Patrick falls into a paranoid spiral about his budding affair—and the little red bumps that have appeared with it.
If Breaking Bad was about one character’s descent into drug-fueled madness, then the same can be said of Looking, except that instead of a drug kingpin plunging into murder and meth, there’s a heart-on-his-sleeve video-game designer who’s plunging into his first secret sexual adventure.
Wholesome Patrick has never embarked on anything in his life as scandalous as his affair with boss Kevin, and it’s eating him alive. Even the very idea that their secret relationship can be remotely described as “an affair” is making him bite his nails into oblivion, but surely the “affair” label should be apparent to Patrick given that the couple has made a habit out of meeting up at a seedy motel in the middle of the day during their lunch hour. Nothing says “You’re literally having an affair” like a motel bedspread—and it’s that exact bedspread that’s also got Patrick worried about the physical toll the engagement has taken on him. Namely: bed bugs.
Patrick and Kevin meet up for what seems to be the most recent installment of The Cheating Hour. They’re in bed at the motel engaged in intimate postcoital conversation about their early gay crushes and childhood boy band dance routines. Kevin is too embarrassed to show his choreography to a Take That song, but he does show Patrick his favorite game: Top Trumps, a card game with eccentric characters assigned numerical values, like if the cast of Orange Is the New Black were Pokemon. Patrick suggests the brilliant idea of a gay app version of the game that would feature jocks, drag mothers, lusty lads of London, and other fun stereotypes. Kevin is interested in the idea, sure, but that means a longer partnership with Patrick, and he’s already concerned about keeping their current relationship a secret.
Patrick reveals that he already told Agustin and Dom, which certainly doesn’t help Kevin’s anxiousness. It’s a small gay community in San Francisco, Kevin reasons, and it’s bound to come out eventually—thereby ending the great thing they have together. But Patty tries to put him at ease: “Just Dom and Agustin know. It stops there.” And sure, Kevin is now mildly at ease, but foreshadowing suggests that it absolutely will not stop at Dom and Agustin. And in fact, it doesn’t.
Later that night, Patrick is at dinner with Domgustin and he’s already telling them everything about his motel tryst. They head out to a seedy neighborhood to tour Dom’s brand new $80,000 chicken window, where Agustin promptly tells an evangelizing homeless person about the affair. “You can’t do that! Homeless people have Twitter accounts,” Patrick warns. The boys get margaritas and meet up with Doris, who asks point-blank, “So, Patrick, how’s the affair?” before she gets whisked off her feet by a hulking mystery man who once met her at the symphony.
Panicked, Patrick pulls Dom into the bathroom—but not to complain about the fact that more people know about his affair than Showtime’s The Affair. Instead he’s concerned about the little red bumps on his torso, wondering if they’re AIDS. Seasoned and wiser Dom confirms that no, Patrick, not everything is AIDS. Patrick, still unconvinced, decides to circle around a free STD testing truck outside the bar. He doesn’t end up going in, though, and instead goes home and grabs his Google glasses (not Google glass, but glasses he puts on specifically to Google important things). A Google image search of “gross red bumps” (or something like that) prompts Patrick to call both Dom, who doesn’t answer, and some WebMD lady, who insists he get a proper STD check immediately.
Meanwhile, Agustin has gone to a club to find his bear Eddie while Dom has gone over to Lynn’s apartment, which is the kind of classy modern Crate & Barrel apartment you only wish you could find yourself invited to. Lynn’s wearing a suit. He has a Brita Filter. There are actual photos on the fridge instead of Star Wars magnets. This is adult life.
Screening Patrick’s phone call, Dom wonders aloud whether Lynn finds it offensive that Patrick has constant irrational AIDS panics. Lynn declines and quickly changes the subject; Dom notices a photo on the fridge of Lynn and someone named Brian and, upon asking if Lynn misses him, the subject is promptly changed once more, suggesting that Lynn’s former partner Brian succumbed to the disease. (Lynn is, after all, a man of a certain age and thereby a member of an entire generation of gay men who survived an epidemic.) Lynn isn’t keen to discuss Brian or the subject, so instead he turns the conversation to Dom’s cabin hook-up and the state of their open relationship, which appears to be working out just fine for everyone. But yet again we’re left with the nagging feeling that there are layers to Lynn that have yet to be revealed—to both the audience and Dom.
NEXT: Agustin: The biggest mess this side of Sesame Street
While Patrick gets on Google and Dom gets on Lynn, Agustin is sadly getting on nobody, discovering that bear Eddie is nowhere to be found in the club. He’s all by his lonesome at the bar when a skinny tank-top-wearing former hook-up named Scotty approaches him. “I heard you and Frank had a horrible breakup,” says Scotty, once again suggesting that everybody knows everything in this town. Scotty says Frank told him, and that they see each other all the time, which really shakes Agustin more than he expected it would. And so it’s no surprise that he indulges in some reckless drug use, combining the hard stuff with the liquid stuff with the sadness stuff that’s swirling around his head.
Cut to: Agustin on the dance floor, shirtless and shaking like Glenn Close at last year’s Golden Globes.
Cut that to cut to: Agustin on the street, clothed and crumpled on the sidewalk with a paper plate of something street-meaty balancing in his lap.
The dirty sight is enough to capture the attention of a passerby who recognizes Agustin and tries to help him. AND IT’S RICHIE!! He attempts to aid Agustin, who just shouts at him in Spanish, so Richie wishes him a good night and appears to walk off with his friends (who hilariously complain about Chipotle). But Richie doesn’t really leave Agustin in the dirt, because he’s a good guy and all that. Moments later he’s escorting Agustin to the porch of Patrick, who hangs up on the WebMD lady and answers the door in just his underwear.
Shocked by both Richie and Agustin’s appearance on his doorstep, Patrick brings them both inside. They put Agustin to bed and inexplicably, Richie stays for a cup of coffee. What ensues is a painfully awkward patch of small talk, with both guys lying about seeing someone. Patrick asks Richie if he’d ever want to go to lunch, but Richie declines—twice. He leaves, unescorted, and Patrick looks like he’s about to Alex Mack himself into a puddle of tears. He botched their reconnection, if you can even call it that, and what’s more is he didn’t have the courage to admit he was seeing someone else. All in all, not a great night for Patrick’s fragile psyche.
The next morning, Patrick goes to a free STD testing clinic to get an answer about his red bumps once and for all. In his typical overdramatic fashion, he’s sharing way too many details about his sex life with the tester and apologizing for lying on the form outside. But all is well because he learns that, most importantly, he’s got a clean bill of health. Despite the paranoia that plagued him the entire night—over Kevin and bed bugs and STDs and Richie and Agustin likely vomiting on his chaise—he can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Kind of.
Patrick bursts into Kevin’s office and, despite announcing the negative test results, gushes that the secrecy of their affair is eating him alive. “You’re not alone in this, Patrick, because I’m a f—king mess,” confesses Kevin, and Patrick is suddenly surprised that maybe Kevin has feelings, too, which Patrick would know if he ever stopped talking about gay apps and bed bugs and Dom and Agustin and everything that’s plaguing his life. Poor Kevin’s been having migraines and panic attacks the likes of which he used to have before he came out. “You’re not alone in this,” Kevin tells Patrick. “Next time you freak out, don’t panic and have an AIDS test. Just call me.”
And to ease the tension, Kevin performs his childhood dance routine to Take That, the one that signified he was gay and that shows a soft side of Kevin we haven’t exactly seen on display before. Patrick is elated that Kevin opened up to him—and in a sense, with their coworkers watching from outside the glass office, he’s opened up to even more than just Patrick.