Saturday, 15 October 2011

Californication 4.2 'Suicide Solution'

“...I saw a girl I defecated on in Palm Springs once. I should go apologize.” –Eddie Nero

I was a rather vocal fan of Kathleen Turner’s stellar contribution to Californication’s third season. As Sue Collini, Charlie’s randy boss, Turner practically stole every scene she was in and chewed the scenery like nobody’s business every chance she got.

I had hoped Turner would return for season four, but as yet there’s been no indication she’ll be back, which makes Rob Lowe’s debut as actor Eddie Nero all the more fantastic.

There wasn’t much else to dissect in ‘Suicide Solution’ that wasn’t covered in my review of the premiere last week, but Lowe’s incredible performance as Nero guaranteed this was a great episode of Californication.

Every moment of that scene with Charlie and Hank at the bar was brilliant and every line of dialogue out of Nero’s mouth was borderline genius. Lowe is clearly having the time of his life playing the ridiculous Nero but it works in an even more spectacular way than Turner did as the sex mad Collini last season.

Judging from this episode’s title it would seem that Hank’s booze and prescription meds binge that ended with him passing out is going to be viewed as a desperate cry for help by those closest to him.

I can’t say I’m really digging that as an idea though because although Hank is one of the most tortured souls on television he doesn’t strike me as the sort who would even consider suicide, and you would think his nearest and dearest would also feel that way too.

Obviously the writers have painted themselves in to a corner with Karen and Becca’s resentment towards Hank meaning they want nothing to do with him. The show is always at its most heartfelt when Hank is dealing with the two women that mean more to him than anything in the world, so with them unwilling to do anything other than show him how much he’s hurt them the show is suffering.

It would be unrealistic for them both to suddenly forgive him though, so a suicide attempt is an event that could feasibly make them warm to him again and get the show back to it’s more touching side.

David Duchovny was on directorial duty in this episode as well and really put together some nice moments between Hank and his family. That shot of Karen and Hank leaning against the wall so far apart was really great and the whole end scene with Hank typing a letter to Becca – no doubt to be viewed as a suicide note – and his dream-like visions of a young Becca was quite haunting. That final moment as the waves crashed over Hank’s body on the beach causing him to disappear was quite a strong visual representation of the internal trauma this man is suffering.

Beyond the Hank downward spiral there wasn’t anything new that warrants in depth study going on in ‘Suicide Solution’ so anything else of note will be covered below in my ‘hail of bullets’ section.

As always though a highly quotable and ultimately enjoyable episode of Californication, though I am conscious that as yet season four has yet to grace the heights achieved by season three, which was almost universally fantastic, but there’s still plenty of time yet.

A Hail of Bullets:

- Marcy is quite blatantly pregnant, the question there I guess is whether or not the baby is Charlie’s.

- Charlie didn’t really have much of a storyline in this episode but his seasonal arc of trying to boost the number of notches on his bedpost got a little air time as Hank looked in to his room and Charlie indicated “fifteen” to his friend whilst having sex.

- Sasha’s depiction as “America’s sweetheart” last week continues to seem utterly ridiculous as she continues to behave like a sex-mad nympho, once again inexplicably throwing herself at Hank whilst wearing little to no clothes. I appreciate looks can be deceiving and you never quite know what’s going behind closed doors but I doubt one of America’s actual sweethearts like say, Reese Witherspoon (I don’t actually know if she’s ever been referred to as such, but you get my point) behaves like that at home.

- Is anyone in any doubt that Hank and “lady-lawyer” will be doing the no pants dance within a few episodes?

- Hank’s card being declined at the guitar store meaning he couldn’t even buy Becca off without embarrassing her was a cruel blow to not only Hank’s ego but to his almost non-existent relationship with his daughter. I love Hank-Becca interaction though so I do hope that they can go someway to reconciling soon, I can’t imagine a season devoid of the witty repartee they have going being much fun at all.

Californication Season 4 continues in the UK Thursday @ 10pm on 5*


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