Patrick and Richie repair their fractured friendship with ice cream (trucks).
PATRICK AND THE ICE CREAM TRUCK
After his break-up with Kevin last week, Patrick has turned the cold shoulder on his boss—and his job in general. A drunken work function celebrating a new video game release doesn’t lighten his mood, and as soon as he can dart out, he does, despite Kevin’s attempt to keep Patrick partying. “Well, you don’t need me for anything anymore, do you?” Patrick asks, and Kevin has no good answer, so Patrick bolts, and in his sad funk, Kevin calls his boyfriend John, who has surprisingly never seen the office before but has most definitely seen a Ralph Lauren outlet store in Camarillo.
And that’s the last we hear of Kevin, because the episode is all about Patrick’s day-off spent with…RICHIE! Patrick’s lying around at home, milkying his way, when he notices Richie’s Facebook post soliciting someone with a driver’s license to help him pick up a truck. Naturally, Patty volunteers to help his former lover retrieve an ice cream truck from his old neighborhood.
Suddenly, it’s like a flashback to the stellar season 1 episode wherein the entire thing shows Patrick and Richie’s epic planetarium date. But this time, it’s less about their budding romance and more about their attempt to recover and pick up the pieces where love was and replace them with friendship. Still, as they chat about Richie’s childhood home and exchange barbs about Patrick’s hunger/burrito issues (a serious problem that we can all identify with), there are moments of non-flirtatious understanding that suggest Patrick and Richie will really be able to repair their relationship.
The experience retrieving the truck introduces several interesting encounters: There’s Ceci, Richie’s cousin, who jokingly scolds Patrick for being his no-good, heartbreaking gringo ex, but she later pulls Patrick aside to tell him she truly thought he would be the one to make an honest man out of Richie. There’s a douchey, mildly homophobic friend at the car wash, who is more hurtful than playful in his comments about Richie and his father. And yes, there’s Richie’s father, an unseen presence who still has a fractured relationship with his gay son. Patrick tries to encourage Richie to make amends with his father, and despite Richie’s stubbornness, it seems like there may actually be wheels turning in Richie’s head spurring him to make a very brave move in the future. (If Patrick is the reason why Richie reunited with his dad, could it be the grand epiphany that brings Richie back into Patrick’s arms for good?)
There’s also talk of water under the bridge—P’s relationship with Kevin in particular—and it’s water that doesn’t exactly flow smoothly. In a moment of decided determination that could possibly ruin the entire day, Patrick pulls over and apologizes to Richie. For everything. At first, it’s a sweet gesture, and it’s obvious that Richie feels the same way about their sudden revitalized friend-chemistry. But Patrick goes one step further and admits that he slept with Kevin the night he broke up with Richie.
It’s a painful blow for Richie, who’s visibly devastated by the news and insists they return to the city immediately—but there’s a silver lining to it, when Richie confesses, “It’s in the past. And yeah, it doesn’t feel great, but you had something with Kevin, and I’m with Brady now, and I like him. But the truth is, despite you being [Spanish insult], I would be very sad if you weren’t in my life anymore.” And suddenly, anyone who wasn’t on Team Richie at the onset of the episode should certainly be reevaluating his or her allegiances now.
“So does that mean we’re friends?” asks Patrick.
“We’ll try to be.”
AGUSTIN AND THE SICK DAY
Dom is noticeably absent this week, but on the topic of Patrick and Richie deciding to be friends, we get a plotline exploring Agustin’s decision to take things with Eddie one step beyond friendship.
Aug arrives at the shelter looking for his boyfriend-but-not-boyfriend Eddie, but he’s told that Eddie is at home sick. “He just gets sick sometimes,” says the surly girl in the office, and immediately my stomach starts to churn thinking about what dire straits Eddie might be in that I’m not emotionally ready for.
Agustin goes to Eddie’s with matzo ball soup in hand, and Eddie tries to get him to leave, throwing a few fake coughs into his very unconvincing through-the-door shooing. But Aug insists his way inside, and lo and behold, Eddie’s not sick at all. Phew. But he is taking a mental health day, which he can do thanks to playing the “pos” card.
Since Eddie brought it up, Agustin inquires about how long Eddie’s been HIV positive, but Eddie is still quiet about his history with the illness. Agustin wears him down, and Eddie admits a few salient points: He’s had it for four years but knew for three; he got it from a lying ex-boyfriend; his family doesn’t know. They’re major confessions and they mark a major turning point in his trust in Agustin, but there’s another hurdle to cross.
The two of them dance to shake off the sadness and the glum, and in their dancing, Agustin makes a move on Eddie, but he resists. For a moment, it appears that Eddie is truly reticent to let Agustin in that much. But in another moment, he decides that yes, he wants Agustin—but only as friends fooling around. Eddie’s got layers of relationship and intimacy issues, it’s clear, but Agustin may very well be the one who can get to the bottom of this mystery bear. Literally.