TV Review: Californication Sings The ‘Blues From Laurel Canyon’

Californication, Showtime, Airs Sundays 10pm E/P

Episode: “Blues From Laurel Canyon” (Season Two, Episode Eleven)

Synopsis: To celebrate the release of Mia’s book, Ashby hosts a soiree at the manor. At the party, Karen reveals to Hank that she hasn’t read Mia’s book. Back from rehab, Marcy tries to avoid the powdered temptation all around her. Becca is devastated when she discovers Damien making out with another girl. And, after spotting Daisy with Ronny Praeger, Charlie tells Marcy he wants a divorce. Later, just as the madness is winding down, Janie Jones arrives. As Ashby tries to work up the courage to go downstairs to see her, he does a line of some very bad coke.

Review: Creator/writer Tom Kapinos is a cruel man.  The worst aspect of his particular meanness is that he’s normally so kind.  Last season, the first, was one of the best premiere seasons of any show ever.  Consistently funny, touching, smart, sexy… then Kapinos fucked it up in the last three minutes of the finale with an illogical family reunion that predictably didn’t last long into this season.  Well it looks like Kapinos is trying to out-do himself on the cruelty front this season, albeit an episode early… but let’s review the rest of this week’s episode first.

Ashby’s mansion is the setting for Mia’s book party and most of the episode, and quite a bit happens within it’s walls.  Mia continues to be a mouthy, idiotic, and unattractive bitch.  Now that the book’s out, I hope this character and plot line gets dropped.  I fully expect it to return at some point so Karen can finally discover Hank’s sexual victimization at the hands of Mia, but until then can Mia exit the show gracefully please?  She hasn’t disrobed in forever, and honestly what else does she have to offer lately?

The Charlie/Marcy/Daisy triangle explodes with style in the middle of the party, with Charlie making another in a long line of historically stupid moves.  Hank’s efforts to avert the disaster are noteworthy and entertaining, but the Runkle disaster train is unstoppable and he proclaims his desire for a divorce and a Daisy.  We’re spared Marcy’s wrath thanks to an impromptu chick fight that can only be stopped with a shotgun blast to the ceiling.  No one ever questions it, but this is the second gunshot to the ceiling and am I the only one thinking someone upstairs could easily have the foot blown off by these shenanigans?

Ashby meanwhile continues to be the second best character on the show, behind only Hank in the amount of laughter, interest, and sincerity he generates.  He steps in to help Becca with her boyfriend dilemma and shows Karen and the audience how sensitive and aware he can be.  He helps out Hank with the Rolling Stone reporter’s rumors and while it caters to Ashby’s need for attention it also took the heat off Hank in a quick and painless way.  And when Janie Jones shows up at his party and Hank rushes up to tell him she’s there, Ashby becomes nervous, scared, excited… it’s sweet and I thought my expectation that Janie had already left would be the worst-case scenario.

I was wrong.  Ashby is quite possibly dead due to some bad coke.  And Tom Kapinos is an asshole.

Up Next Week: ** Special Joe G Edition **  Some stuff happens next week.  It’s the season finale.

Read More: Californication Recaps

What did you think of this episode?  Is Kapinos a mean-spirited dick for potentially killing off Ashby?

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

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