Halloween is a distant memory for most of us, but it’s an imminent reality for the tumultuous trio. And like any TV show featuring the spookiest of all holidays, Looking delves into the genre of horror this week. Except instead of grisly murder or suspenseful secrets, they pull out all the stops in an emotional bloodbath.
Things start off simply, with Dom, Ag and Pat arguing over their costumes. The scene is light, but it’s a good reminder that these three are actually friends. While I enjoy the depth of their separate storylines, I’m always happy to be reminded that sometimes they just meander around together and make silly jokes. It’s been a while since they’ve had that opportunity.
When Ag has to bail, there’s a weird moment where Dom and Pat acknowledge that he used to be horrible and is still not that great. To all the people asking, “why would anyone be friends with Ag?” you can take solace in the fact that the characters might not be entirely sure themselves. But since our favorite bearded deviant has shirked his plate-buying duties, Pat has to go to the office to steal some. Because, you know, that’s the only possible place in San Francisco where a person could reasonably come by something as rare and precious as paper flatware.
And of course while he’s there he just has to talk to Kevin. Bossman Cheaterpants is in an understandably iffy place, feelings-wise, but has made the call to move back to Seattle with his boyfriend. For some reason, Patrick feels like he has a say in this, and suggests that the move maybe not happen because, like, what about my needs? It’s a decidedly dodgy move given how he treated Kevin at last week’s office celebration, but don’t worry, he’s just getting started.
After a little drama of who’s-doing-couples-costumes-with-who, everyone gets dolled up and heads to the party and the awkward gets turned right up to twelve. First off, even though Patrick’s Gordon Freeman costume is actually really good, no one gets it. (Though Ag has no right to throw shade since all he did was drape himself in cosplay wigs.) Dom, who presumably still doesn’t like to be called Daddy, shows up in a harness to play He-Man. Whoever thought of that: thank you. We all needed it very badly.
But then the guest list gets a little more complicated. Doris and Malik make an insane Sonny and Cher, but the insinuation of love and marriage has our favorite lady nurse ready to bolt for the door. Turns out they’ve become a proper couple since last time we saw them. Presumably if the show were an hour long, we wouldn’t have to play so much connect-the-dots with the minor characters. Next, Richie and the Ginger arrive in adorably casual Where the Wild Things Are costumes and proceed to be adorably casual with each other. Great for them, but bad for our host.
Since Eddie is never not the best person in the room, he shows up dressed as Bilbo Baggins with a sexy Legolas in tow. He is overt in attempting to set Patrick up with this guy, but the elf is out of luck because Patty’s already selected his date for the evening: ALL THE VODKA. All of it. His only goals tonight are to inflict himself on Richie and tell everyone about the karaoke sign-up sheet ten times each. Emboldened by the booze, he proceeds to destroy a perfectly nice conversation among his friends and their dates about PrEP. Uncalled for, dude! We finally had PrEP being discussed on TV, don’t ruin it for us! Go ruin something else, like your chances with the guy Eddie brought over.
Pat, perhaps mistaking one of Legolas’ braids for implied consent, tries to get a make-out session going on the dance floor. You can’t pull that shit with an archer, though, because you will get shot down. For most people, this would be a low point. But most people don’t invite their partnered boss fuckbuddy to their house party, so we’re nowhere near done yet. Yes, Kevin shows up with Jon right behind him and everything’s about to get very real.
I believe it was Chekov who said that a karaoke machine that gets plugged in during the first act has to be used to hurt multiple close friends during the third act. Fulfilling this prophecy, Patrick puts on his “Season 1 Agustin” costume and gives a long, embarrassing, thoroughly inebriated speech to the helpless crowd. To Dom, he offers a dismissive message about the restaurant that clearly shows how little he believes in its potential. To Ag, he provides a stinging “joke” about the rent that’s not getting paid. To Richie, he deals a low blow about his boyfriend’s choice to take Truvada. And to Kevin, he offers a suspicious story about being alone in the office that finally convinces the onlookers to pull the plug on this unsightly meltdown.
For some reason, Kevin thinks he should have a chat with Patrick right now. They’re all lovey-dovey in a way that they should know is wrong because everyone is telling them it’s wrong. Like, in the moment, as it’s taking place, they are getting clear signals not to do this. Ag tries to prevent the conversation from even happening, and Jon swoops in to stop it almost immediately. Boyfriend’s no fool (despite the literal jester’s hat), he knows something’s up.
We end with everyone’s relationships in various states of disarray. Ag clearly wants more from Eddie, who is unwilling to go there. Malik really wants more from Doris, who seems to want more also but is afraid to give it. Dom is alone on the couch even though he is a kind, hot, single, shirtless, emotionally stable top at a gay Halloween party. Patrick has earned some amount of alienation from pretty much everyone he invited tonight. The exception to this trend is Richie, who makes a clean escape and remains a good man dancing with another good man. My theory? He and his date survived the carnage because they were the only ones in comfortable costumes. Let that be a lesson to you next October, readers.