Sunday, March 9, 2014

REVIEW: 'Looking' - Dom's Pop-Up Restaurant is a Success While Patrick Finds Himself in a Love Triangle in 'Looking Glass'

HBO's Looking - Episode 1.08 Looking Glass

Patrick looks to mend fences after Richie's abrupt exit the previous day; Frank tells Agustín what he really thinks about their relationship and his art; and Patrick and Agustín join Dom at the opening of his restaurant pop-up, where he is surprised by Lynn's choice of guest.

Looking ends its wonderful first season with an episode that feels "unfinished." A lot of big plot points happen in "Looking Glass." Agustín and Frank break up some more, Dom kisses Lynn, Agustín moves back in with Patrick, Patrick has sex with Kevin at the office and then Richie shows up at his door saying Patrick's not ready for an intimate relationship. The episode rarely shows the fallout of said events. We don't see Lynn's reaction to being kissed except that there's more kissing between them. The love triangle created between Patrick, Kevin and Richie leaves so much up-in-the-air. What does this mean for Patrick and Kevin? Do they try a relationship because they have an animalistic attraction to one another? If not, how does it change their working relationship? With Richie, does his episode ending speech mean that their relationship is over? Or is that Patrick is the one who needs space now, with Richie waiting with open arms later?

That's a lot of plot but it never feels like the finale is overstuffed with things happening. Even better is that everything that did happen felt organic and rewarding to the seven episodes that preceded it. The unfinished quality in this episode is on purpose because this truly does feel like the first act of the journey that Patrick, Dom and Agustín are on. They are all searching to define themselves as well as the people who will make them the best version of that.

I would love it if Patrick and Richie were always in the universe they were in in "Looking for the Future." But that's a false ideal. Relationships are messy and complicated. These last three episodes highlighted that so very well. Patrick has this great love for Richie and wants the world to know about it. And yet, that fast-paced nature is the very thing that threatens them being together. They each need a bit of soul-searching in order to see if this is what's really right for them. It just so happened that during that time Kevin popped up as a provoker of sexual desires. The man Patrick desired but could not have because Kevin had a boyfriend. They ignite in the finale. They kiss and have sex just to get that sexual tension out of the air. It's been done. There's no going back to how they used to be. It's a complicated and messy situation that Patrick finds himself in. One that will require him to understand what he truly wants if he is going to pick between the two.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Looking Glass" was written by Michael Lannan & Tanya Saracho and directed by Andrew Haigh.
  • I guess Patrick no longer has bottom shame.
  • I loved the way O.T. Fagbenle played that breakup scene. Frank doesn't say those things out of anger or malice. He says them because he is so over everything and sees Agustín for who he truly is, which is nothing.
  • This was also the first instance where the Patrick-Agustín friendship felt mutually beneficial. Agustín still isn't that good of a person but he's also hitting rock bottom and Patrick really is there for him.
  • So happy that Dom's pop-up restaurant was a success. He was freaking out that it wouldn't all come together and it did. Can't wait to see what the investors thought of it.
  • Doris: "Did you see that slab of hotness who's with him?" Dom: "He's not that hot. He's kinda smarmy."
  • Patrick: "I should be suing him for harassment anyway. He's my fricking boss." Such a valid point.
  • Are you Team Richie or Team Kevin? I'm Team Richie. On to season 2!