Californication Episode 3-5 Review

I was a bit concerned with the lack of oomph in last night’s Californication  for about the first 15 minutes or so. It wasn’t bad, mind you, I just was a little underwhelmed, since I hold the show in such high regard.

It was about the time of the strip club brawl that I came around. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Hank already had a considerable amount of opportunity to get into some depravity this season with Karen being in New York, but at the beginning of last night’s ep we found out that Becca was also going to be vacating the premises to visit her mom, allowing for even more Moody shenanigans.

But Hank was not flying solo, his old New York chum Mike “Zloz” Zlozowski, played hilariously by the criminally underrated Kevin Corrigan (Superbad, The Departed, Pineapple Express). At first, we appeared to be in store for all of the usual stuff that we get when shows bring in the loyal-yet-out-of-touch longtime best friend: Seeing that the main character is a different person now than before, to make the character question his roots, etc. Luckily, Corrigan played Zloz with complete reckless abandon, leading to such hilarious antics as the aforementioned titty-bar throwdown.

The high-water mark was of course Hank waking up after he, Zloz and Runkle presumably moved the strip club party back to Hank’s pad after the fracas. I’m not sure what was funnier, seeing that diminutive dancer waddle into the kitchen for a morning swig of brew, or seeing Runkle entwined with a pair of buxom blondes in the guest bed. Either way, high comedy all around.

I was really happy with the outstanding cameos in last night’s outing. In addition to Corrigan, there was the return of Carla Gallo as Daisy, who popped in to inform Runkle that she was not entirely…clean. This had our buddy Chuck understandably flustered. And needless to say, put his recent reconciliation with Marcie on the rocks. Finally, we got a glimpse of Sue Collini’s parapalegic hubby, brought to creepily hilarious life by Stephen Root, probably still best known as Milton from Office Space. I didn’t care if it was a blatant impersonation of Larry Flynt, Root definitely made the most of his brief screen time.

In the midst of this absurd hilarity, Zloz and Hank had a heart-to-heart on the beach which chiefly centered on Zloz having recently come down with what might be a pretty serious illness. Hank expressed genuine concern, and they parted ways with the knowledge that they were different people now, but they would always have each other’s back if need be. It was a little bit conventional, yes, but it was also totally genuine.

Finally, the big shocker of last night’s closing minutes was that Becca returned from the Big Apple, but she wasn’t alone. Karen has returned to Californicaiton. In person. Let heavens open up and angels rejoice.

Overall, we’ll file this in the “good not great” drawer of the Californication file cabinet. Anyway, if the promo for next Sunday’s episode is any indication, those of you calling for some real significant action to take place are likely to get your wish as Karen sits in on Hank’s class.

A few other nuggets I neglected to mention:

  • Did you all catch Jackie refer to Hank as her new boyfriend? That’s never good news.
  • Sue’s dungeon of sexual escapades and sadism…hilarious and horrifying
  • Zloz’s encounter with the tranny was pretty standard as far as “comedy of misunderstanding” goes, but Sue’s skiing joke really saved the day.

So there we are. What did you guys think? Getting the feeling the season is spinning its wheels or are you just enjoying the ride? Excited as I am about Karen’s return? You know what to do.

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