HBO/John P. Johnson.
Can I get a slow clap started for this week's episode of Looking, because, man, the creators nailed it this time around. I do believe this is the first episode that has left me really craving more. (It's a bummer we've only got one more chapter left in the season, but luckily HBO just renewed it for a second.)
Anyhow, where to begin? Ah, yes, family functions. They're totally stressful, and can drag some unwanted skeletons out of the closet, but, for whatever reason, they seem unavoidable. Maybe it's this subconscious yearning for the proverbial womb, but Patrick really let his sister's wedding get the best of him. Let's look past the opening scene of the trio knocking back beers. Richie's freshly shaven beard was a warning sign for the drama to follow en route to the ceremony. Patrick's anxiety over his family meeting Richie must have gone to his head because the clean face felt forced, unnatural, and, honestly, a little disappointing. From the moment we were introduced to Richie on the muni, he's always been the one character with a strong-willed head on his shoulders. He fell short on his most important trademark by changing his appearance for a very new boyfriend's family. (It was no surprise at all when Richie bailed). Patrick's nervous tick of saying "totally" all the time would've gotten on my nerves, too, but, more importantly, I would hate to be used as some kind of prop so my boyfriend could prove to his parents that he's capable of commitment.
In a similar vein, Agustín's passive aggressive commitment issues have gotten himself kicked out by his more-than-giving boyfriend. He's now indebted to a hot hooker and knee-deep in celluloid showing his BF and the hot hooker getting it on for his own art. How... dramatic. He, like all the other characters in this show, have no one else but themselves to blame for their current predicaments.
Dom's restaurant dreams might be coming true (fingers crossed for him, really), but his ego and (ahem) dominating nature is putting unnecessary pressure on his mentor relationship with Lynn. That relationship could be wondrous for Dom, but he's fighting his feelings for Lynn and subsequently driving him farther away from the restaurant and himself.
What these guys need is one big reality check. What that would mean, however, is beyond me. How does one remove a disillusioned veil from their eyes? (Reality checks are nice ideas in theory). Getting kicked out of your boyfriend's apartment might be one, and realizing you're actually getting what you want out of life might be another. But, I really think these "reality checks" come in the form of family.
Now, I understand Patrick's history of not telling his parents anything when it comes to romance. I've never told my family about the boyfriends I've had. And, it's taken me this episode of Looking to understand why. You see, Patrick's fear of his mother's disapproval might be a factor, but it's not the entire reason he was so anxious. He had no right to cast the blame on his mother for Richie not being there. If Patrick really wanted Richie to be there, he wouldn't have freaked out; he would have been over the moon with excitement. Instead, he indirectly pushed Richie away. That passive aggressive "call me if you want" voicemail is all too familiar to me. It was a sad way of going through the motions of forgiveness. His mother, like all mothers, saw right through it. That indescribable maternal instinct always seems to know what's right and what's wrong. Patrick's mom said it herself, she only wants what's best for her son. And, she knows Richie, at the heart of it all, might not be right. Or, maybe he is, but she knows that Patrick isn't all that into it. He's convincing himself that he really loves Richie, and his energy is quickly waning. Admitting that to yourself is probably one of the hardest things to do in life. To say you don't love someone as much as you used to (or ever did) is a bitter pill to swallow. It's the reason why I've never felt the need, despite being out and proud, to tell my family of my past relationships. Patrick has to really look into himself now if he wants to take a lesson away from any of this. What that lesson is, however, is yet to be determined. But it, like, totally exists no matter how far down in rock bottom you are. Hey, if he can't find it there, perhaps eating a bite of his mom's marijuana edible will help him out, too. It certainly helped his mother.