At a big work party on a Naval Destroyer, Patrick decides to forget about Richie, get drunk and have fun. Sailors hand out free drinks and Patrick is in heaven, I think I would be too. A group of co-workers discuss the games they work on and Patrick talks about how he always plays as the female character in his video games, not because he’s gay but because “Women are the outsiders in games and I relate to that”. What gay man hasn’t played as Princess Peach in Mario Kart, or at least as Yoshi the androgynous dinosaur?
After a random man pokes fun at him, Patrick follows him to a side area of the party to find out if he’s gay or not. This man happens to be Patrick’s potential new boss, played by the handsome Brit Russell Tovey. He is in fact gay, but unfortunately, has a boyfriend. “I asked out my boss while straddling a torpedo, and he said no,” after talking to his co-worker, Patrick realizes he needs to apologize to Kevin (Tovey) in order to get on his good side and possibly work with him.
The next day Patrick makes his way into Kevin’s office, asking for forgiveness and explaining while he and his work partner should be considered for the new position. Kevin let’s Patrick know that it would be long days and working weekends, something Patrick doesn’t seem to mind. I don’t think I would mind either if my boss was an attractive gay man with a seductive accent — my boss is an attractive gay man with a seductive Scottish accent and I’ve definitely worked extra shifts for that reason.
At that point Kevin brings up Patrick’s internet usage at work and shows him how much time he’s spent logged in on sites like OKcupid and ManHunt, sites that I still receive e-mails from even though I thought I deleted accounts years ago. “It seems like all I do lately is give people the wrong impression.” Which is true, we the audience get to see Patrick’s good intentions, but his follow-through is usually pretty pathetic and embarrassing.
Patrick stays up late working on a level of a video game to impress Kevin. The next day when he presents it, Kevin lets him know that he was always going to be a part of his team and that he was just messing with him, a little payback for the other night. Which is well deserved, Patrick needs to check himself every once in a while, other people are not just his play things or video game characters he gets to do whatever he wants with.
Frank brings up to Agustin that his friend has a gallery space and asks if he has any work he may like to show. This strikes a chord deep in Agustin, and his bitchy-backfire hits Frank. He is upset at himself for not creating, and it lingers with him all the way to work where he has a minor blow-up with his artist.
Agustin is finally honest to his boss about her art that he’s been working on and she makes a joke about his lack of work, prompting him to tell her to “fuck off” and ending his position as her assistant. While consoling himself over a piece of cake, he meets a male sex-worker who has no shame in what he does. “This is what I do. If I was embarrassed about it, I wouldn’t do it.” Nothing cures the work blues like a slice of red velvet. “People are into beards,” he tells Agustin, maybe he should consider a new line of work?
I remember when I lived in an artists loft after my final year of Film School and that exact conversation came up with a close friend. You’d see posters all around the city of Toronto looking for “Hot Guys 18+ Needed” and there were times we were so broke, my roommate and I discussed it. It was never actually considered, but we wondered how those types of things work and what the pay was and if it was worth it just so we could buy some nice groceries or a brick of fancy cheese for once. Neither of us ever went through with it, but it was always fun to wonder what a “generou$” date could bring.
Agustin gets extremely defensive whenever anyone brings up his work, his art, or the act of creating. Even Patrick gets cut off quickly when he acts concerned about what’s in store for Agustin. “When was the last time you heard me call myself an artist?” It’s something Agustin never does. When I first left film school, I never called myself a filmmaker, even though it was what I had spent the last 5 years doing. “I don’t think either of us are very good at being who we think we are” Patrick says to Agustin, and he’s right. On his way home, Agustin stares at the sex workers business card, maybe it’s time for him to think of himself a little differently?
Dom is uncharacteristically in a great mood, “I haven’t seen you this perky since you dragged me to see Miss Congeniality” Doris says, something I’ve said to my own roommate a number of times. During a Zoomba class, Dom lets Doris know about his plans to finally open his own restaurant. He feels empowered after his verbal throw down with Ethan and decides to focus all of his energy on this new business endeavour.
He heads out to meet up with an old chef friend to persuade her to jump ship at her job and come on board with him. It doesn’t work out too well, she’s afraid that Dom won’t be able to get the money and that people don’t know exactly what Piri Piri chicken is.
After this letdown, Dom does the only thing that he knows how to make himself feel better, goes looking for sex. He heads to a bathhouse where he is only in a towel the entire time, inspiring me to stick to my New Years resolution and keep working out. He meets an older gentleman and discusses with him the way things used to be, men used to talk in bathhouses, there were discussions instead of just a quick pump-n-go. I like the nod back to the older days, the days when these men had to fight for the rights that the new generation has.
This character seems like a great catalyst for a little more discussion on knowing our gay history, and the men who stood before us to pave the queer way. Shows like this are so important to young closeted gay men. Watching Queer as Folk secretly on Monday nights helped me get through some tough times in high school, so if the show throws in a little history (with it’s spank-bankable sex scenes) it’s a win-win!
Once they get to talking, Dom realizes he knows this gentleman. He owns a florist shop on Castro, he’s “like an institution”. When Dom let’s him know where he works, the gentleman turns it around on him: Dom too is an institution. This hits Dom a little too hard and puts him in feel-better mode. The young guy who has been following Dom around the bathhouse suddenly looks like a great way to forget about his age and escape, but not before making plans with the florist to get lunch sometime. I love the idea of Dom dating someone older than him, that he could possibly see a future with instead of hopping around from boy to boy to boy. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing much more of the florist in future episodes.