Saturday, 4 September 2010

Californication 3.6 'Glass Houses'


“…80's pop legend Rick Springfield is in there stealing your girl… Not Jessie's girl, your girl: Runkle's girl…” - Hank

‘Glass Houses’ was probably the weakest episode so far of this sublime, dare I say: best yet, season of Californication, but that's only because I set the bar so high when judging what has rapidly become my favourite show on television.

My feelings towards this episode are by no means negative but my ranking it as the weakest of the season thus far is more than likely down to the fact that ‘Glass Houses’ focused more on the dysfunctional family dynamic that Becca’s adolescence is causing rather than the more out and out comedy of the majority of recent episodes.

That’s not to say that this wasn’t a funny episode, because Californication is always funny – even in its darkest moments there are comic elements; ‘Glass Houses’ was also as endlessly quotable as ever – this season really has given us some incredible one-liners.

To advance the season though and get the show on course for the finale you can’t keep having brilliantly funny and debauched episodes without peppering in some dramatics, and ‘Glass Houses’ stood out to me as one of those necessary episodes to progress a season’s long-running arcs.

We began with Hank, Karen and Becca in a diner directly following last week’s closing revelation that Karen was back, albeit briefly, in La-la land.

As Hank and Karen reconnected Becca’s cartoonish surliness came to the fore again as the horrible little teen threw one of her now commonplace strops.

Karen duly decided that it was high time they were a family again and not in LA, Hank’s eyes practically lighting up as the words “New” and “York” were mentioned.

As one could probably have guessed Becca reacted somewhat poorly to this news as she would have to leave BFF Chelsea behind. The remainder of the episode featured Becca acting out against her parents, instead opting to spend time over at the Koons’.

This of course meant the return of Peter Gallagher as Dean Koons, who was sorely missed last week, and Embeth Daviditz as Felicia, who was not at all impressed to see Hank’s lady love back in town.

Although Felicia was featured heavily again this week after last week’s absence, the same cannot be said for Jill and Jackie, both of whom appeared only briefly as Karen sat in on Hank’s class. Hank’s awkward behaviour being enough to tip off Karen to the fact he was sleeping with one of the ladies in the room… which of course is half right.

Over in Runkle land meanwhile, Charlie made the mistake of inviting Rick Springfield over to the house to run lines ahead of an audition. Given how he’s already explained how much of a thing for Springfield Marcy had you’d really think he’d know better.

Needless to say after a very awkward dinner also involving Hank, Karen and Sue, Marcy ended up going to her room with Springfield to “listen to some records”.

This development at least gave Kathleen Turner’s Sue Collini something more substantial to do beyond the one-note vulgarity and matter of fact sexual proposition we have come to expect from her, as she tried to remind Runkle that sex is supposed to be a joyous thing.

Her theatrical simulation managed to put an abrupt end to Marcy and Springfield’s shenanigans and given the Runkle-ator something to think about, but where this leads for the Runkles remains to be seen.

Hank and Karen’s dinner was cut rather short as they received a phone call informing them that Becca and Chelsea had worked their way through bottles upon bottles of the Koons’ beloved wine stash.

On arrival at Dean Manor, Hank and Karen found themselves confronted with a rather drunk Felicia and a rather laissez faire Dean Koons which just infuriated Karen further.

This whole rather angry scene ended with Becca blowing chunks all over the Dean’s pants.

The episode ended with possibly the happiest moment of the season so far as Hank and Karen shared a moment and Hank finally shared a long awaited kiss with his true love.

But not before he uttered this series defining line about the vacuous nature of LA:

"L.A. is no place to raise a daughter… or a dad."


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