As a consummate hater of every character on this show (except Richie, Ceci and Eddie) but a huge fan of the show itself, I am both delight and chagrined to report that almost everyone did everything right this week, giving me no reason to hate on anyone but Patrick, who managed to both sneak by with a few pastries after his epic meltdown and who made the death of Doris's father all about himself. Honestly why is he so awful? Also, why is he here, at the funeral of a man whom he never met? God.
Okay, never mind, let's talk about something else. Let's talk about Doris and Dom and how they need their own spin-off. Because they do. I keep forgetting that they used to date in high school and this episode could have been so much better if Patrick had not been involved, because it would have let the audience know that if Looking isn't coming back for a third season, we need to do what we can to make Dom+Doris 4Ever a reality. While they're great in small doses, I think that there hasn't been enough of the Dom/Doris pairing on this season. They clearly care about each other very much and are the direct opposites of Patrick and Agustin, who can't seem to make relationships (friendly or otherwise) last on a deeper level.
At first, I was angry that Dom, Doris and Agustin were letting Patrick slide by after his meltdown (even though I know I would have probably done the same), but by the end of the episode it was clear that based on their experiences and the things they'd been through together (plus, of course, their age) they understood what it was like to fuck up, or have a friend fuck up and still care about the person while upset with them. Carl Rogers would be proud of these two.
The moment when Doris told Dom that she wanted to give him the money her father left behind for his chicken window was such a tearjerker. We don't get to know much about Dom on the regular, but his coming out to a high school classmate on this episode as well as how important his father's dream and approval are to him make him a more well-rounded character that I am really beginning to feel for. I hope he takes that money and I hope he makes himself the goddamn best chicken window the city of San Francisco has ever seen.
It also helps that both Dom and Doris enjoy a cold, delicious Bud Light, which is the drink of choice among the people of my demographic (men named Mark drinking a Bud Light in my living room right now).
But here's where what I enjoyed about the episode ends and my troubles begin: Patrick.
Questions for discussion:
- Why did Patrick come along to the funeral?
- Why does Patrick make a complete fool of himself everywhere he goes and people find it endearing?
- Why is Patrick able to turn everything that isn't about him (funerals, wakes, people who live in Modesto, etc.) into something about him?
- And, most importantly, how the hell does this show, which is supposed to be a realistic (if naive and very white) look at gay life reward Patrick for his horrible tirade with the return of Kevin who has broken up with Jon (so quickly!) and is ready to go all in with a new boyfriend immediately. I recognize that this presents its own set of problems, but it looks like, for at least the next few episodes that Kevin is here to stay. How could things be so, so incredibly unfair?
Does anyone else feel the same way I do? After last week's episode I was expecting Patrick to get some kind of comeuppance, not just the kind where he cries for himself at his first funeral ever, but as some kind of life lesson from either life or his friends. Someone could have not talked to him, Kevin could have fired him (good plot point, you guys!), he could have gone into therapy? Who knows? I was just pissed that he was seemingly so quickly forgiven because he waited in line for an hour for pastries from Tartine (yes, people in San Francisco do that) and then doubly rewarded by not only surviving an accident — that truck came out of nowhere, am I right — but by having all of his dreams and hopes (that yes, might turn into nightmares at some point) handed to him.
All this after Patrick makes fun of Modesto, the town where my partner's parents live and which I love because it has a Michael's and a Jo Ann's near each other and I can craft all day without anyone bothering me. Only I get to make fun of Modesto, and bring up the fact that to some people there, San Francisco is like Moscow in The Three Sisters—a great big shining gay wonderland which they might dream about visiting but never get to live in. Actually, this show got Modesto really right, except for the fact that the hotel that Dom, Doris and Patrick stayed in appears much nicer on TV (and also is very near my partner's parents' house, he would like you to know). Also, Charlyne Yi doesn't live in Modesto, although I am so glad to see her back on a screen somewhere!
While the show really reached a beautiful and heartbreaking pitch last week, I'm beginning to think that one of the problems I may have with the characters is not the fact that they're flawed, but the fact that the writing feels so uneven, making me feel like each episode should be judged on its own merit (last week's, the "date" episode from season one) and not as a part of a whole, because the story arcs here seem to be both all over the place and unrealistic. Except for Doris giving Dom all the money her dad left her for his chicken window. That I believe.
Also, Patrick fingered a girl in high school, but she didn't enjoy it. That I believe, too.
Image via HBO
Contact the author at email@example.com.