‘Looking’ Season 1 Episode 7 Recap: “Looking for Plus-One”


How did you spend your Sunday night? Being the only gay guy at an Oscars party, texting your ex your own awards fashion commentary, and hoping June Squibb does something wild like take off her top on camera? Yeah, sounds like you’re a Real Gay to me. I can only imagine what kinds of people switched over to HBO at 10:30 to watch Looking rather than hear Idina Menzel’s death rattle try to pull off “Let It Go” without breaking down in tears over Taye Diggs. What I’m saying is, if that person exists, I do not want to know him. But anyway, Looking was on last night, so here we go.

It’s the big day: Patrick’s sister is getting married, and he’s finally going to have his boyfriend of five to six weeks meet his family. Isn’t overcompensating super fun? Of course, he’s freaking out about it, running around his apartment on the phone with his mother trying to get his wedding look together. His mom tries to be nice, in that backhanded, awkward mom way, and says that she’s very excited to meet his new “friend” (Mom Code for “the man you’re sleeping with, ew”). She mentions that she put his name as “Richard” on his place card, which only sends Patrick into a fury. “His name is just Richie, MOMMMMMM,” Patrick whines. (I mean, Team Mom here, obviously, because Patrick is the worst human person, but I feel like that’s probably one of the lesser offenses one can pull off? Also, I dunno, maybe these people can just ask each other some questions every now and then? Like, later in the episode Patrick tells his mother that Richie is Mexican, and you’d think she would have picked up on that when she put his name on the seating arrangements. Or maybe his name is something like “Richie Smith,” who knows! This show is moronic and I hate it, and I’m even too tired to seamlessly make a “Señor Grande” joke today.)

Then Richie comes over, revealing how well he cleans up. Team Clean-Shaven Richie! Oh, but Richie is also a big mess who has spilled coffee all over himself, so Patrick offers him a new shirt. Finally, a TV show is nailing the true gay experience: being able to swap clothes with your boyfriend. (Fun fact! I still have a pair of long underwear I kept after someone broke up with me. I showed him, didn’t I?!) Then Patrick discovers he has a parking ticket, and ugh, can’t anything go right? (Coffee stains, parking tickets, YouTube videos about bow ties: very compelling television.) As Patrick drives over the Golden Gate Bridge to the wedding and Richie tries to help him fix his tie, it’s clear that everyone is on edge and disaster is imminent. Obviously it’s a good time for Richie to pull out some pot and offer it to Patrick, which only makes Patrick furious. “You brought pot to my sister’s wedding?” he yelps. “What the fuck are you doing?” Naturally, Richie is pissed off, and storms off on foot to, I guess, walk back across the Golden Gate Bridge home. Spoiler alert: he’s in the next episode, which means he didn’t leap into the San Francisco Bay. Missed opportunity to explore gay suicide, if you ask me.

Meanwhile, back in the city, Agustín is being typical Agustín (noncommittal, annoying, shitty at art). I’m going to ignore him for a while until it’s necessary to talk about him, so keep on your toes. Then there’s Dom, who brings Doris and Hugo (yeah, you know, our old friend Hugo — the weird schlubby straight dude who went to Folsom with Doris) to the pop-up space where Lynn is waiting with a lot of flowers and peri peri chicken. It’s chaos over there, and Dom is freaking out about everything. (Looks like someone can’t handle the heat and should get out of the kitchen!) (Nailed it!)

Patrick arrives at the church to find his mother (Julia Duffy of Newhart, Designing Women, and most importantly BABY TALK, thank God) complaining about the landscaping. Oh, and what do you know, Kevin, his gay British boss, is also there with his boyfriend, who knows Patrick’s soon-to-be brother in law. Uh huh. Sure. San Francisco is so small that I expected Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, and Armistead Fucking Maupin himself to show up at the reception. But hey, at least Kevin knows how to tie a bow tie!

Do I have to talk about Agustín now? No. Deflecting. Don’t want to deal with it yet. Back at the restaurant, Dom starts snapping at everyone, especially Lynn, who tries to gently explain that Dom needs to be front and center because the night is all about him. “Why? Padma isn’t coming tonight,” Dom says in the alternate version of the script that I wrote (the one that includes actual jokes). Finally, Lynn gets tired and leaves, telling Dom, “Fine, if you’re so smart, you can run your own one-night-only pop-up peri peri chicken restaurant.”

OK, fine: Agustín. Agustín is still the worst. He pulls out of the art show that Frank set up for him, and reveals this bit of news while the two of them go hiking. Frank is pissed, and brings up all of the things he’s done for Agustín lately, such as having sex with a prostitute for artistic purposes. Agustín reveals, of course, that he paid CJ to have sex with Frank, and Frank becomes enraged. I guess he thought CJ was working pro-boner (high five)? “You can’t even pay rent!” he says when he finds out that CJ’s rate is $220/hour. “When I was with CJ and he was fucking me, I looked over at you and you were just watching me,” Frank says to Agustín. “That’s all we’ve become: you, over there, me trying to change it.” What a surprising bit of poignancy from Frank! You tell him, Frank. Frank then instructs Agustín to move out of the apartment.

Back at the wedding, Patrick’s dad delivers a toast to his daughter and shares an anecdote about how she used to make Patrick dress up as the Little Mermaid. That seems about right, I suppose. Patrick calls Richie to apologize, and sneaks outside to find his mom looking sad and sullen, probably because there’s nothing to complain about. They talk a little bit about Richie, and Patrick tells her that he’s a little relieved that Richie couldn’t make it to the wedding. “He’s Mexican and poor,” he says. “He cuts hair in a shitty barbershop and has no real ambition to do other than just that and play the bass guitar. You’re the reason why he’s not here tonight.” His mom, thankfully, is the only one on this show to call Patrick out on his ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT, and says, “I don’t think you can blame me for Ritchie. If he’s not here, that’s on you, sweetie.” I wish she had gone on, telling Patrick something like, “Fuck off, you’re a grown-ass man and you can’t blame your shitty sociopathic behavior on the persecution complex you’ve developed,” but instead she just eats a Rice Krispie treat with pot in it, which is a pretty amazing mic-dropping moment.

Patrick sulks off to the bathroom, and in walks Kevin, all drunk and flirty. They talk at the sink, and, what do you know, Kevin goes in and kisses Patrick right on his stupid face. (That this happens in a bathroom seems pretty apt in terms of Kevin and Patrick shitting where they eat.) Patrick is like, “Whoa whoa whoa!” and pushes Kevin away. Kevin scurries off to find his actual boyfriend. This is what happens when you invite middle management to weddings! They can’t handle the pressure of not trying to fuck their employees.

As the party winds down, Patrick’s dad comes over and says, “You’re not gonna want one of these, are ya?” Like anyone would want to marry Patrick. Or, I dunno, it’s not completely out of the question for Patrick to get married to Richie or Kevin in next week’s season finale, possibly at the pop-up peri peri restaurant. Can you imagine what his mother has to say about Portuguese chicken? And I’d love to see the guest list. Everyone we’ve ever seen on this show will show up. Hugo could officiate! Dom’s Grindr hookup could be the flower boy! And Agustín could die. Could he? Please?