Episode Title: "In the Clouds"
Writer: Tom Kapinos
Director: David Von Ancken
Previously on "Californication:"
If you enjoy "Californication" strictly for the comedy, well then, there was plenty of that up "In the Clouds."
As for story, the song remains the same. In need of some serious inspiration for his million-dollar musical, Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin) requests Hank (David Duchovny) and Charlie (Evan Handler) travel with him to New York. And just moments after Hank boards Attics’ private jet, "Airforce 69," sexual opportunity starts to present itself.
First, it’s Attics’ wife, whom Hank feels funny about screwing considering she’s Karen’s boss. He contemplates leaving the plane just as Faith (Maggie Grace) arrives with rockstar widow, Trudy in tow. Hank decides to go along for the ride and a circus of rock n’ roll excess ensues as everyone drinks, screws and snorts their dead husband’s ashes on the cross-country flight.
While "In the Clouds" is light on story, it’s not without some revelations. Charlie, who has an acute fear of flying, finally admits he’s still in love with Marcy. No big surprise here, but now we’ll get to watch him go through what will surely be the humiliating process of getting her back – especially if Ophelia and her "cock cage" are still in the picture.
And at the top of the episode, Hank tries unsuccessfully to dissuade Becca (Madeleine Martin) from ditching school to live "the artist’s life." She’s apparently writing up a storm while in the midst of a "slutty phase," something Hank wants to hear nothing about. It’s a mildly interesting subplot, watching Hank deal with the possibility that he’s fathered a female version of himself. But Becca’s rock star phase didn’t stick, so why should this one? She certainly has a lot to live up to if writing and boozing is her chosen path.
The rest of the episode is pure farce. Aside from a couple of quieter moments, like when Charlie admits his feelings for Marcy and Hank tries to call Karen to tell her that he loves her, it’s all a parody of drunk British rockers and their drugged-out wives. It’s definitely funny at times, but not enough to justify spending an entire episode aboard a 727 outfitted with chandeliers, a fireplace and a grand piano, commandeered by a "man-child rockstar" in seven-thousand dollar leather pants.
By episode’s end, Atticus starts "s***ting genius" and pens a song for his musical. Somehow, the plane hitting turbulence causes everyone to have an epiphany. Atticus writes his song, Charlie realizes he still loves Marcy and Hank is assured by Faith that Karen knows he loves her. But what is he going to do about it?
Well, for starters have sex with Faith. Since Karen can’t afford to attend all the court dates and counseling sessions that come with being Hank’s muse, Faith has stepped up the challenge. Once they touchdown in New York, the two work up some inspiration in Atticus’ airplane "love cathedral" or whatever he calls the bedroom in his private jet.
Watching Hank and Faith consummate a few episodes worth of heavy verbal petting isn’t all that exciting. And watching Charlie have anal sex with a woman he would normally consider repulsive isn’t all that funny. There’s still enough of the usual witty repartee to make the episode enjoyable but like Charlie says, it’s a relief when the plane finally lands.