Recap: "Fear and Loathing at the Fund-raiser"

I was jam-packed with tart-tongued one-liners, but it also packed a punch with a fistful of soulful, heartfelt conversations that helped to deepen several of the side characters who live in Hank's world. It looks to me like Hank is back on track as Hollywood's most self-loathing blogger.

As the first bed conversation showed, Meredith is shaping up to be a pretty cool lady, vulnerable but level-headed, with a good sense of humor. She's got more than her share of baggage, though, what with this five-year affair with a married man whom she still seems to be attached to. Despite his reluctance to "have that conversation," I do actually think that Hank is pretty close to loving Meredith, and he seems to get a real kick out of coming to her rescue. I wonder if it's true that she called him a loser to her adulterous lawyer ex-lover, and more importantly if Hank believes that she did. If he did, he sure didn't let it affect him much.

We also saw Hank's friendship skills come to light when he walked in on Charlie and "Mortitia"'s photo session. Our Hank is a good pal after all, despite his tendency to fire his friend every now and again. As a bonus, it looks like that silly spanking storyline might actually serve a plot purpose by exposing a gaping crack in Charlie and Marcy's marriage. It should be a heckuva lot of fun watching that little fault line get patched up.

I also liked the chat between Mia and Becca - it helped to humanize Mia, who until now seemed pretty one-sided to me, like some conniving teen temptress à la '80s Drew Barrymore. After that little chat, though, Mia seems like a vulnerable, lonely girl looking for love. Maybe she's a sweet kid after all. Pretty endearing.

But most endearing of all was, of course, the late-night cell-phone chat between daughter and dad: "Four, five no, that's a sea lion no, that's a bum."

Some killer lines and moments:

" "Apathy kills, Hank." "I don't care."

" "Angelina's vageena."

" "Remember what you used to do when I couldn't sleep?" "Dose you with opiates?"

" I can't believe Hank Moody threw yet another punch tonight. That's four in as many episodes.

" Yusef the bulldog is a terrific addition; happy to have you aboard, Yusef. You got yourself a great name.

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