‘Californication’ Recap: The Way of the Fist

Californication Season 5 Episode 2S5E2: This week, Californication won back some of my favor. It delivered a conclusion that left Hank in a much sticker spot than having to stay in LA because his crazy ex got creative with a blowtorch. That being said, it still seems like the dialog is erring on the lazy side, relying on caricatures of the people we once loved on this show. Hopefully, with a more gripping storyline, we’ll find that the writers slowly become more and more inspired to write lines that don’t call for Hank Moody to say anything resembling “true dat.”

“God damn LA, I only have dreams like this when I’m here.” –Hank

Of course we start off with a blow job…from Samurai’s girlfriend, Kali. But when Sam shoots the place up, we know it’s a dream. Charlie tries to cheer Hank up, take him on a walk, but Hank just wants to go back to New York – and if Charlie keeps saying things about Hank’s “black ass” I’m going to put in a serious vote for the relocation and the termination of Charlie’s increasingly obnoxious character.

Hank wants to pass on the Samurai Apocalypse script, but he has to tell Sam himself. But of course, we could have guessed that Sam wouldn’t really let him go without a fight. Charlie makes Hank quit in person, but not before they have a homoerotic, shirtless slap fight. Okay, I’ll admit, that was kind of funny – a small glimpse of the old Californication.

“I’m not 12, you can’t bribe me anymore. Well you can, you just have to adjust for inflation.” –Becca

Karen wants Hank to make nice with Becca before he leaves because she’s still upset from his performance at dinner with Tyler. Hank thinks he can win her over with an iPad, but she’s already got one and what she really just wants his apology, but he won’t really give it. He just blasphemes his mini-me, just as the guy walks up. It turns out he’s Becca’s T.A. – he really is a mini-Hank. Becca says Hank did his students, his TA and the dean’s wife when he was teaching college classes, driving that point home a bit more. As the final kicker, Tyler says Becca has an iPad, but he’s yet to get his hands on one, so Hank is forced to hand over the gadget begrudgingly to keep his little princess from biting his head off. Ah, parenting through gift-giving.

“That little high school make out session of ours? I can’ stop thinking about it. You?” –Hank

“Never. Ever.” –Kali

Hank stops by Samurai’s place to quit the job, but Kali of course assumes it’s about her and warns him Sam has guns. He tells her about the dream he had and then gives her some ridiculous line about her lips being sprinkles and cupcake crumbs coming together to make cupcake babies and starts playing with her toes, just as Samurai comes out to greet them. Hank tries to quit the job, but Sam thinks it’s because he’s racist or worse, jealous of all the girls he has sex with. This descends into Sam forcing his British butler to utter crude phrases about screwing girls, Kali getting pissed at Sam referring to her as a fine “b**ch” and Hank terrifyingly using “true dat.” Oh, and that pesky bit about pretty much forcing him to keep working on Santa Monica Cop.

Sam takes Hank out for a drive, says he’s going to make a case for Hank to keep working on the film. He takes Hank to his “big Hollywood meeting” with Peter Berg, who’s the writer actually assigned to the script. Oh right, because this show needs to fill the Entourage void. Sam is bringing Hank in, causing Berg to panic and come down on him for a past indiscretion: Hank screwed his ex, the one that got away. This results in a fist fight in the parking lot of the movie studio. Sam’s all for Berg getting a shot at the cuckolder, so Hank gets punched. Sam then takes Hank to watch Kali’s recording session where one entourage member starts crying and shots ring out. Like that, they take him to the hospital like you would send someone on a beer run. So the trap is set: Samurai is incredibly jealous, a big fan of violence as a way of apologizing for screwing someone’s significant other, and the use of guns is as common as going to the grocery store. Yep, Hank’s going to get into some serious trouble – and soon.

“He took it out?” –Stu

Little Charlie’s teacher catches him masturbating in from of another little girl, of course since he’s three, adult Charlie sees nothing wrong with this. Stu offers a sizable donation and the teacher asks for Stu, Marcy and Charlie to apologize to the little girl’s mother. Charlie is pissed because Stu throws money at the problem and it turns out they fired the nanny without telling him. Stu promises to keep him involved as Marcy yanks him out of the room by his metaphorical dog collar.

Charlie goes to apologize to Ava’s mother, subsequently terrifying Ava with his mere presence. She brings up her conniving husband, a big wig at Warner Bros. It turns out she hates him as much as Charlie does, so they share a glass of wine. She then asks him to masturbate for her while she verbally abuses him because she is a deeply disturbed woman. The nanny walks in and subsequently gets fired for doing so. In front of the house, Charlie offers her a job watching little Charlie, and she’s desperate for work because she’s in school. She accepts the job – even with little Charlie’s recent depraved behavior – and then takes a tissue from Charlie’s hand. Yeah, it was that tissue. To be fair, there was no easy way to get out of that situation, but somehow that’s one of the more disgusting things I can think of on this show.

“I have a history of doing the well-intentioned wrong thing.” –Hank

Hank sees Tyler our with another girl when he’s out with Samurai, but when Hank is about to hit him, Tyler says doing so will make Becca hate him. It’s true. Sam and Kali inquire about the altercation, and while Sam says it by offering to rough the guy up, they both admire his commitment to being a father.

Hank tries to do the right thing and apologize about his reaction to Tyler. So he goes to Karen’s house and Becca says she knows Tyler’s a good guy deep down, the way she knew Hank was a good guy deep down. Well crap. You can’t really argue with that logic. Just then, Tyler calls – he’s in the hospital because Sam’s guys jumped him and pummeled him. Sam texts Hank saying he took care of Tyler. And now he’s in deep.

I will concede that with the episode’s conclusion I was a lot happier than I was last week. Hank’s in actual trouble again, which is exactly what we want from the series. Still, if they keep using all that Moody-fied hip hop lingo, I’m going to keep complaining about it.

What did you think of the second episode? Do you think Tyler is going to make it? What do you think will happen when Becca inevitably finds out why he was jumped? Let me know in the comments or get at me on Twitter. @KelseaStahler