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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 6 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 14th 2011 5:30AM
'Californication' S04/E06['Californication' - 'Lawyers, Guns and Money']

The title of this episode of 'Californication' hints at something decidedly not Hank Moody. He despises lawyers and their soulless profession. The thought of Hank brandishing a weapon is absurd to almost comic degrees, and while he should have money shooting out of his fingertips at will, he doesn't.

He holds the kind of elitist cool principles that make all three of those things cripplingly lame. Now his actions and decisions have transformed them into necessary evils for Hank to survive: The lawyer to keep him out of his own way, out of prison, and presumably into her bed; the money to pay for the lawyer, to buy his daughter's guitar and love, and to fund his various binges; and the guns to challenge Ben, the new threat to Karen's love, to a duel at high noon.

Abby arrived at work to find Hank asleep in his Porsche, which was one of the better places Hank has woken up recently. While discussing the particulars of his case -- a deal that would carry a $1,000 fine and some community service -- he was recognized by what was seemingly another lady throwing herself at the feet of his libido. Unfortunately, she happened to be looking at the pseudo three-way picture.

It really couldn't get much worse for Hank. In one fell swoop, he lost his deal. He lost his attorney. He lost whatever modicum of dignity he was clinging to. Despite all that, Hank still cracked wise. His wit is just about all he's got left and he thrust it on Abby as she walked away, letting her know that "All I want to do is bring your ass pleasure."

This whole turn of events really brought the notion of "perception is reality" into play. While we know nothing happened beyond what we saw in the picture, it alluded to things naughty and unsavory, making that the "reality" of the situation. If it looks illicit and lascivious, it must really be illicit and lascivious. Hank had the unfortunate circumstance of being the boy who cried threesome one too many times.

More bad news came for Hank when Sasha dropped by to tell him she was leaving the movie. It seemed that not all publicity was good publicity, and her associations with Hank and the project were infringing on her career. She did, however, offer some good news: Her breasts and vagina for Hank to peruse. They prepared for perusal when Karen dropped by, and Sasha wondered out loud, "How did you [Hank] f@#k this up?"

Naturally, Becca stumbled upon the racy photo of her dad and two nubile nymphs -- one a huge movie star, and the other her one-time almost stepsister -- and Karen came to extend the duration of Hank's current doghouse status. "Welcome to rock bottom," Hank said, seemingly without all the answers for the first time in a while. Karen seemed more concerned that Abby had dropped him than with his relationship with Becca. Abby was the only one she thought could help him at that point.

The Marcy storyline ran like a cute little romantic comedy. Stu lured her out to his house with a fake waxing appointment. Marcy was pissed at first, then played along, intrigued and somewhat flattered. They bonded over back wax and conversation and ended up screening an old movie before awkwardly making out like teenagers. Stu made sure to point out his "no family" status, and subsequent loneliness and, with Marcy pregnant, this could develop into an instant family for both of them.

Hank, as is his wont, went directly to Charlie to whine about his current lot in life, but ever the optimistic agent, Charlie had some good news. Eddie Nero (Rob Lowe) could save the movie by signing on, and he wanted to pick Hank's brain to devour the character whole.

Eddie Nero plays a lot like Robert Downey Jr's character, Kirk Lazarus, from the movie 'Tropic Thunder.' The voice, the look, and the extreme dedication to roles was eerily similar, and was played to hilarious affect. He proceeded to get all up into Hank's business, needing to watch Hank make love to a woman to fully understand the role. He planned on a night in Hank's shoes and pants and liver, but was too much, even by Hank's sketchy standards. Eddie's diatribe about preparing for a role as a gay man by taking a man in his mouth, among other things, had Hank gagging and Charlie transfixed by the level of inhibition. Mercifully, Becca called and Hank had to run.

Feeling as though this was all part of the Moody experience, Nero went with them to find Becca at a tattoo parlor, $100 short. Hank the Father came out to teach her a lesson, only to be interrupted by Eddie taking it up a notch by pulling a gun, forcing Hank the Badass to emerge -- cold-cocking Nero and getting Becca out of there.

Outside, the obligatory father/daughter chat went down, but as always with Hank and Becca it felt more like a daughter/guy who can't get his life together chat. She remarked that she was supposed to be the one getting messed up and making bad decisions while Hank was supposed to be at home, watching TV with Karen, worrying instead of being the "poor man's Bukowski" he seemed to be aspiring to. Help arrived in an unlikely source, however, when Eddie gave Becca a thrill, suggesting that Kristen Stewart play her in the movie.

It was then that Eddie saw who Hank really was. He wasn't just the sum of his conquests and escapades. He was just "a guy tryin' to keep it together while he's fallin' apart. Cassavetes meets Judy Blume."

Karen went so far as to meet with Abby. It was apparent that she was both tired of trying to save Hank, and that she thought Abby might have an outside chance at doing it. Abby was rightfully resistant, even asking "How did you put up with this as long as you did?" Karen could only describe the hank she once knew, the "real" Hank that was worth helping despite the Hank that the public turned into a monster.

This set up the not-so-chance meeting at the hotel bar between Hank and Abby. A number of weeks ago -- in Abby's first episode, I believe -- someone said that she and Hank would scrump. I can't remember who it was, but I'm pretty sure he's a genius (or someone who has watched far too much television sex in his life). The stage was set. Abby was feeling sorry for the hapless and publicly maligned Hank, and she wasn't technically his lawyer. As they both realized this fact and flirted their genitals off, sex shots were interspersed between their flirtations, and Hank Moody sunk another foot deeper into his own pit of chicksand.

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

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he makes milkshakes like a wizard. You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981

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What struck me is Hank and Abby's scene was shot very similart the scene in the film "Out of Sight" when the two leads, Jack Foley and Karen Sisco (George Clooney and JLopez) get together. Carla Guigno played "Karen Sisco" on that short lived tv series. woah

and Hank -- took him 6 episodes to get together with her? rock bottom indeed.

February 14 2011 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff Fulton(8bitjeff

Great summary (as always). The best line of the night was the one from Becca, "poor man's Bukowski". I'm sure many people have been thinking it, so it was great for one of the few "adults" on the show to actually say it.

February 14 2011 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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