Californication: Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Review

Episode 9 of Season 6 tempts us and leads us down the path...

Sex appeal has sold audiences on Californication because temptation is a virtue. Knowing when and how to use it to your advantage is the rub and in “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” one wild night leads those who are eager woefully unsatisfied.

We have reached the point in the season where Hank and Karen’s stars must align. Like clockwork, their romance will come around in a matter of time. Before we can get to the theatrics, Californication throws all the guest stars into one room for a party and as we know, this has never ended well. Eddie Nero (Rob Lowe) returns to express his interest in Hank’s musical and come out of his celibate lifestyle by fornicating with someone at the party. Jorge Garcia, who plays a drug dealer, makes an appearance at the party along with his former Lost co-star, Maggie Grace, as the lovely Faith. Celebrities, drugs and beautiful women, check, now on to the drama.

Six seasons into Hank and Karen’s on and off romance, it has become clear that spending all this time mincing feelings has aged them emotionally. Nowhere has this been more evident than Karen’s first encounter with Faith. When the current and former muses of Hank Moody collide, it feels like Karen, often seen as a protective lioness, whether it is for Hank or Becca, is ready to pounce. Instead, Karen offers a not-so-shocking admission: “I was kinda you.” This isn’t the elder, passing the torch to the up and comer. For the millionth time, Karen finds Hank in a compromising position and decides to show her emotions (she later admits jealous) by using Eddie Nero to spite Hank.

Our deeply conflicted protagonist has to ward off the advances of Atticus’ wife, which we expect him to. What we didn’t see coming was his decision to leave the gentle touch of Faith in favor of waiting outside of a bedroom for Eddie Nero and Karen to finish the deed. Hank is pretty good at showing his emotions but he does so less rationally than Karen by getting into a brawl with Eddie.

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Of course there can’t be drama without Atticus somehow getting involved. He has been the most needy character of the season and when the party gets real, he gets realer. Atticus gives an attention grabbing suicide threat after his wife catches him going down on Marcy’s lady-parts. Stu and Runckle don’t have much to say on this because Californication is busy tracking the tangled, now childish love-hate, mostly love relationship of Hank and Karen.

Many of their most memorable talks have come on the beach and that is the setting for what appears to be the breakdown of season six. Karen reiterates her never-ending feelings for Hank and the episode ends with a lingering hug, letting us all know the time has come again.