Looking – Episode 4 – Review

Nick Gomez

From a young age I've constantly been reading, writing, drawing and generally creating stories, worlds and characters for fun. This led to a degree in English Literature and Language at University. A passion for writing, especially about my own experiences, and ideas that pop into my head help me to understand myself and the world around me.
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Looking for $220/hour is the fourth episode to grace our screens and we’re treated this week to the sight of Jonathan Groff in leather. Thank you Looking, thank you. It’s bittersweet to then realize that we have hit the half way point in the series already! Still, plenty to come.

This week’s installment takes place on a not-so-lazy Sunday around a leather street fair. Instead of joining his friends, Patrick opts to put in some extra time at the office; aka one-on-one time with Kevin. The flirtation is non-stop between these two. In the last episode it seemed like Kevin was keeping his distance but he has since warmed and found a kinship with Patrick.

Taking a break from rendering; or whatever it is they were doing, they browse the festivities outside and come to the conclusion that it is not the sort of thing you’d want to take your grandmother to, ‘unless you want to see her on a Catherine wheel being electrocuted’. Oh, the imagery… That thought is quickly replaced by the suggestion that Patrick just might have a pair of assless chaps in his wardrobe.

Their conversation then turns to Kevin’s boyfriend and the inevitable truth that long distance relationships with someone who doesn’t share an understanding of the intricacies; or even basics it seems, of your job can rather put some pressure on that relationship. Kevin makes a very interesting point about how being away from a partner for a long time means getting used to them ‘all over again’ when they are around. I think this is the same with any relationship, it’s to gloss over the little things that annoy you when you’re looking back, only to realize them all over again.

Meanwhile, Agustín the Obnoxious has dressed in everything he could find that’s black and is wandering the fair with Doris, *cue cheering*, and their friend Hugo. He tries to convince Patrick to join them, which he does decide to do once Kevin makes a speedy exit to pick up his boyfriend from the airport. When he gets to them, through the crowds of half naked leather-clad people, Patrick is dragged to a shop to get leathered up. Each of the gang dons a signature piece. Shorts for Hugo, a corset for Doris and the cutest leather waistcoat I’ve ever laid eyes on for Patrick. Never did black leather look so appealing.

Later, Agustín and Patrick go to meet CJ; the supremely confident prostitute. Whereas CJ had seemed a little charming in the coffee shop last episode, his arrogance comes across is vaster swathes this time. He barely remembers Agustín, though that seems largely to the lack of frosting in his beard. Patrick’s response, ‘you must say that to all the boys’. He probably does.

Agustín’s desperation and eager to please-ness is frankly pathetic. His attempts to flirt with the hollow CJ are cringe worthy. In the end, Agustín is allowed to hire CJ for his regular rate of $220 per hour. They do say that art is worth what you’re willing to pay for it.

Across town, Dom is roaming through his own side story. He is continuing to try to make his dream of opening a peri-peri chicken restaurant come true and so goes to Bud’s in hopes of finding his new friend, Lynn. Scott Bakula is brilliant once again, he’s a wise older man who doesn’t mince his words or get too carried away. That being said, when Dom invites him to lunch they end up in an awkward limbo of is it/ isn’t it a date. In all honesty, I thought and hoped it was. I could definitely see those two together. But staying true to character, Dom clears that up quickly. As we’ve seen before, Dom seeks out youth in every way he can so I’m hopeful that Lynn will open him up to new possibilities rather than so clearly rejected.

Returning to the street party, Patrick, Agustín, Doris and Hank end up popping into Patrick’s office. Under the impression that Patrick’s boss won’t be back that day, they get comfortable playing video games while Agustín relieves himself; due to compromising his years of vegetarianism in the name of flirting with CJ.

Conversation turns to Patrick and Kevin, here Agustín makes a good point. He tells Patrick that by continuing to lust after Kevin he’s essentially being the things Kevin needs from his actual boyfriend without actually being his boyfriend. When Kevin then shows up, the gang swiftly disembarks leaving Patrick behind. Kevin suggests getting some food, specifically the things his boyfriend wouldn’t let him have. Patrick catches himself from appearing too keen and realizes that Agustín is right. He excuses himself; much to Kevin’s disappointment, and rejoins his friends, along with Frank, at club Stud.

Agustín then lies to Frank about hiring CJ while Patrick goes from glee to glum in two seconds flat. He spots, across the crowded room, Richie. With some encouragement from Frank to ‘go fetch’, he cautiously wanders over to speak to him. His endearingly adorable apology for the confusion earns him another chance with Richie and we cut away just before they kiss. 

A lot seemed to happen during this episode even though it took place on one single day. The leather fair setting allowed for touches of humor amongst the very real ups and downs of the various relationships between our characters. Very much looking forward to episode five of Looking where I am fully expecting to find Patrick and Richie properly dating.

Quote of the episode from Doris (sarcastically) to Hank:

‘Oh don’t tell me you you’re a 40 year old career bartender whose also into video games! Oh my god Hugo, how are you still single?!’ The shade of it all.

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