Californication Review: "And Justice for All"
Sentencing was handed down to Hank to kick off the season finale, "And Justice for All.
During his closing remarks, Abby looked up at him with admiration, as he admittedly realized begging for mercy would have been disingenuous. I was glad to see him acknowledge the embarrassment he caused Becca and Karen and liked how he realized anything else he might add would have been "just noise."
Hank was eloquent and apologetic, but could not help himself given the opportunity and just had to make light of the moment by exclaiming "free the West Memphis Three!" Anyone who has ever seen the documentary Paradise Lost, which covered the child murders at Robin Hood Hills, would realize how off color such a quip is.
I finally saw the emotion and concern from Charlie and Karen that I felt was lacking in the previous episode. The tension of the moment was evident in their body language and eyes. They provided the perfect backdrop, as the judge told Hank that his real crime was squandering his natural gifts and wasting what appeared to her a rewarding life.
It was as if the slow zoom-in shot of Hank's face showed the reality of his actions seeping into his brain. There was no spark in his eye at that moment, no twinkle at all. Hank was exposed and condemned in a public forum once again, but this time there was no defense he could throw at the charges. The resulting guilt was a far cry from jail time, but I'm sure it hurt him. He was guilty of treating those he loved with an utter lack of regard and priority.
Case in point: while in bed with Hank, Abby asked him what he planned to do with the first day of the rest of his life. His decision to go home with her on the first night of it showed that he will never change. He is an attention whore and went where he thought he would get the most approval. Yes, he had a nice drive with Becca the next day, but I felt like that should have been the first move he made after the trial let out.
(Side note: did anyone happen to catch what he said to Abby when he was off screen in her bedroom just before the opening credits began? It sounded like "I'm going to Georgia," but I couldn't make it out for sure.)
Charlie wasted no time putting his foot in his mouth when he let it slip that he had known about Abby and Hank's sexual relationship all along. While Charlie seemed to reel it in, Peggy's wheels were off from the start with comments like when she said her cherry poppin' daddy needed to earn his red wings.
We knew Peggy had serious toys in her attic, so the mention of how she and Charlie had acted out a brother/sister Holocaust escapee fantasy didn't surprise me that much, but the knife to Charlie's hand was a complete shocker. When all Hell broke loose after Peggy insulted the integrity of Marcy's vaginal bouquet, Eddie Nero was like a pig in mud, reveling in the madness. It was the most entertaining dinner party since the one at Dean Koons's house. It was interesting to note that only Hank had the prescience of mind to go help Charlie and pull out the knife. While brave, Hank's quick response may not have been the brightest. What else was there to do, though?
Better to just yank it out then make like Eddie Murphy in The Golden Child and say, "I want the knife... please."
The whole walking on water was a bit blatant, but I did like the shot of Hank on the bottom of the pool with his eyes wide open, an air bubble seeping out of his nose and mouth. It was reminiscent of The Graduate when Ben Braddock sat underwater and seemingly took stock of his life and uncertain future. Maybe something clicked for Hank down there. Ben did save him, but I thought the way Hank treated his savior was a step in the right direction. He showed Ben respect for the first time and even amiably joked about the way Ben gave him CPR.
Hank was right to think things will never be the same, but Becca proved to be his emotional crutch yet again. But going onto the set of the movie about your life and hooking up with the woman cast to play your ex-lover was probably not what she meant.
As Hank drove off the movie lot, did anyone else think he was going to crash right through that sun set prop? Speaking of Hank's chariot, was I mistaken or was the headlight he smashed at the dealership fixed? Perhaps it was a flub, or maybe it was a subtle reference to Hank and his new image.
The music choices for this season have been obscure, but very telling and appropriate choices whose lyrics did well to capture the mood of the scenes they accompanied. The use of The Rolling Stones song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want," though, seemed like a cop out to me. Like the walking on water scene, it was just too obvious.
Hank is without a doubt a modern day version of many tragic figures from the pages of William Shakespeare, but unlike Othello and Macbeth, Hank's story is not yet finished. We closed another chapter in this story, but while things will never be the same with our Moody, hopefully the best is yet to come. There were a number of notable quotes to close out the season, which should help to keep us all laughing until that time when we see our dear Hank again.