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4 min

Review: Looking, Season 2, Episode 4

Looking Down the Road

Looking, Season 2, Episode 4 Credit: HBO

Nobody saw it coming, except everyone

Kevin, everyone’s favourite cheating love interest, makes Patrick a delicious breakfast, and Patrick uses the moment to moan about how he used to be fat. Being fat must have been so terrible for Patrick because he didn’t like being called Fat-rick and because he is hyper-concerned about what other people think of him every waking moment of the day. Kevin refers to Patrick as a “gorgeous virile sex machine” who “gave him the fuck of his life” while Patrick is being unappreciative and whiny, which is nice of Kevin, especially so early in the morning. This flattery, however, snaps Patrick back to reality, and he bring up Kevin’s late-night call with his boyfriend John. Kevin insists that what he and Patrick have together is so much more than what he and his live-in boyfriend share. Patrick believes this because he is a stupid person who was born yesterday.

Patrick then hangs out with Richie because they should be friends, I guess, for some unknown reason. When they finally chat about their romantic status, Richie talks about seeing a nice red-haired guy, whom Patrick immediately insults with a ginger joke. Patrick then tells of his awkward entanglement and Richie says two amazing things, things sane people with brains should have said to Patrick from the beginning: “So, you’re a home wrecker now?” and “You don’t want to be in deeper than the person you’re with.”

Later, when Patrick sees Kevin and John at the farmers’ market, he becomes very emotional. Apparently, late-night phone calls after he and Kevin screw are fine, but Kevin and John buying eggplant together crosses the line. Patrick confronts Kevin about vegetable-gate at work but makes sure to do it on the roof as the sun goes down for that extra splash of teenage drama. Patrick lays out clearly that he doesn’t want to play second fiddle anymore, and an emotional Kevin promises to go home and set things straight with John. Shocking nobody but Patrick, Kevin shows up at the bar later and pathetically tries to make out with Patrick while admitting he couldn’t dump John. Patrick wanders off into the night with a case of the sads, leaving his friends and Richie behind, because talking about his feelings with his friends is too mature for his taste.

Prickstarter

Dom is still cranky because he doesn’t have a restaurant but considers himself too classy to stoop so low as to do a Kickstarter campaign to finance it. Where Dom gets his holier-than-thou attitude I’m not sure; he hasn’t done much to prove his worth.

Later on, he shows up unannounced at Lynn’s and is greeted by a naked Matthew, the bearded, hairy-backed fox from his rugby team. Turns out Matthew and Lynn had a fling and Lynn financed his theatrical endeavours back in the day. Dom doesn’t like this sexy situation because he isn’t in control of it, because Matthew calls him a daddy and because he certainly doesn’t like hearing how Lynn finances all his crushes. I assume it all makes him feel less special, but regardless, they all screw because that’s what naked gay men do in hot tubs, and, of course, we don’t get to see any of it because that would be fun.

When Dom calls Lynn out for his booty call in a childish and confrontational way, Lynn reminds Dom that as much as he cares for him he has only so much to give and really doesn’t see a future with him. Lynn’s been around the block and knows to call a spade a spade. Dom is crushed, but he is also constantly behaving like someone who doesn’t have the emotional capability to be in a mature relationship, so it’s exactly what he deserves to hear. Later on, realizing he has to support his own dreams, he embraces the notion of a Kickstarter campaign, because I guess that’s what counts for progress on this show. Dom finally agrees to let a bunch of people do something to help him help himself.

Giving back because I dunno, why not

Agustin hangs out with Eddie, his HIV-positive bear buddy, who I’m still not sure is a romantic interest for him. But I did get yet another reminder that Eddie is HIV-positive because we see him taking pills and Agustin asks him about his pills and because the writers think this is 1991.

Agustin tags along with Eddie to the trans youth shelter where he works, and we meet the most obnoxious, abrasive trans youth the show could dedicate 20 seconds of screen time to. The kid asks Agustin all sorts of extremely personal questions around his HIV status, gender identity and sexuality. This, of course, inspires Agustin to ask if there are any jobs there for him, for the noble reason that he is broke and also because he is broke. By some miracle of God, Agustin gets hired, despite having no qualifications, but thankfully, they won’t let him answer the phone. This is a decision they will not regret, and will somebody please think of the children? Agustin is a child; he can’t be helping children.

Pro: The prominent appearance of an “I Heart ANAL” coffee mug, the shout-out to the legendary Peaches Christ and the use of the great break-up jam “So This Is Goodbye,” by the always soulful Ontario group Junior Boys, at the end.

Con: This episode is mostly about the show’s clueless characters finally getting told something real, which is a nice change of pace, but hearing Patrick describe the supply-and-demand structure of hipster lineups to Richie during their friend hangout is exhausting. Nobody cares about the local honey-lavender ice cream trend. This commentary is followed later by Patrick’s pretentious claim that San Francisco is so “over.” This kind of annoying “urban” perspective is not the show’s strong suit and should be avoided at all costs. Nobody talks like that in real life, or at least I hope they don’t.

Best line: “I need to do something that won’t make me hate myself and has nothing to do with art” — Agustin explains the deep and meaningful reason he wants to help the trans youth of San Francisco.