CALIFORNICATION: In Utero - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


December 2, 2008 by  


I’m such a sucker for flashbacks! Last night’s episode of Californication gave us a great inside look at the beginnings of the Hank and Karen saga. The show always seems at its best when the writers anti up these small doses of our favorite characters younger years.

Last season’s 30 minute episode that followed the loss of Hank’s father and the reasons behind their dysfunctional relationship is still my favorite. The trip down memory lane also has a great way of grounding the often unrealistic world creator Tom Kapinos serves us every week. And so on with the highlights of this week’s episode as we return to the days of Kurt Cobain’s suicide and Karen’s black nail polish.

As the episode opens we see our favorite womanizer back in the stir-ups again! The discovery of a lump in last week’s episode has prompted Hank and Karen to pay the doctor’s office a visit. While there the doc seems more interested in what Hank is working on than his health. Hank who has to stick around for a biopsy just wants a drink and in his words to figure out what the lump in his junk is.

Meanwhile we travel back in time to the year Kurt Cobain has committed suicide, the year Karen and Hank came to be. During this flashback Karen is crying over the sad news of the grunge rocker’s death as well as the fact that she’s pregnant! At this point in their relationship they barely know each other and both have commitments to other people. Hank unconvinced wants Karen to pee on a stick again while Karen, pro-life, with ease says she can take care of this situation. She apparently has a strong grasp on who and what Hank is.

Shot back from the cold and dreary New York apartment we land in the present day conversation of Hank and Karen discussion with the doctor. Karen would rather Hank have cancer that an STD, so to speak. This is the serious Hank we rarely see. The Moody that even turns down sex when the couple returns home. That’s twice this season. Is our main character finally rearranging his priorities? From the guy who decided against using a condom with Karen in our 90’s flashbacks to now. It took awhile.

Now in the middle of this health scare the couple are back to sharing some personal space and personal conversation. Hank wants to know all about the Lew kiss and Karen just wants to avoid the whole thing by discussing Lew’s immaturity issues. Their also avoiding Becca’s questions about what’s going on.

Hank and Charlie hook-up to have drinks. While out Hank is pretty high strung, jumping at the phones first ring, and he doesn’t care that his next sexual conquest could be 2 feet away. Hank is officially engulfed in a moment of clarity and sees where he went wrong. Between being a bad father to Becca and a bad boyfriend to Karen, Hank feels just like his old man. He’s also busy envying his best friend and agent Runkle who’s ready to drop his marriage for a porn star. Runkle needs a serious kick in the ass.

Meanwhile that’s just what Hank gives to Lew when he comes to check on his friend. Hank is still mad about the kiss and decides to chase Ashby around the house and throw fruit at him. Soon enough the antics end when Hank’s doctor calls to tell him the good news – Hank has syphilis. I guess that’s good news.

The best part of this episode for me was seeing how sure Hank was in the last flashback of the episode. His decision to stay with Karen and have the baby together, and the letter he wrote her was the best part. His determination at keeping her even if they spend the rest of their lives running in circles is romantic, for Moody anyways.

Only two episodes left until the season finale! Don’t miss next week’s episode when Lew throws Mia a big bash for her supposed novel.

Sarah is from Massachusetts and currently writes for several TV and music websites. She loves Smallville, Heroes, Everwood, and of course Californication.

Filed under Californication


8 Responses to “CALIFORNICATION: In Utero”

  1. Erik on December 2nd, 2008 8:55 pm

    Great recap, Sarah! Though I find myself struggling with the overall philosophy behind the creative direction and casting decisions on this show, I was legitimately moved by the last sequence showing Hank & Karen as they fell in love. Whether it was the contrast between the joyful visuals and the somber tones of Pearl Jam’s, “Nothingman,” or the longing looks exchanged by the two actors as they took their new relationship throughout Manhattan, I found myself on the brink of tears.

    The backbone of this show is a loving relationship built on mutual respect and undeniable chemistry. It is unfortunate that that bond is tossed aside for the sake of debauchery all too frequently.

  2. Jenny on December 3rd, 2008 8:12 pm

    A bit of inaccuracy in the review: Hank was NOT diagnosed with syphillis, he just had a benign swollen lymph node and the Dr prescribed him with a round of antibiotics which is normal. If he had syphillis Karen would have to be checked as well as anyone else he was with the last few months.

  3. Johnny on December 4th, 2008 11:26 am

    It will have a third season? i hope so ..

    Ps: Its not syphillis .. just something benign ;D


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