Count me among those who initially were unimpressed with Looking, but have really fallen for its charms. After the first four episodes left me wanting for more excitement and tension, the final stretch of the freshman season has me fully invested and loving (almost all) the characters.
Episode five, "Looking For the Future" was the turning point. By zooming in on Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Richie (Raúl Castillo), we got to spend enough time to better understand how all their little character quirks and nuances came together in aggregate. If only we had similar time with the other characters. It makes me want to view this first, short season as almost like a prequel miniseries for what I'm hoping is an extended second season.
Tonight's finale, titled "Looking Glass," certainly contained a few unexpected twists (and one expectedly adorable butt), ending the eight-episode run on a high note.
Discuss the season finale and read our thoughts, AFTER THE JUMP ...
- Let's start with Patrick. The chemistry between he and Kevin (Russell Tovey) has been obvious from the beginning. It's shocking it has taken this long for them to finally act on it, really. In some ways, Kevin is such an obvious match for Patrick, they have to layer on the scandal (not only does Kevin have a boyfriend, but he's also Patrick's boss) just to keep them off each other for a few weeks. Their curt post-coital talk ("So, now what?" "I don't know, Patrick.") leaves things mighty ambiguous. Similarly, Patrick's and Richie's kind of, sort of, maybe break-up didn't leave us with a clear picture of where they stand. Tovey and Castillo have been upped to series regulars next season, so the door is wide open for this love triangle to keep evolving.
- In an episode full of excellent scenes, Castillo deserves particular praise. His emotional confrontation with Patrick outside his apartment was one of his best performances thus far. Everything, from his intense stare to the moment when he took off his hat, added depth and realism.
- Dom (Murray Bartlett) got his big night with his restaurant, but he was really more concerned with Lynn (Scott Bakula). When Lynn arrives with a younger date, it's sufficiently awkward ("Why have you been gushing all over this poor guy?"), but it rang true considering all of Dom's insecurities. When he tells Lynn they should keep doing this, it's clear he's not just talking about pop-up restaurants. I've rewatched him lay one on Lynn over and over, and I'm pretty sure Lynn is kissing him back. We cut away real fast, so we don't know what happens after the kiss. I'm hoping to see these two give it a go next season.
- How great was Doris (Lauren Weedman)? So great. After weeks of being the comic relief, she got to have a dramatic moment with Lynn. She's also been upgraded to series regular next season.
- Then there's Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez). I almost feel sorry for him, since the character is so utterly unlikable. In fairness, we barely spent time with Agustín and Frank (O.T. Fagbenle), so his journey was the most difficult to care about. Now that his relationship (and, presumably, time in Oakland) is done, second season Agustín could be a whole new ballgame. Frank tore down Agustín's whole pseudo-artist self-image (in case his destruction of the unicorn painting didn't drive that home enough). I like to think his drug-addled BART ride was something of a metamorphosis. Maybe next season we'll get to know a better Agustín. (And, while we're at it, maybe he can get that beard situation under control.)
- The sex scene tonight was fascinating, and not just because Tovey's butt. For starters, there's something extra hot (or extra creepy?) about Kevin concocting this whole scheme to get Patrick back to the office. How long was he sitting in that office, drinking beer, calling Patrick repeatedly? Then, once he got there, for Patrick to choose to bottom for Kevin after being reticient with Richie is a good indicator where Patrick's heart is leading him. (The way to a man's heart … ) Groff discussed another interesting element of this scene with TVLine: "I feel like I’ve had a lot of people … say that they did not know that gay men could have sex face-to-face until they saw the show." There's something about demystifying gay sex for a mainstream audience that could be a powerful side effect of Looking's matter-of-fact approach to sex.
Did you enjoy the finale? What did you think of the season?