The honeymoon period for Patrick and Kevin’s relationship is now in full swing, and it’s pretty damn adorable to see. After so much frustration and disappointment in the previous weeks, Patrick looks, for at least one half-hour, to be completely happy. And it seems almost worth cheering how open the two are about their relationship: opening up to their co-workers about it, giddily flaunting their attraction in front of Richie and Brady, and even getting comfy cohabitation-style in Patrick’s apartment.
But let’s be honest, there’s little chance of this ending well. Kevin has already proven himself willing to turn a partner into a cuckold, or at least could easily run back to his ex if something bad were to happen. Then poor Patrick will have his heart stomped on once more. That’s more than likely going to be the case; it’s just a matter of how badly he gets bruised and battered along the way.
The nice benefit is that he might have Richie there to help get him through the heartbreak. Those lingering looks as he watched Patrick and Kevin slow dance, and his genuine concern for his friend’s emotional safety… he’s still very much in love with his ex. This could either complicate matters for both couples, or it could be just the salve that Patrick needs when Kevin poisons the well.
As engaging as that storyline is, Looking is leaving a much more dramatic plot to dangle. Agustin’s relationship with Eddie has the potential to go into a deep exploration of what it is like to date an HIV+ person. There’s less stigma about that than ever before here in the States, but it is still a very complicated issue in the gay community. This episode touches on it a little bit with Agustin panicking after he gets a bit of Eddie’s ejaculate in his eye. But it is quickly smoothed right over and the couple get ready to go out for a night of shirtless dancing. It does set the table for a further, deeper look at Agustin’s unchecked prejudices and fears, but I worry it’s going to get pushed to the back burner for the last two episodes of the season.
The entire episode, including Dom’s slow rebuilding of the space that will house his chicken restaurant and his slight concern that he’s losing his longtime friend Doris now that she’s in a relationship, left all these open threads flapping away in the breeze, with only the next two weeks to tie them all together and wrap things up comfortably enough before Looking goes on hiatus. There’s also zero indication that HBO is going to give the show a third season. That puts a lot of pressure on these final two installments of Season Two. Let’s just hope they prove up to the task.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.