Ah, the ever-elusive platonic kiss on the mouth. This week’s episode of “Partners” explores the issue, as Joe (David Krumholtz) begins to question Ali’s (Sophia Bush) habit of kissing her gay male buddy Wyatt (Brandon Routh) on the lips. She thinks it’s just a casual smooch hello and goodbye — until Joe reminds her that Wyatt kinda looks like Superman.
“It’s a very innocent thing when it begins, because Ali kisses Wyatt goodbye on the mouth, as so many of us do with close friends, with family. I always kissed my grandfather on the mouth! He kissed my mother on the mouth, he kissed my father on the mouth,” Sophia recalled when we sat down with her on set last week. “I do, with a lot of my gay friends, because they’re my buddies! Because there’s no threat of sexuality existing in it, you can be as affectionate with your closest friends as you are with your family and so Ali and Wyatt kiss on the mouth.”
“You’re not supposed to kiss another dude on the mouth!” David insists, backing up his character’s point of view. “It doesn’t matter if he’s gay or not! It totally does not matter. A man is a man. If I saw my wife routinely kissing another man on the mouth, even if he was gay, it would get under my skin, because like Joe points out in the episode, there’s no way she’s not getting anything out of it. Especially a strappingly handsome man like Brandon Routh.”
Once Joe starts getting into Ali’s head about the whole thing, her stubborn insistence that she’s not into the kiss wears down. “Neither Ali or Wyatt has ever thought it was weird,” Sophia explains, “but, of course, Brandon is Brandon, and he’s like this cut-from-marble, corn-fed — I don’t even know what the word is for someone who looks like him. I don’t think there’s an appropriate word. He’s just so good and solid and handsome. So the more Joe puts into Ali’s head that it’s weird, the more when it happens, Ali begins to realize that Wyatt, who she relates to almost like a girlfriend, is actually a really hot guy.”
“Joe feels threatened,” Krumholtz says. “It’s emasculating. So he sets down some ground rules about how she’s allowed to kiss him. It doesn’t work out for him. It actually gets worse, and he sets out to prove to her that she can’t not get turned on by a kiss from Wyatt.”
As you can imagine, shenanigans follow — though the story plays out mostly between Joe and Ali, since Wyatt and Louis (Michael Urie) are completely unfazed by the kisses, which definitely begin to escalate as you can see in the exclusive video below.
“It’s nothing! It’s nothing for Wyatt and Ali, at first, until Joe shines a light on it… and ultimately, it still becomes nothing for Wyatt,” Brandon says. “Louis is not miffed by it at all. He’s like ‘Wyatt’s gay.’ He’s pretty sure about his position with Wyatt and Wyatt’s position with men.”
Tune in to “Partners” tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST on CBS. [UPDATE: “Partners” will be postponed one week because of the storm back east. Stay dry!]
You can watch the sneak peek Here