Looking might have just given us its best episode of the season. And all it took was a visit to a leather and BDSM festival. Fine. Fine, there was a bit more to the episode than chaps and pecs, like a florist who can make restaurant dreams come true and a sex worker who can make you give up vegetarianism.

Let's get into it: 

 So, have either of you been to the Folsom Street Fair?

Esther: Nope. The only times I’ve been to San Francisco I was under the age of 11. So.

Alex: Yes. Once. All I remember was that there were lots of balls.

We finally get to see a bit more of the Kevin and Patrick friendship. Can we call it a friendship? Relationship? Kinship? Gosh, it’s weird right?

Alex: It’s a bit weird. Maybe it feels weird to me because I’m a little protective of how gay men are depicted. The only other show I remember where they’ve shown gay men working at the same company is Vanderpump Rules. And I’m not totally in love with the idea or message that gay men cannot work together without wanting to have sex with one another.

But it’s also not unrealistic. I think there’s something to the point that gay men can have connections, experiences, and a sense of security with each other that are really hard to understand if you’re not a gay man. And sometimes that happens between two gays guys at work, though it doesn’t always manifest itself in sexual desire. There’s a pronounced parallel between Kevin-Patrick and Dom-Lynn, an idea that gay men may have a difficult time separating personal and business and are still learning how to do that.  

Esther: I’m not sure I found it as weird as you did. I totally understand your perspective, though I also think the boss-employee sexual attraction is something that’s tried and true as a plotline regardless of sexuality. And while perhaps there was some sexual tension between Patrick and Kevin, the show I think has done a lot to show that gay men can have relationships that aren’t sexual.  

I feel like the show was always going to tease out a quasi-romantic relationship between those two, considering that their first interaction was Patrick trying to hit on Kevin. So even before we knew he was going to be Patrick’s boss, we knew he was going to be a character that Patty was attracted to. Is it bad that I sort of wanted something to happen between them, if only because, in my mind, that would have meant more Russell Tovey on the show? Note: I adore Russell Tovey.  

Alex:  Stop ruining this, Esther. You know Patrick has a beautiful thing going on with Richie. You’re raining on my ‘ship.

Esther: Well, your ‘ship wins, according to the end of this episode. And my ‘ship is a terrible idea. I just like him.

Agustin is kind of an insufferable friend, right?

Alex: I can’t tell if Agustin is going through a rough patch or is actually a terrible friend. I’ve never seen someone that concerned with trying to impress a prostitute.

Esther: Well, and I guess he paid for that with diarrhea. I think we’re definitely supposed to think that Agustín is going through a rough patch, but we haven’t really seen much evidence of Agustín being a good friend. He was the person that put the “uncut” idea in Patrick’s head way back in episode two.  

Alex: You’re so right. Agustin has a way of getting into Patty’s head. Here’s a life tip: Never listen to Agustin. 

Esther: At least he admits to being “horrible” after being a jerk to Patty after pooping in his office. Though in a way, everything he said to Patty about his “fantasy relationship” with Kevin, was true, and maybe ultimately led to Patty’s decision to hold back.

How do we feel about Patrick going back to Richie at the end of the episode?

Esther: I think I know your answer to this Alex, because you’ve revealed your ‘shipping allegiance. Aside from that, I’m really interested to see where this goes, considering things ended so poorly with Richie the first time he and Patrick went out. It would be great if this means the show is going to address Patrick’s not-so-secret racism during his first date with Richie.

Alex: This episode made me happy. I really like Patrick with Richie because I want to have Russell Tovey all to myself. Okay, I’m kidding. Sorta. Maybe. No I am not. 

Esther: Fair enough. I totally understand that.

Alex: But to honestly answer your question I really like the idea of the ways we can explore Patty’s ignorance and sheltered life. And I think that there’s a sharp disconnect between the reality of interracial couples and the lack of it on television. And maybe we and he can all learn something from this. 

Esther: This is definitely the best episode of the show so far though, right? I feel like they really got the pacing right.

Alex: The best. Groff/Tovey have really great chemistry together. I also think the characters feel a bit more solid than they did in that first episode.

Last question: did you know what Peri Peri chicken was? 

Alex: Yes. Fuck yes. There’s a chain of restaurants called Nando’s Peri Peri, and it is amazing. Dom, please take all my money now.

Esther: I definitely support his endeavor.