Recap: "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder"

Hank Moody is getting more like The Dude every day.

That opening scene in the grocery store just proves it. Him slumping around a grocery store in the wee morning hours, hunched over a shopping cart while slugging from an as-yet-unpurchased bottle of liquor, was a terrific snapshot of our Hank's worldview. And then, of course, a smoking-hot half-naked teenager hits on him, a piss-drunk albeit charming rogue who's twice her age. Yup, that sure happens every day. Oh well, I'll once again suspend my disbelief on the grounds that she was only out to steal his stuff. Best part of that whole scene had to be Crusty the cashier's operatic eye roll. Beautiful stuff.

After Hank's nostalgic tour of the vinyl age, we next see him in broad daylight, passed out on the floor amid a world of records (also very Dude-like, incidentally), with only a cleverly directed shot of a spinning record machine covering his privates. As my roommate said, "What a needle dick." Turns out hippie grocery chick has taken off in dark of night with his guitar and a fist full of his favorite albums. Naturally the insidious Mia discovers him in this state (does Hank never lock his door?), apparently having dropped in to ask for help with her homework. Hank's fatherly side shines through and he agrees to take a look at her writing. He is a very sweet guy, and despite her steady stream of alarmingly sexualized commentary, there's an argument that these two are beginning to develop a rather endearing friendship.

The scene between Dani, Charlie and one Advil tablet gone astray was hilarious. But only tonight did I realize that Charlie's assistant really was named Dani - I thought Hank's calling her Dani California was just a joke! And Marcy being referred to as "Mrs. Runkle"? I peed laughing. Mrs. Runkle, heh. That's such a mismatch in nomenclature I just have to love it.

As I've said numerous times before, I have really taken a shine to Marcy, and I am glad she's been around so much these past few episodes. I adore her raspy voice and her matter-of-fact sexuality. The Charlie-Marcy negotiations about S&M practices were so deadpan, that scene could qualify as one of the funniest I've seen all season. It was the most intellectualized discussion of dominance I've ever witnessed, and their attempt at spanking was painful in more ways than one. The look on her face these two kill me.

Speaking of people I love on this show: Becca. Her budding rock-star performance almost had me crying just like Hank. She is so, so charming, and wow, she's got the coolest parents ever.

The evening closed with another poolside heart-to-heart between Karen and Hank, this one ending in a drunken kiss. As cold as Karen can seem at times, I have to admit that these two can occasionally exhibit mad chemistry. I dare say the sexual tension between them is approaching Mulder-Scully levels. But, sadly, when Hank crashed in a spare bedroom and the next morning came down to breakfast, he got a painful and poignant glimpse of Karen's peaceful and happy home life. Poor, poor Hank, I do so want him to find happiness.

Great last scene, too, in which the guitar-stealing hippie chick's conscience got the better of her while Mia read her short story in voiceover. Pretty moving stuff, I say.

Some great lines tonight:

" "You're a smart little sociopath, I'm sure you can put two sentences together."

" "So do you want me to beat the crap out of you?"

" "I could bring you to orgasm and never let you come." "I feel like we've done that."

" "The biggest f--king pansy in captivity."

" I gotta give props to tonight's episode title. "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder"? That's genius.

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