Editor-in-chief Paul Hagen recaps
the sheer panic of Looking’s second episode of the season.
Previously on Looking… Agustin was finally starting to see his own worthlessness and hoped that the bulk and fur of the bear community would hide it again. Dom was finally in a relationship with Quantum Lynn and likes the “borrowing-his-vacation-home” part but is not so sure about the rest. And Patrick wasn’t sure what he’s in with Hot British Kevin, but he’s in deep. Oh, and Doris is missing, but no one cares. That’s what you get for being a lady on Looking, folks.
Cheap Hotel of Pillow Talk: Patrick is telling a story about trying to attract his father’s best friend with “his best Solid Gold Dance moves” to Hot British Kevin, with whom he is nude in bed. Hot British Kevin remembers being obsessed with British boy band Take That and the homo-erotic antics of their music videos. He offers to show off his dance routine to one of their songs, but instead just shows off a childhood card game called “Top Trumps.” It’s all very “we’re at the beginning of a relationship; so we have to tell each other every little thing about how we got this way.”
Public Transit of Geeking Out: Now dressed, Patrick and Hot British Kevin are on the bus, still oohing and aahing over the card game. Patrick suggests making a gay version that pits various community stereotypes against each other – i.e. “the hot jock” versus “the drag mother” – which sounds like what happens when bad drugs get around a small town gay bar.
Street Scene of Secret Spilling: Hot British Kevin warns Patrick that the company will own their gay app idea if they have it on the clock (revealing that this tryst is apparently happening in the middle of a work day). But Kevin remarks that he knows Patrick can keep a secret! (Because they’re slutting around behind his boyfriend’s back, you guys!) Kevin instantly realizes the comment was in poor taste; so Patrick takes advantage of this moment of weakness to mention he told his pals about their affair. Hot British Kevin looks like he wants to cover up his face with his giant Will Smith ears in shame; he assumes Agustin and Dom think he’s a prick. Patrick pretends (poorly) to make a phone call so that they’re not seen re-entering the office together. Way to keep it classy, guys!
Office of Unhealthy Interest in One’s Co-Workers: Owen, one of Patrick’s programmer buddies, asks where he disappeared to in the middle of the day. Patrick offers a lame excuse about going to a drag-queen hosted viewing of the cult classic “Showgirls.” Owen informs Patrick that the theater (and, apparently, much of the world) is virulently infested with bed bugs. Patrick is saved by the bell when Kevin calls his desk.
Office of Transparent Fear: Patrick enters Hot British Kevin’s office and immediately resumes their earlier app chat. Kevin is freaking out, thinking Patrick was telling Owen about their sweet, hot lunch-loving. Patrick jokingly says he was sharing a graphic description of Kevin’s Hot British Organ, but Kevin replies with a paranoid speech about how he doesn’t want the secret to get out because he doesn’t want their affair to end. Patrick re-commits to secrecy and wonders if their sex-hotel had bed bugs. People, get ready – because they are going to beat the “secrets are like bed bugs” metaphor hard.
Apartment of Self-Delusion: Patrick is describing his afternoon delight to Dom and Agustin, who says their chosen hotel is so gross even HE wouldn’t hook up there. Dom calls it a “24-hour meth party since 1997.” Agustin wants to know if they talk in addition to the sex, and Patrick says they talk constantly. Dom asks where Kevin’s erstwhile love-partner John fits into all this. Patrick says they’re having major problems, even though he knows that “sounds like the worst TV show ever.” Yup.
Down on Skid Row: The boys are walking through a hellish urban nightmarescape. Patrick calls the neighborhood up-and-coming, just as a homeless man screams, “Confess your sins!” with the force of a nuclear bomb exploding. Naturally, the screamer is stationed mere doors from where Dom plans to sell his magic Peri-Peri chicken through a window. When the screamer orders them to confess again, Austin confesses that Patrick is diddling his boss. “Homeless people gave Twitter accounts!” chastises Patrick. For Dom’s sake, they try to pretend the place doesn’t look like the place where dreams go to die.
Bar of News Gets Around: “How’s the affair?” Nurse Doris asks Patrick, who Is SHOCKED that she knows. She mentions that she, too, once had an affair – with a veterinarian. Meanwhile, a black man of impressive size is making eyes at them as they guzzle margaritas. “And we’re not even in a gay bar, “ Doris complains, assuming he’s eyeing one of the boys. Not so fast, Nurse Doris!
Bathroom of Fear: Patrick has a skin irritation on his stomach, and he has asked Dom to look at it for him. Dom says it’s probably just from scratching as Patrick paws at it like a dog in need of a large, plastic collar. When Patrick wonders if it could be AIDS, Dom recounts some of Patrick’s other notable AIDS-related freakouts, such as the time he orally pleasured someone he called “gay Channing Tatum” shortly after having his wisdom teeth out. Patrick wonders if it could also be a spider bite.
The Bar of Poverty: They do a round of shots, and Agustin immediately orders another one. When Nurse Doris says she is not going to pay for this one, Agustin insists he’ll pay for drinks when he’s gainfully employed again. (To which I say: Unless explicitly offered, don’t order drinks you can’t pay for.) Nurse Doris offers to get him a job changing catheters at the hospital, which might inspire his next great work of art. Agustin says he’s done making art. “No, don’t do that to the world – how cruel!” says Doris. Agustin calls her a hag, just as the black fellow introduces himself to Doris with a super-cheeseball, “Have we met before?” line. She takes the bait because Doris needs loving too, people.
The Street of Umbrage: Patrick is complaining that Doris called his fling with Hot British Kevin “an affair” because Patrick feels the world applies only to the person being unfaithful. He also takes offense at something Agustin said earlier about Kevin being the type of guy Patrick could take home to Mom. Agustin bailson Patrick’s “spiral” and goes to find his bear friends.
Truck of Answers: A woman offering HIV-testing from a vehicle asks Patrick if he wants to get tested, and you can tell he really does. But instead he says no, and tells the woman he likes her shirt instead. Oh, Patrick.
Bar of Bear Hunting: Agustin is wandering through a bearish crowd at a dance club, asking guys if they remember him from last episode. Yes, Agustin, they all still remember how worthless you are. He’s trying to find Eddie, the bear with whom he went skinny dipping, but isn’t having much luck.
Apartment of Unfortunate Googling: Bathed in the cool blue light of his computer screen, Patrick has googled up some of the most heinous skin afflictions ever uploaded. Gross, Patrick! And stop picking at your body!
Lynn’s House of Smooth Jazz: Dom is ignoring Patrick’s phone call as he and Quantum Lynn pour wine. He explains that Patrick fears AIDS due to his skin irritation; Lynn offers a good dermatologist like a sane human being. Dom asks if irrational AIDS panic offends Lynn. Lynn says no. Dom asks if Lynn misses his lover Brian. Lynn says, of course and asks if the guys remembered to turn off the hot water heater, set the alarm and if Dom had sex with anyone. Dom lists various pieces of Lynn’s exquisite foreign-sourced housewares he did not have sex on. Lynn seems genuinely interested to know whether Dom had a good time. Oh, Lynn – don’t you know these boys don’t do genuine?
Bar of Poor Choice Making: Agustin is spacing out at a bar. A guy approaches him; Agustin can’t remember his name but does remember to tell him he looks great. Guy has heard about Agustin’s horrible break-up from his ex; so Agustin lies and says he’s got “a thing going on” with some guys in LA. When he notices Guy ordering water, Agustin gets Guy to offer him some GHB. Guy specifically tells Agustin that the substance does not go well with drinking; so Agustin pretends to be sober and takes a hefty shot of G. CUT TO: Agustin freaking out on the dance floor, shirtless.
Street of Reality Biting: Agustin is passed out, on the street with an oil-stained paper plate resting on his chest – in other words: in his natural habitat. Patrick’s ex, Richie, happens by and attempts to Rouse Sleeping Ugly – even going so far as to inform Agustin that he’s a mess. Agustin starts singing to him in Spanish. Some guy who’d clearly rather be having sex with Richie than dealing with this leans into frame, suggesting: “He’s fine.” Their gal pal wonders if she recognizes Agustin from working at the Chipotle by the mall. Silly girl; Agustin doesn’t work!
Apartment of Self-Torture: Patrick is one the phone with an AIDS hotline. A woman who seems bored with his crap is patiently offering him information about skin conditions and HIV-testing. Patrick says her voice reminds him of a young Angela Lansbury, but they are interrupted by the doorbell.
Doorway of Unexpected Reunions: Richie is at Patrick’s door. Patrick is revving up for a dramatic reunion scene when he notices Agustin passed out on the steps.
Apartment of Awkward Chit-Chat: Richie and Patrick haul Agustin upstairs, and he babbles at them in Spanish. When Patrick asks what it means, Richie won’t tell him (a callback to their communication problems in season one?). They do some small talk about work over coffee. Patrick asks if Richie is seeing anyone but then takes back the question. When Richie asks him the same, Patrick falls all over himself trying to answer because HOW do you explain to your ex that you’re sleeping with your partnered boss? Patrick proposes they do lunch and Richie tries to graciously say no, but Patrick makes that into an awkward mess, too. Get out before he asks you to diagnose his skin irritation, Richie.
Clinic of Shame: At first, Patrick appears to be in a vintage store, but it’s really some kind of clinic. Within moments, he’s spilling to his medical professional that he’d had unprotected sex a few weeks earlier. His new friend in scrubs casually explains that the test checks for the body’s reaction to the virus, similar to the way pregnancy tests work. Patrick makes a spectacularly unfunny joke about being pregnant with HIV and looks like he’s going to throw up.
Office of Flipping Out: Patrick barges into Hot British Kevin’s office babbling about his HIV test. Kevin nervously asks what Patrick’s status is because he doesn’t realize Patrick is just acting out. Please note that it DOESN’T make Patrick feel better when Kevin reveals that he is HIV-negative, but it DOES make him feel better when Kevin reveals that keeping their relationship secret has been giving him migraines. (Priorities, Patrick?) Kevin tells Patrick to call him when he freaks out instead of getting candestine STD tests – then tries to cheer him up by breaking out his boy band dance moves that he promised way back in the beginning of the episode, even though they’re in a glass-walled room where the whole office can see. The dance is oh-so-1990s and pretty adorable. Patrick looks utterly conflicted because he came in spoiling for a fight but will leave, once again, more in love with Hot British Kevin than ever. See you next week, Patrick. Try not to needlessly tie up the AIDS hotline ’til then.
We’ve been waiting a year for these guys. Now that they’re back, are we happy with where they are? Where they’re going? Tell Paul in the comments below! Next Monday morning at 10am, we’ll randomly select one commenter and send them Season 1 on DVD. Official rules are here; just make sure we have a valid email so we can follow up!
Last modified: March 16, 2018