The Californication season 5 premiere returned to the familiar formula of Hank (David Duchovny) as the sympathetic, womanizing douchebag that still gets the girl.
Well, sort of.
The writers wasted no time in showing us that Hank was the same guy we met in season one. “JFK –> LAX” started with Hank psyching himself up to breakup with the woman that he has been going out with since the end of last season. While she wants to move things to the next level, Hank would rather just be friends. Apparently, she also let Hank sodomize her.
It was a humorous start to the season. She had a restaurant breakdown worthy of Jerry Maguire, letting everyone know that Hank likes to “fuck people in the ass” – literally.
We then saw a few changes in Hank’s life. He no longer is the rebounding writer. He’s got a new book out based on the last four seasons of his life, which discusses Charlie’s (Evan Handler) masturbation incident as well as his statutory rape case. And, guess what he named the book? Californication.
With his ex-girlfriend (at least that’s the way she sees it) on a rampage with the key to his apartment, Hank decided to take Charlie up on an offer to return to LA.
Meagan Good made her debut on the series as Kali, one of Hank’s new love interests (well, it’s not really love when we’re talking about Hank, but you get the point). The two almost earn themselves a mile-high-club pass at their first meeting on a plane, but their “romantic” rendezvous in the plane’s bathroom was interrupted.
At the end of Season 4, it seemed that Karen (Natascha McElhone) would be out of the picture. Thankfully, she is back. However, Karen is now dating Bates (Jason Beghe), the same drunk novelist who punched Hank over Karen in Season 3.
Bates is now totally sober. Hank also has developed a kinship with Bates since they both hate Becca’s (Madeleine Martin) new boyfriend, played by Greek star Scott Michael Foster.
One of the best lines of the Season 5 Premiere goes to Bates:
“I want to kill him Hank. I don’t want to kill him, I want to dismember him – slowly. And, pour tobasco sauce in his torn blood asshole as he dies screaming for his mommy and daddy. Yeah.” – Bates talking about Becca’s boyfriend, Tyler.
As for Karen and Hank, it looks like there won’t be any fireworks between the two anytime soon. While they remain friends, Karen is quite taken with Bates.
“I know bait when I hear it and this little fishy ain’t biting.” – Karen to Hank
Karen states that Bates is Hank, but an “awesome” version, while Tyler is a younger version of Hank. Karma is a bitch.
Marcy is still with Stu (Stephen Tobolowsky) and going through a sexual renaissance now that she’s divorced from Charlie. Viewers got reintroduced to Marstu when Hank walked in on Stu performing cunnilingus on Marcy. Sadly, Marcy and Charlie’s son was in the bedroom watching it all go down (I know – bad pun).
The RZA made his Cali debut as rapper-entrepreneur Samurai Apocalypse. As the name suggests, he’s an eccentric rapper with a thirst for making Samurai comments at every turn. It’s more-or-less a RZA playing a caricature of himself which is great. He has a butler named Alfred so he’s also taken to Batman and comic book references. Hopefully, we get to see him pull out a samurai sword too – Samurai Champloo style.
“JFK –> LAX” was a delightful start to the new season of Californication. Although Becca’s quote at the end of last season hinted at a lot of changes, it looks like creator Tom Kapinos chose to play it safe and stay the course of Cali story. Outside of the Runkle divorce, the main characters haven’t changed, which should please fans. The main change is that we are no longer waiting for the Mia (Madeline Zima) situation to come to fruition. That chapter is done. Now, Kapinos is getting ready to start up a new Cali arc. We’ll just have to wait and see if Hank will bury himself into a deeper hole than last time.