Episode 4: To Gay or Not Too Gay
Y’all ready to be absolutely and completely emotionally undone to the point where you’re on the ground crying into your bottle of rose? No? Too bad. This episode will crush you, and you’re gonna like it.
First of all, this was the only episode in the season that centered on a queer man. I’m actually really glad that they got rid of the “For the Straight Guy” part of the name, because you know what? Sometimes gays need the Fab Five, too. And this one, AJ, sure did: on top of everything else the Fab Five fixes, AJ also needed help coming out.
So let’s talk about AJ: A) he’s a major hunk B) he’s a major goof and C) he’s a major sweetheart. He had a whole sweet and shy schoolboy thing going on that was really adorable, even if he did sometimes wear cargo shorts. Underneath all that, as you shall see when he models nothing but a leather harness and jeans for the Fab Five, he’s absolutely ripped. Though he expresses fears that showing off his (ridiculously hot) body will make him seem gay—as if jacked straight dudes don’t take every chance to participate in wet t-shirt contests, see episode 8—Tan puts him right in more colorful and better fitted clothes that still go with his style.
AJ’s pad is already fucking cool with its exposed brick and indoor swing (read: possible sex swing), so Bobby just makes it cooler with more leather and a more masculine finish. Good job, Bob.
Jonathan and Antoni don’t do much this episode. AJ gets a trim, a shave, and a lesson on how to make arepas.
Karamo’s involvement is a mixed bag: his conversation with AJ on how hard it is to be gay in the black community was tear-inducing, but his unduly metaphorical ropes course and constant reminders about “leaps of faith” were more vomit-inducing. This caused far too many war flashbacks to corporate retreats.
The ending, of course, reduced me to a puddle of snot. The letter AJ wrote—to his freaking dead father—and read to his stepmom about being gay was some of the rawest shit I’ve seen on Netflix as of yet. Move over, Amanda Knox.
I won’t spoil for you what the stepmom’s reaction was, though: you’ll have to watch and find out yourself.