Oct 9, 2020
Looking Recap: Extreme Restaurant And Wedding Makeover Edition
Last week’s “Looking” saw Patrick trying his darndest to make everyone love his new boyfriend Richie, Dom’s older friend Lynn offered to put up the money to make a one-night pop up version of his peri peri chicken restaurant come to life, and Agustin filmed his boyfriend screwing a male prostitute.
For you recap pleasure, we shall let you in on what went down in this episode, but not before assuring you as we wind towards the end of the first season with Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett) that we will not be saying goodbye next week after the season finale. HBO picked up the series for another season.
As most of us would be, Patrick is horrified when presented with Agustin’s newest art project, pictures of his boyfriend Frank (O.T. Fagbenle) fucking rent boy CJ, who he hired. Seems Agustin isn’t that surprised by his friends’ reactions because he seems to be having a similar one, but for very different reasons.
Agustin works hard to cultivate a sort of renegade, do-what-feels-good persona with as much attitude as possible to avoid being a boring, old married couple once he moved in with Frank in Oakland. But as we saw last week as he sat sadly watching his man doing the dirty with another, he’s more domesticated than he wants to admit.
“What am I going to do?” he asks his friends, knowing he cannot possibly install his exhibit in Frank’s friend’s gallery. What he does is call and back out of the show, then goes on a beach hike with Frank to tell him the news. It doesn’t go well.
In his effort to do something all by his own big-boy self, he has not been completely honest with Frank, who has bent over backwards to help Agustin get past his artistic self-loathing.
No surprise, Frank’s completely hurt that his boyfriend paid a hooker to fuck him so he could take photos and make art. Adding to the betrayal, Frank immediately points out that Agustin can’t even afford to pay rent but squeezed out enough dough to pay CJ? Damn right Frank is pissed, as he should be. “I should tear your eyes out,” he says storming off. As he should.
He lays it all out about the distance he’s felt in their relationship and how he’s done everything he could to bridge it. He gives Agustin the boot and tells him to get his shit packed.
Dom and Lynn (Scott Bakula) get to work transforming a recently closed restaurant, a Bombay meets Shanghai dump. They have about 28 hours to extreme makeover the hell out of without totally freaking out and crying on the kitchen floor for their mommies.
Lynn is miffed that Dom isn’t going to be out front, so he tries to talk to him about it as a bad business decision. “I’m not some kind of teenager,” Dom tells him totally acting like a teenage shithead. Lynn throws the keys at him and walks away.
Dom puts the finishing touches on the tables. “I think it’s going to be the finest night for these foody-fuckers in this town.” Wonderful, awesome best friend Doris (Lauren Weedman) gently pushes him to look to Lynn for a little help and, maybe, some healthy, non-shallow love. “Some people really do just want to help.”
And finally after all the little details about Patrick’s doting, overbearing, judgmental mommy sprinkled through the first few episodes, we finally get to meet the ol’ battle ax from Colorado, who it turns out isn’t quite as horrible as we’d been led to believe. Sometimes someone looms in your brain much larger than they are in real life, and that’s your own damn problem.
Patrick’s nerves get the best of him, as usual, completely messing up any chance of Richie (Raúl Castillo) getting through Patrick’s sister’s wedding unscathed. As promised, Patrick’s parents are WASP-y as hell. The first culture clash takes place over the table place cards during a Skype phone call with mom.
Richie’s place card is going to say Richard instead of Richie, to Patrick’s exasperation. But then, why wouldn’t it? He hasn’t told them anything about his new boyfriend who he’s been with for all of a couple of weeks and plans to introduce to his parents to make a point about his un-fear of commitment.
The look of relief on Patrick’s face when he sees Richie at the door clean-shaven says volumes. And while Richie’s looking pretty dapper, he doesn’t resemble Richie anymore. Richie is nervous to meet Patrick’s family, too, and it’s not helping anything that he spilled coffee on his dress shirt on the way over.
As Richie fusses with Patrick’s bowtie it becomes clearer and clearer that there is no way Patrick is going to make it to the wedding on time, Richie tries to help calm his nerves by offering to drive as he hands him a joint. The chill pill has the opposite effect on Patrick as he is aghast by Richie’s audacity in bringing pot to his sister’s wedding.
Patrick tells his parents that Richie came down with food poisoning, and we are sort of relieved we don’t have to watch white people be assholes. That gets old. His mom (Julia Duffy) is clearly crackers. And out of the blue, Patrick’s bossman Kevin (Russell Tovey) is at the wedding with his boyfriend Jon (Joseph Williamson), who — small San Francisco world — is an old friend of Patrick’s new brother-in-law from college
During some reception gossiping, Patrick calls his old neighbor Cody (who used to snub him at school) a cunt, to which Kevin explains the intricacies of why it sounds weird when Americans say it, which is very true. Kevin ties Patrick’s bowtie, an intimate moment where we get a glimpse of the guy Patrick knows his parents would approve of.
When Patrick sees Kevin brushing something off Jon’s brow the way lovers do, he caves and calls Richie to apologize over voicemail. “I guess I’m feeling nervous,” he says. “I wonder why. Call me if you want.”
Patrick’s father gives a toast to his daughter and brings up how she used to dress Patrick up like the little mermaid and drag him through the mall, to which Patrick is obviously uncomfortable being the token novelty of the family. But clearly he’s used to it. No one is shocked by his gayness anymore.
As “Love Shack” blares, and the dance floor gets messy, Patrick sees his mother outside looking frazzled. He heads out, they make small talk and he gets to the heart of the matter.
“I think you should feel a little relieved,” Patrick tells her. “I don’t think you would really like him very much.” He’s Mexican, has no money, no future, blah blah blah, he breaks it down to what he assumes she would peg him as.
“Sounds like a real catch,” she says, fulfilling his expectations. See, he says, he knew she would react that way! Unfortunately, he led her to it, not giving her the slightest positive to latch onto from his description. Then he freaks a bit, admitting that every date he’s ever been on, every guy he’s ever been with, he judges them based on what his mother will think of them.
Mom gets it. “I’ve come a long way, and I can’t help wanting what’s best for you,” she says. But there’s also a kernel of wisdom coming his way because, as she says, Richie not being there is not her fault. “It’s on you sweetie.”
And Patrick’s mom is totally right. Then she snacks on a marshmallow pot treat, which helps her now that she’s off the antidepressants. “If you asked me how I am doing then and again, you’d know,” she says. Such a mom.
Kevin and Patrick meet up by the bathroom sinks. Kevin, who is a bit tipsy and mad at his boyfriend who is drunk, goes in for the kiss. Patrick pushes him off, probably surprising no one more than Patrick.
Patrick hangs out with his dad, crunching numbers. The wedding cost $40,000. “You’re not going to want one of these are you?” he asks Patrick in a light-hearted moment. Rest assured pop, seems Patrick’s way too messed up to drag a man screaming to the altar anytime soon. And it highlights a whole other implication of gay marriage getting legalized: the bills. At what cost does equality come, and which dad has to sign the checks?
Tune in to HBO next Sunday, March 9, 10:30 p.m. to see the guys admit to being horrible boyfriends.