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Looking Top to Bottom: How to Get Fucked

Manuel, here learning more about how rugby is the filthiest, sexiest sport ever with the Looking boys.

Between getting tested last week (learning we don't test for HIV but for its effects on our bodies) and braving his self-consciousness to buy an enema in order to freshen up for his sleepover with Kevin, Jonathan Groff is slowly becoming a poster boy for healthy gay sex: "See how sex-positive I can be?" Patrick asks the pharmacist, only to be hilariously read to filth ("Oh, honey, do you know where you live?"). That shot of him ass up struck me as instantly iconic, one of those shots that will forever follow Groff in his hopefully lengthy career. I'm already looking forward to a photoshoot 10 or 20 years from now where he revisits it.

More ensemble set-pieces like these please!

While the episode was playfully called "Looking Top to Bottom" I couldn't help giving it a subtitle: "How to get fucked" for while Patrick's cleanliness (next to godliness, lest us forget) is all for naught as Kevin tells him it's "his turn" on top, that early morning phone call from his boyfriend (and Groff's pillow-smothered look of resignation) at the end of the episode sure look like he was the one getting fucked over.

I really hope Haigh & co. are building up to something with Kevin & Patrick because right now, especially with keeping John, the boyfriend so far removed, the relationship feels less illicit than we're led to believe but also probably more in keeping with how Patrick experiences it himself. He was after all, rebuffing the "affair" label just a few weeks back. Might reality be just around the corner, ready to crash their make-believe relationship?

"…Because he’s the better person that you’re trying to be?"

The slow arc of Agustin's redemption continues (or begins?) with an atoning visit to Richie, and thankfully Raúl Castillo plays Richie's bitchiness with enough empathy and playfulness to let us know that while he's not one to forget, he's also quite open to forgive. He does, after all, give Agustin's beard a much-needed trim helping him slowly rejoin the land of the living. 

Everyone made out under the bleachers on a Friday night except me.

I posited last week that Looking was at its best when exploring the limits of gay intimacy and while Kevin and Patrick have been center stage of what we've seen so far this season, I'm more fascinated with this August/December romance than with the flappy ears/puppy smile relationship of Groff & Tovey (I'm not quite #TeamRichie, but Castillo does get extra points for that scene with Agustin). Dom and Lynn open the show to interesting questions about aging, boundaries and growing up. Also, and this is probably because neither Lynn nor Dom are prone to captioning their lives the way Patrick does, but a lot of what makes their relationship engaging are the subtle body language cues they read, and consequently ignore (Lynn's playfully exasperated sigh when Doris jumps in bed) or pick up on (Dom's hesitation at breakfast over the manager job offer) in everyday situations. This is what makes the reveal that Lynn's been jockeying for Dom to take a managerial position at a friend's restaurant all the more heartbreaking. While the will-they or won't-they plot structures Patty and Kev (with childhood reminisces and high school fantasies made flesh), these two inhabit a world of concessions and considerations that feels delightfully mature and grown-up.
Best line of the episode I wish I could off-handedly use: 

"What, no pupusas?”

Best gif-worthy moment:  Dom's thumbs up during the game. (Runner up: that shower scene)
Best Doris moment: "what's your name?" to Mean Girls' Eddie. Also, with that walk-into-Dom's room scene, has Looking basically created a cable R-rated version of Will & Grace, one where their dynamics are keenly observed as odd as they enter their 40s?

Previous Recaps:
Looking Back: Season 1 Recap
Looking for the Promised Land
Looking for Returns

Is the season picking up for everyone? Are you enjoying the sex-positive vibe the show's been pushing and lacing within its own storytelling? 

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Reader Comments (7)

I love the new season of Looking. It can be a lot better than the first one, because initial couple of episodes last year were not as impressive as these ones. That shot of Patric's ass up was phenomenal, very funny and so true.

I'm really enjoying whatever Kevin and Patrick are having. I hope it turns into something more serious, they both are such a cute couple.

January 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNika

I thought this was one of the stronger episodes, and agree that the shading to Dom and Lyn's relationship (and bumping Lauren Weedman up to series regular) has given a lot more weight to the show. That whole storyline had a nice rhythm to it, the push and pull over Dom between Lyn and Doris, the stuff that didn't need to be said, was assured and funny.

The Patrick stuff with the enema was bordering on cutesy, but I did laugh when they took a photo to send to Dom. They're pushing his innocence a little bit too hard this series, and that's reflected in how little we see, or even really hear of, Kevin's boyfriend. I assume that's all going to come crashing down, but you're right that there doesn't seem to be any real risk to that affair right now.

Augustin continues to be stuck, although that character is going to be a lot harder to turn around than Dom, so I'm happy to see how that plays out. Castillo continues to be great in a part that could read very flat on paper.

January 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

I feel like all the characters are finally getting a little three-dimensionality which is nice. I hate that the episodes are only half an hour (so, twenty minutes essentially) because I always want more.

I can't wait for Kevin and Patrick to blow up. I hate how naive they've been about the whole affair. And I'm always team Richie; he makes my heart flutter.

January 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I am 100% Team Kevin, so I'm dreading the way that story is headed (with Patrick having the chance again at a "real" relationship with Richie while his heart still wants the limited relationship with Kevin), but I agree-the story this year is much more succinct.

January 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

What I've been hoping is some dude just comes up and says "fuck you" to Patrick and he's really confused and then we realize it's Kevin's boyf since we don't know what he looks like or anything about him. I just need it to happen. I'm tired of watching people cheat with no consequences. I mean, they've gotten really bold. First it was talking about how quickly rumors spread in a gay city like SF and now they're pinching asses at work and kissing in public.

January 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

We did meet John (Kevin's BF) last season, briefly (in the park, the episode where it was Dom's 40th birthday).

He seemed like kind of a tool, but that doesn't really make it better, eh?

January 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Weren't Kevin and John at Patrick's sister's wedding?

January 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

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