Keeping in the spirit of Looking‘s last episode – which, for the most part, revolved around Patrick and Kevin’s burgeoning affair – “Looking From Top To Bottom” further delves into previously-unseen intricacies of their union. Similarly, the episode opens on their implicit struggle to maintain a clandestine relationship from the prying eyes of the world, and from the open ears of Kevin’s proper boyfriend. Trying to juggle schedules ain’t a walk in Golden Gate park.
As Kevin relishes in telling Patty that he’s got a whole 28 hours boyfriend-free, their first dilemma of the week presents itself. In the typical hyper-aware world of Patrick’s romantic tanglings, it’s a ‘dilemma,’ but really it’s an inconvenience to their sex-fuelled secret. Should they go to Dom’s rugby game in public as ‘friends’? One thing’s for certain, it’s their first overnight rendezvous at Patrick’s apartment and he’ll do whatever it takes to make it perfect.
More on that later, as we’re briefly given another sweet moment with Patrick’s ex, the lovely hairdresser, Richie. After his stint as Agustin’s knight in shining armour last week, he’s brought back into the fold when Agustin visits him at work to apologize for his behaviour. Their exchange allows for Richie to finally address the horrible way Agustin treated him back in season 1 during the gang’s park picnic. Further proof that he’s a true gent, he doesn’t dwell in making Agustin feel even worse and instead invites him to sit in a chair to get his beard trimmed. These sly hints at his character could be providing evidence for a later reunion for he and Patrick down the line. Or, they might see his own narrative thread become an autonomous part of the show.
For now, he’s a little wedge into Patrick’s subconscious, as Agustin fills in his doe-eyed bestie on his recent trip to the salon. It’s enough to make Patrick pause – should he call Richie? – but not enough to make him act on that urge, as the two buddies venture to buy him a douche for his first proper night with Kevin. His role in his current relationship is analyzed once more; does the fact that he’s always a bottom mean he’s adopted the ‘subservient woman’ quota? It’s another example of Patrick’s constant need to define the rules of his relationship via typical heteronormative values; he’s an out gay man, but he’s still living by the conventions embedded in our culture.