Let me be clear: There were a lot of things I felt during this episode. I felt angry at Kevin, I felt angry at Patrick, I felt sad for Patrick and then I felt angry again. I felt these things because human relationships are complex and ever-changing and because watching someone in pain (even someone I don't like) puts a lump in my throat. But the thing that really made me sigh during the season finale of Looking is that Patrick hasn't learned anything at all.
We'll get to everything Patrick did specifically wrong in a second, but there's something about the ending—which I assume was meant to evoke warm fuzzies and give us some sense of closure, suggesting that Patrick was ready for a new beginning and that it would likely be with Richie—that left a bad taste in my mouth. And I think it's the fact that even though Patrick talked a big game about changing, he still couldn't let Richie go, putting the necklace Richie gave him on at the same time he was getting out of the Sleep Number bed he and Kevin shared for what I assume would be the last time. It's a reminder that people can't change quickly (or at all) and just like Kevin can't be monogamous, Patrick can't just let Richie go even though they're not together. Even when cutting off his hair to become someone new (which is a little young for 30? That's stuff you do at 25? Right?) he goes back to Richie, refusing a fresh start and welcoming the possibility of new hurt—for both himself and for Richie, who seems to be in a fairly happy relationship.
I guess the perfect ending for me would have been Patrick walking the street alone or sitting down with a therapist. But real life is messy, and what Looking's tried to show us for two seasons is what real life is like for Patrick. It's not loud and dramatic; it's a quiet spiral of self destruction motivated by good intentions on the conscious level. And it sucks.
As a viewer, I feel both bad for and angry at Patrick. I want to see a next season—"Ugh, this can't be it!" I said to the TV—but I also know that I don't really want a next season because watching Patrick make the same mistakes over and over will be just as agonizing as it was this time around.
And speaking of mistakes, here's what everyone (Patrick and Kevin) did wrong on this episode: (Dom and Doris made up and it was sweet and I still think they should get a spinoff.)
Patrick moving in with Kevin before even being in his home one time and realizing that everything about their styles is different. This is one of those reasons that you may want to date a dude who's not cheating on their partner. If they're single, you get to go to their house and decide very quickly whether you can deal with a Kevin Costner poster (narcissism much?) or decorative towels that are stapled together and not for everyday use (which is a thing I still talk about when I tell the fun story of the courtship my partner and I shared). But if you've never been to their house you are going to be surprised by Mr. Teddy and the fact that the house is shoeless (I feel this is a thing that needs to be discussed?) and that horrible Kevin Costner poster. See, when my partner and I moved in together he knew that I left my clothing in piles instead of putting it into the perfectly good dresser I have and I knew that the bathroom was cleaned every saturday morning come rain or shine and we dealt with it. BUT YOU MUST KNOW!
Patrick not asking any questions before moving in with Kevin. Listen, you're in love (that's the way) (that's the way) (it should be, it should be) (Because I want you to be happy) and that's great, but you need to think about more than that before you move in with someone. For instance, if someone cheated on their partner before they got with you it's likely they'll cheat again wile they're with you. Past behavior is an excellent indicator of future behavior and all that. So if Kevin cheated on Jon to be with you, why are you surprised that he wants an open relationship, Patrick? The only thing you can be grateful for is that the subject was broached early on and you discovered it in theory as opposed to practice. It would be horrible for Patrick if he had walked in on Kevin cheating on him or heard about it from a friend. At least Kevin is showing himself for who he is early (and let's be real, Patrick knew what was up and just didn't want to admit it to himself) rather than later on when they're living together and comfortable. Agustin hasn't even found a new roommate yet! You're going to be okay, Patrick. (Not that you deserve it! I am still mad at you!)
Patrick thinking that it's okay to move in with Kevin because his mom was breaking up with his dad. No! Take some responsibility for your on life and your own actions, girl! You're 30.
Patrick thinking that only sex addicts cheat. LOLWUT?
Kevin turning things around on Patrick when Patrick doesn't want an open relationship. This is one of the dirtiest tricks in the book. If someone has a legitimate gripe with you, you can't say "well you did it first' or "you did it too." And to Patrick's credit, I don't think staying to watch an orgy is the same as having sex with some dude at the gym. I get what Kevin was trying to say, but it's still very different. One is passive and detached and the other is a participatory act and if you're in a monogamous relationship (see, Patrick? This is why people have the talk about boundaries in a relationship before moving in together!) you can't just be getting hand jobs from strangers without agreeing to it with your partner first. It seems like if Patrick stayed with Kevin, it would end up an unhealthy situation because Kevin acts like a boss both at home and at work, making decisions for Patrick and telling him how things are going to be without any questions asked. Like when Kevin told the gays downstairs that he and Patrick would make it to their party without asking Patrick first. That's a thing you might do with old friends a few years in, but with new people? Come on! You're better off alone, you guys!
The show possibly ending. I lied about it all. Bring back Patrick, Dom, Agustin and Richie for a third season. And Eddie and CiCi have to come, too! Come on, HBO! HEAR MY CALL!
Image via HBO
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