Looking Season 2 Ep. 3 Recap: 'Looking Top To Bottom"

Photo Credit: HBO

When the cat's away, the cheating mice will play, watch rugby together and gently mock the other's self-books. But worst of all, things will feel like they could always be this way.

Like last week's “Looking For Results,” “Looking Top To Bottom,” dangles the possibility of a lasting, legit relationship between Patrick and Kevin in front of us and Patrick, before pulling the rug out with a one early morning phone call.

With its morning sex and bonding over pop culture and certain shared experiences of growing up gay, “Looking For Results” earned comparisons to season one's excellent “Looking For The Future,” as Patrick and Kevin spend much of the day together and got to know each other in much the same way he and Richie did. Of course, the big difference is Kevin has a boyfriend, and their hookup took place in sleazy hotel populated by cum stains, meth heads and bedbugs. However, “Looking Top To Bottom” further raises the stakes for these two by taking them out of the hotels and the woods of Russian River and planting them squarely out in the open.

The episode is great in the way it spins more potential promise and peril out of this turn of events, as Patrick falls deeper into the abyss of the affair while hitting several red flags on the way down. Kevin's boyfriend John is out of town, a development which gives them a chance to do things like go together to Dom's rugby debut and spend the night at Patrick's place. At a stop at a bar, Kevin reveals more details about his childhood, including his complicated relationship with his mother, who left after divorcing his dad, and a fondness for making board games. He also nonchalantly drops the news his Visa expires in two years, and unless he gets married, it's back to Rumford he goes. Patrick internalizes this with his trademark anxiousness, but pushes forward and takes him to the game as planned. Once there, he's reminded of his second-string status when Kevin tells Eddie (the only person besides Richie and John who doesn't know about their affair) he has boyfriend, and reacts by deciding to live out a teenage fantasy, whisking Kevin off for some “under the bleachers” kissing (technically they weren't bleachers, but use you imagination).

When Kevin calls John at the end of episode, Patrick is again confronted with the reality of his situation. Though he's gotten more than a few clues this may not work out, this gut punch lands harder than the others, because it came after a night where he and Kevin didn't hookup in a random hotel, but made love in his home An evening where they didn't exchange post-coital chat on cum-stained sheets, but cuddled fully-clothed on his couch and watched television. But the call is a reminder that as long as Kevin is with John, Patrick will never be able to have all of him, and all of this, all the time.

Dom and Lynn had a minor tiff this week, again involving Dom and his restaurant plans. Lynn arranges a meeting between Dom and Jack, who's opening a new restaurant in Soma, but conveniently leaves out that Jack's only looking for Dom to manage his new place, not to invest in his. Dom runs down he and Jack's meeting over breakfast with Doris and her new beau Malik, during which Lynn tries to subtly suggest (or manipulate, take your pick) him into seeing how managing a restaurant can eventually lead to him owning his own, but is shut down by Dom and Doris' steely twin glare.

Dom learns the truth while showering after the game and confronts Lynn, who, ever the cool cucumber, can't understand why Dom is so upset when he's simply trying to help. Lynn's logic—that Dom becoming a successful restaurant manager could lead to Jack (and presumably others) to invest in his own restaurant—is very practical. However, his puppet master tactics are all wrong. As Dom reminds him, Lynn already took the possibility of the two becoming business partners off the table. And with this latest subterfuge, he's basically told Dom he's not ready to run his own business. As I wrote last week, there's always been a father-son dynamic at work in their relationship; but Lynn's failure in realizing that treating Dom like a child is only going to make Dom push back and tune him out (kinda like, you know, a child) shows a lack of understanding as to who his boyfriend is. Add in Lynn's continued emotional unavailability, and things don't bode well for these guys.

Agustin's finally acting like he's got some damn sense, going down to Richie's bearing food and an apology for being a jerk. Richie reads him for filth before offering an olive branch via shaping up his beard. Later, he makes a date with Eddie to eat ice cream and torrent Romy and Michele (that's Romy and Michele's High School Reunion for the uninitiated), but also blabs to Eddie about Patrick's affair  with Kevin. One step back, two steps forward, so I guess Agustin's winning this week. Then again, almost anything would count as personal growth after passing out high and drunk near a pupusa stand.

Other Thoughts:

--Best “Clutch The Pearls” Moment - the utterly terrified “oh shit” look on Patrick's face when he thinks Kevin is asking him to get married.

--“Does anyone actually know what they're doing? Except for being all porny and 'I want a naked calendar of them on my fridge right now?'”

--“Fuck, I'm naked. Whatever.” Oh Doris.

--I like that the show is calling attention to the, shall we say, Will and Grace-ness of Dom and Doris' friendship via characters like Malik, who reasonably asks why two forty-something—excuse me, fortyish—adults are still playing the roommate game, and Lynn, who complains their apartment is not like college. While the aforementioned sitcom largely played its two leads' super-close, if not codependent, relationship for laughs, such closeness can often stifle chances for romance. Judging by their current states, Dom's relationship may be floundering as Doris' flourishes, and the way this could affect their friendship is ripe with potentially rich material.

--“You know how much I hate the devil children.”

--“I'm more of a self-cleaning oven.”