In “At The Movies”, filming began on Hank Moody (David Duchocvny) penned, Beverly Hills Cop knockoff script “Santa Monica Cop.”
It was your typical Californication episode, filled with blow jobs, , fanciful situations, Hank mishaps and Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) buffoonery. For most of the season, we’ve seen a new kind of relationship develop between Hank and Charlie. The two moved in together and have been pushing the boundaries of their bromance with mock-sexual advances towards each other.
It all came to a “head” in “At the Movies. After Eddie Nero (Rob Lowe) got a hold of Tyler’s (Scott Michael Foster) script, Tyler became the hottest up and coming writer in Hollywood. Charlie, trying to rebuild his roster of talent and his good name, wanted to pick up Tyler on his talent roster. Unfortunately, best-bud Hank was against it. Charlie decided not to take a meeting with Tyler in order to respect his friend’s wishes. However, a subsequent underwater blowjob from Lizzie (Camilla Luddington) changed Charlie’s mind.
Charlie took the meeting only to let Tyler know that he couldn’t sign the young writer. Then, when Tyler dangled prospective talent managers at CAA and ICM in front of him, Charlie’s greed won out. He decided to sign Tyler. But, Tyler, ever the college “bro”, wanted to get a few laughs in first. Tyler told Charlie to go up to a tall man and ask that person if he could give the man a blowjob and finger him. It was a truly bizarre moment and totally unbelievable – even more so because Charlie decided to do it. After he did, the man and his friends took him outside. We later learned that the man slapped Charlie in the face multiple times with his genitals.
When Tyler said that he couldn’t sign with a man who had just been dick-slapped, Charlie threatened him to sign. And, Tyler signed. There was a time when reality existed on Californication, but that ship has obviously sailed. The show is more ridiculous funny, than situational funny.
On the set of “Santa Monica Cop”, Samurai (RZA) needed some script changes that had nothing to do with his Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) ripoff attire. Th script that he had forced Hank to write was not working out. After a monetary threat from Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky), Hank went back to his trailer to light up a joint and work on the revision. Then, a second tier actress on set showed up, toting her Julliard degree and beautiful breasts, asking for more lines in the scene. While Hank watched her pee (even more ridiculous), he got to working on the script. She then went down on him as payment for the upgrade. Unfortunately, Beggs and the director walked in on Hank and caught her in the act.
Then, Sam stole another page from pop-culture. He held Hank off a building. It was reminiscent of the “story” that Suge Knight had once held Vanilla Ice off of a balcony and asked him to sign over his royalties to Death Row Records. Sam said he did it purely to save face as the star of the movie and then punched Hank.
Although it was supposed to be an intense and humorous scene, it came off as a trite add-on to push forward the plot. Everyone on set turned on Hank. The girl who started to give him the BJ slapped him and then Stu fired him. Finally, Tyler showed up to take his job. It was a predictable setup. Apparently, “At the Movies” is teaching us that dick-slaps and blowjobs can have an adverse affect on life.
The episode then cut to Hank at the coffee shop with Becca (Madeleine Martin). Tyler texted her to let her know that Hank got him a job. I still can’t tell whether or not Tyler is seriously a fan of Hank or just using the entire family. It feels like the creative team has waffled back and forth on Tyler throughout the season.
Becca tells her father, ” I always love you even when I’m thoroughly disgusted with you.” Shortly after, Karen (Natascha McElhone) shows up and the group decides to go to the movies. It looks like Richard (Jason Beghe) is out of the picture and we’re moving back towards Hank and Karen once again. The waffle continues. Is Karen getting back with Hank? Has that ship sailed? Who knows.
At the end of the day, Hank lost his job but regained his family. Tyler has gained a job, but will probably lose Becca. It’s the vicious Hollywood circle of life.