Looking Recap (2.9): Looking for Sanctuary

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

Celebrate family dysfunction and making drastic life changes with Paul Hagen and the latest episode of Looking.

Previously on Looking Patrick and Hot British Kevin took their now-somewhat-more-legitimate relationship to a gay programmer’s convention, where they survived Richie being judgmental and Queer Brady Olsen being fall-down drunk to ultimately say, “I love you” to one another. Agustin freaked out about a sexual mishap and tried to reassure Bear Eddie that it didn’t mean he wasn’t equipped to date a big poz queer. And Dom quit his job and maxed out all his credit cards – only to be frustrated by every aspect of preparing his chicken window to, you know, produce chicken. Last time I checked, @ChickenDom40 hadn’t tweeted a thing; maybe they’re waiting for the window to “open”? I hope it tweets Bob’s Burgers style pun-inspired chicken specials all summer long.

Apartment of Hopes for the Future: Patrick and Hot British Kevin are in an empty apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows, talking about the possibility of Patrick sexualizing HBK up against the glass. (Does anyone else find it totally not believable when they act like Patrick is a top?) They’re in the middle of actually pantomiming the act when Joan’s Mom from Mad Men (or Mrs. Huber from Desperate Housewives, depending on your taste level) enters, enthusing that those windows can take all that sexing! Thanks, Joan’s Mom? She refers to the “his-and-his” sinks in the bathroom. She’s moved a lot of gay couples into this very building, which she describes as “social.” Patrick goes out of his way to tell her that he still has an apartment of his very own; so this is for Kevin. Joan’s Mom says she doesn’t want to pressure anybody but other people are waiting to snatch the apartment away at any moment. Patrick babbles incoherently, and HBK says, “I’ll take it.”

Street of Panic and Worry: Patrick worriedly reads from his phone that their Uber car will be arriving in two minutes. Hot British Kevin asks whether they should expect his sister, Obnoxious Blonde Megan, to show up at dinner and attack them; Patrick says she didn’t even respond to his invitation. Obnoxious Blonde Megan, it seems, has defriended HBK Patrick reminds HBK (and us) that OBM’s husband is the best friend of HBK’s Former Boyfriend Jon, and that she is a drama queen and judgy. HBK promises to correctly pronounce Patrick’s mother’s stupid name (Dana, pronounced to rhyme with Hannah – god that is the WORST). Patrick announces that he knows he’s too old to be having this moment, but his mom has never met one of his boyfriends before. HBK is honored and promises he’s good with “mums.” Aw, remember Quantum Lynn? He was a florist, you guys. I bet he was good with mums.

Kitchen of Dreams Falling Apart: Backstage at the Chicken Window, Dom is putting up painter’s tape. (Though, if he’s so broke and no customers are ever going to see past the window, I’m not sure why he’s about to blow more bucks on paint.) Doris turns off the iPod, which is blaring from its dock. She announces that her Uncle is contesting her Dad’s will; so she won’t be able to give Dom the money she promised him until the case is resolved – probably three or four months. Dom declares that he has nothing left, financially, because he was depending on that money, and Doris reminds him that this situation is not her fault. Doris tells an increasingly-angry Dom to take a deep breath. But Dom just ordered an industrial friar and a neon sign! Doris suggests putting it on hold. “It doesn’t work like that!” says Dom. Dom doesn’t understand why she would offer money that wasn’t hers to offer. Doris is evidently pissed off by this comment and points out that she’s the only one who’s ever supported him “in his sorry life.” Dom is all, “Like your life is so great!” Doris points out that this is a lovely thing to say to her with her Dad so recently deceased. Then she curses at Dom and storms out. I think that’s the nastiest we’ve ever seen them be to each other.

Restaurant of Surprising Acceptance: Patrick is apologizing for their lateness as he and Hot British Kevin approach a table in the Tonga Room in all its retro tiki glory. Mom says not to apologize, as it gave her the chance to have a couple of “Pineapple Royales.” HBK greets her as “Dana Banana” and she laughs; then the boys sit down on either side of her like a gay oreo with Julia Duffy filling. Soon, HBK is showing Mom their gay battle app. “So that’s a leather daddy?” she asks, adorably. Then she asks if the goal of this is to actually make money. Patrick falls all over himself saying the point was to work on something together! But HBK says they own the app; so if it sells, they could end up with a tidy payday. “Hallelujah!” says Mom. Keep knocking back those Pineapple Royales, Dana Banana! Mom tells Patrick there’s nothing wrong with making money, especially if it’s doing something you love. “How many people can say that?” she asks. HBK agrees, and says he thinks he’s the luckiest man in the world to be with Patrick, despite the drama it has caused. “It’s always a bumpy road, isn’t it?” says Mom. Amen, sister.

Later, While Hot British Kevin Is In the Bathroom: Patrick is sitting alone with Mom, who seems to have moved on to sherry. Mom declares HBK to be lovely and asks whether they’ve said, “I love you.” Patrick asks if a doctor adjusted his Mom’s meds because she’s acting “warm and glowy.” She says she just loves her regular Christmas shopping trips to San Francisco and seeing her kids. On that subject, Patrick asks after his sister, Obnoxious Blonde Megan. Mom wants to talk about the fight between her and Patrick. Patrick accuses OBM of waging a “cold war” on him – ever since Patrick destroyed his boyfriend’s former relationship, I mean, fell in love. Mom says that OBM has a “strict moral code.” Patrick says OBM cheated on the SATs. Mom asks him to come to the zoo so that there she might “broker a rapprochement.” That’s some fancy talk, Dana Banana! Patrick says he can’t because he promised Kevin they could go mattress-shopping. “Shop early,” suggests Mom. Another Pineapple Royale for the lady!

Mattress Store of Puns that Guy Has Probably Heard a Million Times: A mattress salesman we’ll call “Stretch” due to his achievement in being tall towers over Patrick and Hot British Kevin, explaining that with this particular mattress, each side gets a number ranging from 0 (softest) to 100 (firmest). “This one likes it firm,” says Kevin. Stretch offers raised eyebrows, even though he must get that line ten times a week and suggests they see what’s comfortable. The boys scramble to jump into bed like kids at a hotel swimming pool. Patrick wonders if they are allowed to have their shoes on. (Oh, Patrick.) They dial their remotes – Patrick to 75 and Kevin to 95. (Now who likes it firm?) Patrick asks if Kevin has reconsidered joining him for the Rapprochement at the Zoo. Kevin suggests Patrick go make peace and in three to four years they’ll all sit down happily together. “Well, I like that you’re thinking long term!” says Patrick – like an elderly person seeking a caretaker to shepherd him into the hereafter. Then he adds, “I wasn’t so sure after you didn’t ask me to move in with you.” This is the same man who STRENUOUSLY explained to Joan’s Mom how much he LOVES his rent-controlled apartment that he is NOT leaving? Turns out HBK had wanted to ask Patrick to move in but was worried Patrick might think it was crazy. (Ironic, considering that if Patrick were to place a personal ad, it would likely read: Crazy seeks same.) But HBK wants the apartment to be THEIR apartment; he wants this bed to be THEIR bed. Will he, Patrick Murray, move in and brush his teeth at the his-and-his sinks with HBK every morning? Patrick is beaming, but he somberly warns, “This is a major step.” HBK says he is ready when Patrick is. Aw, that’s a nice, ultimatum-free, non-passive aggressive way to say that. Patrick would not have put it that way at all.

The Shelter of Making a Big Deal About It: Bear Eddie is talking to a co-worker and appears to be PISSED. “It’s a shelter mural, it’s not the MoMA,” he says. Agustin rolls up, taking out his ear buds and chowing down on something from a tupperware. The situation is that the artist they hired to turn a fairly significant chunk of the building’s exterior into a mural doesn’t want to work with the theme of “tolerance” and quit. Bear Eddie peppers the exposition liberally with unique curse-word variants, including the underappreciated “father-f**king.” This is apparently quite a mess as the donor who insisted upon the mural is expecting something to show her friends this week and the kids were already setting up to paint. Agustin asks, “What are you going to do?” and patently does NOT offer to help. He does ask Bear Eddie if he had any crazy side effects when he started taking HIV meds because Agustin is thinking about going on PrEP. Bear Eddie would like to know: why now? “It’s the socially-responsible San Francisco gay man thing to do,” says Agustin. Someone needs to turn that into the chorus of an oratorio for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus STAT. Bear Eddie declares that Agustin will do the mural. Agustin says no; he’s not an artist anymore. Bear Eddie tries to make it sound easy. Then he appeals to Agustin’s desire to be heroic. Then he lays a huge guilt trip and walks away. Agustin seems momentarily bereft and then he sees Sammy – the trans teen who dresses like Ani Difranco and is always going at her sketch pad – and calls her over.

Zoo of Siblings Quibbling: Okay, I’m just going to take a moment here to admit that I hate Obnoxious Blonde Megan in this episode with the fiery passion of ten-thousand exploding suns; but I’ll try to keep it within reason. Mom wants to take a picture with a statue (because that’s what I want to remember about the zoo: the fake animals). Obnoxious Blonde Megan instructs Patrick to take a picture of just Mom and her. She might as well just have said, “I don’t want you in my picture, Ugly, Ugly Fatrick.” Patrick agrees to take the picture. OBM makes hideous fish-faces as Patrick fumbles with the phone, accidentally recording video. “Would you hurry? It’s cold and I want to get Mommy a hot chocolate!” whines OBM. Now, how is the fact that you don’t know how to dress for the weather anybody’s fault but your own, OBM? And everyone knows that you don’t throw shade by threatening to only buy one other person Hot Chocolate. You offer to buy everybody Hot Chocolate and then don’t bring one back for the person you hate. “I’m fine. No hot chocolate for me. Thanks for asking,” Patrick says to OBM, who is prancing around like a toddler who has to pee. “Aren’t YOU GUYS always watching your weight?” says OBM, that ignorant slut. Mom offers him a xanax. He’d be better off with a gun.

Coffe Shop of Mural Back-Up Planning: Agustin starts by observing that “tolerance” is actually a pretty jank theme for a mural. Correct; tolerance suggests something to be endured, like mold you don’t feel like scrubbing, rather than something to be embraced, like your equal partners in this great experiment called humanity. Agustin asks whether all these kids can strive for is to be “tolerated.” Bear Eddie reminds him that the donor chose the theme. Agustin says the donor won’t have any problems when he sees “THIS” and unveils a Dr. Seussian scene that, presumably, Sammy has created on an old file folder. Their chit-chat comes to a sudden halt with the appearance of Agustin’s Ex, Frank. Frank looks like he has dressed himself out of the costume rack for My So-Called Life but otherwise seems well. He asks if Agustin is here scouting for rent boys (remember when he used to do that?). Agustin doesn’t take the bait, and politely asks how Frank is doing. Frank says he is “golden” in a way that, to me, suggests he is overcompensating. Agustin says he’s good; he’s working at a shelter for homeless youth and doing “no more art.” Frank notices Bear Eddie looking on awkwardly. Agustin introduces him as his “friend” Eddie; Bear Eddie repeats the introduction, emphasis on the “friend” – which I think is TOTALLY unfair considering all the crap he was spewing about not labelling their relationship, but we’ll get to that later. Frank notices the mural sketch. “No more art?” he asks, desperate to nail Agustin on something. Calm down, Frank! Bear Eddie explains that Agustin has been mentoring a trans teen at the shelter and is pretty amazing at it. “Who are you and what have you done with Agustin?” asks Frank. Agustin says it’s a new day. Frank announces that he “should skedaddle.” He says that they should “get together” and bitchily hugs Agustin like you’d hug your least favorite relative. Agustin is a little shaken and goes back to staring at the mural sketch. Bear Eddie looks at him in a way that suggests the “friend” situation is not going to go uncommented-upon.

Seriously, Don’t Feed the Animals at the Zoo, You Guys: Patrick thinks Mom is not supposed to be feeding the animals. “These are Quinoa chips!” declares Mom. “And since when do you care about doing the right thing?” says Obnoxious Blonde Megan, the worst person who ever lived. “Let’s just do this,” says Patrick. He doesn’t understand why this is OBM’s problem. OBM says it’s because she’s a “moral person” (pardon my vomit). And also because she comes home from work every night to find her husband sitting with “a sweet, lovely man who has no idea why his life imploded.” Sounds like you need to stop running a home for the recently heartbroken if it bothers you so much, sweetheart. Patrick feels bad that Jon is upset but didn’t ask Hot British Kevin to leave Jon. And was it so wrong of HBK to leave an unhappy relationship, Patrick would like to know. OBM thinks HBK should have shared his unhappiness with Jon and tried to work through it – instead of just announcing he was leaving. Patrick advocates the value of “a clean break.” OBM points out that Patrick could have said no. Patrick says that he tried to, but life is complicated, and OBM is going to have to get used to it because Patrick plans to be with HBK for a long time. OBM asks whether Patrick seriously thinks his thing with HBK is forever. “He just asked me to move in with him,” Patrick declares. Mom stumbles back into focus, concerned that Patrick is giving up his apartment. Patrick isn’t sure what he’s going to do but suggests OBM get used to having HBK around. OBM declares that Patrick ought not think of bringing HBK to Christmas. He asks Mom to perform her oft-threatened rapprochement! “It’s a little different when it’s two men,” Mom explains at OBM half-heartedly. OBM is sick of Patrick getting a free pass feom being gay: he gets to have no kids, chase his bliss, work on video games, break up relationships. Patrick points out that she has no right to judge him by how she chooses to live her life. Julia Duffy is halfway over the fence offering the last of her quinoa chips to the zoo creatures when an attendant comes over to ask her not to feed the animals. “I’m done,” says Mom. “Me, too,” says OBM. Mom corrects Patrick’s pronunciation of rapprochement. Of course she does.

Apartment of Friendships Falling Apart: Dom enters his apartment, where blaring music is playing somewhere. He knocks on the door of Doris’ room, declaring that he has a peace offering. She opens the door and he holds out cake batter flavored frozen yogurt because he knows it makes her “puddle in her panties.” EW! Doris is not in the mood for FroYo. But he put pink salt on it like she likes! He’s trying to say he’s sorry! She knows how crazy he gets when people try to help him! Dom agrees that she’s the only one who has ever supported him and says she’s been “his person” for the last twenty years and it’s too much. She says they’re damaged and don’t know how to be adults. She prioritizes him over Malik and when she doesn’t, she feels guilty. She thinks they’re going to end up 70-years-old, still stuck in the same apartment talking about FroYo. Dom realizes that Doris is packing her stuff. He asks where she’s going. Doris is going to stay with Malik because she can’t be around Dom now. “We’re a codependent mess,” she says as she exits. “A fag and his hag.” Brutal.

Bridge of Additional Misery: Mom would just let Patrick and Obnoxious Blonde Megan work out their disagreement in their own time, but she suspects they’ll want to be united for what she’s about to reveal. OBM asks if Mom or Daddy is sick. That’s not it. But Mom is thinking of leaving Daddy. OBM asks if Daddy did something. Mom asks if they remember Dr. Dennis Alexander. His wife passed away last year. It was a difficult time for Dennis; she helped him through and they developed an emotional bond. Patrick asks if she’s unhappy with Daddy. She’s not unhappy but yearning for more. OBM thinks it’s beautiful that she was there for Dennis but who’s going to be there for Daddy? Mom thinks Daddy can take care of himself and she needs to honor her truth. “What about honoring the truth of your marriage?” asks OBM. “You’ve been married how many months now? Three?” asks Mom. She thinks OBM will find that the longer you’re with someone, the more complicated that truth becomes. “You can’t just leave Dad,” Patrick declares. (I will say, this whole conversation is made way more interesting by the extreme positions Patrick and OBM have been taking regarding fidelity all episode long.) “If someone makes me happy, and he wants to be with me, and I want to be with him, I shouldn’t do anything? I should stay?” says Mom. Finally hearing some of his own arguments for HBK’s leaving reflected back at him, Patrick relents and says he supports his Mom. He says that they both do. OBM nods reluctantly. I’m surprised she can even summon up that minor amount of human empathy from her Obnoxious Blonde Lack-of-a-Soul.

Outside the Shelter of New Hope: Bear Eddie observes that it was really weird seeing Frank. Not really, says Agustin. Bear Eddie observes that Frank is really hot. He also mentions that the “friend Eddie” thing was awkward. “What was awkward about that?” asks Agustin, coolly. “I’m just your friend?” asks Bear Eddie. Agustin recalls Bear Eddie saying over and over that they could mess around, nothing more. So what is Agustin supposed to call him? EXACTLY. Bear Eddie is not having it. He thinks Agustin should just ADMIT saw his GORGEOUS ex-boyfriend and he got “turned up” inside. JEALOUS. “You figured it out,” Agustin snarks and starts to walk away. He is tired of persuading Bear Eddie that he is “into him.” He’s liked Bear Eddie since the moment they skinny dipped and Bear Eddie smiled at him. He wants to be Bear Eddie’s boyfriend. Bear Eddie asks Agustin to be his boyfriend, adding a few fake middle names for emphasis. They kiss lovingly. It’s kind of amazing.

Outside the Hotel of Farewell: Patrick shows up with a box of the kind of mint chocolates that Daddy likes. Mom begs Patrick to give Obnoxious Blonde Megan time to accept Hot British Kevin. Patrick says he hopes she will eventually because he really loves HBK. Mom asks if Patrick is disappointed in her. He’s just confused. She did love Dad, right? It wasn’t all BS? “The last 40 years of my life? I’m not proud of all the choices I made Patrick, but they were my choices,” she says. “So no, it has not all been BS.” AWESOME. “You and Megan are not BS.” INCORRECT. Patrick asks what Mom is going to do. She says she has no idea and seems like she’s really about to break down. And then, suddenly: “There’s my car,” she says. “See you and Kevin soon. Christmas, I hope. We’ll all have such a lovely time.” Oh, yes. Lovely. I hope they invite Cheated-Upon Jon, too.

Apartment of the Future: Hot British Kevin is playing with measuring tape when Patrick walks in, announcing that he wants to do this. He wants to move in with Hot British Kevin and be with him and spend Christmas there – just the two of them. HBK smiles. And with that, all Patrick’s eggs are officially in one basket. I wonder if he’ll drop it? Cue the neon blue credits!

So, Lookers: Does Obnoxious Blonde Megan’s prosecution of Patrick’s relationship have any merit? Is she right to rail at him on behalf of poor, Cheated-Upon Jon? Were you shocked by how deftly Agustin handled both his chance encounter with Frank and Bear Eddie’s sudden reversal on boyfriendhood? And is this just a bump in the road of Dom & Doris or is it finally time to kiss their ampersand goodbye? Where, oh where, will the finale leave our motley crew of socially-responsible San Francisco gay men? What do you think?

Tell us in the comments below. We’ll send one commenter a copy of Season 1 on DVD!

Last modified: March 16, 2018

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One Response to :
Looking Recap (2.9): Looking for Sanctuary

  1. Danny Dee says:

    Yeah, glad you “took it easy” on Patrick’s sister. Way to go.

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