"Californication" Recap: Hank Takes One For The Team

"Californication" Recap: Hank Takes One For The Team

Who knew Hank Moody (David Duchovny) would be so willing to take a bullet for the "other guy"? Credit the writing team (or rather, creator Tom Kapinos, who is now seven for seven on script duty) for switching it up this season when it came time to give Karen (Natascha McElhone) a new love interest by going with someone who Hank actually respects. We've seen Hank butt heads with her suitors already, but sticking her in a relationship that Hank would rather not sabotage? It makes things much more interesting for us—and much harder for Hank and led to a new season high with "Here I Go Again."
 

Guess who's coming to dinner

Let's get this out of the way: Drea de Matteo killed it last night. She had a very funny exchange with Hank at the beginning of the episode, but you don't cast Adriana for only one scene and when she showed up at Bates's house with his wallet and invited herself to dinner she quickly became the episode's MVP. To recap, Bates (Jason Beghe) is still very much off the wagon after Tyler's (Scott Michael Foster) beverage bait-and-switch two episodes ago, and the bender is getting worse and worse.

While Karen spent the night drowning her sorrows with Hank—who in his first of many scrupulous moments of the night, did not take advantage of the situation—her husband was bagging up Matteo's Holly the stripper. After graciously paying her off and more graciously, telling Bates that he didn't actually cheat on Karen, Hank brings the poor guy home to sleep it off.

When she shows up with the wallet, Karen catches them outside at which point Hank covers for Bates by claiming Holly is his girlfriend. From there on it became the Drea show as Karen invited her to stay and she quickly alienated the family with her ahem, special brand of humor, escalating to physical violence when Becca (Madeleine Martin) gets defensive of Tyler.

Things got even realer at the end when the Overly Judgmental Duo of Karen & Becca reunited to tear into Hank. "Go back to New York, I like you better when you're there." Ouch. Hank is due for one hell of apology in an episode or two. At least Tyler was smart enough to catch on to the obvious, but in exchange for his silence now Hank has to read the little jerk's screenplay. Using coercion to force Hank's pen game seems to be a theme this season, huh?
 

Charlie's nanny takes a day off

 The Charlie (Evan Handler) plot didn't actually amount to much last night—basically Lizzie got fired just so they could finally consummate their sexual tension without that pesky employer-employee clause—but it was still damn funny. Between the wildly varying stylistic accounts of what really went down during her and Stu's (Stephen Toblowsky) awkward naked interaction and Charlie only being able to comprehend that she was naked, it was very nice to see Charlie again after being largely sidelined last week.

That said, Marcy (Pamela Adlon) has been criminally underused this year, and Charlie and Lizzie getting together isn't terribly interesting. When they're on, the Runkles easily steal the show from Hank at least on the comedy side of things. We demand to see more of them for the rest of the season, Kapinos.
 

Best Lines of the Night

*Just about everything out of Holly's mouth was dirty gold but we listed the top two:*

"I lost my cherry to that album. Front and back." —Holly

"Did you see how long I lasted?" —Charlie

"Know him? I sucked his dick more times than I can count." —Holly

Tags: californication, david-duchovny
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