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Californication Review: "Lawyers, Guns and Money" (Episode 4.06)

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<i>Californication</i> Review: "Lawyers, Guns and Money" (Episode 4.06)

In last week’s episode, “Freeze Frame,” viewers were left with a parting image of Sasha and Mia’s hands down Hank’s unzipped pants. An L.A. partygoer captured that moment on camera, sharing it across the Internet. After Hank seemed in the clear with a plea bargain lined, the writer could not have messed up at a more inopportune time. As Season 4 continues, it’s baffling how often Hank gets himself in dire straits. Hank’s tragic flaws are the heart of the show, but it’s increasingly difficult to watch him mess up time and time again.

This week’s episode, “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” opens with some even worse news for Hank. His lawyer Abby irately dismisses him as her client upon seeing the infamous viral photo of Hank. The deal is no longer on the table, despite the fact that Hank actually stopped things with the two girls before they started. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Abby emphasizes to Hank that she has “never had a client who makes it this difficult for [her] to do [her] job,” and leaves Hank without legal counsel.

That’s not the only bad news to start this episode. Sasha informs Hank that she won’t be playing Mia in Fucking and Punching amid the newfound scandalous pictures. While she’s delivering him the news, Karen pays Hank a visit, informing him that Becca has seen the photo. For what seems the millionth time now, Karen implores Hank to get his life together for the sake of Becca. “Whatever has happened between us, you’ve always managed to be a decent father,” Karen explains. “If you let that go, you’re fucked. You’re totally fucked forever.” In every episode, Hank hits a new low…that is until the next episode. “Lawyers, Guns and Money” is no exception to that rule.

Charlie manages to get Eddie Nero back into the picture for the movie, so not all seems lost for Hank this episode. Eddie wants to spend a “night in the life of the infamous Hank Moody,” Charlie explains to a resistant Hank. “I don’t think he’d enjoy me go all auto-erotic on myself,” Hanks replies. Upon meeting up for the night, Eddie talks about building the most complete character possible. He wants to see Hank in his element—how he talks, drinks, fucks and everything else in between. He calls out Hank for “pretending,” before explaining his road to becoming an “artist.” His explanation comes across as part-hysterical, part-crass. But his dedication to playing Hank as a whole can’t be denied.

Hank has to run ASAP in order to bail Becca out of trouble after she can’t afford to pay for her tattoo, and Eddie insists on tagging along. As Hank reaches toward his wallet to help his daughter out, Eddie bizarrely draws his gun on the tattoo artist. “No one is going to call the fuckin’ cops!” he screams as several other tattoo artists point their guns back at the actor. But his fame salvages the situation as the workers recognize him, leaving Hank to punch and disarm the crazy actor. Despite endangering everyone involved, Eddie ultimately helps win Hank some points with Becca. “Take it easy on your old man; he’s as cool as they come” Eddie tells her. “That’s why I’m going to play him in a movie!”

Karen visits Abby on Hank’s behalf, pleading with her to give Hank a second chance. Abby’s seems very against reconsidering at first, but Karen convinces her with a look into the man behind the troubled front. Abby runs into Hank at his local bar, where he apologized for being so difficult. The encounter turns into a hookup that was long overdue, and concludes an episode that redeems Season 4 with some great plot development and fantastic writing.

Stray Observations:

• “Voters just don’t take kindly to public officials going soft on child molesters.” – Abby on Hank’s latest photos, resulting in the plea bargain being taken off the table

• “Shit, put your shirt back on. It could be the law.” – Hank

• “Look around, welcome to rock bottom. I’m living in this shitty, filthy hotel room. My career’s in the shitter. You obviously hate me, Becca hates me. My attorney dumped me.” – Hank

• “You know how you can make it up to her? Get you head out of your ass and get your shit fuckin’ together.” – Karen on how Hank can make things right with Becca

• “Are you an artist or a pretender?” – Eddie

• “I think the world sees Hank as this fabulous fuckup. I know that guy, I’ve spent a lot of time with that guy. But I know the other guy—the one that listens and hears everything. The one that listens to you and sees right into your soul. The one that makes you believe that every fucking fairytale that’s ever been told. Ultimately, I may not even be the woman who gets to enjoy the man I know he can be. But I still want the best for him. Because I want the best for my daughter.” – Karen on why she puts up with Hank

• “I’m supposed to be out getting fucked up with my friends, you’re supposed to be at home watching TV with mom.” -Becca talking to Hank

• “Now I know what it’s about. It’s not about warm, wet pussy. It’s about a guy trying to keep it together while everything’s falling apart. Life, love, sex and the ever-looking presence of the grim fuckin’ reaper. It’s about men, husbands, wives, daughters and fathers. Cassavetes meets Judy Bloom!” – Eddie on why he wants to play Hank.