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'Looking' recap: 'Looking for Glory'

Patrick and Kevin out themselves to the gaming community, while Agustin considers the next step in his relationship with Eddie.

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John P. Johnson/HBO

Looking

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
2
run date:
01/19/14
performer:
Jonathan Groff
genre:
Comedy

PATRICK AND KEVIN

It’s two weeks after Patrick and Kevin have decided to officially give their relationship the green light, and it’s not much of a surprise that Patrick has been eagerly trying to do the boyfriend thing—making breakfast in bed but spilling it in his excitement (and he literally says “Me and my stupid butterfingers!” because he’s a real human and not a cartoon character at all, right?).

Agustin has adapted to the new status quo of his shared apartment, but Patrick and Kevin’s relationship status ends there—until Patrick opts to wear Kevin’s French bulldog sweatshirt to work. Unlike some random plaid shirt or nondescript tee, the sweater is probably the most singularly “Kevin” thing in his wardrobe, and Kevin’s nervous that their co-workers will immediately suspect foul play between boss and employee, but Patrick is desperate to move their courtship out of the bedroom and into the real world.

At work, the pair is making a presentation to their sparse coworkers, finishing each other’s sentences and giggling all over each other, when someone points out the Great Sweatshirt Swap of 2015. As soon as Patrick and Kevin out themselves, they’re met with resentment: Owen, Patrick’s closest friend at work, is mildly offended that he didn’t know, and Meredith, who seems just awful, is already worried about being treated unfairly for being heterosexual. By lunchtime, Meredith has already complained to HR, but there’s still a sense of relief that washes over Patrick upon having finally lifted the burden.

Fortunately, they don’t have to stick around the office long because Kevin and Patrick are headed to the Gaymer X conference, eager to present One Up Him, their app version of Kevin’s card game (if you recall, it’s basically Pokemon with gay archetypes). Almost as soon as they set up shop on the showroom floor, the creator of a neighboring app—called Glorified, the Yelp of anonymous oral sex in San Francisco—is already calling out their app for reinforcing harmful stereotypes. (Plus, he throws hilarious shade at the title: “So, One Up Him…is that a Reese Witherspoon movie?”) The reaction from the rest of the visitors to the booth is equally chilly.

Out of absolutely nowhere, Richie arrives. His awful boyfriend Brady, who looks even worse outside of their Where the Wild Things Are costumes, is on an assignment covering the event, so he’s dragged Richie along (Richie, to his credit, seems to be very open to being dragged along places, since that’s all he’s ever does). Brady’s interested in the game, but Richie immediately asks Kevin and Patrick the big question: “So, you guys are dating now?” Patrick initially gets flustered and stays quiet, but stern looks from Kevin—and a suggestion that they go on a double date after the afterparty—confirm the news. He throws in a lie that Patrick dumped him but took him back, to give Patrick a little bit of a leg up on a visibly jealous Richie. “That’s cool,” says Richie, “So you guys are like a thing now.” Hmm.

As soon as Richie leaves, Kevin’s peeved that Patrick was so keen to out their relationship to coworkers but so unwilling to tell Richie. Patrick knows he probably should have, and their spat ends quickly. The rude Glorified guy yells, “Hey twincest! Get a room!” and lo and behold, Patrick already has! He inexplicably decides that now is the time to show Kevin the suite he’s booked, as well as the dry-cleaned suits he brought for the prom-themed conference afterparty. And the corsages. Because why wouldn’t Patrick bring corsages?

They hit up the prom—where the outfits range from Enchantment Under the Sea chic to Mortal Kombat X cosplay. They throw down on the dance floor, they take classy prom photos, but as they’re slow dancing to Jessie Ware, Patrick looks content until he sees Richie eyeing him from the bar. Patrick looks away. Please, Patrick, for the love of God, do not ruin this with Kevin to go back to Richie because of eye contact.

As promised, the double date is something of a disaster because Brady is piss drunk and reveals a long list of shady things he and Richie have said about Patrick and Kevin in the past. It’s almost if not equally as painful as Patrick’s own drunken “Rose’s Turn” on Halloween. When Brady has Kevin escort him to the bathroom (because “the way you talk is like Mary Poppins, so I want you to take me. I choose you, Pikachu”), it’s just Patrick and Richie alone.

“I was surprised to see you two together,” Richie says, perhaps more honestly than passive aggressively. “Well, the last time someone stood on my stoop, they told me I wasn’t ready. This time I decided to go for it,” says Patrick, and Brady and Kevin have returned, just in time for things to get a little cold. Patrick gives Brady his pancakes. SELFLESS.

Back in the hotel room, on the balcony and then in bed, Patrick and Kevin have already gotten their first review for the game—and it’s a horrible one-star review, likely from the wheelchair gay. Kevin says f— it, and Patrick laughs, “Oh my God, I love you.” And just for a second, time stops as Patrick wonders whether he said the wrong thing too quickly, or the right thing too soon. “But… I do. I love you,” he decides. And Kevin, after what feels like far too long, whispers, “I love you, too.”

So, that’s that. They’re together now, so the Team Kevin fans have won this round. But Richie—who said all the right things when Patrick mentioned the funeral and his car accident—is obviously not out of the picture for long. There’s no way Patrick, who’s about as self-destructive as Wile E. Coyote except with Tinder instead of ACME products, will be able to stay in the healthy relationship he’s always wanted knowing that the guy he wanted first might be regretting the status quo.

DOM AND DORIS EXCEPT NO DORIS

Dom is proudly showing Malik and Doris his chicken window, having finally put everything into it—quitting his job, maxing out his credit cards, and even buying cheap champagne for the special occasion. “You’re setting the stage for your first one-star Yelp review,” cracks Doris (bringing the whole Yelp thing full circle). Dom asks Doris to help him install a new “water thingy” that weekend, but Doris reveals she’s going to a birthday party with Malik. She kind of half-heartedly offers to come afterward, and Dom kind of half-heartedly encourages her not to, and they kind of sort of don’t really come to a conclusion wherein they figure out whether she will or not.

As it turns out, she doesn’t. Agustin attempts to help him for a second the next day, but he basically vocalizes Dom’s big problem: Doris is moving forward with her life, and he’ll need a new hag. That night, Dom is trying to call Doris but she’s not picking up. “So I’m assuming you’re not coming back, which is fine. So, yeah! Have fun!”

The best part of this storyline is that nobody’s questioning whether Doris and Dom’s friendship will survive—last week’s funeral episode should have silenced any skeptics about that—but it’s more a question of how their relationship will change once she begins this next step of her life. For these two adults of a certain age, the pettiness of jealousy is not necessarily a major part of the equation. It’s not about whether they’ll adapt but how, and hopefully the show will continue to treat that plot with non-dramatic honesty (instead of raising the stakes with some unnecessary emotional blowout).

AGUSTIN AND EDDIE

At last, Agustin and Eddie have reached the stage where they’re completely sexually active, but there’s a slight hiccup when Eddie takes off his condom for, uh, the finale, and it lands in Agustin’s eye. He’s wiping it away, but he rushes to the bathroom to flush it out, and flush it out, and flush it out. You can sense the panic in Agustin as he realizes that it could have gotten into his bloodstream—or, perhaps, it did. Eddie, outside the bathroom door, has a heavy heart because he’s more than familiar with this routine.

Agustin shares his miniature meltdown with Dom (who’s become his “AIDS meltdown friend”), but wise old Dom insists that he just go on PrEP and “get over it.” Interesting approach, and for some reason, it doesn’t ring true as authentic advice a person like Dom would give.

At the shelter, Agustin tracks down Eddie in his hiding spot. Eddie sighs that Agustin disappeared on him, and when Agustin gives his excuse, Eddie cuts in: “I can’t do this, Agustin. I’ve been through it too many times.” Despite his good intentions and being well-informed, Agustin is no different from the rest of the self-hating, close-minded gay community. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a big pos queer in this town?” But Agustin assures Eddie that he’ll work on it, and that his attraction to Eddie outweighs the negatives that come with the positive.

It’s taken a moment for the truth of their serodiscordant relationship to move into the center of their story, but we’ve reached the point where Agustin can no longer fool around with Eddie without thinking of the long-term—be it the consequences, or the happy future they can try to build together.

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