HBO "Looking."

The article below contains spoilers for the entire first season of looking, including its season finale -- "Looking Glass" -- which aired March 9th.

"Looking" came to an all-too-quick season's end last night (but hey, at least it wasn't series' end), with its eighth half hour -- "Looking Glass" -- bringing each of its protagonists to a moment of forced self-evaluation, for better or worse (hence the episode's title). 

Only Dom left us on a hopeful note as he finally realized he wants more from Lynn than a business relationship (thanks to the consistent nudging of Doris), while both Patrick and Agustín saw their varying degrees of self-destructive behavior come back around as their now ex-boyfriends (at least for now) Richie and Frank called them out on what neither of them seemed quite capable of seeing themselves all season. It was certainly the series' most emotional episodes (Doris' "he's worth it" speech to Lynn!), and one of its sexiest (jesus christ, Russell Tovey), bringing story arcs full circle as it opened up new ones for the second season. But instead of giving the episode our traditional play-by-play, let's look back at both it and the entire season with regard to each "Looking" character, offering our hopes for next time around in the process:

Patrick Looking
Patrick (Jonathan Groff)

Where We Meet Him: Getting a reluctant hand job in a park (which he abandons when he gets a phone call he fears might be his mother "stopping him from being one of those gays who hooks up in a park" -- it wasn't), going on an OKCupid date with a horrible oncologist, and then finally, meeting a boy on a bus that would end up becoming his boyfriend by season's end.

Where We Leave Him: Patrick develops into an fascinatingly imperfect antihero as the episodes continue along, one driven by his desire to project himself as a good person, and fight against the flaws he feels he's largely been handed by his WASPy mother. This plays considerably into his romance with boy on the bus Richie, a Mexican hairdresser that is as far from what he believes his mother would want for him as possible.  But what does Patrick really like about Richie? It's a question Agustín rightfully asks him in the season finale, and one that he basically answers by saying that it's because Richie is really nice and sincere. Which might make Patrick feel good about himself, but sure isn't enough to stop him from letting his boss Kevin -- who he has been flirting with all season -- go where Richie (and potentially no man) had gone before: Inside him. After resisting Richie's advances to fuck him and then acknowledging he probably has some bottom shame, Patrick let that all go out the window with the hot, rich British boss that is exactly the kind of man his mother would approve of (she confirmed this in last week's episode). 

Where We Hope He Goes: While by no means a role model, Patrick did develop into a layered and interesting and contemporary character like few others on television, and we look forward to the "Looking" writers (and Groff) fleshing that out even further next season. But whatever happens with his probably-won't-end-well Richie/Kevin love triangle (our heart says Richie, but our...), his main concern should probably be to stop blaming others for his weaknesses and start working on both his internalized homophobia and the classist and racist tendencies that his relationship with Richie made clear. We also wouldn't complain if he wore more leather vests.

Looking 4
Agustín (Frankie J. Álvarez)

Where We Meet Him: Moving out of the apartment he shared with Patrick since after college and in with his long-term boyfriend Frank -- a decision that sparks a downward spiral for their relationship and any "Looking" viewer's capacity to not want to jump into their television and slap Agustín in the face.

Where We Leave Him: Finally getting what's coming to him. After spending the entire season acting liked a self-entitled, spoiled disaster and treating everyone around him like shit, Frank rightfully throws him out via the intensely cruel monologue we've all been wanting to scream at Agustín all season. Which sends him alone and defeated -- not to mention high on MDMA -- to Dom's pop up restaurant opening, where he actually comes the closest he has all season to resembling someone we'd want to hang out with as he gives Patrick the honest advice he needs to hear (in much less condescending form than usual -- can Agustín just be high all the time next season?). 

Where We Hope He Goes: Agustín far from fully redeemed himself in the season finale, and his arc in season two has got to be the toughest for the "Looking" writers to pull off. He's largely been the characters viewers hate to hate, but the fact that his entire world has finally been pulled out from underneath him opens a window for Agustín to take a serious look at himself and move in direction that's a lot more appealing for his fellow "Looking" characters -- -- and for us as viewers. What that direction is, I really have no idea. Just as long as its not opening a Piri Piri restaurant. 

Dom (Murray Bartlett)

Where We Meet Him: Freaking out to his roommate and BFF Doris about whether or not to call his former boyfriend, who he has discovered has gone from the drug addict who borrowed (and never repaid) thousands of dollars from him to a successful real estate agent with money to apparently spare. Doris warns him not to, but Dom calls him anyway (and as Doris suspected, it doesn't end well).

Where We Leave Him: After his attempt at getting his money back from his loser ex-boyfriend fails, we learn that Dom -- motivated rather desperately by the fact that he's about to turn 40 -- wants the money so he can fulfill a lifelong dream of... opening a Piri Piri chicken restaurant (which somehow remains a consistently endearing dream all season). This becomes a lot more possible when he meets Lynn, an older man with business expertise who decides to take Dom under his wing. But as things start looking up chicken-wise, the nature of Lynn and Dom's relationship ends up proving confusing for both of them. Things almost seems doomed until Doris swoops into give both men individual pushes that lead to a substantially adorable kiss at episode's end.

Where We Hope He Goes: We wish nothing but the best for our favorite moustached 40 year old. With Patrick and Agustín sure to start off season two in troubled waters, having at least one character who is on a roll would be nice. And the season finale definitely set that possibilty up nicely, with both his chicken dreams and relationship with Lynn looking more likely than ever. We approve of all of the above, though we'd also like to see some serious gratitude to Doris for holding your hand through the entire season (oh, and in addition to some hot sex between him and Lynn, can we also please get the flashback episode where him and Patrick meet via what we've now learned was a hook up?).