5 min

Review: Looking, Season 2, Episodes 6 & 7

Looking for Gordon Freeman

Looking: Battle of the childhoods. Credit: HBO

I missed last week’s episode, but I was in luck: it is probably the best one to have missed because nothing happened. Patrick prepares for and throws a Halloween party because he insists he’s a fun gay — despite his friends who literally tell him otherwise. Before the party, Patrick goes to his work to steal party supplies and discovers Kevin, who tells him that he is thinking of moving back to Seattle with his boyfriend John because of every other reason than that he’s not over Patrick, but he’s clearly not over Patrick since he called off their affair.

Dom is still trying to raise money for his chicken shack but lacks the technical skills to work social media, because apparently we are supposed to think he’s an old man and this is supposed to be an interesting plot point somehow. Doris plays the part of a bad fag hag when she refuses to wear a couple’s costume with Dom because she’s too busy doing Sonny and Cher gender-swapped costumes with her new not-boyfriend Malik.

Agustin, dressed as the chlamydia fairy, shows up to the party with his bear bro, the one who he doesn’t want to date but likes and totally won’t get hurt by, and tells him he desperately doesn’t want to put labels on things but wants to see what he looks like in the morning. This will work out well for everyone involved.

Patrick dresses as an obscure video game character from Half-Life and proceeds to be the most annoying party host in history. Richie shows up with his new boyfriend, and Patrick yearns for him from a distance while getting sloshed and messy. When Kevin and his boyfriend show up drunk, Patrick loses it, grabs the karaoke mic and proceeds to insult all of his friends accidentally by over sharing their financial and behavioral faults, poking fun at Richie and his boyfriend and almost letting the cat out of the bag about his affair with Kevin before getting dragged away. As Patrick tries to process his hot mess speech outside the party, Kevin comes out and Patrick tells him he doesn’t want him to leave because he would miss him. They have a moment that is interrupted by Kevin’s boyfriend John, which snaps Patrick back to reality. He awkwardly, and ominously wishes the couple a good life in Seattle. Defeated and pathetic, he crawls back to the party and into Dom’s comforting arms. For some reason, Richie and his boyfriend are still there after the messy speech. Why? Who knows; hopefully to rub it in Patrick’s face because he is in desperate need for a wakeup call.

Pro: I’d probably totally fuck Dom dressed as He-Man — that’s mostly what’s kept my attention, but then again, not really. When Richie quickly cuts down Patrick’s snide, jokey, “He’s not more fun than me?” comment about Richie’s boyfriend with a quick and deadpan, “He’s way more fun than you.”

Con: The amount of terrible puns thrown out at lightning speed in this episode and the show’s sad attempt at what could have been an intelligent teaching moment on the use of PrEP that devolved into Patrick being shamed for not knowing enough information and not knowing how to express his thoughts and concerns in a PC manner. Sadly, that’s the real problem with the PrEP conversation these days: instead of correcting or helping change that problem, the show just showed how dysfunctional the communication on the subject is in the community right now.

Best line: “I’m going to go to the bathroom and jerk off to feline leukemia.” – Eddie finds the best exit line for an insulting and pandering public conversation about PrEP

Looking for the Plot

Patrick and the crew are hungover at brunch while he laments his “fucking unbelievably embarrassing” behavior at the Halloween party when Doris gets a text about the death of her father. I’m pretty sure Patrick is only concerned by how this has ruined brunch.

Doris, Dom and — for some unknown reason — Patrick hit the road to Modesto for the funeral. Doris tells Dom about how much her father loved him and wanted him to marry her even after he found out Dom was gay. Patrick, because he’s tactless, prods Doris for more details about her childhood with her loving father and alcoholic mother, because he says he loves to hear childhood stories that are worse than his and because he is an asshole.

Doris visits her dad at the funeral home where Dom says her dad kind of looks like a drag queen in his coffin. Patrick hangs around, awkwardly playing the world’s biggest third wheel. Dom drags the crew to a donut shop that used to be his dad’s Portuguese restaurant so that he can wallow in his father’s failures and internalize them because he’s pouty and nostalgic. They all party at the hotel pool and Dom and Doris talk about when they used to bang before Patrick creepily tells of the time he once cluelessly fingered a girl because he doesn’t like being excluded from conversations.

We learn about how supportive Doris’s father was to her, but because we don’t know anything really about Doris’s character this information is just nice to hear I guess. Good for her? Patrick proves himself to be the biggest, most self-centered prick in the universe by breaking down and weeping loudly at the funeral during a reading of a Walt Whitman poem. His excuse is that it’s his first funeral but it’s never really addressed or discussed. It was such a sad and desperate act that I was actually slightly nauseated, so maybe they didn’t talk about it because they were mortified too.

Dom comes out to a high school buddy then gets sad and figures he needs to visit his dad’s grave. When they get there, Dom can’t find his dad’s grave because he’s a shitty son who’s preoccupied with the notion of being an old failure. Dom also gets super sad about the fact he never came out to his dad, so their genius plan is for him to yell out the window that he’s gay to the whole graveyard, which is pretty ham-fisted and disrespectful but that’s how they roll. Their showy behavior gets them side swiped by a truck, but nobody gets seriously hurt or dies because that would mean a large, sweeping plot event involving a character we actually know. But at least the show gives us a little karma at work.

Doris tells Dom she is going to give him her inheritance so he can open his restaurant because they are besties. Doris’s man friend Malik sweeps in after the accident to make sure Doris is okay and she cries and is comforted. Malik showing up is good because he’s the only man in her life that isn’t a whiny, self-centred homosexual.

When Patrick gets back home, he discovers a concerned Kevin on his front porch who is worried that Patrick was ignoring him and that Patrick appears roughed up. He then tells Patrick that he left his boyfriend and wants to be with him. Patrick immediately says yes without even thinking because he’s sad, pathetic, unable to function without being in a relationship and is afraid to die alone. They kiss and I groan.

Pro: Yearning for something gay he can judge, because otherwise it wouldn’t be Looking, Patrick motivates the crew while in Modesto to visit the local gay bar where he projects all his sad, teenage angst onto a guy at the end of the bar sitting alone. Smug Patrick thinks he’s got it all figured out. But the guy’s boyfriend comes back from the bathroom, proving only Patrick is pathetic and alone.

Con: The non-stop disrespectful behavior from Patrick this episode was the worst. One of Doris’s relatives said it best: “Everyone keeps asking me, ‘Who is the weird crying guy?’”

Best Lines:

Dom: “Remember that time he caught us making out and listening to Wham?”

Doris: “Sometimes when we were making out I was thinking about George Michael.”

Dom: “Sometimes I was too.”