Californication Review: "The Recused" (Episode 4.07)

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<i>Californication</i> Review: "The Recused" (Episode 4.07)

After last week’s episode concluded with Abby seducing Hank despite firing the writer, “The Recused” opens with Hank and Abby the morning after facing with a new dilemma. “We had sex, you made me cum,” Abby straightforwardly says. “now we have a serious conflict.” Abby had offers to take Hank back as a client, on the one condition she can’t continue to have sex with him, despite Hank’s hardest attempts to persuade her otherwise. Since he can’t have his cake and eat it too, he opts for sex and a new lawyer.

Hank heads to his old home to kill some time with Karen, only to see that Ben and Karen are already together. “So you guys are doing it now?” Hank questions. “That was my vagina for a very, very long time. I have squatters rights on that.” Hank makes a scene throughout this entire three-way conversation that’s painful to watch.

After Stu and Marcy got together last week, they oddly reach out to Charlie about a doing a show based around Marcy—a “down and dirty half-hour about a foul-mouthed celebrity waxologist.” Charlie surprisingly agrees to help pitch the show to Showtime (of course). After Stu and Marcy freeze up in the Showtime boardroom, Charlie saves the day with a riveting sales pitch. It’s a bittersweet moment for Charlie—we get to see him be the hero for once, only to have Stu take the spoils with Marcy.

Abby introduces Hank to Lloyd Allen Philips Jr.—her boss and potentially Hank’s new lawyer. There’s a clear disconnect between the two—not only in age, but also in character. Hank fires one sex joke after another his way, only to have them continuously go over his head. Lloyd invites Hank and Abby to go golfing—a huge mistake on his part. Hank clearly has no business being on a golf course and ultimately drives an aging, proper lawyer to strangle him in a bunker after Hank’s disrespect drives him over the edge. After that incident, Abby decides to take Hank back—on the condition that they can’t have sex until their professional agreement has concluded.

Abby clearly seems into Hank, despite essentially being the female counterpart to Hank and his sexual endeavors. Hank, meanwhile, goes to see his daughter perform her second gig. He chats with Ben, who makes amends with him and reveals that despite his intentions, Karen’s not “in that place” to move on from Hank. The final scene shows her dilemma at hand. As Karen watches her daughter perform, her two suitors—Hank who grabs her leg and Ben who reaches for her hand, surround her as they sit at a table. The final shot focuses closely on her face as her eyes gleam to the left, presumably choosing Hank.

As always, the show balances on Karen’s responses to Hank. She guides the course of his debauchery and destruction, and if “The Recused” ends with anything, it’s that good things may come soon enough for Hank. That is until he messes things up again.

Stray Observations:

• “That was not sex, that was naked poetry. I haven’t been fucked like that since I was an altar boy.” – Hank

• “What are you, Robin Hood of the rapists now?” – Karen in response to Hank’s ‘concern.’

• “A bottle of Heineken, a pack of smokes, an accommodator.” – Hank’s response to whether Lloyd’s question about what he’s currently reading.

• “A little? You’re like a bald Benjamin Button aging in reverse. You’re going to die a big pink quivering jello baby.” – Marcy on Charlie’s lack of maturity.

• “What are you, some kind of fascist? What do you have against demin? It’s the people’s fabric.” – Hank on country club attire.