Californication Episode 6.9 was a cavalcade of wild sexual mayhem. Chocolate bars were eaten out of questionable crevices. Rock stars had suicidal tendencies. Rob Lowe showed off his version of drunken Kung-Fu. Charlie and Hank partied with the Karen and Marcy dopplegangers. And Karen and Hank had another one of their patented cry-ridden, heart-to-hearts.
“Mad Dogs & Englishmen” may have been “chock” full of playful antics, but it also did something that Cali hasn’t managed to do in a long time. It briefly, and I do mean briefly, reminded us that Karen does have a place on Californication.
For too long have we loathed Karen’s flirtatious relationship with Hank, especially after season 3’s finale fallout. In Season 4, we thought she had finally moved on. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. She stepped back in time and hooked up with Richard Bates, an older, gay version of Hank.
Thankfully, Tom Kapinos gave us time to breath from the Hank-Karen melodrama this season. He presented us with a Karen doppleganger, named Faith. And in “Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” the two met.
It was a night that should have been filled with celebration. Atticus was in love with Hank’s revised rock opera script. Unfortunately, he had to move in with Hank and Runkle when his wife caught him eating a chocolate bar out of the hired help’s vagina. Despite his marital doldrums, he was still ready for a party, as long as it was filled with coke and women.
And so they came. But oddly enough, so did Marcy and Karen. Sure, it was a forced appearance. Why would Marcy show up to a party with her two exes? Why would Karen show up at all? And why the heck was wild and boisterous Eddie Nero really back?
On a show like Cali, forced meetings sometimes make for great moments. Perhaps those forced meetings didn’t work – at all – in Season 5. But it worked in the case – this time.
When Karen spotted Hank and Faith getting ready to hook up, she stormed away and decided to bed Eddie. Talk about childish. We all know that Hank is a woman magnetic in this fictitious world. When Karen tries to play the philanderer, her character, comes off as an insecure fool. However, this fool’s actions led to a pathetic Hollywood fight between Hank and Eddie. Hank gave Eddie a rabbit punch and later flipped Nero on his back when Eddie tried to unleash his Karate Kid.
The fight came to a halt when Atticus tried to commit suicide, with an unloaded gun, because his wife threatened to leave him. Sure, he was caught eating a candy bar out of Marcy’s “clit” this time, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his wife.
Karen, however, is a different story. She stormed out of the party, ashamed that she had become the very person she loves (and hates) – Hank. The two ended the episode with a warm embrace.
Will Karen and Hank reunite before the finale? I hope not. There is still the matter of Faith, looming in the wind. Faith has fallen in love with Hank, the man she now realizes will never commit to her. Hopefully, we don’t get another fatal attraction like last season. Morbid suicides and overdoses have no real place on a show like this. Just like Atticus’ rock opera, this show needs to maintain some sense of optimism.