Episode Title: "Lawyers, Guns and Money"
Writer: Vanessa Reisen
Director: John Dahl
Previously on "Californication":
Hank Moody (David Duchovny) just can’t win. After his lawyer, Abby (Carla Gugino) told him that the prosecutors were likely going to have to drop their case against them because of Mia’s (Madeline Zima) weak deposition; he immediately found himself in a new compromising position. While Hank was partially passed out, Mia and actress Sasha Bingham (Addison Timlin) slid their hands down his pants simultaneously while someone took a photo and posted it online. And this was after Hank had talked Mia out of jumping off the hotel roof.
Meanwhile, Hank was still in the doghouse with his girlfriend Karen (Natascha McElhone), who began dating Ben (Michael Ealy), the father of the lead singer for Becca’s (Madeleline Martin) new band. And Hank’s sidekick/agent, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) accidentally sliced his penis while shaving his pubs, leading his soon to be ex-wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon) to discover that her baby might be his.
Hank and Abby share a meeting where they go over his plea deal. But they simultaneously discover that the photo taken of Hank is now everywhere on the web. Suddenly, the DA doesn’t want to deal and Abby angrily resigns as his lawyer. Hank retreats to his hotel room, where Sasha locates him and tells him that she plans to drop out of the "F***ing & Punching" movie due to bad publicity… but she still wants to sleep with him. However, their tryst is interrupted by a visit from Karen, who is mostly sympathetic to Hank’s situation. But she makes it clear that she doesn’t want him back and tells him to get his s*** together for their daughter’s sake.
Meanwhile, Marcy is lured to the house of producer Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky) under false pretenses. He insists that he just wanted to see her, but she says that if she stays, he has to get the waxing that he paid for. He bravely says "Alright then. The full-Kardashian it is." Stu lets Marcy tear a few layers of hair off before he wins her over with his stories about coming up in Hollywood. He even holds a private screening of "Midnight Cowboy" with her and makes it clear that he wants to pursue her romantically. During the same day, Karen visits Abby to try to convince her to give Hank another chance.
On the other side of town, Charlie drags Hank to a meeting with Eddie Nero (Rob Lowe), the psychotic actor who is close to sighing on to the "F***ing & Punching" movie to play Hank’s part. He suggests that they kill a hobo together or that he’d like to watch Hank make love to a woman. But Hank gets a call from Becca and happily departs. But Nero and Charlie come with him anyway. They find Becca and her band in trouble at a tattoo parlor and $100 short. Nero actually pulls a gun on the store owner, but Hank punches him out and gets Charlie to pay the bill.
Afterwards, Hank and Becca reconcile somewhat. And Nero tells Hank that now he definitely wants to play him, since he sees that Hank is "a guy trying to keep it together." At the hotel bar, Hank encounters Abby, who agrees to take his case again… in the morning. But when he points out that she’s no longer his lawyer for the moment, they flirt and then go back to his room for an impromptu sexual liaison.
Let me just say thank you to the producers of "Californication" for the small favor of keeping Charlie fully clothed this time out. Though there is the gross moment of Charlie kissing Nero… And it’s not even the kiss, it’s just Evan Handler who I find repulsive in anything remotely sexual now. I actually liked his character at the start of the season, but now I want Charlie to go away forever. I can count on one hand all of the things I hate about "Californication" and they all involve Charlie.
Surprisingly, I really liked Stu this week. For the first time, he didn’t come off like a complete creep. He even had the funniest line of the show with his Kardashian crack. Even his efforts to woo Marcy feel more real and genuine than any of Charlie’s sexcapades. Can we please have Stu replace Charlie completely?
Someone online put forth the theory that Rob Lowe’s Eddie Nero is an exaggerated version of Brad Pitt, which is actually a good way to look at him. He’s definitely over-the-top crazy and his gun antics were pretty funny. There was also a nice hero moment for Hank when he punched Nero out and defused the situation. I think Hank needs a couple more scenes like that to remind us that he’s still basically a good guy.
On the Becca front, I wish to God this stupid "Queens of Dogtown" subplot comes to an end soon. Aside from the Charlie subplots, they are the worst thing about this show. However, I did like the brief moments between Hank and Becca. And Becca’s fangirl freakout for Eddie Nero.
Of course, the highlight of this episode was the inevitable hookup of Hank and Abby. At the beginning, I did actually wonder if Abby was being written out of the rest of the season, so I’m glad to see I was wrong there. There was also an almost "passing of the Hank" scene between Karen and Abby where Hank’s ex really went to bat for him. I’d love to see her reaction to Hank and Abby dating, or sleeping together just for her realization that she made it happen.
This was one of the stronger episodes this season. Hopefully the rest of the installments can maintain that level of quality.
Crave Online Rating: 8.5 out of 10.