Last night’s episode of “Looking” should have been called “Cringing” or “Self-Sabotage” because Patrick’s actions were so difficult to watch.
It’s a bit odd to watch a Halloween episode at the end of February but since HBO shows only have eight or ten episode seasons I’m okay with it. The episode began with Patrick, Dom and Augustin shopping for costumes for Patrick and Agustin’s Halloween party. It seems that Patrick was on a mission to show that he was a “fun gay”.
Even before things went off the rail I found this interesting. I love Patrick but it seemed the latest in a long line of things he’s done that show that he’s not comfortable in his own skin. It’s okay to not be a “fun gay”. However, I think that Patrick hasn’t fully settled into who he is as a person. He thinks he needs to be a “fun gay” so he throws a party and tries to will a new persona into existence. It wasn’t a good idea.
After shopping for his costume Patrick stopped off a work to steal some stuff of his party. He is surprised to find Kevin there. The two men talk briefly and it is brought up that Patrick invited Kevin to his party. Of course, if Kevin comes to the party that means Jon will come to the party. Kevin says they aren’t going to come. Kevin also mentions to Patrick that he and Jon may be moving back to Seattle, saying “It would be better for us…better for me.” The subtext being that Kevin needs to be away from Patrick. It’s clear that Kevin is very unhappy.
I’m still wishing for more Patrick-less Kevin scenes to get a better sense of what is going on with Kevin. He clearly misses Patrick but why? Is it because he was actually falling in love with Patrick? Is it because things with Jon are bad, even though we haven’t actually seen that portrayed on the show? Is it because Kevin misses the thrill that came with having an affair? I want the answers to these questions.
At work Eddie and Augustin are preparing for the Halloween party. There were two things I found interesting about this scene. First, the awful attitude of the kids at the homeless shelter; it just goes to show that gay, straight, bi or trans, teenagers love to have an attitude and complain about anything and everything. Second, how hard Agustin is pushing Eddie to be in a relationship and spend the night. I’m just not buying this quick turn around with Augustin. It was only back in episode 2 that he was passed out on the street.
Back at their apartment Dom has surprised Doris with matching Halloween outfits. He is disappointed to find out that they can’t got as He-Man and She-Ra because she’s agreed to do a couples costume with her new guy, Malik. I get why Dom is disappointed. He’s single and he was counting on his fag hag to be his sidekick. However, Doris’ aversion to truly allow herself to be a couple with Malik is so interesting. I feel like so much of her identity is wrapped up in being Dom’s fag hag that she’s scared to see who she would become if she wasn’t that.
As Patrick and Agustin are finishing up the set up for their party Patrick’s costume is revealed. He’s Gordon Freeman, of course the kicker is nobody is going to know who that is. Patrick’s costume is a bust but its okay. He should just own it but instead he feels this need to try to will it into a cool costume. That seems to be the repeating theme in this episode. Patrick trying to force things…This goes back to the pilot of the show when Dom told Patrick that he tries too hard. It seems that Patrick is still trying too hard.
Once the party begins things get bad really fast…
Dom shows up in his He-Man outfit looking H-O-T hot. Then Doris and Malik show up as Sonny and Cher but the kicker is that Doris is Sonny and Malik is Cher. It’s a great costume but it’s clear Doris is freaked out by doing such a couples thing. All the while Patrick keeps trying to get people to sign up for karaoke because it will be “fun”.
When Eddie shows up with his friend, James, things really begin to unravel. Eddie thinks that James and Patrick could hit it off but it’s clear it’s not going to happen, not when Patrick is lamenting the fact that Richie is there with Brady.
It’s one thing for Patrick to throw a party to show that he’s a “fun gay” but it’s another thing to invite people that are going to cause him to have an awful time at his own party. I get that he and Richie are friends but they are friends that still have romantic feelings for each other. It’s okay, it happens but that doesn’t mean that it was a good idea for Patrick to invite Richie (who would, of course, bring Brady). Yes, on paper Patrick and Richie are friends but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to drive Patrick up the wall watching Richie and Brady together. I’m sure we’ve all put ourselves in situations that we weren’t okay with just because we wanted to prove to ourselves and everybody else that we were okay with them but those kind of things always get us into trouble.
As the night goes on Patrick gets more and more drunk and things get worse and worse. He watches Richie and Brady make out and then turns around to see Agustin and Eddie making out. He makes the awful the decision to just go up to Eddie’s friend James and kiss him. If the two of them had been talking all night it would make sense but Patrick had been ignoring James most of the night. His move to basically attack James shows how desperate he is to not feel left out.
The ultimate bad moment comes when Kevin shows up with Jon.
Why in the world Patrick thought it was a good idea to invite Kevin I have no idea. If inviting Richie was ill advised then inviting Kevin was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Patrick storms off, stops the music and makes a big speech. In his drunkenness he basically throws Dom under the bus for not having any money for his restaurant, mentions what a mess Agustin was and practically tells everybody that he still has feelings for Richie. The whole thing was awful to watch. He was mere seconds away from telling his entire party, including Jon, about his affair with Kevin when Dom and Agustin save him from himself.
Agustin takes Patrick outside to cool off and then Kevin comes out. There have been tons of times when Agustin has been a crappy friend to Patrick but in that moment he’s a good one. He gives Kevin some of the attitude he deserves…Then Patrick takes all of the conviction he had about ending things with Kevin in the fifth episode and throws it out the window.
He tells Kevin not to move back to Seattle and it’s clear they are about a half a second away from kissing when Jon comes out of the house. It is in that scene when all of Patrick and Kevin’s sneaking around means nothing. If Jon has any kind of a brain he should be able to put two and two together and figure out that there is at least a flirtation between Kevin and Patrick. The way that Kevin rushes them out of the party and Patrick’s parting words to Kevin about things working out basically act as neon sign for Jon. The question is will Jon see it?
After Kevin and Jon leave Patrick goes back into the apartment. He is comforted by Dom. He and Richie share a look. It is a great moment of silent acting by both Jonathan Groff and Raul Castillo. So much is said in that look. Feelings of romance, sexual tension and friendship are shared and then Richie walks away and dances with Brady.
What a tangled web these boys have created. Much like episode 6 from last year it seems that only drama can happen when everybody is together for a party. As always, I’m already looking forward to next week.
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