Californication - Thursday December 27

the last waltz (12/12)

Concluding this week is the US comedy-drama about a jaded New York novelist who relocates to Hollywood after his best-seller is made into a hit film. In tonight’s season finale, Karen’s wedding day arrives and brings with it a number of shock revelations and a great deal of emotional upheaval.

Despite Hank’s best efforts to cancel the nuptials, the day of Karen’s marriage to Bill has arrived. The day begins with Hank in bed, dreaming of the point in the ceremony at which the congregation is asked if anybody objects to the union. Everybody turns to face Hank, who obligingly gets up, marches to the front and attempts to drag Karen away, before falling off a cliff.

Having been roused by his daughter, Hank begins to get ready for the wedding but is interrupted by Becca. “Dad, it happened,” she says. After some confusion, he finally realises that his daughter has started her period and reacts in what he imagines to be the most appropriate way – by speeding to the local shop and trying to steal the only remaining pack of tampons from a woman’s basket. After a heated argument and a minor grapple, the woman sympathises and takes Becca aside to show her the ropes.

At the beachside venue where the wedding is to take place, Marcy is preparing for the ceremony by getting stoned and offering some frank advice about sex and relationships to Karen. “I think you’re doing the right thing,” she says, unconvincingly, but changes her tune when she learns that Karen slept with Hank after his father’s funeral. As soon as Hank arrives at the venue, she rushes up to him and suggests that he talk to Karen. “F**k her into doing the right thing!” she pleads, before joining the party with Becca.

As more guests arrive, Charlie confronts a rather tipsy Mia about stealing Hank’s manuscript and learns that Bill has refused to let her publish it. “At least it all worked out for the best,” he tells her. “Hank gets his book back and you get to crawl back to the hole from whence you came.” “This ain’t over till it’s over!” she calls after him.

The wedding gets under way and soon arrives at the point of which Hank dreamed. However, Hank is not the one to break the peace; it is Mia, now completely inebriated, who stands up and offers her objections. “I don’t think I can fully endorse this union,” she slurs. “You’re still in love with Hank,” she adds, turning her attention to the bride. Hank comes to the front and attempts to take Mia away so that the marriage can proceed, but this turns out to be an error. “You think you can shut me up?” she yells. “Just like you thought you could f**k me and never talk to me again!”

The guests gasp in unison at the revelation and are shocked once more when Bill marches back down the aisle and decks Hank. It is only after throwing the punch that Bill turns to his daughter and asks if the allegation is true. “Of course not,” she says, after some consideration. “Give a girl some credit!” Bill then returns to his bride and asks her if she wants to forget about the past and continue with the wedding. “Yes, I do,” she replies.

Later, when the reception is in full swing, Hank joins his daughter for a dance. “I’m very proud of you,” she tells him. “Because you got through it.” She then adds something of a dubious compliment: “You’re tragically flawed Dad, but you’ve got a good heart.” Mia arrives and cuts in for a dance with Hank, who thanks her for not telling the truth about their liaison. Her silence has come at a price, however, as it seems Mia’s father has changed his mind about the book and is allowing her to publish it as her own work.

Before Hank leaves the wedding with Becca, he enjoys one last dance with his ex-girlfriend and offers Bill some advice. “Be good to her,” he says. “I had a shot with her once but I blew it.” As his car pulls away, however, Karen comes running down the drive, shoes in hand, shouting for Hank to stop. Is there still a chance for the Karen and Hank, or is she just saying a final farewell?

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