Episode 5 of season 1 of “Looking” holds a special place in my heart. It was the episode where Richie and Patrick established their dating relationship.
It is Patrick at his best; away from the influence of his friends with his heart completely open. If only Patrick and Richie could have stayed in that day forever.
For season 2, episode 5 once again proves to be a great episode for Richie and Patrick, but things aren’t nearly as simple as they were a year ago.
The episode begings with Patrick at work. The fall out of his calling things off with Kevin is still being felt. Both men are at work celebrating success of a new video game their company has put out. Patrick chooses to leave the celebration early which comes as a surprise to Kevin. As Patrick leaves the celebration Kevin follows Patrick. He complains that he hasn’t been able to sleep. This scene is a reminder of what a poor idea it was for Kevin and Patrick to hook up, even if Kevin hadn’t been in a relationship, dating your boss in never a good idea. What I liked so much about this scene between Patrick and Kevin is that for the first time in a season and half you see Patrick having true conviction. He is almost always whishy washy and unsure of himself. It was refreshing to see him make a decision and stick to it.
After getting home Patrick masturbates and then sees a posting from Richie on Facebook.
The fact that Patrick is looking at Richie’s Facebook page so soon after masturbating clearly indicates there are still romantic/sexual feelings there, which is not surprising. The whole thing with Kevin wasn’t because Patrick didn’t want Richie. After seeing Richie’s post Patrick volunteered to help Richie drive a truck into San Francisco from Richie’s old neighborhood. As Patrick is leaving the apartment Agustin questions Patrick’s motives. Patrick brushes off Agustin’s concern and throws a little shade his way. Although Agustin’s concerns are valid it was nice to see Patrick stand up to Agustin a little bit too. I hope this is the beginning of a new stronger Patrick.
Back at work Kevin is clearly wishing Patrick was there. He picks up the phone and calls somebody. We learn later it he episode that it is his boyfriend, Jon, but I have to admit part of me wondered if he was calling somebody else he was having an affair with.
Agustin stops by his own work to find that Eddie has called in sick.
Once Patrick meets up with Richie they plan on taking the BART to wherever they are picking the truck up (Oakland, I’m guessing) and then driving it back into the city. When Patrick and Richie arrive in Richie’s old neighborhood the magic that only exits when they two of them are alone together is revived. It is awesome to which these two men continue to get to know each other. They don’t have the sizzling hot heat that Patrick and Kevin have; instead they have something much deeper.
Concerned about Eddie Agustin stops by his place, unannounced, to bring him some soup. Although Agustin clearly cares about Eddie I did find his lack of boundaries here a bit odd. It was similar to how he wanted to stay in his apartment by himself in a previous episode. Eddie seems a bit annoyed but opens to the door anyway. It turns out Eddie isn’t sick and is only taking a mental health day.
As Patrick and Richie continue their day hanging out Patrick asks Richie how things are going with “the ginger” a.k.a. Brady. Richie mentions that he is taking thing slow “this time”, a clear reference to how things didn’t work out between the two of them. In an attempt to be friends Richie asks Patrick how things are going with Kevin. Patrick tells him that he ended it and Richie responds by saying that he didn’t like Patrick in that situation. Any friend would say that to Patrick but there was something about the way Richie said it that spoke to lingering romantic feelings toward Patrick.
Back in San Francisco Jon arrives to see Kevin’s job for the first time. There is so much going on in this very short scene. The fact that it’s Jon’s first time at Kevin’s job indicates that Kevin has been keeping him away because of the Patrick thing. The best way to make sure that Jon didn’t pick up on any vibes between Kevin and Patrick was to make sure Jon wasn’t around. However, with Patrick gone for the day Kevin can finally have Jon there. There was a brief moment where I thought that Kevin was missing Patrick enough that he might tell Jon. If this was the case he backed out. But why? Based on the little we saw of their dynamic there isn’t anything wrong in their relationship. Which makes one wonder why Kevin cheated on Jon in the first place; I hope this scene was just the beginning of seeing more of Kevin without Patrick around. If we are going to understand him we need to see what is really going on with him and Jon.
As Richie picks up the truck he’s going to sell, an ice cream truck, we meet his fag hag cousin. The dynamic between Richie and his cousin is really cute. It is also fun to see her tease Patrick. The most touching moment was when Patrick and Richie’s cousin have a moment alone and she tells him that she was rooting for him and the Richie borrowed $200 to buy a suit to go to Patrick sister’s wedding. This was so sweet but also really sad because it was a reminder of what a turning point that wedding was and how into Patrick Richie was.
Back at Eddie’s apartment Agustin questions Eddie about how he became positive. Eddie teases him with a scandalous story of crystal meth and a sex party only to confess it was from a boyfriend who said he was negative when he wasn’t. As the two of them smoke pot the sexual tension that has been building since they met at the Russian River reaches a boiling point as they make out.
If Eddie wasn’t H.I.V. positive this would just a be cute scene between two gay men but things aren’t simple because of Eddie’s H.I.V. status. I left that storyline wondering if they only made out or if they did more. I think the writers are continuing their massive effort to redeem Agustin and Frankie J. Alvarez is doing a great job but I don’t know if the turnaround would be so quick in real life. I feel like in real life Agustin would be so unhappy that he might be bug chasing Eddie….I guess we’ll see where that goes.
Patrick and Richie next find themselves at a car wash where they are being very flirty. Then another one of Richie’s cousins spots them. But things are different this time. This time Richie’s cousin isn’t a fag hag it’s a male cousin who clearly has an issue with Richie being gay.
What this episode did so well was touch on the specific complexities of being Latino and gay. Being half Mexican myself I could really identify with Richie’s complicated relationship with his family. It can be really hard being Latino and gay because when we are growing we are taught that family is everything but in being gay we have to turn our back on a certain amount of that. Things can be especially tricky with Latin fathers. The topic of my sexuality is one that has greatly improved with my Mexican father but it is one that I don’t know will ever be easy. This issue is clearly a big one between Richie and his father. It comes up multiple times in the episode and it’s sad. How can you be a part of your family when your very essence is offensive to some of them? I don’t know but I’m happy this show is exploring that.
The episode ended with Patrick coming clean to Richie about the fact that he had hooked up with Kevin for the first time the night he and Richie broke up. I appreciate that Patrick is trying to become a new person. He wants to be honest with Richie but I wonder if more harm was done being 100% honest in this situation. Patrick’s confession clearly hurt Richie but Richie still says “I would be very sad if you weren’t in my life anymore”. These two men clearly care about each other.
They are trying to be friends but I wonder if that is realistic given their lingering feelings for each other. I guess the second half of the season will give us the answer.
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