It’s the episode that launched a thousand uncomfortable conversations about Grindr in gay households all across the nation – join Paul Hagen for the Season 2 finale of Looking.
Previously on Looking… Dom drove himself deeply into debt in order to hurl himself headlong into the exciting world of selling Chicken through a Window, assuming that he would soon have access to Doris’ inheritance. So when that money got held up by legal drama, he freaked out like a woman with a bat caught in her hair; this caused Doris to move out of their apartment and in with her boyfriend Malik. Agustin continued his transformation from Mummie Dearest to Mother Theresa by helping a homeless trans team paint a mural and confirming his boyfriendship with the wonderful Bear Eddie. And Patrick – emboldened by his sister’s judgment and his mother’s impending divorce – decided to move in with Hot British Kevin. It’s our last chance this season to judge these fellas for their terrible life choices – so unlike Kathy Griffin on Fashion Police, let’s keep on judging!
Lobby of Terrible Puns: Patrick, holding a box of his belongings, is staring in awe at the building which he will now call home. Unfortunately its glass front door does not want to open, despite his best attempts at jiggling. He’s about to buzz up to the apartment when a gay couple breezes by him. One of them (the one who is not a dancer from Smash) says, “You’ve gotta get yourself a fob.” His boyfriend (who IS a dancer from Smash) calls them “fob-ulous” – so clearly he’s a terrible person. Pat resumes his, “Wow, I live here now!” staring for a moment but Smash calls from the elevator, “Are you coming?” Get a move on, Pattycakes.
Elevator of Passive Aggression: The elevator is not roomy; so, as Patrick squeezes in with Smash and NotSmash, Smash goes, “Nice and tight!” CREEPY. NotSmash reaches directly through Patrick’s personal space to wave his keys at the elevator control panel (employing the magic fob again), and Smash asks if Patrick is moving into “the apartment with the roof garden.” Turns out he had coveted Patrick’s new apartment because theirs is “stuffy.” NotSmash asks if Hot British Kevin is Patrick’s husband. By the time Patrick says they are not married, Smash and NotSmash are already gliding out of the elevator. He’s still in the middle of saying, “I’m sure I’ll see you at the…” and the doors have shut. My, homosexuals come and go so quickly here!
Apartment of Insisting Patrick is a Top: Patrick lumbers down an oppressively industrial-looking hall and awkwardly knocks on the door to the apartment. Hot British Kevin opens the door, and the first thing Patrick notices is that he hates the sound of the doorbell. The second thing he notices is that HBK has hung an ENORMOUS poster from Field of Dreams mere steps from the front door. Patrick is clearly appalled. HBK calls it the best film ever made. Patrick says that he “just realized” that he doesn’t know any of Kevin’s stuff. (It’s a little late for that, honey.) HBK informs Patrick the moving guys who brought his stuff were hot. HBK pours them both some alcoholic concoction from the blender, and toasts “To moving in and moving on.” Patrick seems nervous, and HBK presumes that Patrick is sad about saying goodbye to Agustin. Patrick says that the boys, generally, have declared the moving-in to be happening fast and that he is crazy. “Do you think you’re crazy?” asks HBK. “No, not even a little bit,” insists Patrick INCORRECTLY. Patrick feels oddly liberated; now that his Mom “imploded” the family – he doesn’t have to live up to their impossibly high standards anymore. If only Mom and Daddy had gotten divorced sooner – IMAGINE how many men Patrick could have made poor life chocies with by now!
Bedroom of Increased Visibility: HBK reminds us of his hard-luck youth back in Romford. Back then he could have never imagined living “above everybody” like this. And, indeed, the view out their floor to ceiling windows is swell. “If my friends could see me now,” he says, whipping off his shirt. “Wait – can people see you now!” says Patrick, skittish about having sex with the blinds open. HBK wants to christen the bed, recalling Patrick’s fantasy of boning him up against the window. “That was before they were our actual neighbors!” squeals Patrick. HBK has already input their sleep numbers (75 and 96) into the bed. Patrick wonders if they should take the plastic off first, but as HBK lowers his beautiful British body down on to him, the doorbell rings. “Is there a way to change that tone?” asks Patrick, While HBK answers the door, Patrick snoops through a box labelled “Kevin – Bedroom.” When HBK gets back to the bedroom, he says their visitors were Smash and NotShmash, whom Patrick met in the elevator. They’re hosting a “Christmas drinky” thing tonight. But Patrick says Agustin’s “mural thing” is tonight. “Wow. Your thing’s tonight. Cool,” says HBK not-at-all genuinely. “Do we have to go?” Patrick says it’s a fundraiser for the shelter and calls HBK “Scroogey.” (Let’s be serious, Patrick. You’re not going because it’s a fundraiser. You’re going because it’s your formerly-hateful former-roommate’s event.) Patrick relents and says they can stop at Chez Smash/NotSmash for a drink on the way out. HBK thinks that’s good because he already told them yes. Then HBK dives to the bed, instructing Patrick to enter him before someone else can ring the bell. And though HBK’s bared buttocks are like two, perfect mounds of vanilla ice cream, I still do not believe that Patrick is truly versatile enough to stick his banana in that split.
The Steps of Reconciliation Plotting: Dom – back in his signature shearling – is standing on the steps of City Hall, as though he were considering applying for a license for an invisible dog. Malik comes bounding out, looking sharp in a well-tailored suit and greeting Dom warmly. Dom says he’s sorry to interrupt, but Malik says it’s getting him out of his sixth meeting of the week about Google buses. (Wow, that was like topical humor – except without the humor.) Dom says he is at city hall getting permits for the Chicken Window. Malik cuts to the chase and says Doris misses Dom too. Will she ever talk to Dom again? Malik reports that she has been anger-cleaning. Since she won’t call, Malik says Dom is must visit. Malik will say Dom wants to go for a walk. Dom says he will, and then asks, “You love her right?” Malik says, “Me, too.” Best. Possible. Answer. This entire time, a couple of lesbians have been standing to one side having, it would seem, their wedding pictures taken. Geez, ladies. You couldn’t have found a park?
Apartment of Aggressive Homosexual Mingling:Everyone at Chez Smash/NotSmash is tucked, toned and ready to tingle. NotSmash and a teeny, tiny, terrible scarf are draped around Smash’s neck as he shakes Hot British Kevin’s hand with an intensity that suggests he might just sit on his fist right then and there. HBK thanks them for the invite. Smash says he just wants access to their roof garden. HBK asks if they’re hoping to plant some seed up there. Patrick looks he might die of embarrassment. NotSmash recommends the “lethal” bourbon punch and Smash sends them on their way with performative bow using only his fingers. You can tell Patrick wants to have a private moment with Kevin, but this HUGE dude in a maroon shirt walks up to HBK’s other side, lays a beefy hand on his arm and tells HBK his accent is hot. As Maroon 6’5’’ vanishes back into the crowd, Patrick and HBK reconnect at the Lethal Punch Bowl. Patrick observes that the crowd is extremely white. And not an ugly person in sight, observes HBK. And yet ANOTHER hot dude, unbidden, walks into frame and initiates flirtation – asking if they had just moved in upstairs as they fill their mugs at the punchbowl. And this, my friends, is what Punch Bowl Man has to say: “This crowd. It’s a lot the same. One party blends into the next. So new meat is of interest. Don’t be intimidated. We’re fun. And as the night goes on, things get a little wilder.” Warning: NehigbhOrgies may be closer than they appear.
Bathroom of Giggling Like Little Schoolgirls: Patrick prances into the bathroom, giggling like someone dropped a tadpole down his drawers. He notes that three people just propositioned them. I’m not sure if he’s counting Maroon 6’5’’ or Punchbowl Man or NotSmash and Smash or if ADDITIONAL gents have propositioned them. HBK says it can’t be an orgy – not with these “vanilla cupcakes.” Patrick has heard tell of a “second bedroom.” HBK says something must be going on because everybody is being so flirty. “WITH YOU!” Patrick screams, ripping off his fake eyelashes and marching offscreen in high heels. No, actually, Patrick says he LOVES that other people are flirty with HBK because it’s Patrick who’s “got” him. HBK suggests that they leave – perhaps for the first time accepting that Patrick does not see any potential in this situation. Patrick jokingly suggests they stay and enjoy a little “looky-loo.” HBK tells Patrick to go easy on the punch and pets him like a puppy.
Corner of Sex App Revelations: Patrick sees Smash and NotSmash all up in their phones and asks if there’s news. Smash says they’re comparing Grindr profiles. Punch Bowl Man says they’re also guessing who’s who at the party. “Who’s Romford?” asks NotSmash, and Patrick’s world explodes. Romford has no pic and no profile, but it’s obviously Hot British Kevin. At that moment, HBK appears. “We have to go,” declares Patrick. HBK offers explanations: they’re late for a thing for trans teens! It is clear that he cares about the opinion of these people almost as much as Patrick does not.
Elevator of Strife: Patrick, in a huff, barges into the elevator and is frustrated when it does not respond to him. “I need a fob,” he barks at Hot British Kevin. “Are we going home?” asks HBK. “Yes!” barks Patrick, following it up with: “Are you Romford?” Kevin takes a long pause and then sputters with guilt. Of course he is Romford, Patrick surmises, as that is the name of the town where HBK grew up. HBK says he knows that Patrick is freaking out right now. Patrick is not freaking out right now, he says: obviously the lie of the century. He’d just love to know what’s what – why Kevin is on a hook-up site. Patrick has a smug smirk on his face because he feels he has “caught” HBK, but we’re about to see that what he has caught is a cold hard bucketful of reality to the face.
Apartment of “Elementary, My Dear Slut!”: “If Romford is on Grindr, then Romford has to have been on Grindr in the last few hours,” Patrick Sherlocks. Kevin says he signed on to see who else was in the building. Why? “Who doesn’t want to know what other homos are lurking in the shadows? You don’t do that?” Patrick doesn’t have Grindr on his phone, and he doesn’t understand why HBK does. “And you’ve gone from relationship to relationship!” Patrick adds. HBK whips out his phone and shows Patrick how content-free his Grindr is. He’s not been messaging or favoriting! Patrick is not going to check his phone. Then don’t read into something that isn’t there, says HBK. “Just tell me I didn’t move in with a sex addict,” says Patrick. HBk says that he’s not a sex addict – except when it comes to Patrick, who laughs awkwardly as his phone rings. HBK runs off to pee. And there is no way on earth I am willing to believe Patrick is getting over this that easily.
Phone Call of Dreams Falling Apart: Agustin is at the shelter with a very Santa-fied Bear Eddie and asks where Patrick is. Patrick explains that they’re running late because they got into a thing. What kind of thing? Does Agustin think it’s weird if Kevin is on Grindr? Agustin says it depends. Patrick mentions the lack of pic or profile, and explains that it’s out of curiosity. “Well, everybody’s got it on their phone, right?” says Agustin. It’s what you do with it that matters. Patrick is reassured. Agustin reminds him to breathe, but when he hangs up, he tells Eddie he may not need to find a new roommate after all. Bear Eddie rolls his eyes at the drama of it all; he has been touching Agustin’s hair adorably throughout the whole phone call and they continue to be awesome together. Agustin suddenly looks uncomfortable. He wonders aloud if it’s PreP side-effects. Bear Eddie notes that Agustin also might just be nervous that they are unveiling the mural. “Why? I didn’t paint it!” he enthuses. Bear Eddie meant empathetically – for his mentee, Sammy. Agustin’s just glad he was able to convince Sammy not to go with the slogan: “I want a pussy; so you can suck my d**k.” Bear Eddie suggests she save that for her Christmas card. Agustin kisses Bear Eddie, asking if he can wear the Santa suit for the next two weeks. Fetishizing Santa: creepy or cute? Sound off in the comments below.
Apartment of Infinite Judgment: Hot British Kevin returns from the bathroom and asks if Patrick wants a quick peanut butter sandwich before they leave. “Peanut Butter is DISGUSTING,” says Patrick in a way that both presents this as an obvious fact (even though it is a minority opinion) and suggests that HBK is some kind of jerk for not already knowing it (despite the whole world having told him it was too soon for them to move in together). And it’s exactly that attitude that’s about to ruin his life. “How do you not know this?” says Patrick, who (allegedly) is famously against nut butter. Really? HBK didn’t realize. You can see a moment of, “I’m living with a stranger!” fly across Patrick’s face. Suddenly Patrick just wants to know one thing. It’s NOT AN INTERROGATION he says – because it is. When HBK was with Jon, did he hook up with people other than Patrick? “Be honest!” Patrick says. That’s what the C.I.A. says before waterboarding, notes Kevin. Patrick promises no waterboarding. HBK says it was complicated. He and Jon spent a lot of time apart. Did they have an arrangement? No. But they hooked up with other people anyway? It wasn’t really like that, insists HBK. “A few things happened a few times. Little things,” says HBK. He thinks this is dangerous terrain, and he doesn’t want to get into it right now. “No really! It’s okay!! I want us to talk about these things – like adults!!!” Patrick says, with the white-knuckled, screaming urgency of a woman who has gone into labor in the middle of nowhere. “Like adults?” HBK says, knowing full well this is not possible for Patrick. HBK says his infidelities were minor things like tugs in the steam room at the gym or massages with a happy endings – though HBK doesn’t really think that counts. “WHY DOESN’T THAT COUNT?” jumps in Patrick Murray, Attorney at Law. “Did Jon know?” asks Patrick. HBK asks him to not get judgy and that Patrick sounds like his sister. Patrick makes HUGE, wounded eyes at this, even though he does sound EXACTLY as inflexible and entitled as Obnoxious Blonde Megan. HBK also recalls Patrick mentioning having a wank with a stranger in the woods (which you’ll recall from scene one of episode one.) Patrick says that it was an aborted wank, and he was single at the time. HBK says that Patrick is not Jon, and the relationships are not the same. HBK is actually really happy he cheated on Jon because if he hadn’t, Patrick and HBK would not be together. So can they leave it in the past and concentrate on the future? He extends an olive branch in the form of a piece of – unfortunately nut-buttered – bread. Patrick scoffs in disgust and stalks off to pee. Llike a depressed old fishing boat captain, I see no end to this squall in sight.
Bathroom of Misery: Patrick is in the bathroom, his reflection broken up by the panes of the mirror. He screws up his courage, unpacks his toothbrush and puts it next to Hot British Kevin’s. He wants to stay. He looks himself steadfastly in the mirror. Somewhere deep in his mind, the voice of Tim Gunn is urging Patrick to, “Make It Work.”
Windows They Were Meant to Have Sex Against: Hot British Kevin is staring glumly out the once-sexy windows, wondering how moving in with his boyfriend became a referendum on his entire sexual history. Patrick asks if HBK is ready to go. HBK needs a minute. He has come to a realization. He doesn’t want what he had with Jon again. Patrick smiles, relieved. HBK doesn’t want the lying, guilt and the feeling terrible. “Then we want the same things,” says Patrick. No, honey. No, you don’t. HBK doesn’t want secrets. He wants them to be completely honest. He wasn’t expecting to have this conversation tonight. Patrick’s eyes are HUGE with anticipation. What could HBK possibly be about to ask him? Is it possible that he spent the entire last scene expecting HBK to propose monogamy forever when he was actually about to ask you for an open relationship? OH VERY MUCH SO.
Gangway World, Get Off of Patrick’s Runway: Moments later, Patrick is storming away from Hot British Kevin. “I’m not saying that I want an open relationship,” says HBK, because that’s exactly what he wants. HBK thinks they should be realistic. “Is it being realistic or just an excuse to f**k around?” says Patrick (who previously seemed to have far less of a problem with cheating as long as he was the one doing it). HBK says he just wants it so that if something happens, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Patrick wants to know if they are still talking about steam room jerk-offs or if HBK wants to “go back downstairs and join the KKK Butt Orgy?” (AND SO WHAT IF HE DID, PATRICK? Would that make your self-righteousness that much SHINIER?) Oddly, Patrick chooses this moment to dive into a box, extract what is evidently HBK’s beloved childhood toy and shout, “What the f**k is this thing?” He follows it up by suspiciously asking whether Smash and NotSmash had TOLD HBK it was a sex party. HBK asks Patrick to put down the bear as he is fragile and has already lost an eye. HBK doesn’t understand why Patrick is so mad; it’s just a discussion. Patrick is confused. He assumed they were going to be exclusive and is surprised to find out on moving-in day that HBK doesn’t even want to try to be monogamous. (And yet notice who did the assuming there, Patrick!) Why is monogamy so important to Patrick? Patrick has always wanted to feel devoted to someone and have someone devoted to him. HBK points out that even Patrick’s mother seems to not be a fan of it these days. (Unfortunately, this salient point is delivered as a low blow.) “F**k you very much for a lovely day,” says Patrick, who desperately wants to leave but can’t find his shoe.
Hallway of Storming Out: Once again, Hot British Kevin is chasing Patrick down a hallway toward the camera. “Are you seriously storming out?” he asks. Patrick just really wants to go to the mural because he’s super into trans issues. HBK thinks Patrick is blowing this out of proportion. He suggests Patrick look in the mirror. Patrick says his hair may be looking a little “middle-aged lesbian” (it is on the shaggy side), but that’s not what HBK meant. He notes that Patrick had suggested the “looky-loo downstairs.” And Patrick had called HBK out of bed with Jon to go have sex with him in the woods (in episode one of season two – wow, they’re mentioning all the greatest hits). That’s different because Patrick was single. And wasn’t it Patrick who let Hot British Kevin f**k him without a condom (at the end of season one) while Patrick was still with Richie? I should note here that, though HBK is absolutely right about all of this, if he had given Patrick a little time to cool off before serving him this big plate of truth, it might have gone down a little more easily. Patrick calls HBK a four letter word that does not actually mean charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. The elevator comes and Patrick wonders if he needs a fob to get out, too.
Elevator of Hard Truths: Hot British Kevin wants to know if Patrick seriously can’t envision ever slipping up. Patrick says, of course, but he doesn’t want a hall pass to do it. HBK proposes a hypothetical: pictures the steam room at a gym. (Patrick says he goes to a different gym!) Zac Efron walks in. (Patrick makes judgy noises about Zac Efron; so HBK alternately offers Chris Pratt or Mark Ruffalo, covering a nice swathe of beautiful man fantasties. This celeb sits next to Patrick and starts jerking. (Patrick wants to know if they are talking about real celebrities or just guys who look like them?!)
Hallway of Continued Hypotheticals: Hot British Kevin says that their realness doesn’t matter. The point is that they have their “nice new” members out which are not HBK’s “boring old” member, and they want to play reach-around. “You’re telling me you would just leave?” asks Kevin. Yes, says Patrick, because he’ll say anything to prove a point. HBK calls BS. Patrick insists he would put what he has with HBK ahead of some “quick thrill.” HBK observes that laying a hand on somebody else’s penis is not going to change what they feel for each other. “Maybe that’s what’s different about us?” says Patrick. And, lest HBK accuse him of being a prude, Patrick would like everyone to know that he doesn’t care what other people do. He cares what HBK does and what he himself does. (Well doesn’t that sound like a fun club to join?)
Garage of Pulling Out: Patrick has exited the elevator and walked down a hall to find that he is in the garage. “This building is a torture chamber,” he says. (Well maybe if you’re too busy pontificating to notice where you were going…) All Patrick can hear is that Hot British Kevin wants to f**k other people and he wants to do that because Patrick is not enough. HBK tries to explain that it has nothing to do with that but Patrick shouts him down. “I WISH I WAS A MORE MATURE PERSON!” he shouts. (I think we all do.) “ASK ME AGAIN IN TEN YEARS.” (When you’re a more mature person?) But right now Patrick wants to make the choice to not f**k other people. And HBK can’t or won’t or isn’t willing to try. WHERE DOES THAT PUT US? (I’d say that would put you screaming in a garage not listening to your partner.) “AND NOW THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG!!! And every time you go to the gym or get a massage or go get a bagel, I’m gonna wonder what you’re doing,” says Patrick. (Nothing spices up a relationship like a vow of paranoia.) “And you’re such a good liar, Kevin; I’ve seen you do it,” says Patrick. HBK says he is not lying now. What he’d like to know is whether this is a fight to break them up or keep them together. Does Patrick really want to be with HBK? Because it feels like he’s looking for an escape. HBK begs Patrick not to sabotage their relationship before they’ve even really given it a chance; he notes that he has up-ended his life to be with Patrick. He wants to be together until they’re old and miserable and sat on a porch. If Patrick doesn’t want that, then he should go. I have officially screamed back at the screen so much during these argument scenes that I now have an honest-to-goodness headache. I bet Agustin would have something I could take for that if he were here.
Outside the Door of Other Relationships Being Reevaluated: Dom sits on the stoop outside Malik’s house. Doris tugs on her coat as she steps into the night air. “So we’re going on a walk? Like the Godfather or something?” asks Doris. “You have a wreath,” says Dom. She does; it’s festive; there are reindeer, too. She was, apparently, not aware.
Walk of Straight People Doing the Darndest Things: Doris says that Malik watches football – and not just the local team! They recall the glory of Malik’s Cher wig, as they sit down to enjoy the view of the city stretching out below them. Dom says he hates this. He admits to being an a**hole. Doris agrees but says she should have never pulled the fag hag card. He doesn’t want to ignore the rest of what she said about the state of their lives. Doris agrees. They have been “really f**ked up and need to own that.” She wants to get through this. She says it’s been like going through the worst break-up she’s ever been through. Dom says it’s been that way for him, too, but that they do kind of need to break up. Dom says Doris did the most generous thing anyone has ever done for him (I’m assuming he’s referring to the offer of the inheritance money) but he really needs to try this on his own – however he can. Doris says she still wants to help. Dom says she can do that by coming and getting hammered with him when he falls on his butt or being the first person at his window on opening day. But she needs to start thinking of someone else first, instead of him. Malik is a great guy and he likes seeing her come out of his door with that big wreath. Doris agrees but fears the reindeer are much. Dom throws an arm around Doris and snuggles up to her. I don’t know how this in any way resolves the fact that, as I understood it, Dom was in a totally untenable financial situation, but I guess redefining personal boundaries can still be a victory – even in the face of bankruptcy.
The Open Air of On-the-Nose Metaphors: Patrick and Hot British Kevin appear to be back up on the roof (so I guess Patrick didn’t leave). “All I keep thinking about is that bed downstairs,” says Patrick. HBK suggests they go to bed then. But Patrick feels an extended metaphor coming on. See, when the bed is made, it’s perfect. But underneath are two very different sides with two very different sleep numbers. HBK can’t believe Patrick is comparing their relationship to a sleep number bed. It’s not just because of the stuff they talked about tonight, says Patrick. He’s talking about fundamentals, essentials. HBK can’t believe this is all happening because of a Grindr profile. He wants to throw his phone off the roof. Patrick assures him it’s not just that. Patrick feels like HBK’s heart works one way and Patrick’s works another. And what makes Patrick really sad and frustrated is that he thinks he’s always known this deep inside but he ignored it because he wanted so much to be in love and prove to the world he could be in a relationship. HBK says it can work; it is working. But Patrick says he would just have to keep adjusting his sleep number, every night, little by little, until one day he’d wake up to find he hasn’t slept well in years. (Of course the whole point of a sleep number bed is that you DON’T have to adjust your number to suit your partner, but, at this point, whatever.) Kevin says that he’ll adjust instead. That is what you do in relationships. And that they need to stop using the bed as a metaphor. (That line deserves THUNDEROUS applause.) HBK begs Patrick to not end this tonight. He can make the choice to change now that he knows how Patrick feels. Patrick just needs to trust him. If you ask me, what Patrick needs to do is CALM DOWN with being so judgmental, particularly when it comes to hypothetical situations, but who am I to come between a man and his misery?
When God Closes a Door, Somewhere He Opens a Chicken Window: The blue neon sign that reads, “Dom’s Chicken” flickers to life above the still-not-quite-open Chicken Window. Dom exits the building and stares at his little project, sipping a beer by himself on the street – as you do. He turns around to look at the world, his shearling reflecting back the cool blue of the sign. If the show figured out how he was going to pay for this without Doris’ money somewhere along the way, I missed it. But even if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy the ride – or at least a sidewalk beer.
Apartment of Giving It a Rest: Hot British Kevin and Patrick are finally in bed, but Patrick can’t sleep. He wanders out to the living room and stands toe-to-toe with Poster Kevin Costner before diving into one of his boxes, labeled, “valuables.” Tellingly, it contains things of personal rather than financial value – including photographs of loved ones and the scapular necklace Richie gave him way back in season one. He stares at it long and hard.
Barbershop of Looking for Oneself: Patrick arrives at Richie’s barber shop and thanks Richie for letting him come by. Richie asks what’s up. Patrick asks if he can sit down and not talk about anything because he is totally talked out. Richie says that is fine. Patrick would like, most of all, to stop looking like a middle-aged lesbian. He asks Richie to cut his hair – just buzz it all off. “Wow,” says Richie with a smile and puts the cape on Patrick. “I finally get to cut your hair – you ready?” Richie asks. Patrick looks at him for a long, meaningful moment and says he is. Then Richie dives in with the clippers, right down the middle of the forehead as the Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Simple Man” begins to play. As the camera watches them through the barbershop window, we hear these lyrics, lent particular resonance by Patrick’s complicated circumstances:
I am a simple man
So I sing a simple song
Never been so much in love
And never hurt so bad
At the same time . . .
Just want to hold you
Don’t want to hold you down
Hear what you’re saying
And you’re spinning my head around
And I can’t make it alone
A Note from Your Recapper: And that was the end of Looking – well, Season Two, at least. As of this writing, HBO has not yet announced whether it will renew Looking for another season, and though recapping it has made me a hermit for stretches of early 2015, I honestly hope they will give us more. There is no other show on television right now that is exploring the lives of gay people in quite this way. They may not be representing the experiences of every creed and color (it would probably seem artificially manufactured if they tried), but where else are we seeing stories about PreP? Or about how a person’s sexuality can connect them to people who challenge their preconceptions about race and class? About a how long-term life-partnerships between gay men and straight women change with time? And about a petite, self-sabotaging Tasmanian Devil of a narcissist can be redeemed by the love of a big, outspoken, queer, HIV positive bear? That said, if we were forced to settle for this as our series finale, it did feel beautifully full-circle: replete with references to events throughout the series, bringing major life changes for all of our main characters, and presenting a huge, passionate exploration of one of the series’ central questions: What does it mean to be “with” somebody? I think they also did a good job of posing this question without necessarily dictating what we ought to think the answer is. And, hopefully, there will be more chances for Andrew Haigh and company to keep on looking somewhere down the road.
So, Lookers: Did Dom and Doris really have to “break up” to move forward with their lives? Has Agustin found happiness with Bear Eddie or will he simply be the next Bear Victim of Agustin’s previously displayed life-ruining prowess? Do we need another season of Looking to help us figure this all out? And where do you fall on the great Patrick vs. HBO great monogamy debate? Let us know in the comments below – one random commenter will win Looking Season 1 on DVD! – and keep your eye out for more Looking content coming to metrosource.com soon.
Oh, and tell us what other shows you’d like to see the Metrosource team tackle next!
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Daniel Franzese and the Legacy of Looking
Last modified: July 26, 2018
I hope Doris has a sleeper sofa for Dom, when he is forced to declare Bankruptcy when the chicken window of the bad neighbor closes, because Dom wants to stand on his principles. Epic eye-roll.
I really could not buy that fight between Kevin and Patrick. Would Patrick fly off the handle? Sure. Would Kevin realistically have picked that precise moment to talk to Patrick about open relationships? Most likely not (as he has a head). It felt like the writers wanted to cram a lifetime of fights into one thirty minute episode, and as a result, HBK and Kevin’s relationship is still born. The discussion of monogomy is an important one to have on a show such as LOOKING, but I do not think this episode did that discussion justice. Especially when you consider that Patrick’s credibility is shot with his actions in the final two scenes. Patrick slinking off under the cover of darkness to covet the trinket Richie gave him while Kevin sleeps is worse than Kevin having a blank Grindr profile.
I was ready to throw something at my TV.
Now you’ve made me really upset. I did not know this was the final season episode and I did not know they haven’t renewed the show. I really need this show. Everything I know about being gay, I learned from Looking. This is a very educational show. I want to know more. And this show has to go on because we need to know that Patrick is going to be alright. Breaking up with your boss means you’re going to be unemployed. And who is going to support Patrick? Augustin?
No, I don’t think HBK can be trusted. I didn’t think he could be trusted from the beginning. But then, I’ve been warning Patrick about having an affair with your boss. Moving in with him so soon into the relationship is begging for trouble. Of course, Patrick would go to Richie and have his head shaved, a la Audrey Hepburn in “The Nun’s Story.” Symbolically, he went to join a convent– how supremely gay!!!
But one can only hope that he will talk to Richie, even though he says he doesn’t want to talk — because Richie is the only one who is mature and smart enough to give Patrick solid advice. HBK is what he is– take it or leave it. Personally, I have never met a gay man who can be trusted. Patrick was right when he said he was moving in with two Kevins. If he wants this to work, he needs to settle for one and ignore the other. But I think Richie’s advice will be a lot tougher than that.