HBO News Blog

HBO Looking Episode 6 Review: “Looking in the Mirror”

By Eleonora Iafano on Feb 28, 2014 to HBO News, Looking

Things take an awkward turn for Dom, Augustin and for Richie. Every relationship – from the start or while in the middle of a long term one – has dry spells, awkward pauses or a whole lot of confusion. There was plenty of confusion and mixed signals to around for everyone this episode.

 

Patrick attempts to define his relationship with Richie by accidentally calling him his ‘boyfriend’ and experiences some nervous pangs about the prospect of introducing Richie to his friends. Although, I’m not convinced it was an accident. I think that Patrick likes to use the word. He likes the idea of what having a boyfriend means: status, a real relationship and someone to impress upon his friends. However, Patrick seems to have a lot of anxiety about Richie meeting all his friends and to me, that signals that either he is just plain nervous, as anyone would be when introducing their better half to friends for the first time OR that perhaps, he really isn’t sure about this relationship and where it’s going. Richie gave Patrick a necklace, as a token of his affection. Patrick, it seems, is trying too hard to make an impression on his friends that he is in a relationship.

Agustin feels unfulfilled and is not happy with his artwork. He and his boyfriend go shopping for food where Agustin continues to be sombre. I don’t know what annoyed me more – the fact that Agustin was acting petulant or the fact that he cannot see that his ‘working relationship’ with CJ is becoming an obsession. While they are shopping for snacks, Frank says to purchase Cheetos, because they are fabulous. That gave me a good laugh.

Dom is clearly not happy about turning 40. He is fighting against time and the laws of nature throughout the episode. He cannot accept the fact that he is turning 40. I say, deal with it and act like an adult already. Time marches on. The sooner you accept and embrace that fact, the better off you’ll be. Unfortunately, Dom pouts and sulks to Lynn. Prior to the sulking, he is introduced to friends of Lynn’s, potential investors interested in financing a solid proposal, if Dom can convince them of his business proposals and stop putting his foot in his mouth.

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Dom’s roommate Doris arranges a small get together at a park the following day. This is where things get super awkward. Patrick introduces Richie to Frank and Augustin. Frank seemed happy but Augustin, well, his attitude was transparent. He felt that Patrick was trying too hard to prove something (which he later discloses to Patrick). Two more people join, some guy that Patrick works with, who brings his girlfriend. There’s nothing like a nice Saturday afternoon in the park with friends. The birthday boy and Doris join the crowd. While the friends all have a good laugh at Patrick’s expense (teasing him about his voicemail), Patrick gets quite dramatic and imitates himself as being super effeminate. And guess who just happens to see that exchange – Kevin, his boss. Kevin is not alone – his boyfriend Jon has permanently moved to San Francisco. Richie wanders over and Patrick introduces him. The conversation takes a weird tone when Richie’s occupation is brought up – he is a hairdresser. Patrick chimes in that eventually Richie is going to have his own salon. You get the impression that Richie is not happy at Patrick’s assumptions and again, Patrick is putting on airs.

Oh, hey! Surprise! CJ joins the party. I had a feeling that something was going to go down between CJ and Frank. You just knew that when a third party is introduced at a party and when that third party just happens to be a sex trade worker who seems open to pretty much anything, well, it’s a recipe for disaster. Or, it could be something new to try out. It all depends on who you are and what you think is right or wrong.

Things take a turn for the snide when Patrick and Agustin have an exchange of words and Agustin implies that Patrick is only with Richie because he is “slumming” – which is a pretty demeaning thing to say about anyone. What makes this exchange worse is Richie overhears the whole thing and does not appreciate it. He stands up for himself and puts Agustin in his place. You sense Patrick quickly becoming anxious and he intervenes in order to avoid a physical altercation between Richie and Agustin. While things aren’t looking good for Agustin, he is being very rude and immature and taking it out on Patrick. Richie and Patrick end up almost having a fight over the whole exchange with Agustin and I don’t blame Richie for feeling upset.

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Getting back to CJ, Frank and Agustin, well, things take a turn for the weird because the three of them go back to Frank and Agustin’s place. Except what was supposed to be a fun time between all three of them (with the use of a video camera) quickly turns into a party of two – and Agustin is excluded. Not the ending that Agustin imagined. I think due to his brooding and snide attitude of late, it more or less served him right.

Dom and Lynn discuss the possibility of going into business together and Dom attempts to make the first move on Lynn. Not a good idea. Lynn refuses him, stating it is tough enough to go into business with someone. It doesn’t make sense to complicate matters further by being romantically involved. Birthday bomb, indeed. Ouch.

Richie and Patrick walk home and talk. Richie is not happy with Patrick and he is being treated. Before the episode ends, you see Patrick in the bathroom, brushing his teeth. He stares at his reflection. He stares at the necklace that Richie gave him. He just stares. Is he thinking that perhaps Agustin is right? Is Patrick leading Richie on? Is Patrick being honest with himself? What about Kevin?

They don’t call this series “Looking” for nothing.

 










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