‘Looking’ Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: “Looking at Your Browser History”


Patrick and his bespectacled Asian work friend walk up to an aircraft carrier, where their office is having a major party to celebrate the launch of their new video game, Naval Destroyer. Patrick is ecstatic, seeing his strike-out with his Señor Grande, Richie, as a chance to start over. “I’m putting Richie behind me and going to geek out!” he shouts over the thumping music before turning into a walking boner when he spots men in sailor suits giving away free alcohol. He somehow turns into the Sassy Office Gay once promised unlimited liquor, telling his straight comrades how Naval Destroyer is the gayest game in the world, even though there’s regrettably no female characters one can play. A strange British man jumps into the conversation, suggesting that Patrick plays women characters in video games because he is gay. Patrick gets defensive, and says, “Women are the outsiders in video games, and I relate to them.” After the British man walks away, Patrick mutters, “British people are awful,” and everyone learns a valuable lesson about tolerance.Of course, because Patrick has an addiction to making the worst possible decisions (and also, possibly, a drinking problem), he becomes fixated on the British man, who he stalks from the other side of the party. He becomes convinced he is gay (and not just British), and it’s a scene I can certainly relate to because I play “British or Gay? Or British and Gay?” all the time. Patrick follows the gentleman into the torpedo room, and the two straddle long metal bombs and play Naval Destroyer together. The gayme (not a typo), by the way, is apparently just an arm-wrestling simulator, and I bet this is going to sell so many copies and totally justify the fact that the company rented out an entire fucking aircraft carrier for this open-bar party.

Anyway, Patrick flirts with the British guy, all but asking, “So… do you like dicks?” to find out if he does, in fact, like dicks. The British guy, whose name is Kevin, replies, “You’re asking me if I’m gay, aren’t you? I am. I am gaaaaay.” “That’s cool,” Patrick replies, before making a joke about the two of them hooking up, because Patrick’s two methods of flirting are awkward humor and out-right derision. Kevin replies, “Well, I have a boyfriend, and I’ve come here to lead a team on the new game.” Patrick, always being the Gay Cathy that he is, suddenly realizes that he basically just asked his possible new boss on a date. What a wacky Grey’s Anatomy-pilot-episode kind of hijinx we just got! I am betting the sexual tension between these two will be very subtle for the rest of the season.

Dom and Doris, who is perpetually two Cosmos away from being in an Instagram photo tagged under #shehashadit, do a walk-and-talk to Zumba. Doris is immediately concerned that Dom seems to be in a good mood for a mysterious reason. In fact, she is nearly very angry about it. In the middle of their Zumba class, as they hop, skip, and jump around, Dom casually admits that he’s finally going through with his dream: opening a restaurant. That Dom wants to pursue his professional goal leaves Doris flabbergasted, and she is unable to keep up with Zumba class. (I assume that Doris later goes home to shower, where she sits in a fetal position in the tub, sobbing while lukewarm water washes away her tears. “A restaurant?” she cries. “He’s opening his own restaurant? What am I doing with my life? I am but a lowly pediatric nurse. And I don’t even get to hook up with strangers on Grindr!”)

Over in Oakland, Agustín and his boo eat breakfast, making casual conversation about the shoplifted placemats Agustín lifted from Target. Oscar then mentions that his friend is opening an art gallery, and Agustín has to remind him that the only piece of art he actually has to show is the collage of dicks formed into the shape of a unicorn. “Well, I could clear out the shed,” Oscar says, offering Agustín a studio space to cut out more clippings from vintage Playgirls. Agustín doesn’t even want to talk about it, and he goes to work, where he starts to dismantle the giant stack of chairs for his boss. When she asks him, with reason, to be careful with her art, he tells her how shitty it is. “It’s just a bunch of furniture stacked up,” he says. “It has no meaning, no perspective. It’s a chair apocalypse.” “I’d love to see some of your work someday,” she replies. “Oh yeah, you’d have to make some first.” Agustín tells her to fuck off, and then is shocked when she fires him.

Back at the office, Patrick tries to apologize to Kevin for his flirting the night before. He tells Kevin he’d love to be considered as a designer on the new game, and Kevin says, “Yeah, well, you’d have to be working 24/7.” Patrick, who is barely able to keep his focus on anything longer than two minutes tops, pleads with him, saying of course he can commit to this project. Then Kevin pulls out a folder in which he holds Patrick’s browser history. “You spend a lot of time on OkCupid and Manhunt,” he says, while Patrick turns beet red, having never considered that his boss could access his internet history, or that perhaps going to hookup sites while at work (which is in an open office without cubicles or any semblance of privacy) might not be the best idea. Before he can react to this real-life Valleywag post unfolding before his eyes, Patrick gets a phone call from a mysterious stranger, and he tells the person on the line that it’s not a good day “to do that,” and hopefully this will one day be mentioned again because we never find out in this episode what the hell is happening.

Patrick then meets up with Dom, and they have a walk-and-talk in which Patrick complains about how awful his life is and how embarrassing his talk with his boss was. “I wish I could control my stupid mouth,” he says, officially becoming a walking John Mayer song. Dom, who is a saint for putting up with these self-centered people, reminds Patrick that they got together to talk about him and his plans to open a Portuguese chicken restaurant.

Agustín goes to a coffee shop to eat his feelings, and strikes up a conversation with a Colby Keller look-alike at the seat next to him. It turns out, like his somewhat famous doppelganger (if you don’t know who Colby Keller is, by the way, wait until you get hope to Google him; you won’t want your boss looking — ding dong! — at your browser history and seeing that!), this guy is a sex worker who makes up to $220/hour because, he says, “people are into beards.” He goes on to brag to Agustín about how good he is at sex, and only comes across as a baby vampire — you know, like a recently turned vampire who is too pompously pleased with his own powers to really control them. He gives Agustín his card, which only makes me feel weird because I don’t even have a business card.

Patrick does a sad Charlie Brown walk home and discovers that Agustín has broken into his apartment. The two decide to be sad together, and Patrick goes on and on about his terrible day and his British boss that, ugh, has a Wikipedia page and, no way, he does not want to fuck him, because of those ears! (The dude does have big ears. We can all agree about that.) After Patrick whines some more, Agustín mentions that he was fired, but more importantly, he met a sex worker today! They talk about jobs and how neither of them would ever want to call themselves a sex worker. “Do you think I can call myself an artist if I don’t make any art?” Agustín asks. “When’s the last time you heard me say out loud, ‘I’m a level designer’?” Patrick replies. (Literally, he called himself that in the last two episodes.) Patrick has a brief moment of poignancy, and says, “You know what? I don’t think either of us is very good at being who we think we are. I think we need to try a little harder.” Agustín nods, then heads home to Oakland, spending the entirety of the train ride staring at that prostitute’s card and wondering, silently, if he could possibly accept cash in exchange for a blow job.

Dom tries to recruit a chef friend to join him in his quest to bring Portuguese chicken to the San Francisco masses, and it’s a very secret, covert conversation, which we can tell because the scene is filmed as if we’re watching Law and Order, with the cameraman weirdly shooting everything from behind poles and dumpsters despite the fact that Dom and this lady-chef are talking about it right out in the open. She pretty much turns him down, so Dom heads to a bathhouse so he can lose some steam / fuck a stranger. After a brief glimpse at a penis (are you happy, Slate think-piece writers?), Dom goes into a steam room and meets Scott Bakula, who is really living for this late-career stint on gay HBO properties. They have a chat about how Scott Bakula owns a floral shop before Dom spots someone who isn’t in his 50s. “Gonna go fuck that guy, byeeeee,” Dom says to Scott Bakula before suggesting they get lunch sometime.

Patrick, back in his office, deletes his OkCupid account, which is a really dumb move because you know he’ll be back on there, and he should have just disabled so that when he rejoins he won’t have to fill out those stupid essays all over again, but whatever, he’s so tech-savvy and I bet he knows exactly what he’s doing. He then goes and works on a design for a character for the new game, this time a female character (full circle!), and storms into Kevin’s office and delivers it to him along with an announcement that he will totally work hard on the new project. Instead of asking, “Why did you just design a character? You are a level designer, as you have mentioned a million times,” Kevin gives him a cheeky little grin and says, “Aw, kiddo, you were always going to be on my team.” In a professional way, not a gay way! “Commitment looks good on you,” Kevin says, and now we all know how loosey-goosey they are about sexual harassment and improper internet conduct in Silicon Valley.