Each week, there are still loads of comments bemoaning Looking's 30-minute format. On episodes like tonight's "Looking For the Truth" (and last season's "Looking For the Future," which we'll talk much more about later), some of that gets addressed by isolating characters and focusing on less of the ensemble. The episode feels fuller when some of the storylines get a little more room to breathe.
We spent literally zero time with Dom (Murray Bartlett) tonight, and I don't think the episode suffered because of it. Not because his isn't a compelling character, but we were given more rich moments with Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and even Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez).
Let's chat about a few key points from tonight's installment, AFTER THE JUMP …
- Before we dive into the real meat of tonight’s episode, let’s talk a bit about Agustin and Eddie (Daniel Franzese). Anyone could’ve spotted the consummation of their relationship coming a mile away, but it was still satisfying to see them finally cross into more romantic territory. Eddie’s initial response to reject Agustin was a refreshing reminder of the kind of no-bullshit, take-charge man Agustin needs to keep him in line.
- It’s clear Eddie’s status is going to be an ongoing issue for these two to navigate. For a show that tries to portray gay issues as sort of mundane and ordinary, I find it hard to believe that Agustin is so fascinated with Eddie’s status. It felt a little clumsy to set him up as if he'd never talked to a poz person before. Again, though, Eddie’s fake story about being a “courtesy bottom” was the perfect response to play with expectations and challenge Agustin’s (and the audience’s) assumptions.
- OK, now onto the good stuff. If you were a fan of last season’s “Looking For The Future,” you may have have seen some parallels to tonight’s episode. I brought up the similarity to creator Michael Lannan when we chatted ahead of the season two premiere:
Towleroad: I feel like episode five of season two feels like a companion piece to that fifth episode of season one. Was that intentional or was that a beat you were hoping to harken back to? I thought it was an interesting echo between to the two seasons.
Michael Lannan: I think definitely there’s an echo there. That was such an awesome, exciting moment for the two of them in season one, and then in season two, it’s more complicated between them. In season one, that episode was sort of about discovery, finding out about each other and reaching into each other’s past and discovering a future; or, in that case, deciding not to know about the future. In season two, it’s more about how do you come back together? You already know each other. How do you reconcile the differences between you and the things that you have between you now? I think that is a very apt comparison.
- So, how are they reconciling? It seems like Richie (Raul Castillo) and Patrick work best when they are outside Patrick’s everyday life. You didn’t really feel their connection until last season's “Looking For the Future,” when they played hooky for the day, out of step with Patrick’s typical life. Their adventure in this episode provided another escape out of the city, away from Patrick’s friends, for them to connect. It also revealed some of what makes the otherwise normally pretty stoic Richie tick. It seems like Patrick doesn’t often get exposed to depth like Richie’s, which is probably what makes him so enticing.
- Of course, though, Patrick couldn’t help but put his foot in his mouth. His confession about his first hook-up with Kevin (Russell Tovey) was more about clearing his conscience than doing any justice to Richie’s feelings. After a day spent in Richie’s past, it seems like Patrick just couldn’t leave the truck without adding one more difficult memory onto the pile. Perhaps with that behind them, they can move forward into the future they first sought last season.
What did you think of tonight’s episode?