Californication Review: "Exile on Main St."
Hank was released from jail to kick off season four, as trusty sidekick Charlie was there to greet him with a drink and a cigarette to open "Exile on Main St."
Despite an offer of free Denny’s breakfast to distract him, Hank insisted on going home to see Karen and Becca. More fearful of Hank’s ire than his soon-to-be ex-wife’s, Charlie gave in and agreed to take Hank home, but wanted to show him one thing first.
As they pulled up to the bookstore, the sign in the window let us know that the truth about the author of "Fucking and Punching" and his relationship with a minor had gone viral. How creepy was the bearded guy in front of the bookstore, wearing the tie and Mr. Rogers sweater?
I loved the fire in Marcy’s eyes when she opened the door to find Hank and Charlie standing there. Cokey Smurf has always been a straight shooter and I appreciated how she believed Hank when he told her the story about Mia was true, but also complicated.
I have long thought that Marcy is the female “Pot” to Moody’s “Kettle” and she was not about to call him “Black” to start the season off.
Karen was upset as expected and, as always, she made Hank aware of how loyal Becca was to him and that she was blind to the truth of the matter. This was just the first dose of reality that Hank would have to choke down. The next came at his lawyer’s office.
I loved the addition of Carla Gugino as Abby. I have been a fan of hers ever since 1993 when she starred across Pauly Shore in Son In Law. She was fantastic on Entourage and I’m sure we are in for much of the same. She had me at “fisting.”
The meeting at Charlie’s old agency was a heck of a scene. When Sasha (Addison Timlin) first walked up to Hank, I did a double take. What a resemblance to Mia! Very well played to have Hank not recognize who she was and I loved how Runkle tried to hide that fact from her team by calling Hank a “kidder.”
The scene in the boardroom was a real Clash of the Titans and Hank made a nice reference to the film when he announced he had to have himself a movement and said, “it’s time to release the Kraken.”
I very much appreciated the stoned director’s nod to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A lot of us owe thanks to Phoebe Cates and her red bikini top. How about the producer played by none other than Ned Ryerson, Needle Nose Ned, Ned the Head? Well, in real life of course he’s actor Stephen Tobolowsky, who most recently played Sandy Ryerson on Glee. He is always good for a laugh and will be a scene-stealer in upcoming episodes.
While I agreed with Hank when he told Charlie that some things are better left to his limited imagination, I had to applaud Sasha for shutting up the skeptical director and showing off her chest. I also have to concur with Hank, that ass of hers is no slouch, either.
Few could blame Hank for being seduced by her in her hotel room. The way they reversed roles was a nice touch. Sasha said she would be a complete gentleman and Hank sheepishly said that he had been hurt before. The lines he uttered about Karen and Becca were sweet even if the words themselves sounded unspeakably lame. The line about how most women just want a man that’s just gay enough to watch Project Runway with was classic.
It took her a few swings, but in the end Sasha clocked Hank a good one as the camera cut to black. His dream sequence warranted a second look. Karen ran into the bedroom and looked as if she was rereading the section of "Fucking and Punching" about Hank and Mia, as if to remind herself of what he had done.
She then took the book and flung it at her dresser. She did not make eye contact with Hank. She instead glanced at a framed picture of him near her bed. It was as if he was there one moment and then he wasn’t. The same thing occurred when he went into Becca’s room. She looked up from her computer and appeared to look at Hank, but after she saw the website headline about him and Mia Lewis, and went into her destructive rage I once again got the feeling that he wasn’t there.
It was like one of those dreams where you go from being the main character to watching yourself from the outside.
The hurt Becca felt in that scene, even if it was just a dream, was palpable. I felt like the writers were setting the stage for a big season for Becca with this show of rage.
As the premiere closed out, we learned that the D.A.’s office dropped the assault charges, but charged Hank with statutory rape. Lady lawyer said that defending Moody got a lot more interesting and I had to agree. Accountability is nipping at Hank’s heels.
Season Four got off to a great start and the stage was set for a number of interesting story lines. The most comical of which might have been the start to Runkle’s quest to join the sexual century club.