Californication, Season 4, Episode 1 – entitled Exile on Main Street – starts off right where the finale of last season, written about here: TV Review: Californication: Season 3, Ep.12: Mia Culpa, ended. Unlike last season of Californication where the episodes seemed largely comedic, getting serious at the end of the season, this season starts out with that serious tone right at the beginning.
The consequences of last season have both advantageous and deleterious consequences for Hank Moody (David Duchovny): The former on his literary career and the latter on his home life. Hank Moody handles both as only Hank Moody can: He takes everything in stride, reluctantly doing what Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) and his new lawyer Abby Rhoads (Carla Gugino) bid him to. Hank rarely takes actions in his long term best interest, its all short term pleasures and immediate gratification for him.
Eventhough Hank is a self-destructive nincompoop, his charm and his wit are as razor sharp as ever, never failing to grant him something to say or an observation to make. Two scenes in Exile on Main Street in which this comes out to the greatest degree are his meeting with Runkle’s old agency UTK and when he is alone with actress Sasha Bingham (Addison Timlin). Where any other writer would be elated and optimistic at both sought-after opportunities, Hank is indifferent, the constant comedic element during these meetings. In the latter scene, even as a coital incident closes in on Hank (one brief aside on Addison Timlin and her comely physique: sensational) the person he could be shows itself to Bingham and the audience. If only Hank could channel that feeling and person into action 100% of the time instead of the 6% he usually exhibits.