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August 28, 2014

'Californication' Season 4, Episode 8 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 28th 2011 5:25AM
'Californication' S04/E08['Californication' - 'Lights, Camera, Action']

So, what if the love of your life is the thing that has been keeping you from true happiness? It's not uncommon for people to get into a lengthy relationship, have their souls and any inkling of self-respect removed, yet continue to pony up to the bar and order a tall stiff glass of incompatibility because it's the only thing they know will get them drunk enough to make it through another night.

What I'm trying to say, rather unsuccessfully, is that maybe all this time spent trying to please Karen and win her back wasn't just in vain, but misguided as well, because Karen and Hank just aren't good together. If every relationship that began with two people partying until one of them was knocked up ended up being a perfect match, divorces would be like exercise: Not worth the pain in the ass. But since so many people spend so much time with the wrong person for the wrong reasons, divorces (break-ups) aren't only worth it, they're like Caribbean vacations ... and it's time for Hank to book a flight to Aruba.

'Californication' is starting to be more about the comedy that is Charlie Runkle's life, than it is about the sexual predicaments of Hank Moody, or at least there's more of a balance. This episode opened with Charlie booking Hank a gig punching up dialogue for another Sasha Bingham project. Not only that, but because of Hank and Eddie Nero, she was back on 'F***ing & Punching, both victory dance-worthy news items.

One of the last places we could imagine Hank thriving is on a big budget Hollywood movie set, but $100,000 said he'd be there, like it or not. It quickly seemed as though Sasha brought Hank on board to punch up her vagina rather than her dialogue when she shut down the set to molest him in her trailer, but a call about Becca cut things short.

For all Hank's shortcomings as a father, his dedication should not be questioned. Just when he was about to enter into Sasha's world of pleasure, the call arrived, and Hank chose his daughter over plundering nubile flesh. He used her handcuffs practically, not sexually, to make his escape.

He walked into every father's nightmare situation: A despondent and hammered daughter wondering what it all means and talking way too frankly about sexual scenarios. The show needed more of Becca's point of view to keep it driving forward. How was everything affecting her? Not very well, it would appear, as she spoke openly about her confusion, her frustration and her concern over her own self-medication. It's not going to be Karen who saves Hank, it will be Becca.



Speaking of Karen, she's starting to become irrelevant to most of the current story, popping up only to scold Hank or console Marcie. This week was Marcie's turn, and the two were contemplating Marcie's baby options. This week's debate: Abortion. Marcie was all over the place, and seeing a pregnant woman happier than Marcie had ever been in her life made her reassess her hatred of children, and hold off on the decision for at least one more day.

After his troubling run-in with Becca, Hank headed straight to the hotel bar where he was engaged by a cougar on the prowl, although I guess it's not really a cougar if the guy she's mauling is her age. She was older, let's just say that. This was not a shocking scene since bras tend to erupt and legs spread just at the sight of Hank Moody. They somehow managed to turn commiserating about their children into sexy foreplay.

The morning after came quickly and Hank seemed to have forgotten what it was like to sleep with someone his own age. This appreciation indicated an iota of personal growth, but it would soon be erased by his indiscriminate sexual practices that make made him wish he didn't have a penis ... or wish he had two. The MILF he just laid was Sasha's mother. A fact that Hank didn't realize until Sasha showed up and her mother emerged from the bathroom in post-coital reverie. For future reference, when a mother/daughter tandem realizes that you've slept with both of them, neither is happy, and nor are your testicles.

The continuing absurdity that is Charlie Runkle's sexual revolution took another interesting turn. He was caught watching porn and doing what most dudes do while watching porn -- no, not taking notes -- by the real estate agent working on Charlie and Marcie's house. After the bad house news, Peggy began to inquire about raising Runkle's escrow and the two of them went on a screaming, role-playing romp that ended with Runkle as a slave, almost sexed to death, "You know. In a good way." Another wild and unconventional stop on Charlie's race to 100.

Sasha didn't handle the situation very well, locking herself in her trailer and refusing to work. Hank was the only person who had a shot at talking her down, and she relented rather easily after getting over the initial creep-factor and returning the handcuffing favor to a pants-less Hank.

Marcie seemed to be settling for Stu. She's really not that into him, but he provides things for her that she needs: Security, stability, love and a huge wang. They were hanging out at his pool when he sensed something was wrong. So wrong that he thought she was breaking up with him. In the interest of semi-disclosure, she told Stu she was pregnant, but neglected to tell him it was Charlie's. It will be difficult to do it now since Stu had what amounted to a giggle seizure upon hearing the news, even telling his mother he was going to be a father. This can't end well.

The show was wrapping up, and it was time for us to learn our big moral lesson like the sitcoms of old. Tonight, Sasha's mother dropped some knowledge on Hank the likes of which Dr. Phil would envy: "You are coming dangerously close to the point of no return. This thing that you've got going it's very romantic, and charming, and certainly devil-may-care, but it's last call, pal. You should get out while the gettin's good."

Do you have that image in your head? Good. Now picture it with Tommy Lee playing Mötley Crüe's 'Home Sweet Home' on the piano in the background. That's either America at it's finest, or the fourth sign of the apocalypse. You decide.

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

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he's the master of disaster. You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981

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