Californication Review: Dazed and Confused

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"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. 

Callum Keith Rennie on Californication

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. 


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (176 Votes)

It was so obvious that Carrie drugged the drink, she poured a drink but then drank that one and gave an already-poured drink to hank. Hank is smart enough to realize she's a psycho b!tch and not accept a drink from her. Other than that, amazing episode. Poetic that he had the self-destructive dream at the beginning, much like his old self, thinking nothing would ever work out... but then later had the dream of realizing he just wanted to be with Karen in Becca in their house. Agree with other comments, do NOT bring Samurai back. He was a great character, but so over-the-top and unbelievable at times. The instant he pulled a gun on-set people would have called 911 and he would have gone to jail by the time they got there, for shooting someone.


Trixie Trixalot needs to come back!


let's face it. This show is passed its prime. It passed it about two seasons ago. This last episode was one of the worst yet. They should call it quits. A fan

C f ohara

Simon...Kali being turned on by a guy who would shoot someone for her did not gel with me either. It was a total betrayal of her character. I'd love to see some more scenes featuring the rituals that go along with Hank's writing process next season. I really enjoyed the few glimpses we got like how Charlie had the glass of whiskey already waiting for him as he put the final stamp on a new script or even the scene where he helped Kali write some lyrics. I wonder how much time will have elapsed in the storyline when the next season kicks off. Will it open with Hank in the hospital or will a year or two have gone by?


Hated the end of Season 5 but have loved the show all the way up to it. Here's to hoping they do something completely unexpected in Season 6. My hopes are that we see a completely screwed up life for Hank all throughout the first 11 episodes of season 6. Karen and Becca are dead (kinda like in the Ashby seen) and things are completely upside down. He's in a living hell with only his happy memories to comfort him.....until Episode 12. When he wakes up for real in the hospital with Karen and Becca by his side. Realizing he was on the edge of death and hell while he was in a coma. They are finally together and they end the show. Season 6 is the last season.


.... Wanted to end things, a breakup is never this easy.
And last but not least, when the crazy gril offered him a drink, i immediately thought : " don't drink that!!!!" but alas, he did.
Well, maybe next Season will play in Hell, at least we would see more of Lou again...


I agree with whoever wrote the comment RetardedEnding. In what Universe would someone fist-bump someone who just tried to put a bullet trough his head ?!?!?! So Hank is all like : "Okay, no worries bro, we're cool. You just tried to fucking blow my head off, put a bullet in my best friends arm, but thats okay, shit happens" ? And then that girl. All through the season she is portrayed as a intelligent, sensible young woman and now she is throwing herself at Samurai because he almost killed someone for her ?!
I never liked Samurai and I sure hope he ist not in the next season, he is no match for Lou, whom i really enjoyed seeing on californication again, even if its just in one of Hanks dreams.
The rest was complete shit. The Breakup of Karen and Bates, yeah right you live together for years and all you have to say is : "i'm so relieved". And then cry of joy and jump right back into bed with your ex ? I've had my fair share of breakups over the years, and even when I really only want to end things, a breakup is never this easy.
Last but not least, when that crazy girl offered him a drink, i immediately though "don't drink that!!!!" but alas, he did.
Well, maye next Season will play in Hell, at least we would see more of Lou again...


Look, we love each new trip round the roundabout every series, but the most salient issues are gone. Sex with Mia hovered over everything thereafter, and as that narrative vanished, so also did the characters become caricatures, and that story ended with Charlie testifying in court against Hank like, well, Homer Simpson (as someone else said earlier). Frankly, I have never thought Natasha McElhone had even an ounce of sex appeal, so I have never wanted their happy family to get back together. Also, his sexual hi-jinks could be so funny, how could you let that genie get put back in its bottle . . . because happy families is not something we find really compelling watching. I guess Hank is seen as a Gen X gonzo writer, by the writers of the series, but we still want him to love his daughter and her mother, expect them to do the same with even more energy purity (but a little less trust), and still want to watch him get sorely tempted, get into even more trouble, and provide us with more vicarious thrills. . . . while all these factors of love, loyalty and desire operate and yet never break the sacred circle. Let's see if they can do that one more time around the block. I have a hundred ideas . . . and like waiting to see how many come up every season, or episode.


The show could not end with Hank and Karen riding off in bliss together - that was already done at the end of Season One. Nice to know that Samurai is gone: he was too psychotic for words. About as psycho as the crazy bitch who nearly killed Hank (*nearly* - because we know the show is renewed). Additionally we've seen some character development with Becca, and even with Hank I think too. He's actually said "no" to more than one woman this season. And despite his love of females he was brutally honest with the one in that last scene. I see Marcie and Charlie getting back together next season. Other than that, my crystal ball is pretty murky. Nice write-up Chris! Any chance we'll see a round-table on this season? If you need participants for that, count me in.


I agree with jim - the review was written by a troll, as were some of these comments. James N. if you want a happy ending and fairy tales, go over to hulu and watch Father Knows Best (as if that's real - lmao). Marci is funny as hell and who cares if it's realistic or not? It was funny as hell and that's all that matters.

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Californication Season 5 Episode 12 Quotes

No matter how beautiful the grounds this place is a zoo and I'm a wild animal.


Welcome to the place where time stands still, where whiskey flows and always will. Your liver never pickles your heart never aches. You can fuck till your dick is cunt-ent.