Looking narrows its focus on the new relationship of Patrick and Richie as we see them really start to get to know each other in a Before series-esque day in the life.
As Patrick wakes from a night over at Richie’s place we learn that they have got together a few times since their reuniting last week and both Jonathan Groff and Raúl Castillo are great right from the get go. They capture the sweetness of early love, the exhilaration, while also finding those sometimes awkward moments that arise when you are still getting to know someone intimately. Those moments are kept to a minimum as their work skipping day date goes pretty great from start to finish.
The writing finds lots of humor in real human moments that these guys have been through as well as introducing many, I imagine, to some of the conversations gay men have early on in a relationship. HIV positive? Are you a bottom? These are some questions that arise in other forms for straight couples, but I think the show did a fine job of addressing the subjects and reminding naive viewers that a lot of the stereotypes they might associate with gay men does not come standard. The discussion of these topics also helps deepen our understanding of these guys, the risks Richie is willing to take/not care about if he really loves someone or getting deeper into Patrick’s seemingly uncomfortable nature with being in his own skin.
It’s not all sensitive subjects between the two, as there are many light hearted moments throughout the episode where each guy gets to share a lot about who they are and where they come from. The evolution of Patrick ending up with eggs at Richie’s señora starts off as a great look inside Richie’s world view and builds to a great little comedic moment when they realize Patrick can’t talk to her. All this and we also are reminded that they aren’t soul mates or perfect for each other quite yet as neither of them is all that comfortable with sharing that intimate experience if Richie translated between Patrick and the señora. Just some great writing on the episode this week.
While it might seem a little early to have a single character centric episode in a show’s lifespan, I think it was really helpful for us to better understand Patrick; who is certainly the hardest of the main three characters to get a read on. Even though you might have missed the other guys, the writing and acting is so sharp and compelling this week as we tour Golden Gate Park with Patrick and Richie it didn’t bother me one bit. There are only a pair of episodes left this season and Looking has never felt more confident in defining the kind of show it wants to be.