We Are Gay UK

TV REVIEW | AJ and The Queen review episode 8&9: Learning to love

AJ AND THE QUEEN

Poor, poor Ruby, AJ has gotten into her heart. 

Finding themselves at a playground, Ruby teaches AJ how to swing (she had never played before). Sadly AJ asked for a push too much and flies of, breaking her arm.

Overcome with fear and seeing something wrong with her arm Ruby takes AJ to the hospital. AJ, though, doesn’t want to go, she is terrified. Soon we find out why: a hospital is where she was separated from her mum.
We find out AJ would rather be in pain than lose Ruby as she knows that difficult questions might be asked the moment the doctors and nurses separate them.

She is right, soon people start to ask questions: what reason could a black gay man possibly have to travel with a white child? The fact that no-one even thinks of the possibilities: adoption, teacher, nanny, baby sitter is shocking.

Stumped for an answer Ruby blurts out she is her pageant coach.

This is both a tragic and hilarious episode all in one, as at first, the hospital staff all want something from Ruby. A cute young doctor wants drag advice, a nurse wants pageant advice for her grand doctor and – more offensive – a desk nurse wants to know if she could judge her daughter’s black boyfriend.
The young doctor is the kindest one and helps out when Ruby has to take desperate measures to get AJ back.

We flashback a lot between four key hospital moments: the present, AJ’s birth as well as the moment she got taken away from her mum, while the relationship between Ruby and best friend and drag sister Cocoa is further explored as we flashback to the incident that caused Cocoa’s disability. This gave Rupaul the chance to display one of her most fabulous looks of the series. To see her run through the corridors in that red dress is a visual delight. The scene of her talking with Cocoa in the hospital bed is beautiful. They have great chemistry.

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Back to the present where Ruby pretends to be a Jamaican intern. For some reason, RuPaul can really get away with this look and actually knows how to do the accent, which sells it. This end scene makes the episode end on a high.

During the hospital visit, we got to see how much Ruby cares about AJ and how much AJ has started to care about Ruby. In the next episode, we zoom in deeper on this.

When they reach Texas and the club Ruby was supposed to perform in is bulldozed down AJ asked if Ruby can maybe bring her to her grandfather immediately. Ruby immediately thinks of things they could go and do before that and quickly settles on visiting an old very rich friend (instead of, you know, the war museum.)

There a lot of things happen, an important one is that Jane Krakowski plays Beth her old friend fabulously. Meanwhile: Ruby has to explore her own fears, Beth’s marriage and life isn’t as fabulous as she claims (though she is rich) and AJ befriends the couple’s reclusive son.

The next day Ruby is roped in to be the entertainment of the party Beth is planning. The entertainment manager is non-other than Ginger Minj who proves herself to be another fabulous actor. These queens are so damn talented!!

AJ haggles Beth’s husband to pay Ruby $4000. Then the poor girl collapses. It turns out that the innocent health juice she thought she drank was Beth’s special juice – 90% vodka.

Ruby carries AJ in and looks after her. Spaced out the girl tells her “I love you” and Ruby breaks down.

She is further upset when Cocoa calls her to say that the mother has visited her and she is sending the police after her.

Ruby admits: she doesn’t want to give up AJ anymore. She has grown to love her as a daughter.

The rest of the episode explores Ruby’s own identity. It turns out she was always afraid of her feminine side and instead of admitting it thought it was Beth who stopped her playing with dolls and with her female friends. It was her own fear holding her back.

A positive trans message is included as well.

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AJ tries to break away with the couple’s son, crashing the van. She explains she tried to leave without saying goodbye because she fears she will never be able to say goodbye to Ruby.

Both agree they want to travel together a little longer.

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