“I think sometimes you get it right the first time… and then it defines your life. It becomes who you are.”
Season 4 starts with Hank in court awaiting sentencing for the statutory rape charge. Fire and brimstone are about to rain down on the poor bastard, so Hank does what any God-fearing man would do. He faints. Like a pussy.
“3 years probation, $25,000 fine, and 288 hours of community service ” is all he gets, which just goes to prove that if you’re rich and famous, California’s justice system works for you. Having saved Hank’s ass from getting torn apart in prison, Abby is rewarded with a kiss and some loving. No longer his lawyer, Abby is free to carouse with Hank as his date to Stu Begg’s celebratory dinner party. And carouse they do.
The dinner party involving all the stars of “Fucking and Punching” is crazy good. Quickly devolving into a merry-go-round of toasts, insults, jokes, and stabbings, the scene is typical Californication. Raw, funny, and sprinkled with rage, it makes for a memorable episode. A little bit too much PDA and TMI, courtesy of Runkle and Peggy, ignites a lot of emotions, resulting in Marcy’s baby confession and a brawl that had just the right amount of hair-pulling absurdity.
Abby leaves with Karen and newly minted boyfriend Ben just as the night was beginning to wind down. Hank is sad, having found out that his girls will be road tripping across the country leaving him alone. And so he drinks. He slips into a pool. He has a life-affirming hallucination. Ben saves him from drowning. Insert “Black Jesus” line.
The episode and season ends with Hank’s first day on the set of “Fucking and Punching: The Movie“. In a a beautifully shot long take, we’re moving back and forth from reality to Hank’s mind to reality again and given a glimpse into the mind of the troubled writer. He sees Karen in the actress playing her and while he’s truly honest about how much he loves her, we somehow see how sleeping with the actress makes sense.
This is important and a real breakthrough for the audience because it helps to be in his shoes. You finally get the feeling that for Hank this is just who he is. He can’t help it. His self-destructive behavior is the only way he knows how to love. While it may be difficult to understand, sex is just that to Hank — a means to getting his nut off. But happiness, true happiness comes at a price. And for Hank, true happiness is being with his girls.
The finale was funny, jarring, and perfectly told. It was a fitting end to the season and hopefully the topless pics of Addison Timlin (NSFW) will keep us warm at night as we await next season.