The stories of our three main characters get shoved along at a steady clip in the third episode of HBO's Looking, with all of them suddenly facing big changes in their work lives.
The pacing in this episode is starting to feel more like an actual TV show, and that's a good thing. Director Andrew Haigh is maybe getting his bearings after being more of an arty indie filmmaker, and though the show still has that gauzy indie look, it's moved at a kind of ponderous pace at certain moments, giving it an unnecessarily arty pretense. It's TV, there's a lot to move along in a half hour, so the quickness here is much appreciated.
First off, there's our ruddy cheeked hero Patrick (who's still being played with great, utterly awkward charm by Jonathan Groff), who kicks things off by accidentally hitting on his new boss at a work party onboard a battleship. He works as a "level designer" for video games, right, so the party involves some video game playing Patrick sidles in and joins new, big-eared British hottie Kevin (Russell Tovey) to play one of their new games while seated on huge torpedoes (so subtle). He gets Kevin to admit he's gay, thereby winning a $1000 bet from his coworker, and then discovers Kevin will be his new boss. There's clearly a flirtation there, but Kevin says he has a boyfriend, and while that's too bad I'll just say from experience that it doesn't mean they're not going to hook up, or at least talk about it. Patrick dominates in the video game, but then the power quickly shifts as they get to the office and Patrick wants to be put on Kevin's new team at work to work on a new game. Kevin makes sure to quickly point out that Patrick's browser history shows he spends way too much time on OKCupid and Manhunt, just so he knows who's boss.
This leads to Patrick deleting his OKCupid account later in the episode, and toying with going back to Esta Noche to patch things up with Richie.
Over in Oakland, Agustin and his boyfriend Frank squabble about the fact that Agustin doesn't have any new art to show, because he hasn't been making any. And then this frustration bubbles over to work, where Agustin loses his job as Ann Magnuson's assistant when he insults her work. This is sad, because I love Ann Magnuson, and she probably won't be back now. Agustin then goes to a cafe where a male hooker sorry, sex worker tells him he should consider a "career change." "Some people are good with numbers, they become an accountant. I'm terrible with numbers, but I'm good at sex." Then he shows up at his old apartment, where Patrick lives, and they get stoned and order Thai food and discussing how neither of them is "very good at being who we think we are." Saddest line, from Patrick: "Maybe we need to try a little harder."
Dom is talking about opening a chicken restaurant of his own, featuring Portuguese-style peri peri chicken along the lines of this place. He and Doris go to some dumb looking Zumba class or something, and whilst aerobicizing they talk about it. Then Dom happens to meet a handsome older gentleman at a bathhouse, naked in a steam room, because Dom is the proud of whore of the group, and... it's Scott Bakula. Yes, the Scott Bakula, who is looking incredibly fit these days despite being 60 years old. Dom learns that he's actually the owner of a well known flower shop in the Castro, but he's still not that into him despite the fact that Scott tells him that he's an "institution" in this town, being the handsome waiter at Zuni who everyone has slept with. We know from the next episode preview that Lynn, Scott's character, is going to come in handy since Dom is looking for investors in his chicken restaurant. And maybe they will hook up. Fingers crossed.
P.S. Bathhouses like this don't really exist in San Francisco anymore. They shot this at Eros, which is the only one of its kind that's left and not all that popular with the kids, and it'd be highly unlikely to find people like Dom or Lynn there. There is Steamworks in Berkeley, though...
P.P.S. There is zero depiction of bathhouse sex.
P.P.S. From the preview we also see that the next episode is the Folsom Street Fair episode, and Agustin propositions that hooker to see if he'll model for some artwork, or something. And Patrick begins a "fantasy relationship" with Kevin.