Paul Hagen is almost as traumatized by Looking Season Two, Episode Five as Richie was by his childhood.
Previously on Looking… Dom was SHOCKED that Quantum Lynn couldn’t love him as much as he loved his Dead Boyfriend. Patrick was SHOCKED that Richie is dating the openly-Ginger Queer Brady Olsen and also SHOCKED that Hot British Kevin didn’t leave his life partner to be with Patrick. And this recapper was SHOCKED that Agustin got a job. Oh, and Doris is still encouraging Dom’s increasingly far-fetched Chicken Window dreams (which shocked absolutely nobody).
Office of Abject Despair: When I first saw Patrick squeezing paint onto what appeared to be a pottery wheel, I was hoping we were going to get a Ghost style pottery/lovemaking dream sequence, but he’s just at a work party. Co-Worker Owen and the lady that Hot British Kevin couldn’t believe was straight show up and announce that they are wasted. HBK pops some champagne to toast the fact that their video game company has sold SO many units – notably looking directly at Patrick when he says, “To you!” This causes Patrick to die inside and bolt for the door, but HBK intercepts him. “You don’t need me anymore do you?” Patrick asks. HBK calls that a loaded question. Patrick meant “for work purposes.” HBK follows him down the hall, bleating about how unbearable their break-up is. When Patrick doesn’t fall apart like a blubbering mess, HBK is offended. He thinks this is just too EASY for Patrick. Patrick says he’s just trying to be a grown-up about it and appreciate that, at the very least, he doesn’t have to deal with all the sneaking around and drama. He strides off confidently, and I really expect us to cut to him breaking down in tears just outside the door but instead…
The Bed of Self Abuse: Patrick is flogging his bishop while wearing headphones and watching porn on his laptop. He takes off his sock to wipe off the evidence (kinda gross), and a little while later, he’s cruising Richie’s Facebook page and sees a post asking for help from “anybody with a driver’s license.” On a related note, I could use some help from “anybody who can write prescriptions.”
Apartment of Roommate Shaming: Agustin informs Patrick that he always knows when Patrick is “spanking the monkey” – even he silences his porn with headphones because his silence speaks volumes. Patrick explains that he’s on his way out to drive a truck for Richie. “Excuse me?” Agustin says in an over-the-top Latino accent. Way to keep celebrating your heritage, buddy. Agustin begs Patrick to “not make it a rebound thing” with Richie. Patrick insists he just wants to be friends, and passive aggressively asks Agustin to clean the bathroom because his “furballs” are making Patrick “heave.” It’s nice to know that Agustin is also disgusting when we’re not looking.
Office of Moping Means You Really Cared: Hot British Kevin is looking through that odd British card game he showed Patrick back when they were in full affair mode. Then, cryptically, HBK calls someone and asks if that person is at work. I secretly hope it’s a hit man. But whom should he have killed? If it’s a choice between John and Patrick, I pick Agustin.
Administrative Space of Loitering: Agustin arrives at the shelter, and finds a young person named Sam, who seems to have been born with male genitalia but is expressing female gender by dressing like Ani Difranco. Agustin asks if Bear Eddie is around. Sam calls Bear Eddie Agustin’s “boyfriend” – and portentously reveals that Bear Eddie is home sick. Uh-oh, you guys.
Street of Patrick’s Hunger: It turns out Richie’s license expired, which is why he has recruited Patrick to take a train to wherever they’re picking up an ICE CREAM TRUCK. Patrick assumes Richie will be turning said truck into a mobile salon. (Cue my eye roll.) Richie explains that he and his cousin have a side business flipping junk trucks. Today’s winner will end up as a food truck for hipsters who will sell shrimp meatballs. Patrick says that sounds stupid (because it’s so trendy to hate on trendy things), and then decides that he’s hungry. Richie says they can stop and eat, but Patrick says no. Richie thanks Patrick for his help, and Patrick says he has “ulterior motives.” After an uncomfortable silence… Queer Brady Olsen rushes into frame and screams, “Hands off my man, Patricia!” Not really. Actually, Patrick always wanted to see where Richie grew up.
Street of Assuming Makes an Ass: Is it me or do Patrick and Richie episodes always feel a little endless somewhere in the middle? That said, Patrick and Richie are now walking away from the train station in Richie’s old neighborhood. Patrick asks if he should picture Young Richie riding around the neighborhood on his bike. (You guys, wouldn’t “Looking Babies” be the best show – starring Fat Young Patrick, Beardless Young Agustin and Young Dom in a Tiny Shearling Coat?) Richie says he never had a bike, but he did have a bad-ass skateboard. Patrick was not that cool as a kid. He drove his sister’s glitter-spangled, My Little Pony sticker-laden girl’s bike for years, but when his dad finally got him a boring brown boy’s bike, he “missed all the sparkle.” (“Sparkle, Patrick! Sparkle!”) Richie only comes back to the hood now when he needs to and he makes sure it’s not often – in part because things are still bad between him and his dad. And now Patrick is hungry again. I bet Patrick was one of those kids who wouldn’t go to the bathroom before leaving the house and then after five minutes in the car started moaning to his Mom about how bad he has to pee.
Doorway of Mystery: Agustin is knocking on Bear Eddie’s door, cheerily announcing that he brought Matzoh Ball soup. Bear Eddie weakly declares that he’s “Typhoid Mary” right now, and asks Agustin to leave the soup by the door. A moment of genuine human concern passes over Agustin’s face before he reverts to his natural state of always-annoying-as-possible and starts tapping on the door, saying “I’m not leaving! I’m not going!” in sing-song. Finally, Bear Eddie opens the door, wrapped in a Keith Haring tapestry like the Blessed Virgin. Agustin immediately realizes Bear Eddie’s not genuinely sick; Bear Eddie protests that he’s preventing sickness by taking a mental health day. Agustin chirps merrily that he’s glad “St. Eddie is not perfect” and that the soup has balls in it. I guess sometimes it’s the little things that make life worth living.
Food Shack of Changing the Subject: Patrick asks why Queer Brady Olsen isn’t helping Richie – once again referring to him as “The Ginger,” which I think is kind of tacky. Richie doesn’t want to leap to calling it dating yet; he informs Patrick that this time he’s not jumping the gun. Richie asks Patrick to decide what he wants to eat, and Patrick thinks he’s changing the subject, but he really doesn’t want Patrick to disrupt the flow when they get to the front of the line. Patrick asks how big the giant burrito is. NEWS FLASH: It’s pretty big.
Table of Awkward Questions: Richie asks after Hot British Kevin. Patrick was going to say that they broke up but realizes that you don’t really “break up” a slutting-around-behind-someone-else’s-back; so he says, “I ended it.” Patrick says there was too much lying and the whole thing made him feel bad. “It just took me a while to figure out what everybody else already knew,” Patrick says. (That’s also what they’ll engrave on his tombstone one day!) Richie seems generally sad that Patrick is hurting but also admits that he didn’t like the situation. Then Richie lovingly wipes some food off Patrick’s face, and Patrick asks, “Why did you let me order a burrito the size of a baby?” Thanks for the mental picture of a tortilla-wrapped fetus.
Office of Resumed Coupling: John enters Hot British Kevin’s office, all super lovey dovey, which is disgusting. John calls it HBK’s “place of power.” He teases that he’s wanted to see HBK’s office for three months before he was finally allowed. (That’s because he was having sex with one of his employees, John.) But HBK says there was just “nothing to see.” However, HBK does say that they can skip the line at the t-shirt machine and the beer line because he’s the boss. John wants to know if they can go on the inversion table. What kind of office is this? Do they work at the state fair? Also, watching HBK kissing John is like nuclear war.
Lot of History: Patrick and Richie have reached a place that used to be his uncle’s and his dad’s establishment of auto repair. Maybe Richie’s backstory would be more engaging if he didn’t always mumble about it and shrug. The ice cream truck is there. The music is plays is the audio equivalent of bubonic plague. Richie’s cousin, whom I will be referring to as AWFUL, asks who this “adorable” guy is. When Richie explains who it is, she spews a whole bunch of hostility in half-English/half-Spanish about Patrick being the guy who broke Richie’s heart. Richie introduces them, and when Patrick can’t pronounce her name to her standards, she says, “You know what? Don’t call me anything.” And that’s how you end up named AWFUL. AWFUL insists that they stay with her and have a beer. Patrick gets a kick out of awful people (see: Agustin); so he asks Richie if they can stay.
Apartment of Playing Hooky: We see the back of Bear Eddite’s fireman-suspenders t-shirt as he and Agustin finish the soup. “That gave me life!” Bear Eddie proclaims, clearing their bowls. Agustin asks whether Bear Eddie calls out sick often; Bear Eddie admits to occasionally “playing the poz card.” Then he calls it a “positive thing about being positive.” Even Agustin groans at this excess of uncomfortable “HIV humor.” Agustin asks how long Bear Eddie has been positive – as he lights the joint he just rolled. Bear Eddie says this is not the Barbara Walters interview; so he will not be answering questions. Agustin says Bear Eddie would’ve ask Agustin about it, if their statuses were reversed. Bear Eddie says that he would have done it in a way that was “charming and adorable.” Agustin thought that’s what he was being.
Backstory of Bear Eddie: Bear Eddie says he’s known that he was positive for about three years but probably was already a couple of years before that. The thing is, he says, he’d been doing a lot of meth, and ended up at a dungeon sex party… in a sling… as the “courtesy bottom.” So it could have been any number of guys who took their turn that infected him. Yowza. But, wait…
Smoking Circle of Truth: Agustin is like, “Whoa.” However – Bear Eddie was kidding! They laugh. In reality, Bear Eddie got HIV from a boyfriend who said he was negative and wasn’t. Also, Bear Eddie has not told his family about it, and they think his gigantic forearm tattoo of a plus sign is because he is a “positive person.” Agustin promises no more questions. Instead, he wants to have some fun. Bear Eddie asks: What kind?
Lot of Misery: Guys are working on cars, and AWFUL – while sipping a beer – is telling Richie he needs to date a good strong Mexican guy and not these wishy-washy white boys. Her racist tirade continues, with such choice phrases as “white guys are the worst” and “I would never date a f***ing gringo.” If I hadn’t already named her AWFUL, I would certainly do it now. Patrick asks AWFUL if she doesn’t find the things she’s saying to be a bit racist. “What part?” she replies, serving up what’s-the-big-problem eyes. Richie says she’s just “talking s***” to get to Patrick and has herself dated plenty of white boys. AWFUL asks if Richie is going to stop by his mother’s; Richie says no. They decide to look at some kind of special car with a name. You guys, this is truly never-ending. AWFUL drags Patrick aside and says that she knows she’s been giving him a hard time (people in SPACE know that, Senora Subtlety), but it’s just that she had been really rooting for them before it all fell apart. She even spills the beans that he borrowed $200 to pay for the suit for the wedding they never quite went to. Patrick looks sad.
Apartment of Finally: Bear Eddie and Agustin are having a dance party to “Finally” by CeCe Peniston. Agustin dives in for a kiss. And while I admit that it was an abrupt left turn from sassy-lady-dance-party to beard-on-beard man sex, I’m still a little surprised when Bear Eddie pulls away. He thinks Agustin has his signals crossed. Agustin insists that he caught all the signals: Bear Eddie picked a song about a boy with cocoa brown skin and curly black hair! Bear Eddie points out (correctly) that Agustin’s hair is not particularly curly, nor his skin that brown. “So it’s only me that’s been feeling something happening between us?” asks Agustin. Bear Eddie is sorry if Agustin is used to guys taking off their panties every time he says so, but no. Agustin backs off, wiping his face on his t-shirt. “I guess I’m officially embarrassed,” he says. (Of all the things you’ve done on this series, THIS is what embarrasses you, Agustin?) But, hark, here comes Bear Eddie: “You should be embarrassed… you give up way too easily.” Bear Eddie goes in for another kiss. Bear Eddie was kidding — but he warns that this fooling around is “not anything official.” It looks pretty official from here.
Ice Cream Truck of Hostile Strangers: Patrick and Richie are in the ice cream truck, still having the subplot that just won’t end. Just to underline how hellish it is, the ice cream truck music is also playing again. Patrick calls it what the Addam’s Family would play if they had an ice cream truck and were pedophiles. (Wow, HIV humor, racist humor and pedophilia humor in one episode. How lucky can you get?) They’re cleaning off the ice cream truck. Richie is actually scrubbing the thing, while Patrick sprays a hose uselessly. Some dude named Hector comes over and starts talking to Richie and ignoring Patrick. He seems like a Grade-A douche. Patrick makes a big deal of introducing himself. Hector asks if Patrick is Richie’s “boy”, and Patrick repeats something AWFUL said about him earlier. Hector asks about Richie’s Dad, in a way that’s clearly meant to make him feel shame and then walks away. Okay, show. We get it. Richie’s life hasn’t exactly been a burrito the size of a baby.
Table of Inept Comparisons: Patrick observes that the hard feelings between Richie and his father seems to be “legit bad.” Richie calls them complicated. Patrick asks if Richie had thought about talking to his Dad because when Patrick confronted his doting, pot-eating mother, it helped him be less of a lunatic about her. “Yeah, well, my Dad isn’t your Mom,” says Richie. EXACTLY! Patrick goes ON and ON about either confronting problems or not going home. Richie says: “You’re annoying, you know that?” He’s absolutely right.
Ice Cream Truck of Aural Torture: The music is going again. Patrick calls it “endlessly horrifying.” That should be the title of this episode. Patrick wants to apologize aboutt how things ended between Richie and him and PULLS over the truck to do it. Turns out that when AWFUL told Patrick about Richie borrowing the money for the suit, it made him realize how amazing Richie was. He reveals that when Richie asked if Patrick was “ready” back at the end of season one, Patrick had just been at work hooking up with Hot British Kevin. Patrick blathers ON and ON until a group of kids run up to the ice cream truck, asking if they have, you know, ice cream. Richie (who has not been loving the Patrick blather) barks at them to go away. Patrick asks if Richie is going to punch him or make him walk home. (Cue eye roll.) Richie says that Patrick’s confession didn’t exactly make him feel great, but it’s in the past. Plus, Richie has Queer Brady Olsen now. Richie would be sad if Patrick wasn’t in his life. Patrick asks if that means they are friends. Richie says they will try to be. “I’ll take friends,” Patrick says… as though he had been angling for more… even though he spent the whole episode referring to them as friends already. So does that mean all this was for naught? A cool, chill cover of “Finally” begins to play as the blue neon credits finally declare an end to this exercise in self-torture.
So, Lookers: What do we think of Agustin and Bear Eddie’s prospects – and were you fooled by Bear Eddie’s fake-outs about how he got HIV or whether he was into Agustin? Does Patrick really want nothing more than friendship from Richie? Oh, and did you miss Dom and Doris? Would you have sacrificed a few scenes of Patrick and Richie lost in racism-and-homophobia-land to check in with them? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time.
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Daniel Franzese and the Legacy of Looking
Last modified: July 26, 2018
These re-caps should be subtitled, “The Indictment of Augustin.”
I missed Doris & Dom. But I think the episodes are better with Andrew Haigh in the director’s chair.
Patrick will swing back to HBK eventually. HBK should really understand the animosity. If someone promised me what HBK promised and then “just couldn’t” I’d be an ice princess too. Did you want to build a snow man, HBK? Because you just did.
Side note: why is Patrick infatuated with only men who had humble beginnings?
Eddie the bear says he got HIV while bottoming at an orgy on meth. Not really! He says he doesn’t want to sleep with Agustin. Not really! I loved this episode. Not really.
I guess I’m a Dom man. When he’s not around the youngsters just dance and chat and get ice cream. It’s like Sex and the City without Samantha. The stakes are raised with older people. I don’t care if Richie and Patrick get together: if they don’t, it’s not like they’re going to die single.