Looking Ep. 7: This Was Never Meant to Last
Things that were uniquely San Francisco: Pulling out of an art show, having a fight at Fort Funston, spilling coffee on yourself because the bus ride was too rough, getting a ticket for not curbing your wheels, having a fight on a bridge, bringing pot to a wedding, having a huge fight before an important event and awkwardly making out with your boss, catching your mom with an edible (You go, mom!).
On this episode of I Hate Everyone On This Show Except for Richie, Lynn, and Doris:
Agustin decides not to show his artwork (which I need to remind you consists of images of his boyfriend fucking a sex worker) because it's both too personal and apparently awful. (At least based on Pat and Dom's reaction to it.) Is anyone surprised that Agustin's work would be sophomoric bullshit? Isn't Agustin just sophomoric bullshit personified? The only real surprise is that anyone is still talking to him or giving good advice.
Of course, Agustin does not go gently into that good night. First, he blames Dom and Pat's dislike of his photos on their own issues and then he yells at Frank for being a supportive boyfriend by accusing him of not being supportive enough. Dude, Agustin, Frank fucked a hooker for you and didn't even know that CJ was a sex worker because you didn't respect him enough to tell him. Or to pay rent, apparently. How are you going to pay CJ $220 an hour to further your art when you can't even afford an in-law in oakland? Real talk: I'm done with you, Frank's done with you, and you need a therapist. (And a new place to stay.) (Best of luck, girl.)
Patrick is unfortunately no prize, either. It was clear from last week's episode that he and Richie were going too fast, too soon, and it all blew up right before Patrick's sister's wedding. It was a comedy of errors all the way to the altar as Patrick tried to pick up his mom's forgotten cell phone at her hotel, help Richie get into a new shirt due to a coffee spill, and worry about the fact that his parents might not like Richie. When Richie tried to help Patrick out (by assisting him with his bow tie and then by offering to drive and let Patrick relax with some pot), Patrick threw a giant fit prompting Richie to walk right on out of his drama. Pat chose not to follow Richie, which was a mistake. If you're going to have a huge blowout like this in the beginning of your relationship you either work through it RTFN or you let the relationship go. There is no in-between; this is a foundation you're building.
And right after Richie walks off is when the show becomes so heavy-handed and the dialogue gets so on-the-nose that it's hard to write this recap with any sort of opinion as opposed to a straight summary. The lack of nuance is a problem I've had with the show since the beginning, which is why I threw my hands up ("they're playing my song, the butterflies fly away!") as soon as I saw Kevin at this wedding. Is there anywhere this guy isn't? Are he and Patrick going to have more useless sexual tension now? Yes. There's an awkward drunk kiss. Congratulations dude, you've just cheated on your boyfriend. I know this show prides itself on showing what "real relationships" are like, but all it's doing right now is showing the viewer what an overgrown man-child Pat is. And that he and Agustin may have more in common than previously thought.
Patrick also does some fairly aggressive projecting onto his mother when he talks to her towards the end of the evening. Patrick lets his mom know that Richie isn't at the wedding because of her; because she wouldn't be cool with him being poor, Mexican, and without ambition. Uh, no. You know who's racist, classist, and judgy, Patrick? It's you! You're the one who invited Richie, you're the one who's concerned about his job prospects, and you're the one who drove him away, not your mom. But top-quality projection there, Freud would be proud.
Pat's mom basically says all of this to him and points out that Richie's not there because of Patrick's insecurities, not her judgment. And she's right. You want to invite your boyfriend to a family wedding? Either put on your big-boy pants and be proud to introduce your partner or wait until you feel like you're ready to do that. Stop blaming others for your own issues. And maybe ask your mom how she's doing once in a while because she just called you out for being selfish and never doing so.
Having done it, I know that coming out is difficult and that relationships with parents both during and after the process are hard, but if they're trying their best to be accepting (and for some it's very hard; I speak as someone whose parents still struggle with my orientation) you should at least try to meet them halfway and give them some credit.
I also recognize that these characters are supposed to be flawed and not necessarily easy to love, but they're often so one-dimensional (and the dialogue so leading) that it's difficult to develop opinions about them that are more complex.
Dom thinks he can run a restaurant. He is wrong.
Richie, Doris, and Lynn continue being the only redeeming characters on this show and I'm crossing my fingers hard that they do some real talk on the next episode. Because real talk is what Patrick, Agustin and Dom desperately need.
Image via Looking's Facebook page