Californication Season 4-01 ‘Exile On Main St.’ Recap

Hank Moody and crew are back and one of TV’s top shows has finally returned. Yup, that’s right folks, Californication is here and it’s time to kick back and watch as Hank Moody tries to rebuild his life after his deep dark secret came out last season. Becca and Karen now know about Hank and Mia’s past and shit is going to hit the fan. As last season ended, we see Hank getting arrested by the cops, this season starts off shortly after, as it opens up outside the jail. Walking in slow motion, to rock music, Hank emerges out of the building to greet his best friend, Charlie Runkle.

Within minutes Runkle gives Moody a bottle of wine and as Hank takes a swig, Runkle suggests they go for food. Hank only has one thing on his mind though. He wants to go home, to Becca and Karen, to face the music. Runkle breaks the news and tells him that Karen won’t allow Hank anywhere near the house and he has been instructed to keep Hank away from her. Upset, Hank agrees and the two drive off.

While driving, Hank sees the novel Fucking and Punching being advertised in the window of a shop and he soon realizes that everyone knows what he did. His secret is out. Once again he asks Runkle to take him home and this time, Runkle agrees. When they arrive at the house Marci opens the door and greets Runkle politely as always, telling him, ‘you’re a useless fuck you know that.’

Marci and Hank exchange words at the door but then Karen shows up and tells Hank to ‘get the fuck out’, swinging the door shut on his face, Mr. Moody can only do as instructed, and so him and Runkle leave. Next stop is Hank’s lawyer’s office. Hank’s lawyer, Abby, played by the always wonderful Carla Gugino, talks about Hank’s arraignment.

As they go over Hank’s criminal record, which is quite long, Hank does his usual rude and unappreciative shtick and she tells him he’s just a waste of time and she isn’t going to help him unless he smartens up. Turning apologetic, Moody wins her back and she agrees to help him. He says he’ll do whatever she wants and so she tells him ‘start with a shower, you smell like you just walked out of a fisting contest.’

While out and about, Runkle and Moody stop at an office building. Runkle leaves Hank on a couch momentarily and a beautiful young lady sits down beside Hank. Right off the bat she tells him, ‘I’m not going to sleep with you’, nevertheless, Hank introduces himself and she does the same. Only, she introduces herself as Mia, seriously creeping Hank out. Then Charlie reappears. Turns out this girl is Sasha Bingham and is a movie star. Apparently Charlie has set up a meeting with Hank and some movie industry execs because they want to turn Fucking And Punching into a film, starring Sasha.

During the meeting, one of the execs questions if Sasha will be comfortable with the nudity. To put their worries to rest, Sasha takes off her shirt right then and there, assuring them she has no problem with nudity. She then asks Hank to write the script. He promptly refuses, telling her ‘my adventures in the screen trade have been about as much fun as forced anal.’

The execs tell Hank they want to take the film to Sundance. Hank isn’t too keen on the idea and Sasha tells them she wants the movie, with Hank writing the script, and if they can’t deliver, she’ll go to CAA. As Hank leaves the room, and everyone clears out, Runkle stays behind to talk to one of the agents, he makes a deal, he’ll get Hank to take the job, but only if he can get his old job back. With the Rolling Stones’ Cant’ You Hear Me Knocking coming into play, the agent tells Runkle the following ‘try and keep your fucking dick in your pants this time, or I will rip it off with my bare hands, I promise.’

Later that night, Charlie drags Hank to yet another meeting. this time it’s at Sasha’s place and we get some more Rolling Stones, Sympathy For The Devil. They discuss the potential movie and Sasha invites him to stay over. With Runkle gone, Moody reluctantly agrees and she leads him to bed where we all know what happens.

While in the act, Sasha asks Hank what the punch was like, referencing Mia’s book. Hank tells her to give it a try, and so she does, leaving Hank with a black eye. That night he dreams about going home. When he arrives, he sees Karen reading Mia’s book. He then goes to Becca’s room and sees her on a website that has an article about Hank and Mia. Becca gets mad when she sees him and starts destroying her room. The dream then ends and he’s back in Sasha’s bed.

The next morning Runkle comes by to pick Hank up for the arraignment. When they get there, Abby tells him the good news. They’ve dropped the assault charges. Hank can’t believe it, he’s thrilled. Just when things are looking up, a couple police officers approach him and tell him he’s under arrest. Shocked, he asks what’s going on. They tell him he’s been charged with statutory rape. And so the episode ends.

Overall, a solid way to start the season. Some nice song choices, great lines and the appearance of the beautiful Addison Timlin who plays Sasha Bingham, make this a very solid first episode. The nice little twist ending shows us where this season may be going and the whole idea of turning Fucking and Punching into a film could turn out interesting as well.

Looking forward to episode 2.