‘Looking’ Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: “Looking for the Future”


Have you ever wanted to tag along on a date and watch a pair of individuals get to know each other in real time as they do things like eat brunch, visit a planetarium, and sit on a cliff? Me neither. But that’s what we get on this week’s Looking, and I’m all for it if only for the fact that we got thirty minutes to focus entirely on Patrick who, at this point in the series, we know so very little about. And aren’t we glad that we don’t have to listen to whatever stupid shit Agustín is up to? (Not making art, probably.)

We open to find Patrick and Richie asleep in bed. They’ve been hanging out for a while now, apparently, but this is the first time Patrick has slept over at la casa de Señor Grande. Patrick slips out from under the covers to hop into the shower, and he returns to find Richie strummin’ away on his electric bass in the nude. “The bass is the instrument of love,” Richie says. Patrick heads out to go to work, but turns right back around because he needs that super bass so much. He hops right back into bed with Richie, who — get this — tries to lick his asshole. Pearls are clutched, words are stuttered, and Richie is like, “Patrick, chill out, you just took a shower, also this is pretty par for the course in gay sexy times. How old are you again?” When he tells Patrick he wants to fuck him, Patrick replies, “Oh, uh, um, well, you see, it’s like, I don’t, you know, huh…” and, to shut him up, Richie gives him a blow job and swallows his cum.

(Never in my life would I think I’d have to write that sentence in a professional setting, but there you go. And in case you’re wondering, let me go ahead and give you a quick little grammar lesson when it comes to semen: “come” is a verb, “cum” is a noun. Try not to get those mixed up the next time you’re on Grindr. Also, as I learned while Googling “analingus,” the correct spelling for the more clinical term for what us kids on the street call “rimming” is “anilingus,” which makes no real sense. Isn’t language fascinating?)

The two of them go to a diner for brunch and casual conversation about oral sex. “Did you eat pineapple yesterday?” Richie asks Patrick, as he could taste some citrus notes in his semen. Patrick expresses his trepidation to swallowing, admitting he’s almost obsessive-compulsive about getting HIV tests, which is good, yes, but a little ironic considering he is so sexually inexperienced that he’s already freaked out over the idea of an uncircumcised penis, practically trips over when he’s in the same room as his British boss, and now appears to be afraid of rim jobs. To reiterate: in four episodes, which we should presume take place over at least six weeks (if the time between the fourth and fifth episodes allowed for Patrick and Richie to spend so much time together in bed), we saw Patrick not get a handjob. Is his fear of AIDS the root of his sexual retardation? “I sneeze and I think I have HIV,” Patrick admits. I wonder how many hours of his work day he spends on WebMD.

Anyway, talk turns serious when Richie admits that his last boyfriend was HIV-positive. “I loved him,” Richie says. “What are you going to do? You just deal.” Then Richie tries to subtly express how he’s not just swallowing cum all over San Francisco, hinting that Patrick’s semen is very special, but Patrick immediately shifts his focus to the display case behind their seats at the diner counter. “THEY HAVE GOONIES CARDS HERE!” he shouts before recounting that Sean Astin used to give him a boner when he was a kid. I think his general immaturity and Peter Pan syndrome is more to blame for his romantic malaise than any infectious diseases. (And possibly his penchant for doing a Chunk impression in public.) We also learn that both Richie and Patrick had braces when they were kids, which allowed one of the Looking writers to jot down the line, “Look what we’re finding out about each other: neither of us has AIDS, you have beautiful teeth!” And then they kept that line in the script. Sure. Fine. Do what you want.

Patrick decides to play hooky from work, so Richie promises to take him to a surprise location. As they ride the bus, Richie asks about Patrick’s first time with a guy, and the answer, shockingly, is not “last year,” but when he was 15. It was with Greg Reynolds, who hit puberty at nine and by freshman year, when he at Patrick went to computer camp in Utah, had a gigantic penis and loved to have other dudes give him handjobs on the bus.

They go to a planetarium, which is Richie’s favorite place in the city. “I used to go planetariums all the time before my mom sent me back to Mexico,” he tells Patrick, offering very little more explanation about what happened before, during, and after he lived in Mexico. But he does sing a little ditty in Spanish about the stars and the planets. “This is sort of like when Ross and Rachel went on their date,” Richie says, alluding to a classic episode of Friends (is that where the naming convention of this show’s episodes comes from? “The One Where Everyone Was Looking”), and then they have a discussion over who’s the Ross and who’s the Rachel. Patrick thinks he is the Ross, because he’s the geek and Richie loves hair, but Richie thinks that Patrick is the Rachel, because Rachel is a top? Seriously, the two of them decide that Rachel is a top and Ross is a bottom. (Are you now picturing Jennifer Aniston pegging David Schwimmer from behind? Now you are.)

Richie tells Patrick that he’s surprised that he’s a top. (AREN’T WE ALL?) “Why does everybody think that?” Patrick squeals, “What is it about my ass that screams out that I want to be fucked?” He admits that, sure, he’s been fucked before: “I mean, it feels sort of weird,” Patrick says, “I can get it in, but as soon as it’s in, I’m like, take it out, take it out, take it out, take it OUT!” Patrick seems like a real hoot and a half in bed, huh? Richie says it’s fine, but that it’s good to be adaptable, “otherwise you’re going to miss out.” (Someone should write a think-piece about how versatility in anal sex is the sexual equivalent of FOMO.) “That being said,” Richie goes, “I’m usually a Rachel.” Fingers crossed that a gay man sends that sentence to a stranger on Scruff by the end of the week!

The walking and talking continues: Richie tells Patrick about how he gave a blowjob to an 18-year-old when he was 13 (statutory rape: always sexy), Patrick admits that he’s had one boyfriend who he didn’t introduce to his parents (“They’re just imagining that dick up your ass,” he asserts), and Richie tells Patrick that he worries too much, which is the polite way of saying, “You have white people problems” “Don’t you worry about things?” Patrick asks Richie, who replies, “I worry about getting a paycheck, paying my rent.” Richie has no cares in the world, at least not about the big philosophical questions because, you see, he has his Mexican psychic who drips egg yolks on his naked back to tell him what’s in store for his life.

[Record scratch]

Uh, what?

Yes, Richie goes to a woman who reads his future, only instead of looking at his hand or tea leaves, she looks at the signs in two eggs, over easy. Once again, Richie just shrugs off Patrick’s freak-out about his personal mystic. “Look, we all have our things that sound dumb to others, but this helps me.” That’s convincing enough, apparently, because the next thing we know, Richie has taken Patrick to his senõra, it all happening so quickly that they don’t consider Patrick’s limited Spanish (he can say two phrases: “The pencil sharpener is red” and “I want to fuck your mother) might cause a problem. (I identify with Patrick here, as the only thing I remember from high school Spanish is “Yo quiero los blue jeans” and “Soy una máquina de placer.”

So the pair go home to lay in bed and make out and not drip eggs all over each other, and Patrick tells Richie that some day in the future he will let him fuck him. “But not today,” Patrick says. “I feel like maybe I opened up enough today.” (Ha ha, get it? This is a grown man who still uses the phrase “butt-fucking.”) Instead, Richie offers to ride it on Patrick’s wood (SURFBORT) and throws a condom at his face, and the two laugh and laugh about some apparent inside joke about safe sex.