Marilyn Manson, Narcotics and the Most Metal Moments From Last Night's Californication
Last night's episode of Californication was titled "The Dope Show," and its star, unequivocally, was the self-proclaimed God of Fuck himself, Marilyn Manson. From the second the episode's guest star lifted his pancaked-makeup face from his lines of coke, he controlled the episode. And for a season that has indulged sex, drugs and rock and roll in different ratios per episode, Mr. Manson heartily delivered on the latter two, while the sex came from some heavy groping, courtesy of David Duchovny's author/hedonist Hank Moody character, and his agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler). But it's the Antichrist Superstar's nonchalant narcissism and Dionysian disposition that steals the Dope Show. It would be too easy to feature Manson alone as the episode's most metal moments, so instead let's review a few of his best bits, and a couple of other hellacious highlights.
Marilyn Manson's Impish Edification
The episode opens with Moody and Runkle finding Hank's daughter Becca (played by Emily the Strange doppelgänger Madeleine Martin) in the aftermath of an orgiastic party. So, to prove that drugs are for the devil, Moody and Becca's mom Karen take her to the mansion drug-addled rock star Atticus Fetch (actor Tim Minchin). Little did they know that the headmaster in their lesson would be none other than Fetch's friend Marilyn Manson, who tells the Moodys, "I'm just here for the narcotics." From there, Manson, whose pallid complexion, eyeliner and black outfit made it look like maybe this wasn't a day off, takes control with his eerily easygoing affectations. "I'm a fan of your words," he tells Moody. "I'd be honored if you came and did some narcotics with me." (To which Becca enthuses, "This is so fucking cool!") After some further social intercourse, Manson giddily exclaims to no one, "I love drugs!"
Now let's consider, is Marilyn Manson really a good role model to dissuade a wayfaring youth from drug use? He's written numerous songs extoling (or maybe parodying) drug use's virtues, and, as a Californication character, he doesn't censor himself. The real-life Manson allegedly uses coke, ecstasy, acid and meth, in addition to smoking weed. In 1998, he told an interviewer, "If you give drugs to me, I'll take 'em" and that he "definitely encourages drug use." But in 2003, he told our magazine, "I don't ever want people to think I rely on drugs or alcohol…to be inspired as an artist." Funnily enough, that answers the main question of the episode, when Moody asks him whether getting loaded was a boon for creativity.
But it's not like Manson replied that way on the show. He tells Becca, "Here's what they don't tell you, rampant sexual behavior, drug use, etc., you will end up with AIDS." When Moody counters, "They do tell you that." The Born Villain deadpans, "Well, I wish they would have told me, because I have AIDS now." Of course, he later turns that into the joke, "Christmas, I want AIDS." None of this role-model business seems to rub off on anyone. (Spoilers ahead.) Eventually, Moody and Karen leave Becca with Manson and limp-fish rocker Fetch, and she learns her lesson. Just as Karen posits to Moody, "What happens if he has abducted her and he is selling her into sex trafficking," their daughter runs out muttering something about Manson wanting her to take a pic of him pooping on Fetch. Drugs are bad—she says she already knows this (no doubt from growing up with the often inebriated Moody)—and, in a way, Manson's somewhat fictionalized dope show-and-tell has rubbed off on Becca, even though her parents find a baggie of coke and a Manson CD in her bag. So in a weird way, maybe Manson is a responsible drug role model. (And yeah, I concede that just last year we reported that he drove around L.A. in an "economy car emblazoned with a giant pot leaf.") At the end of the episode, Becca produces the manuscript for her book, which Moody calls "quite the weighty tome," so something is working.
Manson Proving to Fetch That He's a Baller
When Moody and Karen leave Becca alone with Manson, the rocker says, "Becca, take a picture of me teabagging Atticus before he wakes up." To which Fetch garbles (or maybe gargles) something about having too many of Manson's balls in his face. No insightful commentary here, just teabagging…
Fetch's Chamber of Torture
When, for some mind-boggling reason, Moody leaves the women in his life alone with Manson and Fetch to take a bathroom break, he stumbles past Fetch's room of torture. Fetch's wife, Natalie (actress Sarah Wynter), stops him and invites him into a room full of "Medieval torture devices." While she details some horrific apparatus called a "breast ripper," which, naturally, "tore to shreds the breasts of women who were convicted of adultery," we can see some of Fetch's favorite implements of torment through our cringes. Visible are a hanging cage, a triceratops skull (I'd love to see how that's used), and, of course, the mother of all metal torture devices, the iron maiden. Of course the real threat of torture Moody experiences is when Karen finds him groping Natalie (her boss, BTW), and says, "Marilyn Manson's trying to get your daughter and I into a threesome right now."
Speaking of Iron Maiden…
The closing montage and credits for the episode feature alt-rocker Ryan Adams' restrained and barely recognizable take on Maiden's "Wasted Years." Check it out below, and judge for yourself if it ups the irons.
More Manson Madness
If you watched the episode past the credits, the producers promised an "in-depth" interview with Manson. While the two-minute snippets that followed weren't quite the makings of a Revolver cover story, we did learn this tasty tidbit about Manson's favorite sexual positions: He's not into 69, because it "has math involved in it." He doesn't like doggystle, because, "I'm a cat person." So his favorite boudoir position? "Prison style." He explains, "That's where just anything goes and you might get shanked in the end." And then he adds his own take on what we're all thinking, "Oh, Manson."
Production stills by Peter Iovino/SHOWTIME