FX’s spectacular drama Pose manages to be so much at once: delicious but challenging, heart-warming but fierce, inclusive at its core, and political in its foundation. The show, which starts at the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, follows a cast of mainly trans women of color as they take the ballroom scene by storm. Despite airing on FX in 2019, Season 2 just landed on Netflix in June 2020, and it’s an interesting time for many new viewers to meet Angel Evangelista, Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista, Elektra Wintour, and the others. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the George Floyd protests, and several high-profile attacks on trans women—yes, we’re talking about those comments from J.K. Rowling—watching this particular tale of love and diversity feels like its own form of protest.
Pose has been renewed for a third season, but that will unfortunately be its last. Here’s what we’ve discovered so far about the next chapter.
Pose will end with Season 3.
Co-creator and producer of Pose, Steven Canals, confirmed that the third season will be the final one for Pose. "It was a very difficult decision for us to make, but this has been an incredible journey and we have told the story we wanted to tell--the way we wanted to tell it. Although we know you'll be sad to see the show go, this season will be filled with all of the love, and laughter, and tears that you have come to expect from the Evangelista family.
"I, along with my incredible collaborators, never intended on changing the television landscape, I simply wanted to tell an honest story about family, resilience, and love. We love you and we hope that you'll join us in celebrating this final season."
FX first announced the Season 3 renewal after the Season 2 release in 2019, per Deadline.
The final season premieres May 2.
The first two episodes of Season 3 arrive on Sunday, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX. With seven episodes total, the finale will air on June 6, Deadline reports.
Normally, new episodes of Pose would have landed during the summer of 2020, but due to the pandemic, there's been a much longer wait. Still, it's encouraging to see photos from set. In January 2021, Moore released photos of their dressing room.
Events will take place in the year 1994.
Just as Season 2 jumped forward three years after the Season 1 finale, Season 3 will also skip ahead. "Thematically it's much of the same—our heroes navigating New York and this time it's New York of 1994," Canals told TV Guide.
Set while the AIDS epidemic rages on, Season 3 finds Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) juggling motherhood, being a present partner, and her role as a nurse's aide, per the official Season 3 log line. Meanwhile, Pray Tell (Billy Porter) struggles with his health, and "the emergence of a vicious new upstart house forces the House of Evangelista members to contend with their legacy."
Get a taste of what's to come in the first trailer below.
Season 3 has finished filming.
Like so many other Hollywood projects, production on Pose was forced to a screeching halt when the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. Only eight days into shooting the third season, everyone was called off set.
In an interview with Variety, Pose star Indya Moore, who plays Angel Evangelista, said, “When production paused, I wasn’t shocked—I knew it would happen—but it was a bittersweet moment for me. On the one hand, if anyone had gotten sick, it surely would have spread fast. On the other hand, most folks working on a production are living paycheck to paycheck. So I was worried about how they are going to survive.”
After a months-long hiatus, the stars returned to set recently, according to Billy Porter, who plays Pray Tell. "We are shooting season three right now with all of the COVID protocols in place," Billy told Live with Kelly and Ryan in December 2020. "It is not the easiest version of filming a television show that I have been a part of, but I am grateful that we are back to work."
In late March 2020, the cast confirmed the final season had wrapped filming with heartfelt tributes to the show.
The pandemic could impact how the next season plays out.
Because so much of Hollywood’s return to full-time production is still up in the air, the cast and creators of Pose were aware early on that they'd like need to make changes to their scripts. That could mean fewer romantic moments, less screen time from certain characters, or even fewer ball scenes.
Co-creator Steven Canals told Variety in June 2020, “Things like kissing—we will likely forgo those moments. The place on our show where the biggest impact will be felt will be the ball scenes: Those scenes have 125 to 150 background actors. That’s tricky, because that’s such an important and critical part of our show and the narrative. We’re just, only now, having conversations of ‘Is there a world where we forgo these things?’”
Sure enough, Porter confirmed to Live with Kelly and Ryan that the ball scenes are still being worked out, as of December 2020. "We have not shot any of the balls yet,” he said. “We’ve been shooting the scene work, and I believe, for the ball sequences, that we’re waiting to hopefully be shooting them inside some sort of vaccine situation, so that we can have all those people in the room.”
Billy Porter will make his directorial debut.
Still, there’s reason to celebrate what’s coming: Porter has revealed he will direct an episode of Pose’s third season—his first time ever in the director’s chair. In 2019, Porter was the first-ever openly gay Black man to win an Emmy for lead actor in a drama, and we expect his time behind the camera will be no less fabulous.
In a recent interview with The Wrap, he explained why he feels shows like Pose are essential: "I also feel like the arts in general is the most important thing in times like this. It’s the first thing that the government wants to cut, but here we are, and what is everybody doing? Trying to find something to be entertained by."
Blanca may have "new children" of her own.
The creators are understandably shy about sharing any script secrets, especially given the unpredictability of filming this year, but Pose producer Janet Mock did reveal to Entertainment Weekly one thing: A new House of Evangelista is likely on its way.
In the interview, Mock said, “I believe there will be a new House of Evangelista. I think that that’s something that we could boldly say that Blanca will likely have new children in season three. It makes sense—her children are grown. They’ll come and go. Family dinner may be bigger."
Blanca finds love.
"One big thing is Blanca finds love," Canals added to TV Guide, teasing Season 3. "A large part of Blanca's arc for the season is the push and pull of being both a partner and a mom. How do you balance all these multiple roles? Blanca has always been so devoted and focused on her children...She's finally focusing on her herself and going for her goals in a way we're really never seen for her. We'll be exploring the ripple effects [of that choice]. How does that then impact her children?"
Hollywood's Jeremy Pope will play her love interest, Christopher.