Drugs, Orgies, Tasers and the Most Metal Moments of the Last Episode of Californication
Trampling social boundaries is just one facet of the double helix that makes up Californication, and it is the core of last night’s episode, “The Abby.” Whether in the presence of the increasingly psychotic, and ever-shocking feminist character Ophelia (actress Maggie Wheeler) or in the rehab-baiting actions of one Hank Moody, the show’s protagonist (David Duchovny) and his muse-groupie-girlfriend Faith (Maggie Grace), nothing is as it would be in reality. And since this is the season’s penultimate episode, surreality was the plat du jour. So, without further ado, here were the episode’s most metal moments.
The long-running subplot of Gabriel (actor Patrick Fischler), the uptight rehab clinician who can’t help but give in to temptation, may have reached its end with this episode. Rock bottom is hard to define for addicts and while it seemed like giving head to the AA member he was supposed to be looking out for—a writer by the name of Richard Bates (Jason Beghe) who was married to Hank Moody’s ex Karen briefly before he outted himself and his homosexual fling—Gabriel may have just sunk lower. (Spoiler) After Hank and Faith bring bags full of coke and weed to the rehab clinic where Gabriel works in an effort to coax their rock-star friend Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin) back into their clutches, the counselor fails tremendously. Seeing a mirror full of Peruvian powder, he thinks long and hard and ultimately decides it’s a good idea to snort a few grams in front of not only his patients, but his staff. If he appears again in the series, I can only hope he’ll have stooped to the levels of preacher-turned-hobo Rickety Cricket on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The Stars of the Dope Show
Although Marilyn Manson made no appearance in “The Abby” (he’ll likely be in Sunday’s season finale), some of his favorite things were in this episode, namely drugs and orgies. After Moody and Faith leave a room full of rehab-resort types unattended with their presents for Fetch, they returned to find a scene of wonder: women dancing on tables, drug addicts imbibing and one especially crazy tweaker quoting The Exorcist, “Your mother sucks cocks in hell,” to Faith. It was a fete worthy of Caligula, but, as we learned, Fetch would have none of it. (Earlier in the episode, he even scoffed at the sight of Faith’s breasts saying, “I find no joy in objectifying women anymore. It’s not fun and it’s not funny.”) The whole scene ended with Bates getting naked and showing his Buffalo Bill-style mangina.
As much as it would be fun to move on after the word “mangina,” though, there’s still another important turn of events. When Moody, Faith and Hank’s daughter Becca confront Fetch, he realizes that drugs aren’t really his problem. The whole reason he checked in to rehab was because his wife left him at the end of the last episode, but as Hank says, “The drugs didn’t make you fuck other women, you made you do it.” But the real interesting turn happens when Faith, who supplied the idea of rescuing Fetch from rehab and who has turned down his sexual advances throughout the season, attempts to rationalize. “There is nothing wrong with a little occasional recreational drug use or fucking anyone that wants to fuck you right back,” she says. “You are a rock star. You deserve it.” Although she gets his attention with that line, it seems a bit like an about-face on her once moralistic “groupie etiquette” stance. Is she leading him on in some strange way? Does she feel she has something to gain by empowering his rock-star ego? Or is it just a hard-to-kick groupie habit? In the end it doesn’t matter because Fetch declares, “I’m not sure if I’m ready to sacrifice my hard-won sobriety just yet, but we should talk further, over a glass of wine.” Opa!
After Ophelia pulled a “Don’t tase me, bro” on the manhoods of Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) and Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky) a few episodes ago, it’s clear she’s capable of anything. As we learn early in this episode, “anything” means tasing the shit out of anyone and everyone. It all begins, though, when she confesses she has feelings for Marcy (Pamela Adlon), Charlie and Stu’s ex-wife (they’ve both been married to her). Upon Marcy’s rejection, Ophelia puts her stun-gun to work, tasing her so she can hold her and kiss her motionless body on the lips (one of the most disturbing scenes on the show ever). After Charlie responds to Marcy’s distress text, he gets tased on the bald of his head only to awaken seminude and find his ex, chained to the wall in a state of undress. When Ophelia returns with gardening sheers, “to chop off his fucking pathetic little fuckin’ excuse for a penis and feed it to my cats,” Marcy offers to do it herself. But after she sucker-punches Ophelia, she frees Charlie and they both take turns tasing Ophelia.
This experience, apparently, is what made them realize they still love each other. And when they meet up with Fetch and friends later, the rock star offers to marry them onstage at the Greek. After which, he adds, “Then you can bring your spunky little fuck bunny upon the road with us and I can finish eating that chocolate bar out of her sweet little girlie bits. It’s good to be the king!” That’s all good and dandy for them, but isn’t Stu still in a cock cage?
The Writer’s Life
While not exactly a “metal moment,” I wanted to end with this lovely line by Hank about his daughter. “She wants to be a writer, which means she’s going to be unemployed for the next decade and then she’s going to have to move back home.” This writer just hopes life doesn’t imitate art. We’ll just have to wait and see what art is left in the season finale next week.
Production stills by Jordin Althaus/SHOWTIME