This is by far the best episode of the season, the one that broke all the rules and told us that there are no barriers for the Fab 5.
This episode is the one centered on a gay man called AJ because not all the gay men in the world are expert fashionists. in fact, some of them don’t even care about fashion. But the truth is that AJ is such a beautiful man that he could go around the world wearing a trash bag and he would look great in it. That is not the case though, he wears a style that his friend calls Corny Schoolboy style, and I actually find cute and sweet, he also lives in a chaotic house where you can find anything anywhere, including a swing in his saloon/bedroom.
I can see how some people wanted him to be more organized and stylish, but frankly, I don’t think he needed to change those things that much. Of course that Bobby improved the house, Tan did the same with his wardrobe and Jonathan took him to a place where got AJ a great hairstyle, but neither of these things was the reason why the Fab 5 crashed a party and did an intervention. The real reason why AJ needed help was that he wasn’t out and it was starting to affect his life. For a long time AJ was able to keep his family, his friends and his job apart, he never mixed those world and he was a different man in each one of those places, but it’s too hard to keep those masks in place during a prolonged period of time, so AJ got to the point when he just didn’t want to wear them.
And here is where the Fab 5 show up and help him.
It’s probably impossible to write a review capable of transmitting the emotional journey of AJ and the Fab 5 in this episode. To me, the decoration and hair changes aren’t that important. Don’t get me wrong, they are awesome, Bobby and Jonathan know their stuff and they always do a great job, perhaps not the more important, but the most obvious one. But in this episode, they had a great flat and a very, very handsome man to improve, they did it, but I would have agreed with them if they had decided they didn’t need to change a thing. About the wardrobe, although I kinda loved the corny schoolboy style, I agree that AJ needed to understand that he could be stylish without looking gay because there are a lot of type of queer styles, and not all the gay men are flamboyant. In this case, the wardrobe becomes one more way to help AJ to come out, to mix the different facets of his life and take off his masks. However, Tan wasn’t the architect of the real change here, it was Antony, and I think it was an absolute success to bring Antony, as he was the one who could identify better with AJ.
Antony and Karamo were the ones who bonded the most with AJ, and although the rope jumps were kind of silly, everything they both did leaded AJ to his goal
And what was his goal? He wanted to come out with his step-mother. That scene with AJ, his stepmother, and Antony making tamales and talking about AJ’s father was so emotional and emotive. It warmed my heart to see AJ and his stepmother talking about his father, I could feel their love for the man, but as Antony said, I could see how AJ’s secret was keeping his stepmother outside his world, and it was sad, because I could also feel how much they loved each other.
As a gay black man, Karamo could understand AJ in a way that the rest couldn’t, which helped AJ to bond and open.
It was impossible to no cry when AJ finally opened up to his stepmother and told her that he was gay. He decided to do it with a letter for his dead father. In the letter, he came out to his father as he wasn’t able to do so when he was alive, which was his biggest regret. If that didn’t break you and made you cry like a baby, AJ’s tears of relief and her kindness and compassion sure did.
This is the episode that changed the concept, it’s not longer Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, now it’s simply Queer Eye. Who knows, perhaps we’ll see the guys helping a woman in the next season, I know it’s highly unlikely, but now I believe it’s possible.