'Californication': Hank lives
But, with alcohol as an accomplice, tries not to
Carrie's (Natalie Zea) murder-suicide attempt at the end of Season 5 was only half successful. In the Season 6 opener, "The Unforgiven," Carrie is now a vegetable waiting for her parents to pull the plug. Hank (David Duchovny), however, is well enough to plunge into a month of trying to kill himself. He explains to Charlie (Evan Handler) that he's writing a novel about a miserable turd who drinks himself to death, and he's now in the research phase.
Hank is despondent that he broke Carrie's heart and drove her to what she did, not angry at all that she tried to take him with her. He obviously felt he deserved it. (Hank finds out how Carrie felt from her grieving friend, whom Hank had previous met but yet calls by an incorrect name because, as she points out, all women are interchangeable to him.)
Between rare periods of consciousness, Hank dreams about meeting Karen (Natascha McElhone) for the first time, back when she was a bartender at CBGB's in New York. Was she really the one? Carrie interrupts most of these dreams to interject a dose of guilt-laden reality.
One drunken night, after Hank punches Charlie in the face for calling Carrie crazy, he crashes in the spare room at Charlie's house. Only it's not Charlie's house. It's his next door neighbor's and Hank has pulled a Robert Downey Jr. The 10-year-old boy in bed with Hank screams even after he takes the bribe not to.
Charlie tries to spin Hank's spiral upward by setting up a meeting with Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin), a coke-snorting rock star who wants to turn Hank's "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love" into a musical. But Hank declares Fetch to be too old and out of touch. For that, he gets punched in the gut and vomits on Fetch's coke. But besides that, the meeting goes pretty well.
Becca's (Madeleine Martin) good news for her dad -- that she finally broke up with Tyler (Scott Michael Foster) -- also fails because it is outweighed by the bad news that she wants to follow in Hank's footsteps: to drop out of college and start heavily drinking and living and writing about it. (And Hank thought he felt miserable before.)
Hank wakes up to an intervention, but not one that A&E would air. His loved ones are all there but merely want to help him find his way back to being the functional alcoholic they knew and love.
"It’s true dad, you used to be such a good drunk," Becca says.
The rehab is called Happy Endings. Despite the promising name, Hank doesn’t want to go. So Charlie peels his shirt off and plays the bullet card, reminding him (and us) of the one he took for him at the end of Season 5. Then Becca lays it on serious: "Just because I’m older now doesn’t mean I don’t need a father."
Hank wakes up at Happy Endings, looking out on the ocean and ruining the fresh air with a cigarette.
"Californication" airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.