S5E4: Surprise, surprise. We’ve come back to the Karen issue on this week’s Californication. Between Hank’s psycho ex-girlfriend paying a visit from New York and Becca getting back together with Tyler, Hank ends up angering Richard and pining over his ex all over again. And we’re wondering, why are they doing this again so soon?
“My brain can’t believe I just slept with an arsonist.” – Hank
Hank’s ex,who burned down his apartment, is in L.A. and she’s psychotic. Hank talks about how she uses sex with him to bring her back to life – it’s the only reason he stayed with her as long as he did. She finds out where he’s staying, shows up and places her underwear in an envelope while she hides in the bushes before pushing him into the house. The ex, Carrie, is just completely nuts. She even makes these psychotic little twitchy faces and begs him to keep having sex with her like a little puppy/mental patient hybrid. She asks when he’s coming back to New York, says he can’t because of the screenwriting gig and his daughter, so she says she has a job offer in L.A. and she’s going to take it. Luckily for all of us, the doorbell rings and it’s Karen and Becca. Hank tries to leave with Karen and Becca, but Carrie interrupts and introduces herself to Karen, but makes sure to emphasize that they’re not dating. Karen invites them over to her house for dinner to celebrate another writer – her husband Richard – but Carrie already has a date which she breaks immediately to go to dinner at Karen’s. I repeat, she is nuts.
At dinner, the nutty behavior continues. After everyone catches her giving him some downtown action in her car before the party, they all get to talking about Richard’s very sexual book, which means we take a journey through far too much sexual disclosure. The only two people who seem to be uncomfortable with all the sharing are Hank and Karen – Karen because she always is and Hank because he doesn’t care about Carrie and doesn’t want to be any more intimate with her than he already has been. Carrie keeps talking about how Hank opened her up sexually; Richard says that Karen is like a lion; then Marcy and Stu lead a discussion on sex toys before descending to insult her ex-husband Charlie, who’s not there to defend himself. I’d like to say it stops there, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
“I don’t want to die a smelly, stinky old virgin creature.” –Charlie’s date
Oh great. More sex. This show doesn’t have fornication in the title or anything, right? After going too far with his nanny, Charlie is set up on a blind date, though he tries to find excuses to stay home with the nanny instead. His date is pretty boring, but he said he wanted normal so he decides to really give it a go and find the common ground. Because his date is a little awkward, he leads the charge, asking her about what she’s reading. It turns out she’s reading Richard’s book, which Charlie just sold the film rights to. Boom: common ground.
They go back to his place and they’re getting hot and heavy and she stops him because she has to tell him she’s a virgin – a 40-year-old virgin. What is the deal? How many times do we need to this in movies and on TV? But of course, they deal with it in a way only Californication would dare. She says she doesn’t want to be one anymore and she begs him to be the first. He tries, but he’s not inspired enough (perhaps it’s all her medieval talk), but then he’s “excited” by shame and manages to work it out long enough to do the deflowering without any of the benefits. “Yeah, that’s how a lot of first times are.” She starts crying and needless to say, this is not the kind of normalcy that Charlie had in mind.
”“Oh, how I miss our fights of fancy.” –Hank
”Oh, how I don’t.” –Karen
Back at Richards, the sex convo is still going, and as it escalates to anal sex (the thing Carrie is still pissed she let Hank do to her) Becca thankfully walks in and brings it to a halt. She’s coming back from hanging out with Tyler, a.k.a. mini-Hank, and Hank lectures her for going right back to Tyler after working to get over him. She comes back with,“Yeah, I wonder where I got it from.” Karen knows she’s right, Becca is imitating her. Hank is pissed, even if Becca is right, it’s Karen’s job to make her feel like she’s wrong. This turns into a pissing match between Richard and Hank over Karen and it finally makes Carrie burst. This thing she thinks she has with Hank is never going anywhere. He can never to commit to someone who isn’t Karen. So, Carrie shames him in front of everyone, calling Hank out for “stealing” from her. She says he can rationalize it all he wants but he’s still wrong, and she’s kind of right. To be fair, when a girl doesn’t take to your complete dismissal of everything she says and continues to hang on psychotically, it’s not exactly the easiest thing to tell her to her face that you never want to see her again. Then again, I think the hardest part was for Hank to give up his little sex monkey.
In the final scene, he admits he’s having a hard time because Richard is right for Karen and Karen admits she’s concerned that he’s lonely. She says that he needs to realize what he does to women and treat them better. She’s worried that he has just flings because he won’t let go of her and that he’ll never move on. Bingo, Karen. He says he’s waiting around “sitting until the band to gets back together.” Karen says it’s not happening, but folks, we’ve heard all of this before haven’t we?
Do you think anything’s different this time around? Is Hank stuck? Will he end up with Karen, or are the writers a little braver than that? Let me know in the comments or get at me on Twitter @KelseaStahler