The possibility that last night’s episode of “Looking” was the series finale is almost too much to bear.
If one chooses to see it through that lens than it takes on a whole new meaning. However, I don’t want to put those vibes out into the universe. The writers and producers of the show clearly intended last night’s episode to only be the season two finale so that is how I will take it. I will continue to hope that last night wasn’t the last we see of Patrick, Dom, Agustin, Doris, Malik, Eddie, Kevin and Richie.
I knew last night’s episode would be drama filled for Patrick and Kevin. I had read an interview with Jonathan Groff where he said he cried through the entire table read when they got the script for it.
As the episode began Patrick arrives at the building he is moving into with Kevin. He is unable to get into the building because he doesn’t have a fob (my mom’s previous apartment had the fob system and I utterly loathed it. It really is a nightmare from hell in terms of being able to get around). He was let in my two sassy queens. I was struck by how the two queens who let him into the building were so over the top. They were stereotypical gays in a way that Patrick, Agustin and Dom have never been.
I’ve never been team Kevin. Yet, one cannot deny the amazing sexual chemistry Patrick and Kevin have together.
There was a point earlier in the season where I believed that Kevin was actually falling in love with Patrick. However, last week when Kevin asked Patrick to move in with him even though they had just officially gotten together I turned on Kevin. I realized that, among other things, he is a guy who goes from relationship to relationship because he can’t bear to be alone (apparently he can’t bear to commit to monogamy either but more on that later). And let’s not forget that Kevin is Patrick’s boss and let’s not forget they were both cheating the first time they has sex…The fact that they were moving in together just three months after their first kiss is a BAD idea. I remember when I was in high school my divorced mother had a therapist who said when you’re dating somebody the real person doesn’t begin to show up until three months in. That is why I’ve always believed people should not move in together or get married or have a baby until they’ve known each other for at least a year. And last night at right around the three month mark the real Kevin began to show up.
The signs that things were not going to go well began to appear right off the bat. When Patrick walks into the apartment Kevin tells him to take off his shoes because it is a shoe free apartment. I found this very interesting that Kevin had made the decision about the apartment for both of them without discussing it with Patrick. If it was only Kevin’s apartment then it would be fine to have that rule but they are moving into a brand new apartment together, so shouldn’t they be deciding these kinds of things together? Almost instantly there was another thing that was off. Kevin had hung up his framed poster of “Field of Dreams”.
While I love movie posters I once again found it very telling that Kevin just hung up the poster before he and Patrick could have any kind of conversation about decorating. Kevin also mentions that the movers were hot. Of course, gay couples comment on other guys all the times but given Kevin’s history as a cheater it just rubbed me the wrong way. If these were the only things in the episode that Kevin had done that were questionable I wouldn’t point them out but it was like the relationship between Patrick and Kevin changed the moment Patrick walked through the door of their apartment. These three things, while quite small, were really a sign of things to come.
After moving into the bedroom to christen their new sleep number bed they were interrupted by the doorbell. After initially ignoring it Patrick told Kevin he should answer it in case it was something important. Kevin went to answer the door…shirtless. When he returned he told Patrick that the two queens Patrick had met earlier were there and invited them to a Christmas drink thing. When Patrick pointed out that they had already agreed to go to the unveiling of the new mural at the homeless shelter where Agustin and Eddie work Kevin drug his feet. Sure, I get that the idea of hanging out with the sexy new neighbors is more appealing than going to a homeless shelter event but Kevin’s attitude was that Patrick’s friends don’t matter. The real kicker was when Patrick agreed to stop by the party for a drink before Agustin’s event and Kevin said good because he had already told the neighbors that they would go. Once again this was disturbing because Kevin had (again) made a decision for them as a couple without discussing it with Patrick. I knew this was a bad sign… but hey the scene ended with a shot of Kevin’s butt so as long as these two have their hot sex life everything will be okay…right? RIGHT?
The show left Patrick and Kevin briefly to check in with Dom who hadn’t spoken to Doris since their big blow up fight in episode 9. Dom checked in with Malik at San Francisco City Hall (did anybody else notice the lesbian couple taking their wedding pictures in the background?).
Malik told Dom that they need to make up because Doris was driving him crazy with all her cleaning. Dom agreed to go by Malik’s place so he and Doris and try to work things out.
The little warning signs that had emerged in the first scene at the apartment soon erupted into a major crisis for Patrick and Kevin. When they arrive at the neighbor’s party they find that everybody is very good looking, fit, friendly, flirty and white. (I liked that the show basically turned the tables on the people who say there is no ethnic diversity. In a scene that only has good looking, thin, white men you really realize how diverse Agustin, Eddie, Richie, Owen and Malik make the show).
Our boys are having a great time and Patrick even seems willing to just go with the flow. He doesn’t mind that everybody is super flirty with Kevin because he’s got him and he even is willing to stick around the party to see what happens in terms of a hinted at sex party. Patrick really is relaxed because he believes he and Kevin can trust each other.
The problem with trust is that it can be shattered in an instant. When Patrick checks in with a group of guys who are looking at Grindr profiles it’s all fun and games until a picture less profile with the user name of Rompford comes up. This unveiling of this information is the leak in the dam that had already begun to show cracks because as we quickly (re)learn Rompford is Kevin’s hometown back in England and it is (of course) Kevin’s Grindr profile. After rushing Kevin out of the party Patrick confronts him about the Grindr profile. Kevin admits that it was him but promises he was just looking to see who the gay guys were in the building and offers Patrick his phone to check his history. Patrick says he doesn’t want to check his phone. Kevin assures Patrick that everything was okay and that he wasn’t a sex addict. For a brief moment I’m sure Kevin (and I’m sure everybody that is Team Kevin) thought everything was going to be okay because the attention turned back to heading to Agustin’s event at the homeless shelter. Kevin tries to disengage by going to the restroom.
I had predicted that Patrick would catch Kevin kissing somebody at the party but I found this worse. It was worse because it wasn’t a drunken mistake it was a sober deliberate choice. It was a sober choice to go on Grindr, even if it was just to look, without talking about it with Patrick first.
Patrick and Kevin have always been hot and sexy and good on the surface but as soon as you dig a little you realize things aren’t what they seem. Kevin obviously was hoping that things would be left alone but because of the Grindr issue Patrick was in the mood to dig. After another small personality conflict involving peanut butter Patrick asked Kevin if he had fucked around on Jon. Fair or not Kevin asks “other than with you” (let us never forget how these two started). Kevin tries to play it off but even before he admits to a couple of small things (hand jobs) happening a couple of times you know Patrick wasn’t his first slip up with Jon because of his hesitation. (And let’s be honest people usually are guilty of more than they admit to. Given this actions with Patrick does anybody believe Kevin only engaged in hand jobs?) Kevin says that he’s really happy he cheated on Jon because if he hadn’t he and Patrick wouldn’t be together, this was a shocking but true statement. Kevin saying this is him deflecting from Patrick’s line of questioning by turning the mirror on Patrick. But the reality is Patrick needs the mirror turned on him here, as painful as it is. It was now Patrick’s turn to go to the restroom to disengage.
Upon returning from the restroom things go from bad to worse. Kevin tells Patrick that the doesn’t want their relationship to be like what he had with Jon. He doesn’t want secrets and lies and feeling shitty. He wants them to be completely honest. Without saying he wants to be in an open relationship Kevin more or less says he wants to be able to slip up and not have to lie about it.
There are two ways to view this. One, Kevin is a cheating asshole who is incapable of committing to one person. He wants the comfort of being in a fun, new relationship and he also wants to be able to fuck whoever he wants whenever he wants. Or two, Kevin knows he isn’t capable of monogamy. He knows he’s messed up in the past and he knows he hurt Jon. He does love Patrick and he doesn’t want to hurt him so he’s just being honest about who he is…Whichever view of Kevin you take here the fact is the conversation about fidelity should have been had before the two of them moved in together. However, it’s like once Kevin showed up on Patrick’s doorstep after Doris’ dad’s funeral Patrick put his foot on the gas full force with no thought about if it was the right move or not. He was going to go for it with Kevin come hell or high water.
Also, remember Patrick and Kevin are entering their new relationship with very different experiences. Kevin and Jon were clearly together for at least a couple of years. Meanwhile Patrick’s longest relationship has been six months and all of this commitment stuff is very new to him.
Patrick tries to get out of the situation by going to Agustin’s event but Kevin follows him. The pressure cooker of their fight only intensifies. Kevin gets very defensive and begins to call Patrick out on his behavior. Patrick is able to defend himself by saying he was single until Kevin mentions that first time they had sex; when Patrick let Kevin fuck him without a condom while he was still with Richie. Right or wrong, fair or not Kevin’s statement is true, Patrick did cheat on Richie. Just like Kevin turned the mirror on Patrick the mirror is then turned on Kevin by Patrick points out that Kevin is a good liar because he’s seen him do it.
I really don’t think Kevin is a monster in this episode. The fact is the talk about monogamy and open relationships and what counts and doesn’t count is one that all couples (not just gay couples should have). It is a conversation that should be had early and often. The problem here is that Kevin knows he can’t do total monogamy. Since Patrick has never been in a true long term relationship he doesn’t even know what he’s capable of. These two were so caught up in the thrill of their affair and then the thrill of finally being together they didn’t bother to actually get to know each other vertically.
Who would have thought Dom and Doris breaking up their co-depending fag/fag hag relationship would be relief but it was. Dom stopped by Malik’s and he and Doris went for a walk. It’s clear they both really need each other but they both need to move on.
They both need to have an independent life and not stay in the pseudo high school sweetheart thing they’ve been doing for twenty years. It was a sad scene but one that you know is best for both of them.
Back at their apartment Patrick and Kevin have calmed down (a bit) but things still aren’t good. Patrick points out to Kevin how different they are (much like their sleep number bed settings). He says that Kevin’s heart has works one way and his works another and that deep down he’s always known that but he ignored it because he wanted to prove to everybody that he could be in a relationship. It was the ultimate moment of clarity. I felt like all season long Patrick has been trying to will things with Kevin despite knowing it’s wrong. Kevin countered back that he can change. He says that Patrick just needs to trust him.
Again, the problem with their relationship is how it started. Trust is a fragile thing. Can you ever really trust anybody? Can you trust anybody when your relationship with them began with both of you cheating? True trust has to be build up over a long period of time and even if Kevin was willing to force himself to be monogamous (which I don’t believe he really is) they don’t have a long enough history for Patrick to look in terms of having trust in Kevin not to cheat.
Our last check in with Dom is him going to his chicken window, by himself, and turning on the neon sign. Will he be able to make it without Doris is the question we are left with.
Patrick stays with Kevin at their apartment but gets up in the middle of the night and goes through the box he carried into the apartment at the beginning of the episode labeled “valuables”. In the box Patrick finds the scapular Richie gave him at the beginning of episode six of season one. That moment in time is very special for those of us who are Team Richie. It was when Patrick and Richie agreed to be boyfriends and before Agustin and Kevin and Patrick’s mom and everything else began to get in their way. I found it interesting that the second to the last scene of the season involved the scapular because the second to the last scene of season one also involved the scapular. In the season one finale Patrick realized he was still wearing it after having (condom less) sex on the office floor with Kevin.
Another parallel with the season one finale comes in the last scene. It is Patrick going to see Richie at work. The shot of Patrick walking to the barber shop is almost identical to the shot of Patrick walking to the barber shop at the start of the season one finale.
Patrick walks into the barber shop. He tells Richie he can’t talk anymore and then asks Richie to buzz his hair off. Richie calls Patrick by his nickname “Pato” and buzzes his hair.
The season ends with a shot of outside the barber shop and Richie buzzing Patrick’s hair off inside.
As a season finale this was a great episode with a fantastic cliff hanger. Did Patrick leave Kevin? Is he buzzing his hair off for a new beginning? Is he buzzing it off because he can’t stand the sight of himself? Is Patrick at the barber shop to see his friend or is he there to see his ex that he wants back? If we get a season three we will get the answers to these questions…And if we don’t…I just can’t go there.
I love these characters. I feel like Patrick has made tons of mistakes but at the end of the day he is just trying to figure out who he is…who he really is at this core. Agustin has done the impossible and become a good guy.
Dom is on the verge of fulfilling his dream or failing like his father. Doris could finally ready to be in her own relationship. I want more of these characters. I believe we will have more of these characters. Please, HBO, please let us have more of these characters.
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