Last weeks recap of “Looking” was admittedly harsh, and I got some criticism saying I was too hard on the show. I”ll admit I can be harsh with this show, but there are lots of things about the writing, the character development and the pacing that really bother me as a person who pays attention to those types of things. However, last nights episode wasn’t bad. It annoyed me for sure, but I don’t have that much bad stuff to say about it.
It was nice to see more than just 30 seconds of Dom (Murray Bartlett) this week, as he had the second largest storyline of the episode. All of a sudden he plays Rugby (I’m kidding, I’m sure this has probably been mentioned before) and his big game was the focal point of the episode (And it was really nice to see him in his cute little Rugby gear). A bit of a conflict in Dom’s relationship with Lynn (Scott Bakula) comes when it’s revealed that Lynn secretly set up a meeting for Dom to become a manager of a hot SOMA restaurant. Dom thought the meeting was with a possible investor for his dream restaurant. Of course Dom gets pissed off when he finds out Lynn knew about this the whole time, and I can understand both sides.
Lynn definitely shouldn’t have lied to him, but Dom needs to understand that having a management title on his resume is only going to help him get his own restaurant off the ground. Dom definitely needs to be patient and take smaller steps toward his dream, but apparently he doesn’t see it this way. It’s really a tricky situation, but hopefully it won’t ruin their relationship because Lynn is really just looking out for him and trying to help him be the best restaurant owner he can be. Lynn is really just trying to tell Dom the logical and practical things he needs to hear and Dom wants to live in fantasyland still.
In regards to telling somebody something they need to hear, I’ll get to the Agustine (Frankie J Alvarez) and Richie (Raul Castillo) moment a little bit later (in a segment I’ll call “Missed Opportunity”). Right now I’ll tell you that Agustine was used, again, strictly for expositional reasons. He had one small scene where he thanked Richie for helping him out in the previous episode. There was also the INCREDIBLY ANNOYING part after the Rugby game where Agustine invited himself over to his new friend Eddie’s (Daniel Franzese) place. He so nonchalantly told Eddie the one thing his BEST FRIEND Patrick (Jonathan Groff) asked him not to tell anybody, his big secret affair. And oddly enough, Eddie didn’t seem to affected by the news!? Anyway, Eddie begrudgingly tells Agustine that he can come over, and that was it for Agustine.
Now if the writers aren’t going to do anything with Agustine’s character, they might as well just drop him from the show. Maybe he moves back to Florida with his rich parents, maybe he finds a daddy that takes him completely out of the “scene”, or maybe he just overdoses on something? Either way, it’s episode 3 and hardly anything has happened with him.
Which leaves us with Patrick and Kevin (Russell Tovey). Patrick got all excited when Kevin told him they could hang out for 28 hours since his boyfriend John was leaving town. Patrick is so amped, he wants everything to be perfect for the one-day fling with a taken man. He cleans up his place and even drags Agustine out to help him find the perfect anal cleansing system (And in typical fashion, he acts like a 13 year old girl all prudish and giggly about all things sex). Patrick and Kevin end up meeting at a bar before they trek to Dom’s Rugby game, and while they are there Patrick is completely googley-eyed at EVERYTHING Kevin says! So much so that apparently he forgets they are having a secret affair and grabs Kevin by the hand to a secluded spot (but still in a public place) where they make out.
In a surprise move, Kevin bottomed for Patrick for the first time. And I’ll say it again, “Looking” definitely excels with their sex scenes. They are shot so perfectly where it almost does feel like it’s the real thing. This scene was really hot because it was so sweaty and intense, and we got to see Paddy in his alpha-top glory. But, as viewers we are left right where we were left at the end of Episode 2. Patrick knows this affair is wrong, but the charms of Kevin keep leading him to believe there’s more to their relationship than what is there already.
One thing I will say, this episode did show a different side to Kevin. His talk with Paddy at the bar revealed a troubled upbringing and a desire to get married. I think Tovey really played this well though, because there was a sense that he was trying not to show his emotions to Paddy, and a sense that he was still just telling Paddy what he wanted to hear.
What’s funny about this show is that some people are pro-Kevin-and-Patrick and see things between them in a more positive way than people like me who know their affair is destined to end horribly. What makes this duality work is the performance of Tovey, who treads the line beautifully. It’s easy to see him as this charming potential husband for Patrick, but it’s also easy to see him as a shady sex-pot who is completely using Patrick and taking advantage of his immature giddyness. Again though, Tovey is really good because when the two were talking at the Bar, Kevin revealed more about his upbringing and his future desires. There was some subtle work Tovey did with his expressions and his tone, it could make some believe that he was holding back his emotions because he’s not ready to let Patrick in but others probably saw it a different way.
Overall, last nights episode was fair. Honestly, it’s an alluring show. There’s something about the cinematography and tone that just sucks you in for 30 minutes. I would beg for less Patrick and more of the other characters, but I think at this point it’s clear that Patrick is the focal point, and we will just have to deal!
Okay, so let’s think back to last season when Patrick brought Richie to Dom’s 40th Birthday party. Richie and Agustine almost got into a fight over comments Agustine made to Patrick when he thought Richie was away. Basically, Agustine told Patrick that he was just using Richie to show how LIBERAL and open-minded he is when he really wasn’t. That he was “slumming it” to prove a point. Richie overheard and Agustine immediately apologized.
But, what Agustine said was true! Patrick showed several times that he wasn’t really into Richie. Hell, if it wasn’t for Dom Patrick wouldn’t have even talked to Richie a second time. It’s clear that Richie, in all his hotness, is not what Patrick really wants. Patrick wants another white guy who makes a certain annual income, and Richie is not that! Which is why they aren’t together anymore.
So last night, when Agustine and Richie were talking about this… it was sloppily written off. Richie asked if Agustine is in love with Patrick as a reason why he lashed out that day. Agustine says no, and Richie just says “oh so you’re just an asshole” and that was the end of it.
I think the writers should have extended this scene out, had us watch Richie trim Agustine’s beard while they talked about this. Richie maybe could have asked “WHY” he said that, because he felt that it was true given Patrick’s treatment of him. It could have been a nice conversation about race and how WASPy guys view and treat more ethnic guys. I think it could have been eye opening and real, something this show lacks. I feel this show too often deals with just the superficial and that was a tragic missed opportunity to talk about something important!