In this week’s very special episode of Looking, we take a break from the boys and focus on the girl. After 14 episodes of discovering what’s at stake for Agustin, Dom, and Patrick, the show offers a peek inside of Doris’ life—which goes on to explain a lot about her and her relationship with Dom.
Consider this the book of Doris and the only way to dive into her story is with an excuse to get outside San Francisco. And, in this case, that’s the death of Doris’ father, which forces her to return to childhood home in Modesto, a place that she and Dom so eagerly escaped.
It’s on this trip back that we start to put together the backstory of Dom and Doris—something that’s only been hinted at previously. While we already knew the dated, what we couldn’t comprehend is Dom’s previous life as a straight man, which involved having unsatisfactory sex—Doris’ words—and very loose talks of marriage. There was a time these two thought they were destined to be together only to realize much later that these two will always be a couple in some way.
This is where I’ll point out the sexual tension between Dom and Doris that somehow still exists even though neither one is sexually interested in each other. There was so much spark in the hotel pool scene. But hey, it doesn’t get any more intimate than being inside someone—a bond that Dom and Doris shared and never can forget. And Looking has always been at its best when it can find those moments between characters that genuinely feel real.
The sad truth to Doris’ story is that show’s funniest character comes from such a dark place. Her mother was an abusive drunk. Her aunt was sexually assaulted by a family member. Her longtime boyfriend turned out to be gay—not that we’re complaining. And the death of her father officially makes her an orphan.
Doris’ jokes are her armor and loving someone has always been a cautious journey. But after the funeral—and getting hit by another car when leaving the graveyard—she shatters. Yes, Dom is her rock, but Malik is the man she needs to put her back together.
Kudos to Lauren Weedman for superb acting and dialing back the laughs for an understated yet heartfelt performance.
Of course, Doris didn’t make this journey home alone. Dom was right by her side, forced to revisit his past. The chief among them: His former straight identity. At 40, he had to come out to a former classmate...
And later found the courage to come out to his dad, who he never uttered the words to out loud while he was alive.
Then there’s Patrick, who used the roadtrip as a way to physically escape the Halloween party only to emotionally purge in front of everyone at the funeral.
Though, the episode ended on a positive note for him. Kevin shows up on his doorstep to reveal he’s miraclously pulled a 180-degree change of heart having left Jon for Patrick. Oh sweet bliss…