I realize we’re only three episodes in, but I still have to admire how wisely Michael Lannan and Andrew Haigh are constructing the first season of Looking. The first two episodes were there to help us get our legs underneath us and establish the three main characters and their relationships with each other and the folks in their respective social circles. Now, it is time to put Patrick, Dom, and Agustin at some kind of crossroads and wrestle with big questions about their future.
For each, the decisions all center on professional concerns. In Agustin’s case, there’s a creative element, too, when he bristles at his boyfriend’s loving inquiry about whether he has any new art to show at his boss’s gallery. It was a subtle moment of tension, but one that offered much insight into his inner anguish. Some of that bleeds over into his interactions with his artist employer, who ends up firing Agustin after he criticizes her latest piece. What sets him slightly back on track is a random encounter with a gent who turns out to be a sex worker. Agustin marvels at his casualness with regards to charging other men $220/hour for his services, and looks genuinely thrilled at the prospect of … well, they don’t go so far as to say that he’s going down that route, but the seed has obviously been planted (so to speak).
Dom, on the other hand, is much more certain about where he wants to be: the owner of a restaurant. What is less certain is how he’s going to make it happen. Excited as he is to tell Patrick about it, his balloon gets deflated by a fellow restaurant worker. He begs her to join him, but she’s too concerned about losing the job she has. Dom finds some solace later, decamping to a bath house where he meets an older gent played by Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap fame. They share a quick chat and a small spark is lit, but before Dom takes off to fool around with some random young man. Should be interesting to see how that relationship plays out in the coming episodes.
For Patrick, the personal and the professional find a very uncomfortable meeting place. He inadvertently flirts with his new boss, Kevin (British TV regular Richard Tovey), at a launch party for the company’s new video game. Patrick’s attempts to repair the damage, and possibly get some more work out of the deal, are stymied when he is confronted with his Internet browsing history. It all falls into place by the end, but considering how he ended the last episode on a down note, it is nice to see him score a victory this week.