3 min

Review: Looking, Season 2, Episode 2

Looking for Results: mixed results

Patrick is head over heels in love with his fuckbuddy and boss Kevin. Credit: HBO

Beware the gay gossip

Patrick is head over heels in love with his fuckbuddy and boss Kevin and you can so tell when they talk about boy bands in bed, carrying out what is trying to come off as the world’s cutest affair.

When Patrick dishes to all his friends, we find out that Kevin and his boyfriend are going through a really rough patch, which is the most common excuse in the history of the world to justify cheating. Patrick is so coy about it all, it’s hard to believe he buys his own bullshit. He even says the whole thing sounds like “the worst TV show ever.” His words, not mine. Hearing Patrick demand his friends be supportive of his affair did make me chuckle at least. So young, so dumb.

When Patrick tells Kevin that he gabbed to his friends about their affair, Kevin gets very stand-offish and drops another of the show’s many self-hating lines. This gem stems from Kevin being worried that news of their affair will be overheard by some “Castro queens” who might then spread the news all over town. That line comes off as very much about how “those gays” are awful and terrible and would enjoy making Kevin the victim of gossip because they’re cruel. Meanwhile, Kevin’s falling over backward into the gay stereotype of the promiscuous, unrepentant cheater trying to protect his own ass. I don’t think every gay in the village is dying to talk about these two guys and their milquetoast adventures.

Dirty details and overdosing on drug storylines

Dom and his daddy boyfriend Lynn catch up, and Lynn wants the dirty details from Dom’s recent trip up to Lynn’s cabin. While Dom squirms at the idea of describing his sexual escapades, Lynn says maturely that it’s about being open and playfully curious, which is a good mentality to have for a successful open relationship. Lynn is also worried that Dom ruined his expensive sheets — I assume because those are much harder to replace than Dom. 

Agustín is a mess as usual and saunters off to a club to track down his cub buddy from the last episode. Instead, he runs into a friend of his ex, does a bunch of GHB and winds up falling asleep in his own filth before being rescued by Patrick’s ex Richie. I’m extremely bored of Agustín, the show’s overall druggy storylines and the after-school-special feeling that goes along with it all. Adults take drugs sometimes, and it’s not all sadness and despair. Agustín’s whole night out seems needlessly sinister, and his storyline is starting to flat-line. Also, when the Hispanic characters meet, the show again has to let us know they are Hispanic by having Agustín sing in Spanish and having one of them state they think Agustín works at a Chipotle. We get it, Looking: you have Hispanic friends; there’s no need to be so on the nose about it. Okay, Papi?

AIDS panic 2.0

The part of this episode that was most easy to relate to was watching Patrick navigate the very real mental games that gay men of all ages get stuck playing when they engage in unprotected sex and get a cold or a rash. Patrick reaches out to his friends for their opinions on his rash, he Googles his way through pictures of HIV physical-warning signs, and he calls a health help line before he finally gives in and gets tested. This whole process was very real, and it was nice to see a little responsibility and reality applied to the subject. During his test, when Patrick shamefully admits that he has had unprotected sex, he immediately lists the litany of reasons he thinks he should be okay. In an exceptionally understated moment, the health worker simply tells him, “People make mistakes.” This whole experience wakes Patrick up to the risks he’s been taking, and he confronts Kevin at work. Kevin says some vaguely supportive things before making it all go away by finally showing off his boy-band dance moves. I don’t know what’s worse, the look of forgiving approval on Patrick’s face or this radically out-of-character move by Kevin, who goes from being worried about anyone knowing what is going on between them to dancing adorably for Patrick while all his co-workers look on.

Pro:  Seeing Russell Tovey, aka Kevin, shake his naked ass. Also hearing Patrick talk about Kevin’s juicy foreskin and then imagining what Tovey’s dick looks like for just a second.

Con: When Patrick goes in for his AIDS test and the health worker explains the ins and outs of the test and its technical similarities to a pregnancy test, Patrick says awkwardly, “Like, hey everybody, I’m pregnant with HIV.” Patrick is an idiot and often eye-roll inducing, but that was a real groaner.

Best line: “What about a fag-stag card: a straight guy who only hangs out with gay guys.”  — Patrick