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Californication: Things Get Even Skeevier

The show's bad blender drink of family and fornication gets frothier and more toxic this week. “In a Lonely Place” finds Hank leaning woozily against the bar, trying in vain to refuse a round on the house.

Family
Hank makes needy Ashby promise to keep his paws off underage Mia, but it's obvious even before Hank walks in on them again that Ashby's not to be trusted. Hank tries to get out of his contract, but Charlie advises him that if he doesn't write Ashby's bio, he'll have to make the screenplay for that “punching 'n' fucking” novel that almost-sorta-stepdaughter Mia stole from him.

Hank does a little better with his real daughter, dutifully showing up for a parent-teacher conference. With a flask. A surprisingly hot Justine Bateman plays the teacher, meaning, of course, that she hooks up with Hank. And also meaning, of course, that she's a little troubled herself.

Just in case the show hasn't overplayed the family-fornication dichotomy, it turns out the teacher is Becca's boyfriend's mom. And she's having her period. When Hank walks naked into the kitchen, a startled young Damien looks down and asks, "Mr. Moody? You fucked my mom? Did you hurt her?"

Becca dumps Damien when he calls her dad a dick, but she finally accepts that, well, Hank is a dick, and inspires her to deliver unto Hank the show's moral: “If you keep cracking jokes and taking another drink and pretending life is one big party, you will miss everything.”

Charlie, meanwhile, continues playing daddy for Daisy. When he finds out her old manager wants them to buy out her contract — and that Marcy spent their secret stash on drugs — he gives him the keys to his sports car. We're going to trust that his interest in her career is mostly paternal, but we can't quite figure out Marcy's motive in insisting that Daisy join mama and papa bear in their bed, rather than letting Charlie make up the guest room. Either Marcy's trying to compensate for that coke problem, or Charlie is (and we could say this every episode) one very lucky man.

Fornication
See above. Also: Hank is slowly closing in on Ashby's one-who-got-away, Jamie Jones. We urge the writers to speed up this subplot, so the target audience can resume living vicariously through its good-natured bad boy, rather than feeling skeeved out every single second of the show.

Photo: Courtesy of Showtime