'Looking' recap: 'Looking Down the Road'
PATRICK AND THE BIG BOYFRIEND PANIC
Immediately following their passionate night of pseudo-boyfriending and demonstrated bedroom versatility, Patrick can’t help but question Shirtless, Apron-Wearing, Trapezius-Flexing Kevin about overhearing his phone conversation with phantom boyfriend John.
P: How do you feel when you go back to John, after we’ve been together?
K: Pretty f—king shitty.
P: I feel the same way. As soon as you leave.
K: The way we are, with each other, the way we were together last night, I don’t have that with John. Look, I promise you, this will sort itself. I will sort it.
P: I hope so.
But of course, Kevin doesn’t sort it out. At least not until Patrick demands he does, and even so… well, we’ll get there shortly.
Patrick turns his attention for the moment to Richie, who’s given him a phone call and thrown him into a classic Patrick paranoia frenzy. Sure, it was Patrick’s idea to reconnect, but he’s still unsure whether they can exist simply as friends. Richie seems to be of the camp of “Why do we need to be? We weren’t friends before.” But Patrick is exactly the kind of ex who really, truly thinks you can stay friends after the break-up, because of success stories he’s seen in pop culture like Jen and Brad.
They meet up on a street corner and awkwardly hug hello before embarking on a mission for honey lavender ice cream. They make a little small talk, and Patrick says he won’t get a haircut anywhere but Richie’s place from now on—a sweet gesture, but Richie basically rejects him. Richie asks if Patrick is going to the final closing night of a popular gay bar, revealing that he’ll be there with his new boyfriend, a hot redhead named Brady. (“He’s a ginge!?” exclaims Patrick, begging to be a GIF.) The confession encourages Patrick to come clean about his own relationship with his boss. “You a homewrecker now, Patrick?” asks Richie, warning Patty not to get in too deep. It puts quite an awkward end to the already awkward date, but it reminds Patrick of the ickiness of what he’s doing with Kevin.
Later, Patrick and Dom are walking through the farmers’ market when they spot Kevin and his boyfriend John, in the flesh (with a jaunty cyan shopping bag to boot). Dom tries to get Patrick out of there, stat, but the damage is already done—spying on the date HE should be on with Kevin is too much for Patrick to handle anymore. At the office, Patrick exasperatedly confronts Kevin. “This is not all right!” he yells. “Your life is with John. You wake up with him, you go to bed with him, you talk to him on the phone every night, and we can steal lunches and we can steal weekends, but at the end of the day, we’re stealing from your life with John.” Daaaamn. How does Kevin react? He confesses that he’s envisioning the same future that Patrick thinks he’s alone in building. So Kevin promises to end things with John.
At Esta Noche, Patrick meets Richie and his boyfriend Brady, who kind of looks a bit like a grungy cereal mascot-slash-barista. Agustin and Eddie are there to help cut the tension, but it stings that Brady and Richie met the same way that Patrick and Richie met (serendipitous haircut). Richie wordlessly tries to make sure Patrick’s okay, which is the nicest thing Richie’s done all episode (although don’t let that make you believe that I’m anti-Richie, because I think he’s perfectly justified in keeping Patrick at arm’s length). But Patrick sees Kevin, and suddenly it’s Richie who’s waxing jealous.
Kevin immediately kisses Patrick—in public at the gay bar in front of the small community—which should suggest that he’s broken up with John and he’s free to pursue a real relationship with Patrick. But then Kevin reveals he didn’t pull the trigger, and Patrick is furious. “Why did you even come here?” he asks. “For you. To be with you,” says Kevin, and he tries to kiss him again, but Patrick walks away and out of the bar entirely.
AGUSTIN AND THE STEADY JOB AND PROMISING LOVE LIFE
Agustin’s been staying the weekend at Vitamin-Popping, Dashiki-Wearing Eddie’s, who he insists is just a friend (and who still might be, unless their hook-ups have happened entirely off-screen). With nowhere to go during the day when Eddie has to go to work, Agustin accompanies Eddie to the shelter, where he’s welcomed into the circle of at-risk LGBT kids who are eager to know more about his relationship with their youth leader.
As it turns out, the shelter is missing its recently retired office worker, which Agustin sees as a job opportunity despite its “minimum minimum wage” paycheck. Eddie warns Auggie that the kids can latch on quickly—Facebooking, texting, and calling at all hours of the night without any boundaries—but Aug needs the job, primarily for the money but secondarily because he needs to get away from everything that has to do with art.
And so Agustin starts yet another new chapter of his life, beginning with a manila envelope filing system and ending with asking Eddie to accompany him to Esta Noche.
DOM AND THE HOT TUB HOTHEAD
Doris is trying to help Dom set up a Kickstarter to raise money for his chicken window, which is a casual $80,000 endeavor that Dom thinks seems a little desperate. “Is that you or Lynn talking?” asks Doris with a burn.
Dom jogs over to Lynn’s apartment, but notices that the spare key is gone from its usual hiding spot. When he rings the doorbell, a shirtless bear answers—the same one from Dom’s rugby team who had intel about Lynn last week. (A quick NSFW internet search reveals that said shirtless hunk is a Broadway baby named Matthew Risch, who is as beautiful as the day is long.) Matthew escorts Dom out to the backyard, where Lynn is relaxing in the hot tub for a casual nude soak with weed and wine.
They’re in an open relationship, after all, so Dom reluctantly slips into the bubbles, where he finds out that Lynn met Matthew during his brief stint as a theater producer. (So, exactly how many young entrepreneurs has Lynn invested in?) After a few glasses of Malbec and hits of Sour Diesel, Dom is put off when Matthew calls him “daddy,” and yet in a moment of decision, Dom pulls Matthew in for a quite literally steamy kiss. We’ll find out later that Dom and Lynn double-teamed what Patrick calls Hot Matthew From Rugby, although the sheer fact that we didn’t get to see the scene is the biggest programming mistake since letting Blake Shelton host SNL.
The next night, Dom shows up to Lynn’s flower shop to pick him up for the Esta Noche party, but he’s quick to bring up Matthew and the threesome, which has obviously left Dom a little tense. Lynn is so nonchalant about it that Dom has no choice but to confront Lynn about how he’s been emotionally withholding and unsure of how much to invest in Dom as a romantic partner. “What am I to you? Am I Matthew? Where am I in the pantheon?” Dom demands reassurance that he means more to Lynn than fellow investee Matthew, but the underlying problem is Lynn’s continued devotion to his dead lover Brian, whom Dom feels he can never compare to. Lynn confirms that he has limits to how much he’ll ever be able to let Dom in—and no, Dom is certainly not as throwaway as Matthew, but he’s also never going to be Brian. Lynn already had a Brian, and he’s not in the market for a replacement. “What we’re doing right now is all I got.” OUCH. “If that’s enough, then that’s great. If it’s not—“ and suddenly Dom is already out the door.
Dom can barely last five minutes at Esta Noche before he breaks down in Doris’s arms outside. He has her, but he doesn’t have Lynn, and yet now he has a renewed vigor to make his personal and professional dreams happen on his own terms. And Lynn has nothing to do with it anymore.