out for a modeling agency. The scene in which the photographer makes Angel strip naked speaks to the exploitation trans-women of color face in all aspects of life. With 10 confirmed trans women of color murdered in 2019 so far, it’s a deep look at how TWOC bodies’ are regarded as nothing but bodies. In today’s climate, the statement is powerful.

Another true-to-life reference is the pink Mary Antoinette scene in the ballroom, inspired by real-life House of Xtravaganza.

The realness served up in this episode reminds us of why we fell in love with Pose in the first place and it’s a great place to start for the new season.

Pose airs on Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on FX.