‘Californication’ Recap: Freeze-Frame

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.

“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.