The episode opens in the fanciest apartment this program has ever shown us. Kevin is looking to move out of Pat and Ag’s pad and into someplace decidedly more expensive. He buys it on the spot, probably as penance for making the realtor listen to a detailed description of the positions they’ll be fucking in later. (They act embarrassed that she overheard, but presumably they knew she was in the next room. Besides, how much shame can you really have when your eventual goal is to fuck in a highly visible location?)
Across town, Dom is pissy that Doris hasn’t been helping enough with the chicken window, but his level of catty childishness really goes through the roof when he learns that “Uncle Bunny” (fingers crossed for a Lady Bunny cameo next week) will be contesting the will and holding the whole inheritance hostage for a few months. Though Mustache is ready to dole out the blame, Doris is having none of it. She didn’t force him to buy a bunch of stuff before the money came through, she didn’t have to give him the money at all, and oh yeah, her dad just died. She storms off and is completely justified in doing so; I nearly marched out of my bedroom in solidarity.
That evening, Patrick brings Kevin to meet his mother. Though Mom has never met one of Pat’s gentleman callers before (and this time even he admits that he’s too old to be saying that), she gets along with the Boss rather well. Unfortunately, the real reason she’s being so nice is because she knows that Pat is having tension with his sister, and she’s taking them to the zoo to force them to hash it out. It’s never clarified why she thinks the zoo is the best place for a serious discussion about feelings, but I suspect it’s because this family doesn’t have a lot of experience with serious discussions about feelings.
The next day, Patrick continues to display his family’s inability to have private discussions in private by exploring whether to move in with Kevin while they lie on one of the test beds at the mattress store. Nothing is resolved because it’s a big question and they can’t hog the PosturePedic all day because other people to figure out their sleep numbers too, you know?
Ag shows up at the center trying to be casual about the fact that he might be going on PrEP. Eddie is short on snide remarks about this because he has bigger fish to fry: his mural artist is gone and he’s not sure how he’ll ever find another queer-friendly artist in San Francisco. You may as well ask him to find hay in a haystack. Literally the only other two people in the room, Ag and the non-gender-normative homeless teen, are readily equipped to create a mural, and the problem is solved almost instantly. Freakout rights revoked, Eddie.
Things are the exact opposite at the zoo: there’s a lot to freak out about, but Patrick’s family is all passive-aggression and subsumed rage. Their idea of blowing up is feeding quinoa chips to giraffes even though the rules forbid it. Way to lash out.
Shockingly, when Ag runs into Frank, Eddie is suddenly totes calm. There’s a weird tornado of romantic tension during their meeting that makes no sense because if someone treated me the way Ag treated Frank in the first season, then I’d never leave the house without the tools needed to set that person completely on fire, JUST IN CASE.
Back among the wild animals, sister Megan is continuing to be the bitchiest bitch that ever bitched because I guess her husband’s friend is friends with Kevin’s ex and she feels like that’s worth more loyalty than the connection to her immediate family. She’s a winner. Mom thinks about laying down the law, but she’s not the type to blow up, so instead she calmly reveals that she’ll be leaving their father because she fell in love with someone else. Her plan, apparently, is to unite her children with the bond of trauma. Patrick briefly considers disagreeing with his mother’s choice, but she subtly reminds him what a steaming pile of hypocrisy that would be, and he falls in line. Checkmate, Mom.
And now, everyone has to face a tough reality and make a tough choice. Unfortunately, few of the characters on this show have shown themselves to be particularly good at displaying maturity or thinking ahead. Saying that Patrick has “decided” something is like saying that your leg “decides” to kick when the doctor hits your knee with that little hammer.
Dom tries to win Doris back with frozen yogurt, but realizes that his peace offering might be insufficient when he sees her packed suitcases. As it turns out, she’s tired of supporting him so thoroughly that he has come to expect total, unquestioning subservience, and she’d rather not feed that situation anymore. She’s not indebted to him and she’s missing out on the happy life she could be leading with Malik because she’s guiltily obsessing over her gay roommate. It’s like how Will & Grace would have ended if one of them had gotten a therapist in the first season. She decides to stay at her boyfriend’s place, but kindly leaves Dom with the froyo. Calories usually make situations like this easier to accept.
Over at the Center, Eddie brings up that he got introduced to Frank as a “friend” yesterday. I’m pretty sure that Ag responds by reminding Eddie that he’s been avoiding the b-word all season, but I couldn’t be sure because I was screaming out loud at my television that he’s been avoiding the b-word all season. They fix it by deciding to say the b-word (which is “boner,” obvs) and then kissing.
We end with Patrick returning to the fancy apartment, which is now Kevin’s for real. The final tough decision: Pat will move in with his boyfriend. My favorite part about this choice is that he makes it because he wants to spend Christmas with Kevin here. Which, bee tee dubs, he could do without actually moving in. It’s not like when December rolls around, Kevin is going to be all, “Sorry, residents only.” Or maybe he would. That’d be a hell of a season finale.
Romain Chamby in “Circus Boxer” (3/12) by Mateo Armand (Paris, France)