Looking at “Looking”: Season 2, Episode 10

We end with beginnings: Doris and Dom turn over a new leaf, Ag starts a new medication, Eddie unveils a new mural, and Kevin and Patrick start a new living situation.

s2e10 01Our doe-eyed lead kicks things off by doing what he does best: walking wide-eyed into a situation without the knowledge or equipment required to handle it effectively. Today’s microcosm of his childlike nature is the journey from the sidewalk into his apartment. Carrying a box of valuables literally labeled “valuables” in block letters (which is a bad idea when you’re the most muggable person on the planet), he can barely open an unlocked door. The doors on this building, however, do indeed lock. And not with keys: with fobs. But he doesn’t get stuck outside because help is on the way in the form of two slightly sinister neighbors. They fob him in, and then fob him again in the elevator. If that sounds like innuendo, just wait.

Upstairs, Kevin is already unpacking his things. Somehow, Patrick is just now realizing that he has never seen Kevin’s belongings (not counting the sweaters he’s slowly stealing). Things that don’t cause him doubt: bareback sex with his partnered boss in their office. Things that do: a Field of Dreams poster. Priorities, ladies and gentlemen! They drink, discuss sleep numbers, and begin to disrobe when WHOOPS! There’s a knock at the door. The neighbors have impeccable timing, huh? They invite the new tenants to a gathering in their apartment. It conflicts with the party Ag and Eddie are throwing, but they decide to go anyway because Patrick adheres to the time-honored WASP tradition of coldly ignoring his loved ones at Christmas.

s2e10 02Across town, Dom is casually stalking Malik. Which makes sense: we’re talking about a man who’s built like five twinks Voltronned together, wears suits by day and Cher wigs by night, and enjoys rimming his partners. People should be following him in vans like the Grateful Dead. But this meeting isn’t about that, it’s about patching things up with Doris. She’s at home obsessively cleaning and pointedly avoiding any contact with her former best friend, and it’s time to patch things up. Malik is happy to facilitate, because he is the best person ever. This show’s secondary characters are consistently the anchors holding down the bubble-headed leads.

Back at the apartment party, things are getting a little weird. First off, there’s a very Stepford vibe about their attendees, who are whiter, leaner, and more uniform in appearance than grocery store chicken cutlets. Plus, people repeatedly suggest that the already-flirty vibe is about to kick up several notches once everyone’s drunk enough to get in a mistake-making mood. Which Patrick is giggly about (we’ve seen how well he holds his liquor) until one of the hosts accidentally outs Kevin as a current Grindr user. So yeah, party over.

Ag calls to figure out where Patrick is. Patrick is all, “can we make this, like all things, about me for a minute?” and Ag is all, “thanks for supporting this event. Also something about PrEP because we’re being topical now.”

s2e10 03After months of blissfully letting things slide, Patrick is suddenly chock full of questions. Again, for a man who didn’t see any moral ambiguity in a little unprotected workplace bonding, he’s pretty invested in the number of steam room hand jobs Kevin has received. The man cheated. Multiple times. We all knew this. Moving on.

The real catastrophe is when Kevin decides that, in the spirit of honesty, he’d like to discuss right at this moment that he’s not necessarily interested in a monogamous relationship. He could use a lesson from the neighbor couple on timing, because he’s got none. Predictably, Patrick does not take this suggestion well. He spends the rest of the night wandering the halls of the building, lost and fobless, making weird metaphors about how their relationship is a sleep number bed and they’ll always be mismatched mattresses of different toughness levels with different numbers of people sleeping on them. Kevin wants to make it work, and eventually they hit a weak note of compromise, but the wafer-thin veneer of confidence that was holding them together is just about broken.

Dom and Doris at least have a clean, amicable breakup. They’re still friends, but they admit that they were codependent and that they will better support each other if they let go and pursue other people. It’s exactly how I’d want to be dumped by my gay bestie if I were a woman dating a white collar fuckopotomas with a golden tongue.

s2e10 04Sleep does not come easy for Patrick, who deals with it by digging through his box of valuables, which isn’t fragile things like I assumed but reminders of his friends, like pictures and stuff. It’s a sweet moment until he fishes out Richie’s necklace from the first season. Despite the underlying sentimentality of the gesture, I’m really hoping that he’s done fucking with coupled dudes. He’s going to be like Gay Relationship Godzilla soon, stampeding through the city destroying loving connections the way Republicans think we’re going to do to straight people when we get legally married. Rather than a monstrous rampage, he settles for an early morning meeting with his ex that he specifies will involve no talking, just hair removal. I’m sure he’s trying to start fresh by getting a buzz cut, but the truth is that he’s going to look even more like Kevin when he’s done. If we’re lucky, Season 3 will just be Single White Female: The Homosexual Miniseries.