This episode examined relationships. More explicitly, what the characters Dom, Augustin and Patrick perceive what relationships should be. This is my first encounter with the HBO series “Looking” and as a heterosexual woman, I can relate to the fact that whether you are straight or gay, when you are looking for a relationship, they can be fleeting, tricky, painful or downright awkward. I had to wade few a few frogs before I finally found my Prince Charming. The men in “Looking” are probably going to go through the same motions.
Patrick seems to be pretty level headed – he enjoys his job and the perks of having an attractive boss don’t hurt, either. However, the saying “Don’t mix business with pleasure” is around for a reason. They talk, Patrick asks Kevin about his relationship and finds out Kevin has been in a serious relationship for 2 years, albeit a long distance one at that. Hm. I definitely got the impression that there was an underlying current of attraction the two.
While Patrick is working with Kevin – on a Sunday, no less – there is a street festival going on called the “Folsom Street Fair.” It would be the equivalent to what we have here in Toronto, Ontario – known as the Gay Pride Parade. Kevin doesn’t go, as he has to pick up his boyfriend, which leave Kevin alone with his work and his thoughts. His solitude is soon shattered – Augustin and Doris call him from the festival, inviting him to tag along. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, so why not? They wander around, taking in the sights and smells. Augustin is drawn to the sex worker that he met last episode. He speaks with CJ and ends up eating a piece of meat while having lunch with him. Patrick takes this in and tries to rationalize with Augustin, who seems flighty and self-absorbed.
Augustin, being the artist he is, is all excited about the possibility of filming CJ, while he is ‘working.’ That prospect makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m not so sure that I would want a camera crew following my every waking moment. However, there’s something else there that Augustin is being aloof about. Patrick tells him that it’s not the greatest idea. After all, he’s in a relationship with someone else, so why go borrowing trouble by following around a man that you met, whom you know is a ‘rent boy’ and you just know that temptation seems to be knocking on Augustin’s door. I don’t really like the flippant way Augustin comes across, but maybe it’s just me. I wouldn’t go courting trouble, but perhaps I know better. After wandering around the festival for a while, Augustin ends up with stomach cramps and cannot afford to wait in line for the bathroom. They end up going back to Kevin’s office. Once they are inside, Augustin speaks to Patrick and chides him for his infatuation with the boss, saying it’s all very well to be able to flirt with him at work, but Kevin ends up going home to his boyfriend. Patrick can try to deny it all he wants, but it is so painfully obvious to everyone else that he is enamored of Kevin.
Dom was supposed to join Patrick, Augustin and Doris at the festival, however, he just happens to visit a floral shop called ‘Buds.’ Guess who works there? Lynn, the man he met at the bathhouse. I actually find Dom to be very attractive but it seems to me that he is a bit disorganized, not on a firm path. He also has dreams of wanting to open his own restaurant and explains this to Lynn while they go out for lunch. Was it just lunch, or was it a date? Lynn really pulls his leg when he starts asking him, “What is this?” Dom just stands there and it was awkward. I felt awkward for him. From what I saw of Dom, he is frustrated and wants to move on and be taken seriously with this restaurant business. Lynn responds by telling Dom that if he puts together a serious business proposal, he will take a look at it. Do I sense another ‘don’t mix business with pleasure’ event about to happen here?
At the end of the evening, all the friends, except Dom, end up going to The Stud, which is a dance club and bar. Augustin goes on to some of his friends about how CJ is into the idea of being filmed and how exciting it’s going to be. Patrick just looks awkward in his leather vest and miserable. I can tell he is still thinking of Kevin, when across the room he sees another man. This is no stranger, either. Patrick had apparently texted this guy but there was no response back. Well, it doesn’t matter because he goes over, at the behest of a friend and speaks to Richie. It’s awkward chatter and Patrick looks like he is stumbling. You can tell he is still thinking about Kevin but what better way to get someone highly desirable and very unobtainable off your mind by flirting, amongst other things, with someone you see at a club?
Will Augustin stop being so flippant and insensitive next week? Will Patrick cross the professional line at work with Kevin? If so, what will the consequences be? Will Dom actually be able to find the money to finance a restaurant?
When you’re looking for a relationship, there is no ‘one size fits all.’ The very word means different things to different people. There are people who believe that it is perfectly alright to have open marriages. Others are strict monogamists. There are people who are free spirits and believe in having only casual, anonymous encounters. No matter what you define what a relationship could be, the hardest part is finding the actual person to be with, when you know what you want.
Next week on LOOKING: