|Photo Credit: HBO|
“People get pissed when you keep them waiting.” Richie definitely has a knack for hitting the nail on the head, doesn't he? Last week's “Looking Down The Road,” ended with Patrick and Dom as single men, after a willingness to confront the truth about their relationships with Lynn and Kevin led them to walk away from increasingly toxic situations. “Looking For Truth” continues to explore the concept of honesty, as the episode shows Patrick and Agustin allow themselves to be vulnerable and open to new possibilities, both platonic and romantic.
Part of what makes “Looking For Truth” intriguing, aside the deeper look we get into Richie's world, is the way it teases at conventional romantic comedy twists but flouts them in the name of realism. After Patrick gives Kevin the cold shoulder at a work function celebrating the success of a new game (where there's t-shirt making and beer), Kevin sits alone in his office playing the Top Trump cards he and Patrick bonded over, and calls up John. You assume he's about to do what he couldn't last week--confess his affair and break up with John. A purely dramatic move would be for Kevin to somehow find Patrick, who uses the rest of his work day to help Richie pickup an ice cream truck in his old neighborhood, and make an impassioned plea to take him back, despite the fact he would have no way of knowing where Patrick went after he left the office.
Instead, John comes to the office and Kevin chickens out again (assuming he ever even intended to attempt to tell John this time) and snaps back into doting boyfriend mode. It'd also be easy to have Richie take in the day spent with Patrick--in which he takes Patrick to meet his hilariously blunt cousin Ceci, plays water tag while washing the truck, learns the affair with Kevin is over and receives sincere advice on dealing with his estranged father--and somehow take it as a sign they should get back together. But to go that route ignores the fact his relationship with Patrick has made Richie wary of getting carried with his feelings, especially when it comes to Patrick.
The general good vibes threaten to get squashed when Patrick reveals he and Kevin slept together the night he and Richie broke up. It's genuinely tense moment, as things could go either way. In the end though, Richie decides he wants Patrick in his life, despite his faults. Patrick has made much ado about being friends with Richie, and much of it has felt like a smoke screen for a desire to rekindle their romance. But his willingness to tell the hard, ugly truth and let the chips fall where they may opens a new door for them both, and suddenly the idea of these two being buddies doesn't seem so forced.
Agustin continues to be on his best behavior, bringing Eddie some soup after he visits the shelter and hears he's taken a sick day. Turns out Eddie is playing hooky, so they settle in for a day of toking on joints and dancing. Agustin asks how Eddie contracted HIV, and after some charming shade (is that an oxymoron?) about how he should stop trying to replace Barbara Walters, Eddie says he got the disease serving as a courtesy bottom while high on meth during a dungeon sex party. True to his acerbic style, he pulls the rug from Agustin, and reveals he actually became positive after sleeping with a guy who said he was negative but wasn't. While he was kidding, the fact he got it from having sex with a boyfriend rather than during a drug-fueled orgy fits into the episode's (and Looking's) choice to forgo shock and awe and portray life as it usually happens.
Later, while shaking their aforementioned groove thangs to Cece Peniston's “Finally,” Agustin plants a kiss on Eddie, who playfully punks him again before returning the favor. Even though Eddie made it clear their hookup didn't make them a couple, it doesn't change the fact that, like Patrick, Agustin was willing to put himself out there and risk being rejected. And like his best friend, his risk was rewarded.
--No Dom this week, which was probably for the best. I say this not because I find his story lacking, but between Richie and Patrick, Kevin and John and Agustin and Eddie (who we honestly needed to spend more time with), the episode would have been overstuffed with characters.
--Love that the writers acknowledged the cultural differences between Richie and Patrick and how it impacts their relationships with their families, but ultimately had them connect over the universal desire to be their true selves around the people they love.
--“It's like if the Addams Family had an ice cream truck. And were pedophiles. Although Uncle Fester was definitely a pedophile.”
--Patrick: “I'm sorry, but isn't that a little bit racist?” Ceci: “Which part?” More Ceci please.
-- “You chose John. That's it. End of story. We're both grownups. We don't have to make a big deal about it.” A thick skin looks good on Paddy.