Cleaning up the mess is the name of this episode’s cold open. By far, one of my favorite lines from Dracmorda is when she tells Israel, after snapping at him, “I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at the blood.” Iconic.
As the show begins proper, Dollya talks about the controversial Key of Life and Death. She resolves that she didn’t want to decide anyone’s fate but her own, hence why she saved herself with the key. The rest of the cast is less than thrilled, as they conclude that the whole bit was a fluke, and Dollya should feel lucky she wasn’t taken out last week. Whether that’s true or not, Dollya played the game, and managed to live to slay another day.
The challenge for the week is trash couture. Anything garbage is fair game for use in the outfits. As for makeup, while the performers’ foundation of choice is fine, all other makeup or prosthetics must be construction paper and markers. Clearly the influence of not only Alaska Thunderfuck, but the peachy Nina Bonina Brown can be felt with this arts and crafts project of a floor show. Before the runway, though, each performer will test out their interview chops with a special guest correspondent.
The term “trash queen” is a point of contention for Priscilla, as she has dealt with addiction and homelessness. As grave of a reminder as the term may be, she looks to take the power back and destroy this challenge. As she is talking to Maddelynn, relating to her struggles with addiction, Hollow Eve busts up laughing at something else in the room, which sets Priscilla off. It is a great big miscommunication, but you can’t help but feel for Priscilla, after she poured her heart out for all to see.
After a reconciliation and a reaching of understanding, the group is seen learning off of one another, and it is such a refreshing thing to see. Normally, when the "Drag Race" queens help one another, it is played off as detrimental for both parties involved, whereas here it is just par for the course. Louisianna describes her intended look as “if Divine fucked Lana Del Rey,” and that brings the iconic one-liner count to two for the episode in my book. Elsewhere in the boudoir, Landon is going for a Poseidon look, while making a statement about plastic in the ocean.
Hollow Eve’s statement piece, a phrase which has become passe this season, is well-intended while also short-sighted. Her tampon and pad moment is a celebration of “womanhood,” but the stopping short on gender identity is shocking for the post-binary drag socialist that Hollow claims to be. Granted, no one is perfect, but for someone as progressive (or dare we say, radical) as Hollow Eve is, this whole bit is a bit of a doozy when all is said and done. (NOTE: She would later apologize for these remarks on Twitter, after the episode aired.)
For the floor show, guests judges include Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and "Dragula" Season Two champion Biqtch Puddin. The winner of the challenge will receive a $1,000 prize package from Trixie Cosmetics, the new makeup line from the skinny legend herself, Trixie Mattel. Highlights for the runway portion are Evah Destruction’s razor fantasy, complete with beaucoup body hair for that unpretty edge, as well as Louisianna’s neon nuance with loads of color.
The interview portion will be overseen by the trash tramp herself, Disasterina, and boy, is this a fun second part. Louisianna shines by talking about what people typically expect from her, and how she subverts that with her look tonight. Evah shone in the runway, but ultimately choked in the interview portion, in one of the more heartbreaking moments of the series so far. Priscilla deep throats the mic during her interview, so there’s that as well.
While Maddelynn is the first one to be named safe for the week, she is not excused from the stage just yet. Louisianna is praised for stepping outside of her comfort zone and taking the critiques about her silhouette and turning them into what she brought for this runway. Dollya’s reference to season two’s Abhora is read for filth by Dracmorda, and it stings. While Landon’s look was phenomenal, his choice to crawl out during his runway was great for characterization, but poor for getting the full picture of what he brought to the floor show.
If Disasterina says you made her uncomfortable, that is not a good thing, and this is the big critique for Hollow Eve, who immediately takes it to heart and stands firm on her soapbox, which I’m convinced is nailed into the damn stage at this point. Priscilla’s backstory came into play in her look, and it helped raise her above. Evah’s look is passable, but her full-on choke during the interview segment is going to hurt her.
Ultimately, Priscilla’s redemption arc pans out, as she wins for the week. Landon joins Maddelynn as being safe for the week, while high marks are given to Dollya and Louisianna. This puts Hollow Eve and Evah in the bottom two for the week, but shockingly, everyone but the winner will participate in this extermination challenge. While the safe and high-ranking performers are playing for pride, the bottom two are playing for keeps, and their stakes in the competition.
Before the extermination, Hollow goes on the mother of all tirades backstage, defending her act and saying that she wouldn’t change a thing about it. This is where I step off the Hollow Eve bandwagon. She has hammered the point home, to the point where it is doing more harm than good, and she fails to realize it. I wanted to like her, and it’s moments like these that make it hard to.
The extermination challenge is a roach tube race. Blow the cockroach into your opponent’s mouth to win. Louisianna and Landon defeat Dollya and Maddelynn respectively, and Evah takes the win over Hollow. Hollow is exterminated and left behind a dumpster, reducing the field to six competitors.
At this point in the game, Evah and Priscilla come out as the strongest competitors. Evah has two challenge wins, though she has faced an extermination that counted. Priscilla has one challenge win, and has been safe or better in every episode to date. Landon is still holding strong, though his misstep this week is one that he will have to make up for to be considered a contender for the crown. Dollya has drawn comparisons to Abhora for reasons beyond her costuming this week, and Maddelynn has underperformed, given her experience. Halfway through the season, it is still anyone’s game, and damn if they aren’t keeping it competitive.