Film & Video
6 min

Review: Looking, Season 2, Episode 10

Looking for Home

Credit: HBO

Patrick meets his new super gay neighbors Jake and Milo in the elevator. They are awful and annoying but Patrick plays nice because, I assume, he realizes he has become a domestic yuppie homo and should play nice with his own kind.

Upon walking into his and Kevin’s new apartment, the U-Haul fantasy wears off when Patrick notices Kevin’s framed Field of Dreams poster. It’s more Kevin than Patrick was prepared to live with and apparently he didn’t pay too much attention to Kevin’s decor in the two months they have been dating. Patrick feels a little uneasy, as someone who chooses to move in with someone after they’ve only dated for two months is likely to feel. But Patrick shakes it off and they toast to, “moving in and moving on.” Then they try and christen their new apartment, but are interrupted by Jake and Milo who invite them over for a Christmas party. They decide to attend the party and Agustin’s mural unveiling at the shelter because they are totally about making mature relationship compromises. After this important decision, Kevin urgently notes that Patrick should, “Hurry up and fuck me in the butt before someone else rings that fucking bell.”

Dom is sad that Doris isn’t talking to him since he was snotty and ungrateful about the delay in getting Doris’s inheritance so he can open his chicken shack. Dom goes to Malik, who lets him know that Doris is very angry and cleaning all the time and it’s driving him crazy. Dom, in true big brother fashion, asks Malik if he loves Doris and Malik insists he does before telling Dom to come over and go for a walk with Doris to clear the air.

Patrick and Kevin are happy to get all couply and boring with their new upper class homo neighbors at their gay Christmas party. Because Patrick is the king of playing the race card, he notes how white the crowd is, with Kevin adding there isn’t one ugly person in the bunch. Always classy guys. A guest lets the pair know that new meat is always in high demand at these parties and suddenly things gets really cruisey, leading the pair to believe they accidentally agreed to attend a gay yuppie orgy. Of course Patrick thinks nobody is flirting with him and only with Kevin, but impishly suggests they stay and watch because he’s a little drunk.

While Jake and Milo are comparing Grindr profiles to their real matches at the party, Patrick notices that Kevin is on Grindr using the name of his old UK hometown but without a picture. This of course means drama. Boring, boring drama. They leave the party in a huff and Patrick calls him out on it. Kevins responds with, “Who doesn’t want to know what other homos are lurking in the shadows?” and shows Patrick he hasn’t messaged or chatted with anyone. “Just tell me I didn’t move in with a sex addict,” Patrick demands, because that’s the obvious thing you would assume in this situation. Kevin insists he’s only a sex addict for Patrick. Groan.

Patrick talks with Agustin over the phone who weighs in on Grindr-Gate by saying everyone has the app on their phone, but it’s what you do with it that counts. Patrick seems relieved, but as soon as the call ends, Agustin says he smells the end of paradise for the pair. His Santa-outfit clad, bear boyfriend Eddie agrees and then they make out, thus defiling the sacred image of Santa.

Meanwhile, Patrick hates peanut butter and Kevin doesn’t know. Trouble in paradise. Patrick asks Kevin if he hooked up with other people when he was with John. Kevin admits that he did a few times but just little things like a tug in the steam room or a massage with a happy ending. Panicking, Patrick insists he wants to talk about sexual boundaries like adults, but is being awkward about it.

Kevin points out that he’s happy he cheated on John because otherwise they wouldn’t be together. Touché. Patrick is conflicted. Kevin insists that with Patrick, he doesn’t want what he and John had, and that he doesn’t want to lie so he admits he did it behind John’s back. In the interest of full honesty, Kevin then basically says he wants an open relationship, or at least a free pass, as slutty things realistically pop up in life. This causes an instant fight.

Their monogamy pro and con conversation derails when Kevin throws in Patrick’s face that his mom doesn’t even believe in monogamy. Tit for tat, the pair go after each other’s terrible and slutty past behaviours as they storm out of the apartment. Afterwards, they play a round of hypothetical “would you ever” applied to sexual situations, and they even bring poor Mark Ruffalo into their twisted whining. Patrick admits to being paranoid that anytime Kevin goes out for a bagel, he’ll be thinking if he’s getting it buttered by some hussy. This pushes Kevin to basically say that if you don’t you want to grow old with me then hit the road.

Doris and Dom meet up, where Doris apologizes for playing the fag hag card and they hash out their need to be less co-dependent. Dom admits to being a total dick, but also points out that he has to strive for his chicken shack dreams on his own and that Doris has to put someone else first before him, like Malik. It always nice to see a fag and his hag make nice, but only while also being independent people — I guess that’s the message of this plot line this season. If you can call it a plot line.

Meanwhile on the roof, Patrick compares his and Kevin’s love to a sleep perfect mattress, two sides with various firmness settings. Patrick believes their hearts work differently and that he always knew it, and that he was just trying to prove to everyone that he could actually be in a relationship. Kevin insists that now that he knows how Patrick feels, he can adjust his behavior and begs him for trust. I don’t think this whole thing could be more messy and pathetic, especially at the two-month point in their relationship.

Patrick can’t sleep and sneaks out of bed. After starring down the Field of Dreams poster in the living room, Patrick digs through a box of his own belongings and finds the necklace Richie gave him. The next day he immediately goes to see Richie because that is a mature response to relationship worries: go see your ex. But he doesn’t want to talk to Richie about his issues, he just wants a buzzcut so that he doesn’t look like a middle-aged lesbian anymore. I have no idea what this scene is supposed to represent or tell the audience, but any of the possibilities I can think of are, “no surprise,” and “kind of awful.”

Pro: I’m not sure there was one. Maybe that this is likely the last episode of a series that has barely been holding on to a cohesive story line, conflict or purpose for two full seasons. The ratings for the show have been on life support for both seasons, and I was shocked that HBO even greenlit a second season. HBO often ignores ratings in favour of complimentary programming and perceived goodwill, and I think they were quite pleased with the matching of Girls and Looking on Sunday nights on paper. However, HBO has been silent about renewing the show for a third season. I guess if this is the end, the characters have grown a little over two seasons, but ultimately the journey wasn’t very deep, memorable, nuanced or moving. I actually can’t think of a drama on television more focused on a group of people more unlikeable. Sure, Looking is probably the most realistic depiction of modern gay life on television today, but that says more about the state of television programming then it does about the quality of the show.

Con: Is a Field of Dreams poster really the benchmark for terrible taste? I can imagine much worse. Poor Kevin Costner doesn’t need this shit from a judgmental, insecure little gay. He was pretty handsome back in the day, show some respect. Looking could have used some of Field of Dreams’ charm — HBO certainly built it, but they (viewers) did not come.

Best Line: “Do you want to go back downstairs and join the KKK butt orgy?”— Patrick gets bitchy and throws this in Kevin’s face for good measure when they talk about monogamy.

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