TV Review: Californication 2.4 – The Raw & the Cooked

Californication: The Raw and the Cooked

Californication, Showtime, Airs Sundays 10pm E/P

Episode: “The Raw & the Cooked” (Season Two, Episode Four)

Synopsis: Hank and Karen throw a dinner party for a few close friends: Charlie and Marcy, who show up high, Ashby, Sonja, Julian and Mia. Becca and her new boyfriend Damien round out the group. Before everyone arrives, Hank pops the question, but Karen begs off to think it over. At dinner, it’s revealed that Hank is the likely father of Sonja’s baby. Becca stands up to Julian, much to Hank’s delight. And Ashby nearly dies of an allergic reaction to sushi. At the end of the evening, Karen makes a big decision about her relationship with Hank.

Review: This episode featured one of the best dinner party scenes ever.  It’s extremely funny and terribly awkward at the same time.  Hank’s proposal beforehand was both sweet and dirty, and Karen’s decision at the episode’s end was understandable… but all it does is bring us back around 180 degrees to where things were before last season’s finale.  It’s definitely one way to bring the tension, hi-jinks, and drama back, but it seems like such an unnecessary three-episode detour.  At the same time though, Becca’s response to Hank’s exit was heartbreaking and his reaction and expression towards his daughter’s disappointment was equally as painful.

But back to that dinner party… Charlie hasn’t been funny in a long time as he’s been too busy being annoying or disgusting.  But this week’s episode had him tripping on E and entertaining the hell out of me the entire time.  His fabric obsession was hysterical, and his helpful pen jab to Ashby’s thigh was fantastic.  Ashby’s obtuse decision to bring Hank’s mouth-rape victim from episode one was inspired, and Becca’s date, Damien, had a couple nice lines/reactions towards Hank as well.  Becca’s handling of Julian’s critique of “The Satanic Bible” may seem slightly out of line but it was also perfectly in line with her flatly incisive commentary on everything else.  That clash began the awkwardness, but it was the pregnancy storyline between Sonja, Julian, and Hank that made things terribly uncomfortable.

And who triggered it?  Why Mia of course!  Someone please tell me why that nosy, cruel, and bitter bitch is still invited into their house?  She’s mean-spirited and unlikable, and while those two traits can sometimes be a plus for a character she has absolutely nothing else to offer aside from causing trouble.  She hasn’t even shown her giant nannies since last season.

Overall, a great episode that looks to be getting the show back to its roots of a pining Hank and a fickle Karen.  Next week sees Hank shacking up with Ashby which promises a return to the sex and drug fueled Hank we know and love.  The big question is can the show keep that momentum going without resorting to another happy reunion in the finale?

Up Next Week: After getting dumped by Karen, Hank is relegated to living at Ashby’s mansion. In order to distract Hank from his heartbreak, Ashby arranges a sex session with popular, yet incredibly annoying, celebrity chef, Chloe Metz. Meanwhile, Charlie takes on a new client, Daisy, who’s eager to land the lead in a porn film called Vaginatown.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you catch this week’s episode of Californication? If so, feel free to discuss below.

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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