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MAR
9
6 MOS

'Looking' Recap: Your Heart Is True, You're a Pal and a Confidant

Patrick and company travel down the road and back again in the season finale, where scandal, romance and breakup are all accounted for.

Looking Episode 8 Restaurant Still - H 2014
HBO

[Warning: spoilers ahead for this week's season finale of Looking, "Looking Glass."]

What we learn by the end of Looking's season finale, "Looking Glass," is that the show really is, after all, about friendship. But then again, we already knew that all along, starting with the premise: three gay friends living in San Francisco. This episode, however, really drives it home. Even while their lives are in all sort of disarray, at the end of the day Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) still snuggle up to an episode of The Golden Girls (OK, Agustin is already passed out in bed when Patrick joins, but you get the point). They can revert back to "the good old days before all the boyfriends," as Agustin puts it.

Agustin is upset because he and Frank (O-T Fagbenle) are over. Frank kicks him to the curb, and he spends half the episode drugged up on prescription meds to numb the breakup. It's also the reason he ends up back at his old apartment in Patrick's bed. The final fight that ends it captures the identity crisis we've watched Agustin spiral through this season. "I've been the worst f--king boyfriend to you, and all you've been is supportive," he says to Frank. Well, he's got that right. Frank responds: "You don't know what you've been because you don't know who the f--k you are." He also attacks Agustin's art, saying he'll never follow through, and if he does it'll be mediocre at best. He's probably right, and season two will likely see Agustin taking a whole new direction with his career choices.

There's no doubt Agustin has gotten pretty nasty this season, toward both his now ex-boyfriend Frank and still best friend Patrick. The latter is able to endure because they've known each other longer, and they can call each other out on their bullshit, as Jonathan Groff noted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Agustin will always still see Patrick as his darling Rose.

At the start of the episode, Patrick tries to make nice with Richie (Raul Castillo), pulling a stalker move and showing up at his barbershop while he's working. Richie remains cold and unresponsive. "If I didn't pick up, it's because I don't want to talk."

Dom (Murray Bartlett) is also getting cold-shouldered by Lynn (Scott Bakula) early on when Dom leaves a voicemail about a flower delivery for the pop-up restaurant's opening that night. "I'm seeing you tonight, right?" he asks.

STORY: 'Looking' Renewed for Second Season at HBO

On their rooftop at work, Kevin (Russell Tovey) confronts Patrick about the kiss. He over-explains himself to the point of suspicion, while Patrick adamantly reminds him he doesn't have to say a thing about it, that it's in the past. Kevin continues anyway, noting he doesn't want to make things weird between them and that he likes what they have going on. What that is, exactly, in Kevin's mind is a personal boyfriend back home and Patrick as the secondary work boyfriend.

The boys convene at Dom's restaurant where Agustin tells Patrick it's probably over between him and Richie (the cynicism sure doesn't fade) while announcing he's officially single. "Another gay man in my future. Good," says Doris (Lauren Weedman), who's playing hostess for the evening. The guest of honor Lynn arrives but not without a bearded leather-clad man in tow, which immediately sets off the jealousy alarm for Dom.

Proving Doris really is a good friend to Dom, she pulls Lynn aside for a moment. "He can be a little hot-headed, but he's no dummy," she tells him. "Dom's worth it."

While Patrick tries to avoid the incessant texts and calls from Kevin, Agustin brashly steals his phone and answers for him. Kevin wants Patrick to come into work, and late at night to boot. The situation stinks of scandalous intentions, but whether it's Patrick being naive or choosing to be naive, he decides to go into work. When Patrick shows up, Kevin is cracking open a beer and telling him he figured out the problem. "Then what am I doing here?" Patrick asks. Kevin still wants to clear up everything with the kiss, but it's more than that.

"Do you know how much effort it takes to be around you every day?" Kevin tells Patrick, closing in on him. "It takes all my willpower to not lunge and kiss the f--king shit out of you, and I can't seem to stop thinking about you, and it's becoming a real f--king problem."

Kevin dives in, gets one resisting pushback from Patrick, but that's it. Next thing we know, they're going at it, and it's such a moment of released sexual tension. As viewers, we're applauding, shouting "finally!" in our heads, but as Patrick's subconscious, it's worrisome what this means for Richie. "Are you sure you want me to?" Kevin asks, before getting to business.

STORY: Jonathan Groff on 'Looking' Season Finale, and 'Let It Go' as the Ultimate Earworm (Q&A)

"So now what?" Patrick asks afterward, readjusting the scapular around his neck. "I don't know, Patrick." In two quick lines, the moment of satisfaction, of confusion, of troubled waters ahead, it's all on display. Kevin probably isn't kidding when he hints at having no inkling as to what's next for him and Patrick. Maybe the answer is nothing. Maybe now that he was finally able to have Patrick and take care of whatever that was brewing up inside him, maybe now it'll pass, and they can officially remain coworkers. But that's also not as fun.

Back at the restaurant, Dom so sweetly reveals his feelings for Lynn, not wanting this pop-up to be the end of whatever relationship (working or otherwise) they have. Dom plants yet another kiss, and this one lands better than his last.

Richie emerges in the middle of the night, as if drawn by the siren song of Patrick and Kevin just having had sex. Richie explains to him he thinks they took things too fast, how he gets really worked up when he feels disrespected by someone he cares about and that he knows Patrick isn't one hundred percent OK with where Richie is from, as hard as he tries. "I am this close to falling in love with you, but I'm not going to do that to myself if you're not ready, and I don't think you're ready," he tells a tearing up Patrick.

The fact is, Patrick isn't ready, certainly not after the events of Kevin, and it shows how perceptive and smart Richie is to notice that right away before going in further and getting himself hurt.

Everything is in flux romantically, but at least there are your friends. This brings us back to Patrick's apartment, a sleeping Agustin and the glow of a laptop playing The Golden Girls. Just as Dorothy says, "I have compassionate friends around me," we're left to the credits and the classic show's theme song. Until season two.

Email: brandon.kirby@thr.com
Twitter: @bkkirby