Episode Title: 'Love Song'
Writer: Tom Kapinos
Director: Eric Stoltz
Hank Moody (David Duchovny) is the sad clown, sitting on the front steps in exile, once again shunned by his daughter and her mother. But he's been there before and we know how this goes. And so it went…
Much like Hank in his own early L.A. days, Kali's (Meagan Good) has a potential hit on her hands but a bad case of lyric writer's block. And controlling producer/boyfriend, Samurai Apocalypse (RZA) once again decides it's a good idea to hook his honey up with notorious lothario, Hank Moody.
Kali doesn't want to write another cheesy love song and Hank helps her to that end, while going down his own cheese paved path of early L.A. memories with Karen (Natascha McElhone). Black and white scenes of Hank sporting a bad hair cut, ill-fitting jackets and baggie jeans brings us back to his pre-manwhore days, as Kali thinks back on her arrival in Los Angeles and what she left behind.
Kali and Hank's mutual wallowing in their bittersweet L.A. origins stories yields a beautiful song, pleasing their taskmaster, Samurai, who once more, pulls the "you f***ed my girlfriend" fakeout. Again, this is familiar territory for Hank. At the end of the day, Hank returns home unscathed when a distraught Karen arrives seeking comfort.
After reliving the humble beginnings of his epic run through every willing female to cross his path and the loss of his true love, Hank may get that "miracle" he's waiting for. As the viewer, we're not nearly as surprised as Hank appeared to be. We know he'll ultimately get the girl, for the umpteenth time.
What we don't necessarily know is how Hank got from those early wide eyed days with Karen to losing her, again and again. Watching a way less cooler Hank do damage control with Karen had its charm. And "Californication" and it's sex-addicted anti-hero is nothing if not charming.
But it's that transformative moment in Hank and Karen's relationship I wanted to witness in this episode. You can't fix what's wrong if you don't address it. Until Hank gets real with himself and we get to see the real Hank, his relationship with Karen will remain broken. The point of this episode's flashbacks might have been to show us that Hank finally gets it. Unfortunately, it wasn't terribly convincing.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.