'Looking' Recap: Patrick Suffers More Dating Woes
Jonathan Groff's Patrick trumps his previous awkward date and Dom tackles his past in the HBO dramedy's second episode.
Domesticating, circumcision and Refresh tea -- all points of debate in Looking's second episode, "Looking for Uncut," written and directed by Andrew Haigh.
While Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Dom (Murray Bartlett) are packing up the car to send off Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) to Oakland, Patrick reveals his meeting with Richie (Raul Castillo) at the end of last Sunday's episode. Upon hearing Richie is Latino, Agustin jokes that he's likely uncut. "You make it sound like I should take an evening course," Patrick quips back.
Agustin also reveals his three-way with boyfriend Frank (O.T. Fagbenle), much to the surprise of Patrick (less so for Dom). They talk open relationships versus cheating over a shared cupcake, naturally, and leave Agustin to his Oakland basement apartment. But not before parting words from Patrick in the form of The Golden Girls theme song, which begs the question: is Patrick the Rose of the group?
Dom meets up with his "so L.A." ex-boyfriend, Ethan (Derek Ray), who's working in high-end real estate and ordering Refresh teas from Starbucks. "Somebody's going to get a neck-punch. That is so annoying to me," roommate Doris (Lauren Weedman) later bemoans to Dom.
Dom is blindsided by Ethan's niceties and wanting to start over and be friends; he also notes that last time they spoke, Dom was a waiter at local restaurant favorite Zuni and wanted to open his own restaurant. "So what are you up to now?" he asks. Dom is silent.
Taking a cue from Girls' Hannah Horvath, who in season one Googled "what about the stuff that builds up around the sides of condoms," Patrick Googles a similarly sexually awkward thing: "uncut Latin cocks."
Perhaps it was Richie's forwardness on the Muni, but Patrick goes into his first date misconstruing exactly what Richie wants out of him. He downs beer, eagerly suggests they go back to his place and all around, yet again, gives a guy the wrong impression. "My friends think I'm this boy from Colorado fresh off the bus and I'm not that guy," he tells Richie. "I have had sex before. I can do it. I could do it right now in the toilet!"
Meanwhile, the domesticated Agustin watches RuPaul's Drag Race with Frank back in Oakland and the frustrated Dom cruises Grindr (what would a gay show be without a reference to this app?) for a quick and dirty hookup.
The true reason behind Dom's desire to reconnect with Ethan is the exorbitant amount of money he lent him, the money he was too shy to ask for during their first meeting. There's clearly a history of Dom getting walked all over by Ethan; turns out he lent him $8,000 when they were together to get sober from his meth addiction. Ethan has the nerve to retort, "You made that choice, didn't you?"
We'll likely never see Ethan again, but this exchange works as a device for Dom to let go, move forward and maybe even open that restaurant. Though he doesn't get the money from his ex, he at least gets to properly tell him off, though it lands with an unsatisfying thud.
Back at Patrick's apartment, a drunk Patrick gets all up in Richie's business, gets down to business and then pauses. "Oh," he mutters. "I just thought maybe you'd be uncut." Richie gets weirded out, as he should. Patrick backpedals, but it's too late.
Groff, in an interview with Indiewire, made an important note about this scene: "When you're watching, it's not 'Oh look, it's two men in bed taking their clothes off.' You're like, 'Oh, god, Patrick, what are you doing? This is so awkward!' " Awkward is right.
The next line uttered by Richie cuts to the core what Looking likely strives to be all about: "You know what, I think we're looking for different things."
We leave with Patrick alone lamenting to Agustin over the phone, not to mention shoveling in spoonfuls of mac and cheese -- I mean, kale salad.