|Photo Credit: HBO|
So we've come to the end of the road for the second season of Looking. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending how you want to read into the murky final scene—for Patrick, his road has a huge fork in the middle of it. While it checks in on Dom, Doris and Agustin, “Looking for Home” belongs largely to Kevin and Patrick, with a move-in day devolving into an all-night argument that lays bare just how fundamentally different their views are on relationships, love and fidelity.
Though the big fight, like most, starts from something small—Patrick seeing Kevin's active Grindr profile at a very white (as no people of color are present) Christmas party/potential orgy they're invited to by new neighbors Jake and Milo—it doesn't come completely out of nowhere. From going public post-Jon and the dinner with Patrick's mother Dana to now moving in together, these two have been going through their relationship at break-neck speed, despite friends' misgivings (Agustin and Dom think the move is too fast) and judgment from family (Megan). Patrick tells Kevin Dana's decision to, as he put it “implode our family,” has liberated him from the pressure of having something to live up to. However, as“Looking For Home” brilliantly illuminates, it doesn't free him or Kevin from having to have important conversations about what they expect from a relationship.
And as you might have guessed, their views don't exactly mesh. Kevin comes from the “it's just sex, I love you,” school of thought, while Patrick is a student of hard line monogamy. Or, to put it another way, Patrick is a romantic and Kevin's a realist. Despite his breezing past the red flags, it's hard not to feel for Patrick when he says Kevin's revelation will make him wonder what he's up to every time he walks out the door; but at the same time, it's hard not to nod in agreement with Kevin as he cites examples--like their affair, or Patrick sleeping with him while he was with Richie or his initial giddiness at what he later dismisses as the “KKK butt orgy”--that show Patrick isn't as straitlaced as he thinks. There is no right or wrong viewpoint in their argument. It is only a question of whether their viewpoints can co-exist to build a lasting relationship.
After the arguing finally dies down, Patrick slinks out of bed and goes through his boxes, finding the scapular Richie once gave him, and visits his shop the next day. He doesn't make any dramatic gestures, but tells Richie he doesn't to talk, and just wants to stop to looking like a middle-aged lesbian and get a hair cut.
“You ready?” Richie asks, clippers in hand. “I'm ready,” he replies, a look of quiet confidence washing over his face. It's an ambiguous ending. Does Patrick mean he's ready to pursue things with Kevin, despite the obstacles involved, or does he want Richie back? What is clear is that after two seasons of flailing, Patrick now seems to know what he wants in a relationship. The rest of us will have to wait until next year to see what that is.
--Dom and Doris made amends this week, but not in a “you're my bestie, let's move back in together” way. Though each apologizes for individual low blows thrown during their fight, both admit their friendship is dysfunctional, and they need to start living more separate lives. Dom turns down Doris' money, saying he needs to open his restaurant on his own. Unlike the recent past though, his request doesn't come from a bratty, insecure place, but from acknowledging that standing on his own is important for his own personal development. The last shot of Dom standing outside his restaurant, its neon lights shining on him as he sips a celebratory beer, is a small moment of triumph.
--Agustin got the least amount of screen time, but since he and Eddie's story pretty much wrapped up last week, it made sense we wouldn't spend much time with him. That said, the short scene where he, obviously happy and content with Eddie, comforts Patrick over the phone after he discovers Kevin's Grindr profile (while dishing to Eddie he may not need to look a new roommate after all), shows just how far the character has come this season.
--Am I the only who got Flotsam and Jetsam vibes from Jake and Milo? I have expected them to say “Poor, sweet, child,” in unison to Patrick at one point in that opening scene.
--“Who doesn't want to know what other homos are lurking in the shadows?”