"Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" took us to television purgatory and wavered somewhere between a good and bad episode. Sadly, though, the season five finale of Californication leaned toward the latter.
The set of Santa Monica Cop was a fitting backdrop for what was a very Hollywood summation to several storylines developed over the course of the last few episodes. Samurai dealt with Tyler, as did Hank, who also confessed to having his own relations with Kali and - for the cherry on top - Charlie took a bullet for his dear friend and client. thereby putting an end to their recently stewed beef. Umm... right.
The initial scene with Lou Ashby was by far the best part of tonight's finale. I even gave Richard's call of the wild speech to Karen and Hank a tip of my cap, but from there the episode went steadily downhill, with Marcy and Charlie's interactions giving just a slight pulse to the otherwise cold finish.
Karen's speech to Hank was nothing we haven't heard before. Hank's solution to everything is to run? She wanted him to stay in one place and just live life with her? Finales are meant to leave the viewer with something to ponder and look forward to in the off season. All we got tonight were reruns and leftovers.
The murder suicide angle seemed like a convenient and easy way to close out the season as fans were left to wonder what went wrong. The only thing I could think of was that maybe the whole episode was some delirious dream Hank was having after being drugged and Season 6 will open with him recovering in the hospital. That, too, would be weak sauce, but like I said, I was left holding my hands in the air asking: what just happened?
I appeal to you: What can next season offer up that will bring us back for more? I will certainly tune in when the time comes for more memorable Californication quotes like there were tonight, despite the lack of a cohesive plot, but something has got to change. It seems fitting that the show's production company is Aggressive Mediocrity Inc. because that's exactly what Californication is headed toward unless something is done to breathe life back into this series.