Looking Recap: Looking for the Promised Land (2.1)

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

Editor-in-chief Paul Hagen recaps the extremely woodsy Season 2 premiere of Looking.

Previously on LookingWhen we last left Patrick, Dom and Agustin, each of our tricky threesome was in the midst of a major relationship transition: Agustin’s boyfriend had come to his senses and dumped him. Dom had finally admitted he was majorly hot for Quantum Lynn. And even as things fizzled between Patrick and Latino love interest Richie, things were sizzling between him and his partnered (to somebody else) boss Hot British Kevin. And now, the continuation…

The Road of Conflicting Goals: Dom is behind the wheel as he, Patrick and Agustin embark on a road trip during which Patrick is excited to see a thousand-year-old tree, and Agustin is excited to visit a clothing-optional pool. No one points out that they’re all essentially planning to scope out some wood; so perhaps it goes without saying.

Lynn’s House of Questionable Taste: In addition to the fact that it seems comfortably appointed (and conveniently near to some prime gay outdoor gathering spots), Lynn’s wealth is demonstrated here by the fact that he has a HUGE portrait of himself as his curly-haired younger self. But the real takeaway is that Dom and Lynn are totally together enough for him to be letting Dom host his friends at his vacation home. Yay for Dom and Lynn!

The Porch of Fresh Mint: Dom breaks out iced tea garnished with mint; so they all spend an absurd amount of time seriously freaking out over the joy of fresh mint. Agustin (wisely) asks for some spirits with which to spike said tea, and Patrick goes into prohibitionist mode, suggesting that they all embrace sobriety while on their trip. Patrick and Dom insist that it’s not an intervention (in a way that makes it seem very much like an intervention). Oh, and also Agustin lets us know he’s been slutting it up something fierce since his break-up and that Patrick still seems obsessed with Richie. Little does he know what’s really going on in Patrick’s devious, Hot British Kevin-addled brain…

The Hike of Now What?: With Patrick bemoaning the plight of the Native Americans all along the way, the boys hike until they find a huge tree. Agustin notes that it would be a great tree to have sex against. Patrick pooh-poohs the idea, instead choosing to hug the tree. Dom asks, “Now what?” echoing the question I ask whenever invited to hike anywhere.

The Bedroom of Snooping: Patrick comes upon Dom, who has discovered pictures of a much-younger Lynn and his former lover Brian. Patrick says the pictures of the couple happy long ago make him sad and breaks out a pretty on-point Whitman quote about finding happiness “not in another place, but here.” Dom mocks the qotage but then lets on that he’s trying to get to know Lynn better but has had limited success. Patrick is all, “Doesn’t it just feel nice to have a boyfriend?” as though a boyfriend were a missing limb. You can tell he wants to confess about his affair with Hot British Kevin, but he chickens out and says he’s going to look for a woodpecker instead. All of nature rolls its eyes at the transparency of Patrick’s excuse.

The Porch of Secretly Getting High: Agustin is on a porch somewhere on the property lighting up a joint. I guess the idea is that he’s hiding it from the other guys, but it seems pretty blatant to me. Oh, and yes, that is all that happens in this scene. Seriously.

The Family Table of Board Games: The guys play some seriously enthusiastic Monopoly. Frankly, they’re all lucky Agustin got high because otherwise, he probably would have ruined the whole thing.

The River of Extreme Gayness: The boys have commandeered a water craft, and are making their way through more of nature’s majesty. It’s worth noting that Dom is paddling shirtless, Patrick is paddling in a super-dorkful life vest and Agustin is not paddling at all. Because this is Looking, they magically come upon a beach with a gi-normous gay flag marking a gay beach. There is some noise made about wanting to stop and explore its manly bounty; Patrick is anti-this. As they argue, they float up to the “bear” beach, where a large, bearded fellow excitedly invites Agustin to a party in the woods later. The bear is to be forgiven for not realizing how worthless Agustin is from such a distance, but also refers to Dom and Patrick using some pretty niche bear classification terms that exist but most people have the courtesy not to use out loud.

The House of Surprising Lady Friends: When they boys got back to Lynn’s, there is a surprise waiting for them, and it is DORIS! (And, you guys, I know I called Dom’s best friend and non-sexual life partner “Nurse Shrill” last season, but I’ve grown to love her; so no more of that. She’ll just be Doris now.) Doris is already drinking, which makes Agustin jealous and Dom freak out about depleting Lynn’s liquor supply. Doris is sure “Dame Gladioli of the Castro” can afford more liquor. HA! Sing it, sister! She has also found a portion of Agustin’s none-too-well-hidden joint. (See – I told you it was pretty blatant.) Patrick tries to up-sell the idea of further board game playing, but Doris is having none of it, and they all decide to head out to the bear party.

The Woods of Where Are We?: Earlier, our intrepid crew had been told that “the fairies will lead you” to the party, and indeed the most radical of radical faeries – accoutered in some seriously bizarre drag – finds our crew wondering through the woods and points them to “The Promised Land.” Doris hopes there will be some lesbians around because she needs somebody to pay her some sexual attention and states explicitly that hanging with the boys has not been beneficial to her vagina. Agustin apparently has nothing in the world – except a candy tin full of drugs, which he breaks out. He declares it to be “Molly.” Doris wisely remarks that it used to be called ecstasy. Seriously, guys: How many names does MDMA need? Even reluctant Patrick gives in and pops some pills. They’re all doing drugs, you guys!

The Dance Party of Questionable Choices: A tacky, summer-camp-quality sign declares a clearing to be “The Promised Land,” and it is, in fact, a dance party of extreme gayness. Patrick can’t stop asking if the drugs are working yet. Agustin thanks Patrick for letting him move back in and paying their rent after his wretched breakup. He also remarks that they each respond to their respective fears of being crapful people differently: Agustin by being bad, Patrick by being good. Patrick is clearly about to confess that he’s been “bad” with Hot British Kevin when the drugs take hold. Soon everybody is dancing, Dom has found a VERY shapely-looking man-friend and Patrick is approached by a fellow in a hat that we’re supposed to think is Richie. But it’s not Richie, and shortly thereafter Patrick has torn himself away to make some sort of urgent phone call.

The Dipping of Skinny: Agustin has reunited with the bear that invited them all, and the two do some getting-to-know you chat, which involves Agustin admitting how worthless he is (a conversational topic that I assume is loved by any Looking enthusiast). Bear keeps insisting that there must be more to Agustin’s story (there’s not) and then reveals that he works for a homeless shelter that helps gay and trans youth. This underlines Agustin’s worthlessness in a way I find wholly gratifying. Before they cut away, Agustin portentously admires Bear’s entire-forearm-covering plus-sign tattoo.

The Bedroom of Open Relationships: Dom has taken his man-friend back to Lynn’s vacation home and is blowing said friend in Lynn’s bedroom. Man-friend notices a picture of younger Lynn and asks if he’s still that hot. It’s hella awkward and makes every part of me want to die, but they get back to the business of pleasure pretty quickly, all things considered.

The Woods of Indiscretion: Patrick’s urgent phone call was to his erstwhile partnered lover Hot British Kevin! And he’s driven out into the middle of nowhere so that they can do it up against the tree – just like Patrick told Agustin not to! Then, they offer some helpful exposition by listing all the times that they’ve done dirty deeds in between seasons one and two and where said deeds were done. Patrick asks if they will ever do it in a bed – apparently forgetting that they could easily be doing it in his very own personal bed because (unlike Hot British Kevin) he has no partner. But the takeaway is that Patrick wants them to be in sweet hot love forever and Hot British Kevin is perhaps no so much headed in that direction.

The Sunrise of Revelation: After a long night of sex, drugs and forestry, Patrick has reunited with Dom and Agustin. Everybody’s got news: Dom has “popped his open relationship cherry.” Agustin says his friend the bear has a “House in Virginia,” which Patrick rightly thinks means the fellow owns real estate in one of the original American colonies but apparently it’s actually a questionably tasteless way to say Bear is HIV positive. And Patrick finally confesses that not only did Hot British Kevin shag him senseless last night but also that their assignations have evolved into something he thought he could put behind him – but he can’t. But he’s quick to add that he doesn’t want to talk about it. And, to be fair, if I was having questionable-life-decision sex with my boss, I don’t know that I’d want to be talking about it while coming down off of hard drugs. Oh, and BTW: Doris is missing but no-one seems particularly interested – presumably because she is not possessed of a penis. Here’s hoping Doris is getting laid somewhere in the forest and not dead. It would be a shame for her to graduate from being called “Nurse Shrill” only to bite it in the first episode of season one. See you next time!

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Daniel Franzese and the Legacy of Looking

Last modified: April 2, 2019

5 Responses to :
Looking Recap: Looking for the Promised Land (2.1)

  1. Roman H. says:

    Hot British Kevin drove TWO HOURS from San Francisco to the Russian River because Patrick asked him to. That’s not love? I wouldn’t drive ten minutes for him if we were connected by Autobahn.

    And the only reason a bear would comment on Agustin’s fur is to say that there ain’t much of it.

  2. Chris C. says:

    I love Looking, but half an hour isn’t long enough. There are so many characters and so much territory to cover. This episode was particularly frustrating because nothing much happened. (And I can’t be the only one waiting for Dom and Lynn to make out.)

  3. Danny Dee says:

    I am shocked you have not created a new NURSE title for Doris. Nurse Chill? Nurse Real? Something.

    In response to Hot British Kevin not being in love with Patrick: Russel Tovey’s performance says it all. He won’t look Patrick in the eye, dresses so quickly he can’t wait to get away fast enough, and definitely never says when they will do it in a bed. Kevin wants the excitement of a side piece, and not what Patrick wants. Patrick thinks he’s Wallis Simpson. Kevin knows it’s not a fairy tale.

  4. Hugh Manatee says:

    LMAO! Thanks for this. Looking is an incredible show and I’m looking forward to another amazing season.

  5. Arthur O. says:

    I’m a gay guy with cats that loves Looking. (My pet mantra is this: Dogs are cool, but cats are where it’s at.)

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