“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1605 Recap: I Need Morphine

This recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1605 contains spoilers.

Turns out these queens can be funny. While they may have flopped in the sketch challenge last week, this week the queens prove their comic abilities as the drama mounts and shade is thrown.

But before laughter, there are tears. Mirage’s shocking lip sync loss has the queens distraught. And this brings us to my first Morphine crush moment of the week, because she is such a pretty crier!! The one queen not crying about Mirage is Q who is crying about, once again, not winning the challenge. The other queens are annoyed, but I respect being upset about second place!

Plane, of course, is the one to question Q’s emotions, which upsets Amanda due to their ongoing feud. I’ve been pretty tough on Amanda since her first episode… is it bad that her coming out as a trans woman and having a trans boyfriend makes me like her more? I do think her drag is much less developed than some of the other queens, but I like her personality!

It’s a new day in the workroom and Amanda and Plane are still bickering. Also Ru has a new memoir. The mini challenge is for the queen’s to create their own quick drag memoir covers and once again they are not funny! I guess this falls under the category of “sketch” because the jokes are hack! But it’s not entirely a waste — Laith Ashley takes their photos and Morphine shakes her ass. Sapphira wins the challenge and receives an autographed copy of Ru’s book — and two thousand dollars.

It’s a girl group challenge! Three groups of queens will be writing verses for songs from Ru’s new album. (Double self-promotion this week!) Sapphira, Plasma, and Geneva are team captains. Sapphira picks Dawn, Morphine, and Q. Plasma picks Amanda, Xunami, and Plane. And Geneva picks Mhi’ya, Nymphia, and Megami. Morphine, our sexy narrator of the season, says this last group is going to struggle because they’re all quiet and all bottoms. (Unclear what definition of “bottoms” she’s using here.)

The choreographers of each group are Plasma, Mhi’ya (with an assist from Nymphia), and Morphine. The queens who are struggling from each group are Xunami, Megami, and Q. But the real joy of these rehearsals are the other queens snickering in the corner! They’re all being so fun and cunty!

Back in the workroom, Q wants to address her conflict with Plane. Plane tells Q she respects her more than Amanda which sets Amanda off. Morphine is smirking the whole time and says the the gringos are fighting in Spanish. Here’s the thing… Plane came for Bob the Drag Queen on Twitter last week and quickly revealed how incapable she is at being a bitch when she’s not punching down. On the show and online, she’s just not very good at being the villain she so desperately wants to be! But she’s thin and white and a hot enough man out of drag so I’m sure she’ll amass a large following from the worst corners of the Drag Race fanbase.

The first group to perform is QDSM performing “Star Baby.” I know I’ve had Drag Race crushes in the past, but I need Morphine the way a person in surgery might need her namesake. She’s so hot and talented and funny and I’m in love with her. Anyway, my girlfriend informed me that this group wasn’t really in-sync and Q especially was struggling, but I didn’t notice because I was only watching Morphine.

The next group is Lovah Girlz performing “Courage to Love.” Amanda — who was in Kinky Boots! — is a great dancer, but her wig keeps getting in her face. Overall the group is solid though and Xunami pulls off the choreo.

The last group is Thicc and Stick performing “ASMR Lover.” They’re good! I do think this is more a case of them being underestimated than them actually being great though. All three groups were good and it’s fun to see this group defy expectations. Megami, especially, really came through and it’s actually Geneva who is the weak link here.

It’s the runway that’s less consistent. The theme is Faster! Pussycat! Wig Wig and there are some obvious standouts. Q is amazing as a vampiric knight, Sapphira delights as drag Dr. Evil, Nymphia stuns in all red with multiple wig reveals, and Xunami smolders as a matador. And then, of course, there’s Morphine. She’s dressed in an homage to Catwoman from Batman Returns — the best Batman movie — but with a big ass that’s bloody and scratched up. She! Is! So! Hot!

Unfortunately, not all the looks are this good. Amanda, Mhi’ya, and Geneva are especially bad.

But Geneva’s group wins the challenge, which means the runway doesn’t matter for them. Ru looks bad if any of the queens selected to be on the show are framed as total flops. So it really feels like this group won to prevent Geneva from lip syncing a third time — and because they were graded on a curve of expectations. It’s frustrating because I don’t think any of the groups should’ve won! They were all good but all had weak links!

The bottom three should have been Amanda, Geneva, and Q, and Q should’ve been saved by her runway.

But instead the eight queens on the stage are asked who should go home when the who that should go home is already in untucking in the back. They all say Amanda or Q except Q who says both Amanda and Xunami. This will lead to some drama in Untucked, but it’s obvious she says this, because she’s desperately trying to throw out another name of someone who could possibly lip sync. This doesn’t work.

It’s Q vs. Amanda to “Emergency” by guest judges Icona Pop. Amanda knows how to dance and Q knows how to perform and it’s a really good lip sync! Maybe Geneva being safe was as simple as the show needing a good lip sync after a few weeks of flops.

If Ru can pretend Jinkx won all those lip syncs on All Stars, she can pretend this wasn’t evenly matched and give the win to Q. It’s definitely the better outcome if these are our options. But it still sucks to say goodbye to Amanda just when I was starting to like her.

Oh well, the judges may have picked Plane in this feud, but the internet has chosen trans girl Amanda. I hope she returns to All Stars a new woman.

Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:

+ Morphine is excited about guest judges Icona Pop, because they were her first ever concert!

+ Sapphira is in a girl group in Philly called Philly’s Foxes and Nymphia was in a K-Pop-themed girl group in Taiwan.

+ Amanda kept looking directly into the camera throughout the episode and it was really charming.

+ During Untucked, Geneva says any of the eight queens left on-stage could go home. Babe, what??? Delusion.

+ Also during Untucked there’s a moment where Aino from Icona Pop says she had a crush on Caroline from Icona Pop and Caroline seems uncomfortable and is very adamant that they’re just friends and Aino is like yeah now we’re just friends. Any Icona Pop stans know any more details about this?

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Morphine and Sapphira

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Morphine

+ Queen I want to go home: Geneva

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 553 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. I know Q is a more polished queen, but I wouldn’t actually have been sad if she had gone home?! I was rooting for Amanda and I think she won that lipsync- when Ru said Q’s name my friend yelled “Oh so lipsyncs don’t count anymore!” 🤣

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