Californication Season 4, The Recused – Episode review

This week on Californication, Mr Hank Moody will mostly be perverting famous names for his own filthy ends. Take ‘Chinoccio’, for example. A new way of pleasuring a woman. Or ‘Poocasso’, an imaginary artist who doodles with his own doo-doo.

But really – what’s happening on Californication this week should have been a symbolic moving on, particularly for Moody and his chrome-domed wingman.

Hank was happily hooking up with his lawyer, while Karen is getting closer to Ben (Michael Ealy). You’d be forgiven for being confused about where Hank – not known for his relaitionship planning skills – is going with this. Abby (Carla Gugino) is clearly looking for a relationship, but by the end of the episode, Hank is sneakily holding Karen’s hand at Becca’s gig.

The waters are muddying for the Runkles too – Charlie gets dragged along to a pitch meeting with Showtime with Marcy and Stu. Stu wants to set Marcy up in her own reality TV show as a ‘waxologist to the stars’. But when Stu disappears with IBS, the pitch meeting seems to stall until Charlie saves the day. You can feel a sadness between the two that things in their marriage turned so sour, but Marcy still leaves with Stu and Charlie ends up spending the night with “Number 21”, a ghastly legal secretary that Hank set him up with.

Hanks storyline this week centers on his relationship with Abby. Since they’re sleeping together, she feels there’s a conflict of interest and can’t represent him. And she passes Hank – as a client – up to her boss (played by Alan Dale). What follows is Hank being bored to death by Abby’s boss and his stories of anal fissures. And more of the same on a golf course.

I have to say, I laughed out loud at the sight of Hank in a bright yellow golf shirt, but on the whole the story was a flop. We began the episode with Abby as Hank’s lawyer, she dropped him, then took him up as a client again after the disastrous golfing incident. The only poignant scene was right at the end when she told Hank she wouldn’t sleep with him until after the legal case was resolved. But she wondered if he’d still want that after his name was cleared.

Californication finds itself in a very muddled place right now. The characters are in emotional disarray and Hank is happy to ‘love’ whatever woman he’s with. Karen’s story is much more interesting though, because she still feels an attachment to Hank but is now drawn to Ben – a man who can offer her a more conventional relationship and who seems to care for her a lot. Hank seems to have a grudging respect for him as well.

However, as you’ll see from our quotes section this week, the wicked dialogue was flowing in The Recused. The only complaint is that the show is treading old ground and the plot isn’t moving along quickly enough for me right now. I could handle that if the sex scenes were more entertaining, but The Recused was quite a frustrating episode on all counts this week.

Next episode: It looks like Hank is going to end up in bed with none other than Sasha Bingham’s mother. This cannot end well.

Californication quotes

  • Hank: “That wasn’t sex, that was naked poetry. I haven’t been f*cked like that since I was an altarboy.”
  • Hank: “There’s a really good lawyer joke in there somewhere, but there’s not enough blood in my brain to figure it out.”
  • Hank: “It is my business. That was my vagina for a very very long time. I have squatters rights on that.”
  • Hank: “Sometimes in the bathroom I will draw on the wall with my own poo. Doesn’t make me a f*cking artist, does it? Poo-casso?”
  • Marcy: “Well how come you never thought of it, brain trust?” Runkle: “Obviously I was too close to it. I was too busy being emasculated by it.”
  • Stu: “I think I have a little IBS.” Marcy: “A little TMI.”
  • Marcy: “You’re like a bald Benjamin Button, ageing in reverse. You’re gonna die a big pink quivvering jello baby.”
  • Marcy: “I got stories that’ll straighten your pubes.”
  • Marcy: “…and it’s about pussy. It’s about getting some, giving it away, and keeping it clean.”
  • Legal secretary: “Nice to meet you. I’m number 21.”

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