Californication: “Home Sweet Home” (Episode 4.03)

TV Reviews
Californication: “Home Sweet Home” (Episode 4.03)

In “Home Sweet Home,” Hank wakes up from his accidental overdose in the hospital with a pumped stomach and a condescending doctor breathing down his throat. “Guess what asshole?” his doctor snidely barks at Hanks. “There’s no such thing as a good looking corpse.” But after a rude awakening, Karen shows up sympathetically at Hank’s hospital bedside, much to the Hank’s surprise, and takes him back to their humble abode.

Karen has misconstrued Hank’s accidental overdose for a real suicide attempt, revealing her true feelings—ones we don’t usually see all too often. “I was so busy being mad at you, I had no idea how much pain you were in,” Karen candidly reveals to Hank. But just as he was about state the truth about the hospitalization being the consequence of another night partying too hard, he instead says nothing—opting to not go back to the way things were between him and his love.

Hank confides in Charlie about the truth behind the situation, but Charlie remains more concerned about getting down to business and having Hank write the screenplay he’s promised. Hank still has no desire to work, however, despite agreeing to write it. Meanwhile, producer Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky) irately arrives at Charlie’s house to confront him about the screenplay’s status. Rather than find Charlie, he ends up falling for Marcy’s sharp wit—even going so far as to later seek Charlie’s approval to “take a crack at her” as well as offering his “DTF” manager in exchange for Charlie’s blessing.

Back on the boardwalk, Becca shreds away on her electric guitar as a street performer. As Hank tries to talk to her about what happened, she remains short and stoic in response. As she continues to play through the evening, a group of girls steal her day’s earnings. Becca catches them, only to strike up conversation and receive an invitation to play with their band Queens of Dogtown. She greets that promising news, however, only to find her guitar stolen.

But with all these side plots, the main focus continues to be on the relationship between Hank and Karen. As the two parents go out in search of their daughter, Hank questions Karen about their chances for the future. “If you would have asked me that a week ago, I would have said no, no fucking way, never,” Karen admits. “But now that the whole life and death thing has reared its ugly head…”

Just as things look stable for Hank and his family, Hank confronts Becca at home about the elephant in the room—his “suicide attempt.” “Are you sorry about being such a fucking coward? Becca cries out. “You always talk about how much you love me and mom and how we’re everything to you. If that’s true, how could you give up on us so easily—only a fucking coward would check out like that!”

Faced with Becca’s pain, Hank admits the truth to his daughter about the accidental overdose. As he says this, Karen walks into the room—leaving Hank no choice but to also reveal what actually happened to Karen. She does not take that news lightly, screaming out “You’re fuckin’ toxic Hank!”

As much as Hank may want to kill himself now, even that would lose its impact at this point. But in some of his most honest words in recent memory, Hank responds back saying “I know that I’ve done something that makes it impossible for you to live with me, but I can’t keep apologizing for something I can’t change. All I can do is keep moving forward and try to become someone that you can love again.” Hank once again finds himself in exile. But if there remains a silver lining in all of this, however, it is the fact that this incident has sparked Hank into finally working on the screenplay looming over him.

Stray Observations:
• “I don’t like the drugs doc, the drugs like me.”—Hank in the hospital. Even when attached to an IV, he still doesn’t get the picture.
• It was about time that Karen played a more prominent role in Season 4. There had been a substantial shortage of Natascha Mcelhone in the first two episodes this season.
• “That all may be true, but I’m also rich as fuck and hung like a moose.”—Stu Beggs in response to looking like Charlie.
• Becca’s new friends have a band called Queens of Dogtown—which actually has a real-life profile to go along with it.
• “People who care, they don’t get to live happily ever after.”—Karen’s response to Hank stating that she cares about him.
• “So wait—it was more romantic when you thought I wanted to kill myself? How fucked up is that?”—Hank during his confrontation with Karen.

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