S4E5: Last week, I proclaimed that Californication is at its best when it pushes the weird and wacky. After all, I view this show as a farce and within that context, the crazier things get, the better. But this goes both ways. The show can push ridiculous scenes on us (like when Charlie slices his penis) and they're fun and work within the world of the show, but it can also give us the other side of the emotional spectrum in the same extravagant way, like when Hank sat with Mia on the edge of the balcony. Sure, Hank's self-loathing is a little cliche, but because of the rules this world has set up, his character gets away with it (plus, David Duchovny's Hank Moody is always terrific). This week, we had a little bit of both worlds, and they meshed together for a nice, enjoyable episode.
"Did he have any idea how old you were?"
"No, he probably thought I was in my 20s."
-Abby and Mia
We open with some footage of Hank's lawyer, Abby, interviewing Mia about the events that spawned this whole mess. We learn that the prosecution basically doesn't have a case, as Mia admits to not being open with Hank about her age. With this news, obviously, Hank is thrilled and wants to celebrate, so he requests to take out Abby to thank her for all her hard work. The two flirt, as they always do, and end up setting a dinner date later. And yes, at this point in the episode, I was thinking the same thing as you were: "Welp, how long before Hank and Abby bone?"
"I hurt myself!"
Oh, Charlie Runkle. Every week, you never cease to surprise with your absurd behavior. This week, you're afraid your pubic hair is too long, so you shave it all off. And of course, OF COURSE, you slice your penis. Anyone watching could tell that this was coming but I still enjoyed it. Runkle is such a lovable fool. Seeing him screw up on a weekly basis will make his inevitable eventual success that much sweeter. Plus, this was a nice moment between Charlie and Marcy (funny that their nice moments are fights between one another, by the way), who continue to dance around the obvious fact that they are still in love (at least I think so). Oh, and Marcy still hasn't told Charlie she's pregnant. Just thought I should note that detail as well, because secretly, despite Charlie's "vasectomy" (which we learned this week could very well be botched), it's fairly obvious Marcy thinks Charlie is the father.
"You think you can have it all, right? Dark swirling chaos and the white picket fence."
"What if one feeds the other?"
"What if one destroys the other?"
-Abby and Hank
So Abby and Hank head out to dinner and for the first time start chipping away at each others' walls. Hank and Abby have very similar personalities and so far this season, their scenes together -- going back and forth with one another -- have been some of the best moments. There's clearly chemistry between them but beyond that, Abby is one of the few who sees through Hank's bullshit. She understands the way he thinks, and she's able to pick and prod at those thoughts and push him to cut through the bullshit and actually think about his actions. In other words, she challenges him. She refuses to be just another woman that Hank Moody sleeps with. She's more. What that is, I'm not sure, but I don't think she knows either. Hank sees this too, which is the reason that -- even though he clearly wants to bang her -- he's terrified of her. Just before Hank is forced to get real with Abby, he receives a text message from Karen telling him that Becca's band is playing a gig, so once again, Hank gets off the hook.
"You know what we need to do, Mia? We need to forgive our fuckin' selves. No one's going to do that for us."
On the way to dinner, Hank ran into Sasha and Mia who were meeting for drinks to discuss Sasha's role as Mia in Fucking and Punching. They had some playful words with one another, but really nothing more than that. But after Hank leaves Abby to go to Becca's concert (where he has an awkward run in with Karen and her new boyfriend, Ben), he gets word that Mia's fucked up again and is apparently threatening suicide. He arrives at the situation and sits on the edge of the balcony with her. The two share a moment, as they have numerous times throughout this series, but this one felt more significant than previous moments. I think they both (with Hank talking to Abby and Mia talking to Sasha) are starting to understand the heap of shit that they really are in, despite neither one wanting to. Hank and Mia, despite their age difference, understand one another. As they sit on the balcony, Hank says, "We need to forgive our fuckin' selves." There's a sense of mutual understanding. They've both fucked up. They know it. They need to move on. But they can't, and neither can really justify why.
Eventually, both go inside and Hank ends up lying in bed and Sasha and Mia jump on him, and of course, since this is Californication, they both stick their hands down his pants. Hank quickly removes them and removes himself, but not before some dude (who needs to understand that fedoras aren't cool) takes a picture with his phone. Whoops.