The shows couldn't be any more different, aside from the simlar settings and abundance of sex, but it was hard not to recall the similar, memorable talent-agent break-up arc from Entourage during last night's Californication episode, "Perverts & Whores." Hank (David Duchovny) is sticking to his anti-Charlie (Evan Handler) wave and is going so far as to seek new management already. Thankfully, "Perverts & Whores" goes a little deeper than the Hank/Charlie schism, and, thus, continues the season's (moderate) winning streak.
Everyone, Meet Captain Save-A-Ho
There's a line at the end of last night's episode that sums up the series overall. Tyler (Scott Michael Foster) has apparently assumed Hank's position in the Garden of Samurai (RZA), and is already getting tempted by the forbidden fruit, i.e. Kali (Meagan Good). When Hank tries to preach about Samurai's love-strung insanity, Tyler can't comprehend how a guy who's so knee-deep could possibly simp out over one chick. "It doesn't matter, this is the one he wants." Hank is more or less in over his head, but he'd happily exchange that for a boring, monogamous suburban life with Karen (Natascha McElhone) and Becca (Madeleine Martin). Alas, all he can manage on that end is keeping Bates' seat warm for him while he rehabs. As always, he appreciates the nuclear family veneer while it lasts, though.
In between exchanging false husband-wife dialogue with Karen and consoling Becca (has she uttered a single line of dialog this season that wasn't Tyler-related?), Hank is still deeply hurt over Charlie's betrayal and already entertaining new offers. He's currently fielding Larry, an older agent that promises more prestigious gigs and results than Charlie could hope to offer. His first display of power: a same-day meeting with a Lars von Trier knockoff.
Plot similarity aside, this isn't Entourage and, as such, that actor is not actually Lars, which is probably why the "von Trier" is never uttered. Nevertheless, he's one of Hank's idols and the relationship promises to be fruitful. The budding partnership is commemorated with, what else on this show, house call hookers, including Hank's recurring would-be-love-interest Trixie (Judy Greer)—because she turns tricks, get it? Hank and Trixie's rapport is always interesting: Their flirting transcends normal hooker/john talk, and you sort of believe them when they vow to actually follow up on it one day.
Of course, Hank is his own worst enemy, and he quickly sabotages his lofty new alliance when his chivalry doesn't match well with Lars's...wackiness. As soon as Hank intercedes before Lars can pull a R. Kelly on his girl, it's game over, and that includes Larry's agency as well. The moral of the story isn't a shocker. Hank and Charlie are both self-saboteurs, and the only industry people patient enough to genuinely hold them down, is each other.
Lizzie Shows Charlie Her True Colors
There are perverts a-plenty in Californication, but Charlie applies to both of last night's categories, and, now, so does his "girlfriend" Lizzie. If Runkle practically whored himself out last week to land a big client, how mad can he justifiably be at Lizzie for blowing Stu (Stephen Tobolowsky) to score a role? The thirsty, social-climbing nanny is, without a doubt, running game, but we appreciate that the Runk paused before getting hypocritical with her. The whorish nature of Hollywood is the pervasive, blatant theme of the night, with sex as the lynch-pin of every major deal on display. Then again, in this case it probably has less to do with Charlie observing the double-standard than with his gullibility any time a pretty face is involved.
Charlie, like Hank, finds himself in a tricky predicament this season wherein he doesn't really hate his ex's new man. Even more so, despite their often venomous encounters, he doesn't want to hurt Marcy (Pamela Adlon). Somber due to the Hank fiasco and the Lizzie revelation, Runkle takes the high road for once and doesn't snitch on Stu's infidelity. Might his recent sorrows help a reconciliation with Hank come about? With only two episodes left, it needs to happen soon.
The Episode's Best Lines
"My wildest dream involves a three-breasted midget with labia piercings and a desire to please." - Hank
"There's certain things in life a man can't pass up, and one of them is having Lizzie's lips wrapped around my love cannon." - Stu
"I want to make a picture about the most famous whore in the history of mankind: Mary Magdalene. Jennifer Aniston, she is attached." - Lars
"No [Becca] didn't end up being a lesbian, much to my chagrin." - Hank