Looking-Season 2-Episode 4

My mom was visiting from out of town this past weekend. On Sunday afternoon we went to the Hollywood Costume exhibition presented by the Academy of Motional Picture Arts and Sciences (if anybody is in Los Angeles between now and March 2nd I highly encourage them to check it out http://www.oscars.org/hollywoodcostume/) and then we went out to dinner afterwards. I only get to see my mom two or three times a year so my as much as I hated missing the 4th episode of season 2 of “Looking” I had to. I did get caught up last night (thank you HBO on demand) which is why I’m only getting the chance to post my blog about it today.

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Episode 3 ended with Patrick and Kevin spending the full nigh together for the first time. Their time together at the end of the previous episode epitomized what is both sexy and wrong about their relationship/affair. Their amazing chemistry is sizzling hot, as witnessed by the sex scene where Patrick tops Kevin for the first time. But their relationship/affair is also wrong because Kevin is living with somebody else, as witnessed by Kevin sneaking off in the middle of night to return the phone call to Jon.

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Episode 4 was great because it picks up the next morning. Kevin and Patrick are sharing their breakfast together. It’s a sweet and sexy scene with Kevin preparing Patrick an English breakfast while only wearing an apron and his underwear. However, it’s the first time in season 2 where either one of them is willing to begin to look at the reality of what they are doing. Patrick mentioned that he heard Kevin making the phone call to Jon. Kevin assured Patrick that everything would work itself out. I liked this scene because it showed the very different situations that Patrick and Kevin are in. For Patrick he is realizing that his fantasy is going to have some very real consequences for Kevin and Jon. For Kevin it is very much true that everything will work itself out. He will either end up with Jon or with Patrick. He won’t end up alone either way…but either Jon or Patrick will end up alone.

The episode then moved over to Augustin who had crashed at Eddie’s the night before so that Patrick and Kevin could be alone. At this point Augustin and Eddie are just friends but with each interaction it becomes more and more clear that they are headed towards a romantic relationship.

Meanwhile, Doris approached Dom about doing a Kickstarter for his restaurant. He was reluctant to do it saying it was desperate. Dom was still very clearly licking his wounds because Lyn’s friends only wanted to hire him to be a manager instead of investing in his restaurant.

After leaving Eddie’s apartment Augustin agreed to spend the day at Eddie’s job at a shelter that focuses on LGBTQ youth.

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While at Eddie’s office Augustin got a call from Patrick who is about to meet Richie for lunch. Patrick is second guessing his decision (as he so often does) to try to be friends with Richie in part because he hasn’t told him about his relationship/affair with Kevin.

While they are hanging out Richie and Patrick get ice cream and chat in a park. The encounter is incredibly awkward. Riche asks Patrick why he wanted to be friend when they weren’t friends before they were dating. It’s a fair and valid question. I think sometimes as gay men we aren’t given the same social options as straight options that we almost always at least try to be friends with people we’ve dated. And while I think gay men are better able to pull this off than straight people are it doesn’t work for everybody.

I feel like this entire episode was about the air being let out of Patrick’s fantasy balloon in regards to his relationship/affair with Kevin. The first bit of air was let out when Kevin made the phone call to Jon at the end of the previous episode, the next big went out during the breakfast, then when Patrick has ice cream with Richie a lot more is let out.

When Richie tells Patrick that he’s dating somebody I think it really dawns on Patrick that he might have really missed his chance with Richie. He knowns Richie is a really solid guy and that he fucked it up big time but until Richie started dating somebody there was always the chance that Patrick could get him back if he wanted to. After Richie tells Patrick they he’s seeing somebody Patrick is left with the awkward choice of choosing if he wants to tell Richie about Kevin or not. He chooses to go for it. Is it because he wants to one up Richie? Is it because he feels let down that Richie is seeing somebody and he doesn’t want Richie to think he’s just sitting around alone? Is it because he wants to really be friends with Richie and thus is looking to talk to him about it the same way he talked to Dom and Augustin about it? My guess it’s the second one. However, what is more important than Patrick telling Richie is Richie’s reaction. Richie questions Patrick’s actions in a way that Augustin and Dom haven’t. The climax of the scene is Richie saying to Patrick that he doesn’t want to be in deeper than the person he’s seeing. This is poignant because it’s clear that Patrick is in deeper than Kevin but also because Richie was clearly in deeper with Patrick when they were dating.

Back at Eddie’s office Augustin interacts with Eddie’s Trans support group. It’s clear that the writers are trying desperately to redeem Augustin from his actions at the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2. I want to believe that Augustin can be redeemed but I have feeling that what we’ve seen from him with his drug use is part of a larger pattern and not just a single misstep. What I also found interesting about this scene was the slight generational gap between Augustin and the group. Augustin is from a generation where coming out as a gay man was a big deal but he kids the support group are younger and are dealing with a world where coming out as a gay man is much more widely accepted. They aren’t fighting the LG part of the LGBTQ battle they are fighting the TQ part. That also speaks to the complexity of our community. As much as straight people might want to fit us into one box we really are in incredibly diverse community that can’t fit in one box.

Dom decides to stop in on Lyn and finds him enjoying a soak in his hot tub with another man. It was established in the season premiere that Dom and Lyn have an open relationship but as the episodes has progressed it becomes more and more clear they really haven’t discussed what the rules of their open relationships are. The fact that Dom was already feeling raw in regards to the investor situation when he showed up to Lyn’s would have made things difficult for them even if there hadn’t been another guy over. Dom is left with three choices. Does he talk to Lyn about what’s going on in their relationship (difficult to do given the fact that there another person there), walk away and discuss it with him another time (also difficult to do because I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to work up the nerve to talk about things with Lyn) or put everything on hold and have a threesome with Lyn and the other guy. The third option is probably the easiest option to deal with in the moment and probably the stupidest in the long run and it’s the one Lyn pick.

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I don’t judge anybody for having an open relationship but I do think in order for an open relationship to work I think there has to be clear and honest communication and a lot of trust. Given the fact that Dom and Lyn having only been dating for around six weeks it doesn’t seem they have any of that.

The next day Patrick and Dom are out checking out a farmer’s market. Dom tells Patrick about what happened with Lyn. Then the axe falls on Patrick when he spots Kevin and Jon together. As much as Kevin can tell Patrick that he and Jon don’t have what he and Patrick have it doesn’t negate the fact that Kevin has a life with Jon. As Patrick watches Kevin and Jon just do the couple’s thing of shopping and talking he is forced to really look at what he’s doing. He forced to realize that he’s not just dating Kevin. And in that moment all but the tiniest bit of air are let out of his fantasy balloon.

The next day at work Patrick tells Kevin that he saw him with Jon. Kevin’s reaction is basically “So what”.  Patrick responds the right way. He (for the first time I can remember) is very direct and sure of what he wants. He wants to call things off with Jon and just be friends. He wants to pull the plug before anybody gets hurt. But is Kevin who freaks out. It is Kevin whose eyes fill with tears as he tells Patrick he is also imagining a life for him and Patrick.

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Kevin promises to tell Jon that night. What is so interesting about his scene isn’t the fact that Patrick want to pull the plug it’s Kevin. It’s a scene that’s been done a million times before. The cheater must choose between his mistress and his wife, despite the fact this is a gay show we’ve seen this before. Kevin is torn but what is Kevin really torn about. I do think that Kevin is in love with Jon and I do think that Kevin is falling in love with Patrick. I do think the it is very possible to be in love with two people at the same time but that doesn’t mean it’s right. I also think that Kevin believed that somewhere down the road everything would magically fall into place and nobody would get hurt and he wouldn’t have to choose. In a way this is even more ridiculous than Patrick not realizing that Kevin really has a life with Jon.

In the aftermath of their threesome Dom stops into Lyn’s floral shop. The scene is sad because Lyn makes it clear to Dom that he’s enjoying their open and casual relationship but he doesn’t want more. Dom does want more. He wants Lyn to be the great love of his life but the problem is Lyn has already had the great love of his life. On one hand I feel sad for Dom. He wants more than what Lyn can give and that’s not fair. I can understand how he feels that Lyn should give him a chance to be something more than just a casual boyfriend. But on the other hand I really don’t think Lyn has done anything wrong. He’s been honest with Dom about where he is emotionally. I don’t he has to open his heart to another great love affair. If his relationship with is late partner was all he had to give then that’s okay.

The episodes ends at the now (sadly) departed San Francisco landmark Esta Noche. Patrick has dragged everybody there so that he can show Richie that they can be friends. But it turns into a disaster. Dom is upset about Lyn. Doris comforts him saying the he’ll always have her. Their Will and Grace dynamic is very sweet but like Will and Grace it isn’t always healthy…But back to Patrick. The disaster is twofold. Patrick has to meet Richie’s new guy who is clearly head over heels for Richie. What is interesting about this is that Patrick is clearly weirded out having to interact with Richie’s new guy and Richie notices it. He mouths to Patrick “Are you okay” and Patrick nods and mouths “Yeah.” This occurs at that exact moment Kevin walks into the bar.

Two episodes ago I wondered how they were going to get the love triangle going when so much attention was being given to Kevin but it’s clear now that that was just the honeymoon phase of the Kevin and Patrick thing.

Kevin kisses Patrick before saying anything. Once it’s revealed that he didn’t tell Jon it’s clear that it is a kiss of desperation. Like many “other women” before him Patrick is forced to deal with reality that his relationship/affair isn’t’ a great love affair it’s a house of mirrors. As Kevin kisses Patrick again it is the moment of truth. Will Patrick stick around and be the doormat who will take whatever scraps Kevin will give him or will he leave Esta Noche alone…Thankfully he chooses the second option.

It is unbelievable how much was fit into twenty eight minutes of this great show. I am once again itching for next Sunday and full rooting for Richie now that Kevin is blown his one chance to fix things.

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