Episode TItle: "Quitters"
Writer: Tom Kapinos
Director: John Dahl
Previously on "Californication:"
Here's a shocker for you; rehab isn't really Hank Moody's (David Duchovny) thing, as he told fellow quitter and professional groupie/muse, Faith (Maggie Grace). But being a good father to his college-age daughter is. And here is where things get tricky for Hank. As Faith pointed out, as much as he wants to ditch the twelve steps, it would also mean letting down Becca (Madeleine Martin), yet again.
But here's where "Californication" gets tricky for us, the viewer. Just as Hank is about to walk out on his "Happy Ending," Faith convinces him to stay by pointing out rehab doesn't have to be the painfully sober self-examination he's been avoiding. Faith suggests Hank view it as a "vacation from life." Sounds like more avoidant behavior from a guy who's mastered dodging the bullet that is his own destructive lifestyle.
Let's not give up on Hank just yet. After all, we know he's got to do some partying in rehab. The big question is what he'll get out of it besides a good time. In the meantime, it's a small world for Hank, as his rehab counselor is Bates' former lover and Faith's dead rock star boyfriend is likely connected to Atticus Fetch, whose wife Karen is now working for. This will surely all get very messy very soon.
As for Charlie (Evan Handler), he's headed for a sexual farce of his own now that he's "playing gay" for a client. After the Sue Collini shenanigans from season three and various other unfortunate sexual encounters over the years, it would be nice to see Charlie involved in a storyline that doesn't make us (or him) squirm but that doesn't look to be the case this season.
Though it may be a creature of habit, one thing "Californication" continues to do very well is provide smart, caustic commentary on pop culture. The group therapy scene where Hank walks in on a former child star, played Joey Lawrence, talking about the perks of starring on "The Wonder Years," (unlimited M&Ms and blow jobs) was great. If only there were more of this and less of Marcy (Pamela Adlon) freaking out over little Stewie playing with her vibrator.
Thankfully, it looks like Karen (Natascha McElhone) will have more to do this season than roll her eyes at Hank's attempts to get back in her good graces. Working for Atticus Fetch's wife, who's already warned her about not sleeping with her freak show husband, maybe we'll see Karen get into some trouble of her own. And who knows, that might just be what it takes to get Hank to start getting it together.