“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1612 Recap: I’d Like to Buy a Bowel

This recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race 1612 contains spoilers.

Sometimes it hurts to see your fave win. Look, you all know I love Morphine. I should be celebrating her staying another week. And getting to see her perform that song. But something about how this week shook out just feels wrong.

Also feeling wrong? Q who is throwing a little tantrum after last week. Sapphira says Q looks like she kicked her dog and fucked her husband and the worst part is Q seems to think she’s somehow being the bigger person by pouting quietly instead of… I don’t know yelling about being second place? Sapphira even says “I love you” to her and she doesn’t say it back! Just like in sex tops and bottoms can be relative, because while Q is pissed about second place, Morphine is riding high after her lip sync.

It’s a new day in the work room and Q is still not over it! She tells Sapphira her win was undeserved. Bold! And not in a good way! I love people who are competitive but part of being competitive should be self-analysis and self-criticism. There’s a reason you lost, babe. Don’t undermine Sapphira’s win!

Before the drama gets too heated, Ru arrives to talk about Tammy Faye Bakker and the famous “I ran into Tammy Faye” makeup shirt. The mini challenge this week is for the queens to create their own makeup shirts by caking it on and then rubbing their faces on some pit crew members in white t-shirts. Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics is there giving her usual lack of charisma. Plane wins!

The main challenge this week is a play on House Hunters called Bathroom Hunties. The queens are split into pairs and tasked with designing a unique bathroom and then pitching it in a sketch to two German nightclub owners played by Michelle and Carson. The teams are Morphine and Q, Sapphira and Plane, and Dawn and Nymphia. I hate these teams!! They’re mismatched and not in a way that breeds the fun kind of conflict.

Morphine is concerned that Q is going to let her devastating second place finish the previous week distract her. For some reason, Morphine’s solution is to bring it up and keep poking Q about it. I wonder if that will work!

After some brainstorming, Morphine and Q land on a hell theme, Nymphia and Dawn go with a fArt museum, and Sapphira and Plane decide on a speakeasy. They then start to design their sets and Plane immediately complains about “manual labor.” Nymphia asks Sapphira if that’s what being a white person is like. And then Plane increases her annoyance by painting on another team’s wall! I do think my flaw as a Drag Race contestant — other than not knowing how to sew, not knowing how to dance, barely knowing how to put on makeup — would patience while trying to work as others were goofing off. I’d be so pissed if Plane painted on my wall!

There are a lot of nerves back in the workroom. Morphine is anxious for a win. Nymphia is nervous which makes Dawn nervous. And Plane’s usual confidence has vanished requiring Sapphira to once again do the emotional labor of tending to another queen’s emotions.

I will say this was a VERY revealing episode for Sapphira. Between having Plane write down her fears and tear up the paper, sharing that she’s dated a lot of transmasc people, and her puppy play runway look we’ll get to later, I got such a clear picture of Sapphira this week. She’s a very recognizable queer person to me!

Because this is a bathroom episode, the queens talk about their experiences in public restrooms. Morphine talks about being kicked out of a bathroom at a gig and about dreading the bathrooms at airports. I often wait to go on the plane itself because airport bathrooms is where I’ve had the most challenges so this was relatable! I do think if Drag Race can do any good with all its assimilationist politics, it’s with conversations like these.

Mayan Lopez is the guest judge this week and the runway theme is Chain Reaction. These looks are mostly really good! Morphine looks STUNNING in gold chains, Dawn shows her range by looking really hot with some visible ass, and Nymphia is a stunning dominatrix in light blue and silver. Plane is in a sex cyborg look that feels played out for her and Q’s red and black look really did not work for me, in part, due to the wig. Sapphira meanwhile is in full pup gear and looks AMAZING.

We then watch the Bathroom Hunties segments. I really like Morphine and Q’s concepts: things like the toilet paper being out of reach and the hand hooks that drop people’s stuff. But like the previous week Morphine lets her insecurities get the better of her! Talk about an inner saboteur. I need Morphine to accept that she’s funny and smart and not freeze up during comedy challenges!

Dawn is in a similar position. Nymphia is talking a mile a minute and Dawn sinks to the background. Come on Dawn! She also doesn’t show her usual humor in these challenges in a way that’s frustrating. I also found the execution of their concept frustrating. Rather than committing to a modern art museum, they have their activity be finger painting which feels out of place.

Sapphira and Plane are by far the most solid pair. Sapphira especially shines, but Plane holds her own. They wisely find separate and compatible characters. Their concept isn’t the most unique but they execute it really well.

Sapphira and Plane share the win. Q is safe. Nymphia is safe. Dawn and Morphine are lip syncing to “Body” by Megan Thee Stallion, a song designed for Morphine and very much not designed for Dawn.

Q being a sore loser definitely has me turning against her, but I think they should’ve been judged by teams and Q should’ve been in the bottom. Two weeks in a row Dawn has had very difficult teammates in very different ways and while I do think she’s failed to shine in ways I’d hoped to see, I don’t think she deserved to go home this week.

But Morphine gives another stellar lip sync. There’s no way she couldn’t win! I just would’ve enjoyed it more if her beautiful ass was sending Q home instead.

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

+ I’m still not sold on Plane Jane but during the mini challenge she got a big laugh out of me when she said, “This is how my parents see me.”

+ Another big laugh: when Nymphia says Plane and Sapphira look like they’re designing for a historical drama.

+ Ru crediting Plane with the joke of calling Sapphira’s character Shakira when that was obviously a mistake… she likes Plane way too much.

+ Ru is so upset about Q and Morphine’s vocal fry. It’s like she’s about to call in and complain to NPR.

+ During Untucked, Morphine’s drag mom leaves a message and says, “You’re not only my drag daughter. You’re my best friend.” I love when the queens have chosen family leave messages!!

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Morphine, Sapphira

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Morphine

+ Queen I want to sashay: Q, Plane

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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 520 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. Your reviews are up so fast this season! Love it!
    This song choice was another one that felt like the producers showing their hand and picking who they want to stay. I love Morphine, but I’m really going to miss Dawn’s Demon Twink of Brookline energy.
    I’m with you- it shouldve been Q’s week to go!!! Byeee!

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