|Photo Credit: HBO|
“Once it was so right, when we were at our high,” Amy Winehouse once sang. And after the events of “Looking Down The Road,” Patrick and Dom would probably be down for singing backup if the late great diva were still alive, as both men find themselves at an impasse with their respective partners and choose to walk away.
“Looking Down The Road” picks up right where its predecessor “Looking Top To Bottom,” left off, with Patrick sitting down at the kitchen table as a undie-clad Kevin puts the finishing touches on a traditional English breakfast. After indulging in some de rigueur fretting about gaining weight, Patrick brings up the phone call Kevin took from John the night before. Kevin assures him he and John don't have they what they have, but Patrick doesn't seem completely convinced. His fears aren't unfounded; so far, Kevin has appeared to be adept at being both the dutiful boyfriend and suave cheater, and such compartmentalization usually doesn't go with confronting difficult situations head-on.
However, Kevin's veneer of charm cracks after Patrick sees him and John at a farmer's market and hits him with some hard truths; the most stinging being that Kevin has a life with John, one Patrick is simply stealing moments from while fantasizing about building their own life together. Russell Tovey conveys his character's inner turmoil perfectly, in way that instantly makes you realize this affair is taking just as much of a toil on him as it is on Patrick. He's just done a better job of hiding it. But Patrick's moment of vulnerability pushes him to promise to tell John the truth.
In the midst of all this drama, Richie is still in the picture. Patrick clearly still wants him, despite his proclamations of just wanting to be friends, making a big deal about going to Esta Noche, a landmark gay bar that is closing (and is now closed in real life, unfortunately). That said, talking about his affair with Kevin is certainly something you'd do with a friend, not an ex you're trying to get back with. Then again, Patrick confessed his secret after Richie revealed he was dating someone, so make of that what you will.
“You never wanna be in deeper than the person you're with,” Richie says at one point, which, while an apt piece of advice for Patrick's current predicament, also says something about how he approaches relationships, or at least how he approaches them post-Patrick. Later, at Esta Noche, Patrick tries to put on his best “let's be friends” face, but there he is, making googly eyes at Richie while his new boyfriend Brady chats it up with Agustin and Eddie. A distraught Kevin eventually arrives, but doesn't have good news; he chickened out of telling John, and starts giving excuses as to why—that John uprooted his life to move to San Francisco, that he has no idea any of this has been going on, and so on. It all screams “I'm not ready to do this,” and with that, Patrick's out the door, walking off to who knows where to let his tears dry on their own.
Things between Lynn and Dom came to a head this week as well. It's been a complicated dance between these two, what with Lynn playing reserved father figure and Dom trying to assert himself and break down Lynn's walls. Dom comes over to his house to find Matt (whom we met at Dom's rugby debut last episode) naked and yukking it up with Lynn in his hot tub. Dom is thrown, but quickly gets his bearings and makes a move on Matt. The whole thing had the feel of a power play, a subtle way of pushing Dom further away (though there are worst ways of doing this than inviting a hairy, muscle-bound dude over for hot tub sexy time. Just sayin'). Dom confronts Lynn about the tightly controlled, “measured” nature of their relationship, to which Lynn basically responds with “I told you from the jump I was an emotionally unavailable cipher, so what's the problem?”
As far as Lynn is concerned, Brian was the love of his life, and now that he's gone, the possibility he'll find another is gone as well. He's taken himself out of the game, and feels the best he can offer Dom, or any other man, is a home on the river, the freedom to sleep around and the hope they'll find their own great loves—but it won't be him. It's a great scene, and confirms the reason for much of Lynn's behavior. However, I didn't feel much empathy for Lynn as he explained all of this. Of course, we're likely supposed to feel more sympathetic towards Dom and him realizing he was essentially falling in love by himself. But it would've been nice if Lynn could have shown a little emotion when talking about Brian. Then again, maybe that was the point; that that part of him has been closed off for so long, he can't summon any genuine feeling about it. Either way, things appear to be over, allowing Dom to focus all his attention on his restaurant.
Agustin continues to crawl out of the hole he dug for himself last season, accompanying Eddie to the shelter where he works, sitting in on a session with transgender kids and eventually getting a job there. He's being a supportive friend to Patrick, not drugging and drinking himself into a stupor, finding meaningful work to take part in and opening himself up to a relationship. Not for nothing, but it's saying something when Agustin has the best romantic prospects.
--“Queer Jimmy Olsen. That I love.”
--Trans kid: ”So, are you queer?” Agustin: “No, I'm gay.”
--“My sister Meghan was the worst. She called me Fat Fat Frog.” My brother called me Chunky Monkey, so there you go.
--Who else hopes Doris and Dom get around to securing Kickstarter funds for their story of a young gay trick's journey and the hag who loved him?
--Does the fact that Richie's new boyfriend is a ginger named Brady make anyone else think of Steve and Miranda Hobbs' kid from Sex And The City?