Crushed Feelings, “Slimy Sea Otters” and the Most Metal Moments From Last Night’s Californication
After watching Marilyn Manson snort narcotics and attempt to defile everyone loved by Californication character Hank Moody (actor David Duchovny) in last week’s episode, not to overlook some ill-fated lucha libre (or perhaps nacho libre) bathroom blowjobbery on the part of Moody’s agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), this week’s episode seemed to lack punch. And I’m not just saying that because it’s titled “Everybody’s a Fucking Critic.” Sure, there was one particularly electrifying scene, detailed below, but for the most part, it was a plot-building episode, anchored on author Moody’s disapproval of his daughter’s (actress Madeleine Martin) first novel. Because of that, there wasn’t a surfeit of “metal moments” to choose from—but a couple stand out.
God Hates Hank Moody
Since the beginning of the series, much has been made of Hank Moody’s greatest book, God Hates Us All—the title of which, of course, comes from an album by Slayer. One of this season’s subplots has found Moody working on the script to a rock-opera adaptation of his novel God Hates Us All for the fictional rock star Atticus Fetch (comedian Tim Minchin). When prima-donna Fetch (who, I’d like to point out, was wearing a Pol Pot shirt!) meets with the triumvirate of Moody, Runkle and producer Stu Beggs (actor Stephen Tobolowsky) in his memorabilia-adorned living room, he declares Moody’s maestrowork “bullocks!” Furthermore, he says, “When I said I loved it, I hadn’t read it. I liked the title. It was quite striking. Titles mean a lot to me.” As Slayer fans, we couldn’t agree more. Nevertheless, Moody ended up having to accept some of the same criticism he’d given his daughter, which is to start over. Incidentally, Fetch wants his Broadway audiences to leave the theater feeling, “happy, uplifted, inspired, preferably a little horny.” How would Kerry King take that kind of directive?
Although this is by no means “metal” in the Judas Priest sense of the term, it’s at least heartwarming to find out that the groupie with the heart of gold—Maggie Grace’s “muse” character this season, named Faith—will stand by her man. When Moody visits her, he refers to the script as a “creative miscarriage,” and he asks her to read it. “I don’t know if you muse types do that sort of thing,” he says. Then, of course, she tells him to relax and offers the sort of thing “muse types” are known for…”we could have sex; you seem a little mopey.” Eventually, after she’s finished the script—and apparently after he’s simply finished—they lay naked in bed. “It doesn’t have any heart,” she tells him. “And if there’s one thing I know about you, Hank Moody, it’s that you have a huge…” She pauses and he looks at her with anticipation. “Heart.” Sad face. The one somewhat metal moment over the course of the couple’s social intercourse, though, is when Moody tells her, “No self-respecting guy knows Joni Mitchell songs.” But then again, he goes on to sing “Big Yellow Taxi.” Later in the episode, Charlie and Beggs pay his spiritual penance.
Ophelia’s Shock Therapy
The bald brigade suffers throughout the episode, as a result of the ill-guided advice Charlie’s ex, Marcy Runkle (actress Pamela Adlon), has been taking from her life-coach this season, Ophelia. Upon discovering that Marcy slept with her ex, Charlie, she open-hand slaps him because Marcy “disrespected her she-nis.” Later in the episode Charlie colludes with Beggs (who was with Marcy after Charlie) on how to get Marcy back into their lives, and Beggs reveals that he’s still wearing the Ophelia-approved “cock cage” she put on him a few episodes ago. Unfortunately, only Ophelia has the key. When Marcy finally talks to the two of them, she ends up having a few drinks and plays pool with them. Ophelia shows up, having tracked Marcy using her smartphone—the password to which is “ilovemyhubbysbigfatcock” (meaning Beggs). When Charlie and Beggs tell Marcy to make up her own mind, Ophelia flips, calls Charlie a “slimy little sea otter” and tases them both. Charlie goes flying onto the pool table, while Beggs gets it right in the cock cage. As Marcy tends to both of them, she notices the liquid pool on the pool table, to which Charlie yells, “Who pissed on my pants?!” Sadly, though it isn’t acknowledged in the show, Ophelia departs without freeing Beggs’ banana, so we can expect to see her again this season.
Production stills by Peter Iovino/SHOWTIME