Another year and another season of Showtime’s hit series Californication. Hank Moody and gang are back and this time, we start off a couple years after the events that closed out the finale of the fourth season.
As the episode begins, we see Hank in New York with his new girlfriend Carrie, whom he’s been dating for a year. The two are discussing their relationship and how it’s been going. Hanks says he enjoys the fact that it’s fairly casual and tells her that he’s damaged and broken. It’s clear that she wants something more from him but he’s not fully on board.
Carrie gets mad after hearing this because she let Hank have anal sex with her. She gave up the butt for him because she thought there was a future for their relationship. She flips out at him and leaves him in the restaurant, throwing a drink in his face before she walks out.
Walking home later that night Hank gets a call from Runkle. After a brief chat, they decide it’s time for Moody to come back to LA, mostly due to the fact that Hank’s now ex girlfriend Carrie still has a key to his place and because there’s a new offer for the once famous author.
On the plane ride back to California, Hank strikes up a conversation with a cute girl sitting beside him. They connect over a drink and after some playful flirting, they both end up in the mile high club. Unfortunately, they’re interrupted before they can get past first base.
At LAX, Runkle and his son(!) are there to pick up Hank. Runkle’s kid is two and a half years old, which gives us some idea of how long it’s been since the last season ended. Hank hops in the car and they speed off.
It’s shortly after this that we finally get to see Karen, who Hank encounters when he gets back home. She’s now with Bates and she informs Hank that Becca is in college and has a boyfriend, something Hank isn’t totally ok with.
Next stop for Runkle and Hank is Stu’s place, where they walk in on Marcy and Stu engaged in a little naughty behavior. Unfortunately, Runkle’s son is forced to witness it as well.
After an awkward encounter with Stu, who informs Hank that Marcy is going through a sexual renaissance, they begin talking business. Hank is told that he is wanted for a meeting with a rapper named Samurai Apocalypse. After some convincing, he agrees to go and it’s here that we meet RZA’s character. Samurai Apocalypse wants Hank to write a movie for him called Santa Monica Cop.
It’s at this point that the girl from the plane walks in and over to Samurai, apparently she’s the rapper’s girlfriend. After the meeting, Hank goes to see Becca and meet her boyfriend, her 24 year old boyfriend that is.
Hank puts him under the microscope, especially when he goes to drive after drinking a bottle of wine. He eventually lets him go without much damage but it’s clear that the boyfriend is going to have a tough time pleasing Hank.
Afterwards, he heads to Runkle’s where he walks in on his best bud with a girl. This is now the second time someone has been walked in on while engaging in sexual activity. Runkle doesn’t seem to mind though and they discuss the meeting that Hank had with Samurai.
Suddenly, Hank gets a call. It’s from a neighbor back in New York, his apartment is on fire, courtesy of Carrie. As the words hit Hank, he begins to realize that going back to New York may not be an option anymore. This little trip back to California may turn into more of an extended stay.
Personally, I didn’t love the episode. RZA’s character looks like he’ll be a big part of the season and I wasn’t exactly a fan of what I saw from him tonight. I mean, we’ve already seen Hank do the whole ‘writing a project for someone’ deal and I really don’t care to watch another season of him doing that same thing. It just seems unoriginal and uninspired.
Also, nothing really happened in the premiere. Sure, we got to catch up with everyone and see where they were all at but we still don’t really have a sense of where the writers will be taking us this year.
Of course, it’s only the first episode so that may not be a fair complaint but I still can’t help feeling like we’re still in the dark as to where we are headed this season and it would have been nice to see some of the storylines receive a bit more fleshing out.
All that being said, it was still nice to see the gang again as I have missed them. Californication is still one of the better shows on television and despite the iffy start that season five is off to, I’m still looking forward to seeing where things go.