TV Review: Looking 106 – Looking in the Mirror

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Looking has its best episode yet as the entire cast of characters come together to expose insecurities of the group we haven’t seen yet.

Last week saw an intimate portrait of Patrick and Richie as their relationship grew substantially over the course of just one episode, but this week’s birthday celebration was just as rich a storytelling experience. Nearly every friendly face in the world of Patrick and his friends makes an appearance this week and we get to see a lot of angles come to the surface when these guys aren’t interacting one on one.

Patrick and Richie’s relationship continues to grow wonderfully and naturally. Without fail it all builds to a Patrick cringe worthy moment, that only gets worse shortly after. Before we get to that stuff, the two are so sweet when they discuss the boyfriend question and while giving someone a piece of jewelry they almost have to obligatorily wear is a bit much from Richie, you couldn’t feel much happier for the two. I love that we can see Patrick is subtly growing stronger, yet all of his insecurities are still laid bare and every minute that passes in that park works against their relationship. Running into Kevin, Patrick’s boss, at the park is the aforementioned cringe inducing moment and you feel so bad for Richie as Patrick reverts right back into his insecurities in the face of his old crush. Brutal. That was only the appetizer to Agustín’s role in the awkwardness as he takes out his jealousy of Frank and CJ on Patrick for “slumming it” with Richie. Again, Patrick is too insecure to stand up for himself, even if I don’t think he believes what Agustín is saying, and as Richie wanders into the background and overhears Agustín’s rant you know this isn’t going to end well. It was awesome to see Richie rip into Agustín and you have to appreciate that sort of fire in your partner and it was great that Patrick ultimately showed his growth Richie has given him as he patches things up before the night is out. I’m not sure how this wedding is going to go next week, but I am really intrigued with all the angles Patrick and Richie’s relationship has after this episode.

Getting more into Agustín, he was kind of an asshole this week and he has cemented himself as the least interesting character on the show, by far. Frank is still great, Cheetos!, I love Frank. I like Frank so much I wish he was the main character of that relationship, not Agustín. Agustín is kind of given a bad wrap as he has to be the pouty, tortured artist type, but Frankie J. Álvarez isn’t doing the character that many favors either. I’m sure the catty type that he is playing in the park exists, but Agustín comes across as the most cliched character on the show. His best moment is that standoff with Richie in the park as it says so much about the character and it kind of redeems his behavior as he is exposed as a weak soul who doesn’t really think about anyone else. I’m not going to lie though, I didn’t feel any compassion for Agustín in his final moments of the episode as he saw the connection Frank and CJ had in their pornographic three way. What’s that say about me that I think he sort of deserved the heartbreak?

Dom has an awkward week as well, as he continues to show growth, but makes all the wrong moves with Lynn. Dom handles his self-implied sadness of turning 40 with more fun than you would have imagined a couple episodes ago, but this is in large part to Lynn who resentfully shows Dom that he’s still doing fine well past 40. Scott Bakula is so great and sweet as Lynn,you could see why Dom gets his signals all crossed up him, but I think friendship is the way to go for the two. Doris is the driving force for Dom thinking of going for it with Lynn, they have seemingly just missed connecting a couple times before, but she is probably right that Dom needs to find a more age appropriate man in his life. Dom rebuffing that Grindr guy is a start in the right direction I guess, but you feel so bad for him when he makes a failed pass at Lynn after that long day in the park. I’m intrigued that they have seemed to have laid the framework of their relationship going forward, and I hope the pop-up restaurant is a success, I just hope they don’t hook these two up and blow it all up in the near future.

Looking has grown stronger with every passing week, and this week’s episode cemented the world and how rich it can be. I love coming to check out what’s going on with these guys and greatly look forward to the final two episodes of the season. Here’s hoping for no more Patrick awkward bombs.

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