Looking, Season 2, Episode 8, “Looking for Glory”
Sunday, March 8, 2015, 10:00 PM (EST), HBO
“Looking for Glory” is an examination of the personas we create for ourselves, both to our detriment and benefit. It’s an episode that – like most episodes – can hit way too close to home in terms of its specificity to Patrick and Kevin’s relationship, and its universal appeal/relatability (I know I had many moments where I screamed at the TV, “Why does this show have to make me feel things?”).
The newly unified Patrick and Kevin (I suggest avoiding giving them a cutesy nickname because it will only result in the aurally unappealing “Pevin” or “Katrick”) bask in the afterglow of two weeks of dating. Patrick does his best to put on a “good boyfriend” front, whether it is remedying his morning breath with minty fresh toothpaste, or trying to make breakfast in bed (which he ultimately ends up dropping on the floor). It is a moment between the two that doesn’t have to be hidden or erased, which is why Patrick tries to make it as perfect as possible.
Patrick’s first attempt at going public about his relationship comes via a French bulldog sweater (a nod not only to an earlier episode, but also to Russell Tovey’s real-life dog). Patrick borrows Kevin’s sweater and intends to wear it to work, though Kevin is more apprehensive (he feels that they need a gap period, much like Brangelina had while Brad Pitt was getting divorced from Jennifer Aniston). They attend their work meeting with Patrick wearing the aforementioned sweater/finishing all of Kevin’s sentences. Their coworkers take note of their annoyingly adorable chemistry, but chalk it up to them being close friends rather than a couple. Patrick and Kevin remedy this mentality by going public, even quelling the idea that their relationship will affect workplace fairness.
The episode branches into three different directions, with Dom repairing his restaurant sans Doris (who goes to the birthday party of Malik’s niece), while Agustin unintentionally freaks out after Eddie cums in his eye. These two stories don’t receive as much attention as Patrick’s arc, but they challenge the idea of the personas we create in interpersonal relationships (and give Daniel Franzese a full frontal moment). Dom expects his self-proclaimed best friend to always be available, but Doris is capable of pursuing her own desires and needs outside of her friendship with Dom. Agustin believes that his good intentions speak for themselves, but his freak out (in spite of all the sex he had with Eddie) reveals that he has a lot he needs to work out. Eddie confronts Agustin about the moment, and Agustin assures Eddie that he will work on it.
Meanwhile, Patrick’s story leads to Gaymer X where he and Kevin – clad in matching jackets – debut One Up Him, an RPG game in which players choose gay stereotypes (Patrick calls them “archetypes”) and battle one another. Their game is met with disinterest from the convention attendees, leading Patrick and Kevin to focus more on their enjoyment than on their networking. They run into Richie, who is surprised they are back together, and Brady, who is covering the convention for a new story. All four plan on attending the queer prom after party (which gives Patrick a chance to relive his high school prom – corsage, dancing, awkward photos, et al), as well as grabbing a bite to eat after.
At the restaurant, drunk Brady asks Kevin to escort him to the bathroom because Kevin talks like Mary Poppins. While Brady tries to vomit next to his British escort, Richie passively judges Patrick’s relationship (perhaps a sign that he wasn’t ready to let Patrick go, and/or that he is hurt to see him happy with someone else). Unable to vomit, Brady returns to the table only to apologize for everything he and Richie said about Kevin and Patrick (including saying that Patrick is a teenage girl afraid of his own vagina).
In spite of Brady’s comments, and the terrible reviews their game receives, Patrick spends an amorous night in a hotel with Kevin. Patrick does the inevitable: he tells Kevin that he loves him, freaks out, then realizes that he means it. Kevin returns the sentiment and the two curl up underneath the covers. Looking continues to become more and more intimate with its characters, making their struggles, neuroses, and qualms all the more relatable and believable. It tries to show them at their most vulnerable, when they realize that these fronts are only a means of preventing them from having the happiness that they want.
Looking for Glory” shows its characters trying to create a perfect persona, but realizing that these are just façades that prevent them from confronting their real problems, neuroses, and happiness.