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September 2, 2015

'Californication' Season 4, Episode 5 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 7th 2011 6:05AM
'Californication' S04/E05['Californication' - 'Freeze-Frame']

What do you do when you rely so heavily on one thing, one person, one relationship to define you? You don't do anything if everything is going smoothly, in fact, you most likely never even think about how great it is while it's happening. Hit a bump in the road, however, or a pothole the size of Kentucky in Hank Moody's case, and in one turn you don't really know who you are anymore.

Without Karen and Becca, Hank is just another celebrity cautionary tale, here to warn children about the evils of drugs, alcohol and a cynical disposition. With them, he's a beacon of hope for art, language, and true love, sent here from the future to save the world.

Hank ended up handling the Ben sighting better than I thought he would, but not in a non-Hank kind of way. Hank reacts to despair in one of two ways: Humor or self-loathing. He showed up at Karen's with a gleam in his eye and a wry smile ready to mock her for, what he insinuated, was her new love interest, "a young Lando Calrissian with a dream." He had to pick up his suit for a meeting with Abby, but more importantly, he had to vent his jealous anger via sardonic banter with Karen.

At Abby's office, she and Hank went over Mia's video testimony about their encounter. It led Abby to believe the prosecution didn't have a case, launching an elated Hank into a flirting frenzy of eighth-grade dance proportions, pouring on his tried and tested Moody swagger only to have the word bullets bounce right back at him off of Abby's ample chest. "I see why you sleep with teenagers. You are one."

When he caught her in a lie trying to avoid a possible dinner with him, Hank used it to his advantage and it was difficult to tell whether it was his game wearing her down, or her pity building him up. Hank also delivered a line that will soon be on my business cards: "I am kind of retarded, but I'm also kind of amazing."

It's becoming more and more apparent that these two are going to enjoy the pleasures of each other's flesh. It's just a matter of time. The way they swash-buckled with sexual overtures had me a little flustered and thinking about Betty White playing baseball just to calm myself down.

It's amazing to track how quickly Charlie has absorbed the role of the clown. His entire story line this season is purely for comic relief. From his unattainable sexual goals to the Naked Monkey Fight to tonight's manscaping fiasco, Charlie is where all other characters turn to feel better about themselves. In his office with Hank, he dropped trow to ask Hank if he thought he should take a little off the top, so to speak, while Hank stared, mesmerized, spouting a litany of disparaging monikers for Charlie's junk. The best of which was, "It's like a button on a fur coat."

Charlie proceeded to crash Karen and Marcie's hang-out session, bragging about his latest conquest for whom he's manscaping. Jump to Charlie naked at the sink, scissors and razor at the ready. I can't think of any "dude shaving nads" scenes on film that don't end with blood and with Charlie's new position as the show's clown, he didn't stand a chance. He luckily caught the girls before they left for the night and Marcie took him to the hospital.

Waiting for Abby at the restaurant, Hank ran into Mia and emasculated a hipster trying to hit on her, mussing his hair as if he was a toddler. Mia was meeting Sasha for drinks to work on her character for the movie and within seconds Sasha was, quite literally, climbing all over him. Enter Abby. Just in time to bear witness to why Hank had to hire her in the first place.

"You run into a lot of things, don't you?" Thus began Abby and Hank's date/meeting/sexual repartee. It was clear from the start that Abby refused to relinquish any power or to play the coy, eyelash-batting co-ed Hank eats by the fistful. They talked about love and life, each leaving the door to sex in various stages of ajar. Hank said of Abby, "You're like a sexy gummy bear with a caramel on the inside," and Abby of Hank, "You think you can have it all, dark swirling chaos and the white picket fence."

Hank had to skip out of dinner to catch the end of Becca's gig at The Whiskey. He arrived during their last song, just in time for the inevitable showdown with Ben. Ben tried to play it cool, but Hank wasn't quite ready to be bros. It was then that Hank caught a glimpse of his future life as an absentee dad. When they asked him to join them for a celebratory dinner, Hank clearly bailed for the greater good, to make it easier on everyone -- especially Becca -- and ultimately harder on himself.

The medical inspection of Charlie's package revealed the possibility of his multiple vasectomies being null and void, a shocking nugget of information considering Marcie's new-found pregnancy.

Hank was primed for a night of drowning himself in pity and scotch at the hotel when Sasha showed up, but not, it transpired, for a romp. Mia was having a meltdown on the ledge of the hotel balcony and Hank swooped in to talk her down. They commiserated with each other, as they were really the only two people, ironically, who can comprehend and relate to what the other was going through. "We need to forgive our f@#king selves."

Hey, remember that hipster douchebag that Hank embarrassed in front of Mia earlier? Well, as the show ended, he captured a photo of Sasha and Mia in bed with their hands down Hank's pants. That's where the encounter ended, but when the photo hits the blogs, it will tell a different story.

'Californication' airs Sundays, 9PM ET on Showtime.

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and pancakes make him gassy. You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981

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