Californication

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Californication
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Californication Review: "And Justice for All"

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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."

Season Finale Brawl

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. 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (43 Votes)
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gosh... go be a writer!
i rather read this than watch the entire episode.

C f ohara

I understand the tying in of the Stones song I just wasn't a fan of the decision to use it. The lyrics are almost too obvious for the subject matter. It didn't leave much up for interpretation. Perhaps I would have been a bigger fan if they also had incorporated The Clash's version of "I Fought the Law" into a scene with Hank post sentencing. To be clear, I'm nitpicking not hating. I think I'm just grumpy because the season is over.

C f ohara

As for the Season Finale, it was interesting to read that it was written as if it might be a Series Finale. "This could have functioned as a series ending if we needed it to be," creator and executive producer Tom Kapinos told TVGuide.com. "It was a nice little bookend to the opening of the pilot in a sense. So, I was fine with it sort of feeling like some closure, but at the same time, it was open for a new adventure." Buzzfocus.com added "The first season of Californication began with Hank’s first book being a total fail, if only in his opinion. Now, we can expect Hank to move up the ladder to Entourage success levels. The FnP film will be the most anticipated movie of the year after the tabloid court case. So, expect Hank to spiral into stardom. Needless to say, the women will come even more freely and the sex will be nonstop. Hopefully, that doesn’t also come with seeing Charlie Runkle’s (Evan Handler) naked arse too many times." Also they noted that three years of Probation is too long and might be so for Kapinos who could initiate the “TV Time Jump� so that we can see where Hank’s life winds up after stepping into the limelight with more cash and losing Karen and Becca for some time. I like the idea of Season 5 in NYC very much.

C f ohara

Piecar in some cases you are correct, but in the case of Hank it seems like he was granted Unsupervised Probation which does not involve direct supervision by an officer. The probationer is expected to complete any conditions of the order without the involvement of an officer, perhaps within a shorter period. For example, given one year of unsupervised probation, a probationer might be required to have completed community service, paid court costs or fines, etc., within the first six months. For the remaining six months, he or she may merely be required to refrain from unlawful behavior. Probationers are allowed to go to their workplace, educational institution, or place of holy worship. Such probationers may be asked to meet with an officer at the onset or near the end of the probationary period, or not at all. If terms are not completed, an officer may file a petition to revoke probation.

Piecar

Checking here, as I am not American...But if you're convicted of a crime and given probation...Doesn't that mean you have to report to a Probation Officer, and, like, do your community service? I am guessing you can't just zip off to New York city, all Kerouac-like.
I read his driving with his stuff as him going to chase down his girls and get 'em back. Becca told him to go home...Home, to Hank, is wherever the girls are. I don't think his plan is to leave the state.

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Just a quick comment that no one seems to be picking up on. You cant always get what you want was played in the opener to the series back in episode one. The episode has been making reference back to that all season (ie the nun and such) Hank never gave mia dad the respect only when drunk out of his mind. However for ben, and throughout the whole season like the concert. It will be a fare mans fight and the pool scene was hank will be back in the ring. However the car scene one must remember hank had all his stuff with him (suitcase and typewriter). My guesse would be he is heading back to new york. remember hank has loathed cali from the beginning and the point of season three has hank was on the cusp on moving back to the city where everything started for him. He met karen back there, wrote the book back there. Heres to season 5 in the big apple.

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Season 4 was a vast improvement over season 3, which was pretty much horrible. Seriously, the only thing that happened in S3 was Hank screwed up anything he ever had any more, without any real reason. And sure, that's the point of the show: Hank is a mess; but still, S3 was a waste of time. I was very glad that they finally started to bring the story around and address the things that happened in Season 1 (which was excellent). I'm stickin with the show, its too funny not to, but it's definitely a guilty pleasure, rather than a transcendent work. Breaking Bad this is not.

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As much as Karen has bugged me, this season especially, and as much as I really, really enjoyed what Carla Gugino brought to Abby, and as much as Hank enjoys slipping into a comfortable bed with an agreeable woman, Hank. . . is a one woman man. He is either alone and in sexual transit, or he is with Karen, his soul-mate. Karen's right - you can only be careless with something so long before it breaks. It will be interesting to see where this show is going and how Hank changes (the word 'grow' is a bit much for this character) as a result of the events in this truly great season. Great to see it renewed for a Season Five.

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After sticking with this show through the first four seasons, and actually being a pretty big fan of it during the first two, I'll never watch another episode. The writing is utterly pointless and boring. Enjoy season five, mouth breathers.

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i actually felt myself more moved from this episode than any in the past. last year when season ended and hank spilled the beans, it was traumatic as we saw him fight with the cops and the look of dispair on karen's face. but for some reason, this one was harder for me. quite frnakly i think it might have been a good series finale, and to some extent i wish it was. it was interesting to see hank walk through the set, and realize that his entire life was basically a movie, and it was all fake. i genuinely felt bad for him as he realizes its all an act, and that is what leads him to feel the need to drive away. thought it was all very well executed. i found the dinner scene to be rather absurd, as is most of the show at most times. typical dysfunctional behavior as we have seen through every season of the show. theres no doubt he and karen are still in love with one another, but im not sure she can take him back ever again after this.
cant explain the feeling of sadness though, it was very unique as i felt like we were saying goodbye to the show. atleast they did a good job of creating that feeling with the drive into the sunset.

Californication Season 4 Episode 12 Quotes

Oh never have I been so excited to write a huge check and service the community for twelve days.

Hank

You have been found guilty of statutory rape, but the real crime here is not one of moral turpitude. Your true crime is that you seem committed to squandering your natural gifts and wasting what appears to be a rewarding life.

Judge