What happens when the man who endlessly put himself first finally wakes up and changes that?
This season on Californication has continually answered that question for its audience. Time after time we see Hank Moody’s journey on this transformation from a life ruining deviant that always found a way to hurt those around him to a man trying so hard to keep everything together for the people in his inner circle. And up to this episode, “The Party”, Hank Moody had been doing a pretty damn good job at just that.
After Richard Bates’ hilarious plunge into alcoholism, he checked himself into rehab and found Jesus in his personal savior Gabriel. Again, you can’t help but feel so bad for Karen as she keeps bouncing from troubled to troubled man as she left Hank only to marry Bates. In typical Hank Moody fashion, Hank takes advantage of every opportunity to harass Bates regarding his new found sobriety and passion for the man above. Hank’s annoyance with Bates’ new sobriety coupled with his life and career being an all time low have punched Hank’s ticket back to New York City.
It seemed as if Hank would have a peaceful departure back to the Big Apple until Charlie, still torn up about getting Hank fired from Santa Monica Cop, throws Hank a surprise going away party. As you would expect, chaos ensues when the whole Californication gang is gathered at one place. Yet, unlike previous seasons, Hank Moody is not at the middle of the whirlwind, he is the one acting as damage control.
Surprisingly, Hank displays his relationship prowess as the party begins to turn into a proverbial shit storm. He gets Bates out of the party before Karen can find out that his sponsor and savior, Gabriel, was giving him a blow job. He consoles a sexually frustrated Marcy. He even stops himself from having sex with Karen, the women of his dreams. Yet, in the end, Tyler again gets the best of Hank. After finding Tyler fornicating in the bathroom with Samurai Apocalypse’s woman, Kali, Hank comes to a realization: Tyler is only a younger version of Hank, a womanizing smart ass. The episode ends with Hank beating the living hell out of Tyler for this very reason.