‘Looking’ Season 1 Finale Recap: “Looking Glass”


In my idea of a perfect world, the gals from Girls would have gathered together in Terminal 5 at JFK and hopped on a JetBlue flight to San Francisco, where they are planning a girls-only getaway so they can be terrible to each other in a different time zone. While desperately searching for cupcakes in the Mission, Hannah bumps into Andrew Rannells — not Elijah, the character he plays on Girls, but actually Andrew Rannells, because who are we kidding, Andrew Rannells is always just playing Andrew Rannells. “Come meet my new friends,” he says to Hannah, before introducing her to Dom, Agustín, and Patrick. Boy, do Patrick and Hannah have a lot to talk about: Hannah about how Adam is her Big, Patrick how Richie is his Grande, and they both agree that it’s really difficult to be emotionally 17. Meanwhile, Dom fucks Marnie, Doris and Shoshanna go out for Cosmos, and Jessa and Agustín do a ton of cocaine and drive off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Alas, we can’t have nice things. Instead, Patrick goes to visit Richie at the barber shop in order to patch things up. This is borderline stalking (“Don’t show up at work” is Rule #1 in the Tyler Coates Manual of Not Being Crazy), but sometimes people find that romantic, I guess. Not Richie, though, who seems rightfully annoyed that Patrick expects him to leave his customer in the middle of a haircut so they can talk about feelings and shit. (The dude didn’t pay 14 bucks for an intermittent buzz cut.) Patrick is upset because Richie hasn’t answered his calls. “If I don’t pick up,” Richie replies, “it’s because I don’t want to talk,” adding that he needs some space. “Space space?” Patrick replies. He just saw Gravity so, you know, he’s still quite shaken up, I guess.

Back in Oakland, Agustín lays in a woeful manner in bed before pulling out some drugs from his bedside table. (I originally thought they were suppositories, and I thought, “Oh, great, is this the Chekov’s gun of Looking? No thank you.”) Frank comes home and tosses some shade at Agustín for still being in the apartment despite being told to move out. Frank goes and locks himself in the bathroom while Agustín pleads with him through the door, bringing up “the thing” that ruined the relationship, meaning the time Agustín paid his prostitute friend a hell of a lot of money to fuck his boyfriend while he took pictures. Also, aw, Agustín certainly can’t see the forest for the big, gigantic, prostitute-shaped topiary, can he? Like that’s their only problem. Frank isn’t buying it, and basically nails Agustín’s entire existence in three sentences. “You don’t know who you think you are. The whole concept you concocted with the hustler is nothing but the musings of a poor rich kid. You’re never going to be an artist, and if you ever do follow through with something it’ll be mediocre at best.” DAMN, GIRL. (I’ve already emailed that to about five guys to whom I’m not currently speaking.) Agustín shuffles toward the door. When he eyes his only piece of art — the image of a unicorn collaged out of photographs of dicks — he rips it off the wall. (For those of you who didn’t pick up on this, it’s ~*~ S Y M B O L I S M ~*~)

Patrick goes to work and pops in late to a meeting with his team, led by his philandering boss, Kevin, with whom he awkwardly avoids eye contact because of their illicit make-out sesh in the men’s room at Patrick’s sister’s wedding. He goes up to the roof to eat lunch in peace, but is interrupted by Kevin, who apologizes for what happened last night. Now, I’m legitimately confused about the sequence of days here, and I’ve spent hours coming up with several theories, which I will share here because I’ve been kicked off the Looking Reddit thread.

  1. Patrick’s sister’s wedding took place on a Saturday afternoon, which is the typical day of the week for weddings, and Kevin is a real shitheel of a boss for scheduling a large meeting on a Sunday morning, not to mention a terrible planner because he knew he would be drinking a lot at a wedding he was attending with his boyfriend the night before.
  2. Patrick is actually a blue-eyed Jew from Colorado and his family had a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony on a Sunday afternoon, which means sunrise, sunset, today is Monday.
  3. Patrick’s parents are really cheap and decided to have a wedding on a weekday afternoon because it’s a lot more affordable to get a wedding venue on a Wednesday afternoon, and Patrick’s sister and her now-husband have such good friends that they still had a big crowd of people who took a day off from work to go to a wedding, thinking, “Hey, why not go to work hungover? Typical Thursday, bro.”
  4. Time is a flat circle, and that weird Noah guy who showed up in two episodes is the Yellow King.

Will we ever know the answer? Probably not. But doesn’t this speak wonders for how put together this show is? Great writing, you guys. The timing is as airtight as Patrick’s asshole. (OR IS IT? I’ll revisit that in a bit.) Anyway, Kevin tells Patrick that weddings make him crazy (a lunacy probably exacerbated when encountered on weekdays, so score a point for the third theory), and he doesn’t want things to be weird between them.

Agustín, accepting that he is a failed artist, does what any bored, unemployed single person would do: he takes drugs and rides public transportation while listening to his iPod. After doing that for a few hours, he hops over to Dom’s pop-up restaurant, which is poppin’-up tonight! (What a great friend.) Patrick finds Agustín nearly passed out on the street in front of Dom’s place, and, despite being nearly incoherent and completely fucked up, is adamant about staying for dinner. “I’ll stay mute,” he says to Patrick, who replies, “OK, Holly Hunter.” Yeeeeeah, right. If Patrick, at 29, spent all that time freaking out about the possibility of seeing an uncircumcised penis, I doubt he’s the kind of sophisticated film watcher who is well-versed in Jane Campion’s oeuvre.

Patrick and Agustín walk in and greet Dom and Doris, and before anyone can get excited about finally finding out what the hell peri-peri is, Agustín announces, “I’m single now!” Everyone looks exasperated in response, probably because they know what we don’t know: if you thought Coupled Agustín was terrible, just wait for Single Agustín! As they’re seated, Patrick fills Agustín in on the Richie drama, and Agustín asks why Patrick likes him in the first place, and Patrick replies, “He’s sweet. He doesn’t have a cynical bone in his body.” I can understand why Patrick would be attracted to that kind of personality type, considering he’s sitting with his best friend from college at their mutual friend’s restaurant opening, and his best friend is rolling on ecstasy. Patrick takes him outside to cool down and tells him about Kevin kissing him at the wedding. “Why the hell was he at your sister’s wedding?” Agustín does not ask, because that would be too simple, and forget it, Jake, this is Lookingtown.

In Restaurant Drama news, things seem to be going fairly smoothly. That is until Lynn shows up with a date — some guy who looks like a Bond villain. Things are tense between Lynn and Dom, and Dom gets cagey when he says hello to Lynn’s anonymous friend (he doesn’t bother introducing himself, and why should he?). There’s a potato crisis in the kitchen, and Doris, bless her heart, announces with great joy how much she’d like Lynn’s date to sit on her face. The people on this show are such good friends to one another and know just the right thing to say all of the time! She does, however, accost Lynn after the dinner to tell him how great Dom is and how he took Lynn’s advice. “Dom’s worth it,” she says, getting all misty-eyed, but probably only because she’d like Dom to stop bringing strangers home to the apartment three to four times a week and would like to see him settle down with the guy from Quantum Leap, which I think is fair.

Kevin texts Patrick, and Patrick announces that he has to leave dinner early to go to work. I mean, it is Sunday or Monday or Thursday night, that makes complete sense. Patrick shows up to his darkened office (and it’s revealed, by the way, the name of his company, which is painted on the wall: MOST DANGEROUS GAMES. I was hoping this was going to be a Carcosa-like motif which would lead to Kevin popping out of the darkness with a crossbow, but Patrick barely counts as a human so I suppose he wouldn’t be much fun to hunt anyway). Patrick is like, “What? Why did you drag me here?” Kevin announces how much he wants to fuck him, basically. “Do you know how much effort it takes to be around you every day?” he asks Patrick. Trust me, Kevin, I can only imagine how much energy Patrick’s presence sucks out of you! Anyway, they start making out, and then Kevin fucks Patrick, finally bringing to a close the most easiest and shortest round of “Will They or Won’t They?” ever seen on American television. But hey, at least Patrick finally got to see, presumably, an uncut cock, so I think we should congratulate him on finally finding what he was looking for! (Ding dong!) As they get dressed, Patrick asks, “So now what?” I assume he means, “Are you the Rachel and I’m the Ross, or…” because I still don’t quite understand what the hell that is all about.

Back at the restaurant, Dom corners Lynn as he’s leaving. Lynn tells Dom that his nameless date is just a friend, which is certainly a relief because that’s one less character to have to remember next season. Dom offers up an apology for being a shithead the day before. “I know the reason you were hands off tonight was because I was an asshole yesterday,” he says. “I didn’t want the night to end without getting the chance to apologize to you. I don’t know how we’re leaving things.” Dom wants to keep doing pop-ups, and possibly something more permanent, but Lynn cuts him off. “Tonight should be the end of our working relationship,” Lynn says. Dom’s erection is at least happy to hear this, and he kisses Lynn.

Patrick limps home to find Richie waiting for him in front of his apartment. (Does this kid not know how cell phones work?) Patrick is surprised to see him and says, “I thought you said you didn’t want to talk to me ever again.” “I didn’t say that,” Richie replies; it’s natural Patrick would have missed the point, as he was probably distracted by the fact that Richie somehow grew out his beard again in 24 hours. (Time is a flat et cetera.) Richie offers an apology for his behavior: “When I feel disrespected, especially by someone I care about, it just does something to me,” he says. “I think we took things too fast. We rushed everything. Part of it was my fault, but, you know, I like you so fucking much.” Yes, one awfully real moment is finally happening on Looking, but I am too distracted by not knowing how long these two have known each other, and I’ve given up on understanding the timeline of this show. But Richie does get the final word in: “I am this close to falling in love with you,” he says to Patrick, “but I’m not going to do that to myself. You’re not ready.” Who can blame Richie? No one wants to teach a 29-year-old man how to be a grown up, especially if he’s off boning his boss the second his relationship starts to get complicated.

Crying, Patrick heads inside to his apartment, where he finds Agustín sleeping in his bed. He climbs in next to him, opens his laptop, and starts watching The Golden Girls, the theme song swelling. “Thank you for being a friend,” Looking tells us, although what the hell have they done for us lately other than being the most obvious round of “Fuck/Marry/Kill?” Oh well. See you next season! I hope I am dead between now and then.