If last week's season premiere was a refuge from the reality of our character's lives, “Looking for Results” was almost a jarring reminder of where they really are all in their lives back in S.F. At the forefront is the blatant fact that Patrick (“American Sniper” star Jonathan Groff!) and Kevin (“Pride” cameo star Russell Tovey!) are both having awkward realizations about what they have been up to. And then there's good ol' Augustin, but we'll get to him in a minute.
First, it might have made you cringe, but Groff was slyly perfect this episode playing that friend we all have who is so passionately into whomever he or she is dating that they are completely missing all the major red flags in the relationship (obviously, as viewers we've never been this naive ourselves). Of course, in this case it's the fact that Kevin is actually already in a long term relationship with someone else. He's told his good friends Dom (Murray Bartlett) and Augustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) who both want to be supportive, but also are giving him that look out of the corner of their eyes that screams “You're not going to listen to us and you're going to get hurt.” Patrick's character also reverts to the early days of last season when he pretty much has a freak out (or as Augustin notes “one of your spirals”) convincing himself that because he has a rash he might have AIDS (although we loved whoever was playing the medical professional on the phone with him). Eventually he discovers he's negative, but how Patrick acted will only fuel the fire for viewers who complain how unlikeable he can be (don't get mad at me, I'm just the messenger).
As for Kevin, director and writer (and series co-creator) Andrew Haigh did a textbook job showing us how charming and sexy he can be in the hotel room scene with Patrick and, eventually, at the end of the episode when he breaks out his boy band dance choreography. For a moment, many fans might actually have sympathy for Kevin as he stresses over the company and his own boyfriend finding out about the affair (he's got migraines!). Then there are those that think no matter how adorable he is, he's a lowdown dirty dog and should have broken up with his current boyfriend before jumping into this fling with Patrick. (Can you tell where this writer stands?). Let's be clear here though, the show is doing everything possible outside of giving him a dying dog with cancer to make you forget about all those messy moral and ethical issues (and remember, as Patrick tells his friends, Kevin's the one having the affair, not him).
Then there's good ol' Augustin. Looking to run into Eddie (Daniel Franzese), his fling from last week's journey into the woods, Augustin goes out to a local bear friendly club. With Eddie seemingly not around, Augustin runs into an old acquaintance, Scotty, and a temptation he can't turn down (GHB). We don't discover in this episode if Augustin ever finds Daniel because he's too drugged out to even know what's going on besides the beat of the music from the dance floor (also: drugs make you take your shirt off when you dance!). Eventually — and we assume hours later — he's found sitting on the sidewalk still high as a kite. And, conveniently, it's Richie (Raúl Castillo), out with some friends, who recognizes him.
In one of the better handled moments of the show so far this season, Richie brings Augustin back to the apartment he shares with Patrick. Castillo was one of the cast's unsung heroes last year bringing a depth and emotional resonance to Richie that was sometimes missing from some of the other regulars. Richie is clearly still in pain over what happened with Patrick and Castillo communicates it subtly and with little dialogue. The door is certainly left open for Patrick and Richie to reunite (is Patrick slowly realizing he might have made a mistake?), but we're starting to wonder if a continuing Patrick/Kevin/Richie love triangle is too predictable of a storyline for Haigh and series creator Michael Lannan to go down (or maybe we're giving them too much credit for potentially not going there).
Some other quick observations about tonight's episode…
– Last season Dom dreamed of opening his own restaurant and it looked like Lynn was going to help him get the financing he needed to do it. This episode introduces a new wrinkle in that plan. Dom is now going to open a much smaller establishment that would primarily serve peri-peri chicken at a takeout window (which reminds me of Short Order at the Farmer's Market here in Los Angeles, just in a much sketchier neighborhood). Does this have a chance of being more successful than Dom's original dream?
– Hanging out with the boys, Doris (Lauren Wee is pretty much and blatantly picked up at a bar by Malik (Bashir Salahuddin). Giving Doris a romantic prospect could be interesting down the road, but we need to find out more about Malik first before we wonder if this plot line would have been better saved for season three.
– The idea of Patrick and Kevin starting their own gay game app is actually one of the best ideas the show has had so far. It feels organic and could be a huge source of drama down the road. The fact Haigh made sure Kevin warned Patrick not to let anyone at the company know about it due to their contracts was telling. And HBO might want to snag the rights to the character's idea sooner rather than later because it sounded like something a non-gamer like I might actually download (they would do that right?)
– Judging by everyone in the office looking into the windows at Patrick and Kevin how much longer do you think this secret affair remains a secret at their workplace?
– Favorite lines of the episode: “You think everyone works at the Chipotle at the mall.” “We were a big 'Murder She Wrote' family.”
– Take That's “Do What You Want” for those that want more insight into Kevin's younger years in the UK.
What did you think of this episode? Are Patrick and Kevin destined to be together for ever? Is Richie playing the role of Taylor Lautner in this love triangle or is he actually Patrick's true soulmate? Share your thoughts in the comments.