Looking Season 2 Ep. 6 Recap: “Looking For Gordon Freeman”

Photo Credit: HBO

Oh Paddy. Paddy, Paddy, Paddy.  After seemingly starting the process of getting his shit together last week, Patrick spends much, if not all of “Looking For Gordon Freeman,” losing said shit. That his half-hour unraveling plays out over the course of a Halloween night is apt, because Patrick plus alcohol plus a karoke mic equals hella scary.

Then again, his decision to go as Gordon Freeman should have been a clue all was not right. According to Patrick, Freeman--the most popular video game character of all time (I guess he never heard of that slacker Mario)--revolutionized first-person shooters because he blended in so well it made it easier for players to imagine themselves in the action. Um, yeah (and I say that as a pretty accomplished gamer). Agustin's response better hits the psychological mark: “So your idea of a fun gay is a character with so little personality he's basically nothing.” It'd be a stretch to say Patrick has no personality; however, he is someone who cares deeply what others think, to the point where he often suppresses his true feelings in an attempt to project a certain image.

And the image he wants to project in “Looking For Gordon Freeman,” is a totally together fun gay who  throws fantastic Halloween parties. The last bit is true, as everyone appears to be having a good time. Except Patrick that is. True to form, he simply can't relax and enjoy himself, micro-managing the party playlist and karoke sign up sheet and repeating ad nauseum that it's “fun gay party.” What makes the episode both great and so excruciating is watching Patrick slowly but surely dig a hole for himself with practically everyone he encounters. He ignores James, a potential rebound Eddie brings to the party, then drunkenly tries to kiss him after watching Agustin and Eddie and Richie and Brady cuddle. He further embarrasses himself by trying to debate Brady on his upcoming piece on Truvada without even bothering to have read the article.

But the real coup de grace is when he spots Kevin and John all hugged up on the dancefloor. He lights into Kevin for showing up (a fair thing to be upset about; even though he did invite him, it was more as a social gesture), stops the music, grabs the the mike and proceeds to utterly and completely show his ass, summoning his best WASP nice nastiness to throw everyone he cares about under the bus. Taking up an offering for Dom's “chicken window?” Check. Putting Agustin's lack of income and drug exploits on front street? Check. Mocking Richie and Brady's-- or  Patrick calls him, ”the gay Dr. Ruth”--relationship? Well, you get the picture. Things continue to spiral downward until he starts in on Kevin and their affair, as Dom and Agustin prove they're really good friends by snatching the mic away and saving Patrick from himself.

Agustin definitely proves he's turned over a new leaf by sitting with Patrick after his breakdown. The old Agustin probably would've unleashed a vicious passive-aggressive read or let Patrick hang himself by revealing his affair with Kevin. But having been the self-destructive asshole, he sees Patrick is flailing and offers support instead. Kevin comes outside, and Patrick tells him he doesn't he want things to be weird or for him to move back to Seattle. Once John comes out though,  Kevin jumps up from Patrick like he has Ebola and flips back into boyfriend mode. I'm surprised he isn't bleeding to death from the daggers Patrick shoots at him.

“Good luck in Seattle. I hope everything works out the way you want,” he says as Kevin makes a hasty retreat. It's likely their last interaction, and underscores the nature of their relationship; Patrick lays his feelings bare, Kevin appears to be open, but shuts down once John enters the picture. As the party winds down, the remaining guests boogie to a remix of “The Monster Mash,” while Patrick rests in the arms of Dom, a.k.a. He-Man, while Richie stares at him with a look that says “You're incredible,” in both the best and worst sense of the word. Happy Halloween Gordon Freeman.

Other Thoughts:

--Aside from stopping Patrick from completely blowing up his life, Agustin continues to pursue Eddie, who in turn continues to playfully brush off his attempts to take their relationship to the next level. Underneath all the good humor, Eddie is clearly wary of entering into a new romance, and it'll be interesting to see how long he'll hold out, or how patient Agustin will be until he lays down the gauntlet.

--Doris is unsurprisingly freaked out by her relationship with Malik, who has no problem playing the Cher to her Sonny or throwing out the “L” word. For a woman who applies sarcasm like moisturizer, being with a man so emotionally available is understandably going to throw her for a loop. Hopefully she'll heed Dom's advice and let him in.

--Johnathan Groff was on his absolute A-game this whole episode, and his epic meltdown speech was the cherry on top. You knew from the second Patrick climbed on top of that chair and slipped into his “gay voice,” that shit was about to get real.

--“I only believe in three things--that's Rupaul, Hilary Clinton and you kids.”

--“What's not fun and gay about being a Golden Ghoul?”

=Agustin: “You dressin' up tonight?” Eddie: “Does a bottom howl at the moon?”