California Son

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"California Son"
Californication episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 8
Directed by Scott Winant
Written by Tom Kapinos
Original air date October 1, 2007 (2007-10-01)
Episode chronology
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"Girls, Interrupted"
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"Filthy Lucre"
List of Californication episodes

"California Son" is the eighth episode of the Showtime original series Californication. It was written by Tom Kapinos, directed by Scott Winant and originally aired on Monday October 1, 2007.


This is the first episode that does not have a scene before the beginning intro plays. When Hank receives a phone call from his sister he finds out that his father Al (Mark Margolis) has died. During a flashback Hank remembers a visit from his father. Hank shows up to the airport in his clean car (seen with a missing passenger's headlight and always dirty in all previous episodes) late to pick up his father. Al comments on the flight, thanking his son for the business-class ticket, and mentions that not only are the drinks better, but also the stewardesses. When passing by a tree in front of the airport, Al asks Hank what type of flower it is, Hank simply replies by saying it is a 'purple' flower, simply noticing the color of the flower. As the two men get into the car, Al inquires about Hank's marital situation,;Hank replies by saying "Still living in sin". Al then states "Oh your poor mother...She is probably doing somersaults in her grave".

Hank is then seen drinking in a bar with a woman named Trixie, when Karen enters and informs him that his sister called her. She gives her condolences and offers an airplane ticket so Hank can attend his father's funeral. After rejecting the ticket, stating that his father was an asshole and he wouldn't attend the funeral, Hank tells Karen that she mothers him one moment then acts as if she does not care about him the next. Trixie returns and leaves with Hank.

During another flashback sequence, this one taking place on the set of the movie Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Hank and Carr get into another argument over the dialogue and overall direction of the movie. Hank and Al (who are both on set) begin to discuss Hank's books; Hank states that Al has never read any of his books; Al says "Your mother filled me in on them". The plot returns to the present, with Hank snorting coke off the back of Trixie. When Trixie refers to herself as a hooker he tells her to stop joking. When Trixie reveals that her real name is Beatrice and that she is in fact a hooker, Hank reveals that he has no money left to pay her, so she calls her pimp. The plot is interrupted by another flashback involving Hank's father, this time to when Hank and Karen were still together. Hank, Karen, Becca and Al are eating dinner at a table. Al asks how Karen's work is going, and she mentions that she is working for a new client who lives in Venice and wants everything painted green (Bill). Hank and Becca both say that Bill has a bit of a crush on her; Karen refuses to believe it. Becca asks her grandfather if he would join her and her mother tomorrow at the zoo, Al unfortunately has other plans (to visit an old flame in San Diego). Hank and Karen are in the kitchen while Hank complains about his father; the conversation turns into Hank being too busy to visit with his own family. Hank tells his wife about a plan he has, that as soon as he finishes shooting the movie, they pack up and go back to New York. Karen says that it is a selfish plan, mentioning that she relocated for him, and now that she is becoming a successful architect she has no intentions of leaving. As Hank states that 'We gotta get out of here before the city destroys us both', the episode cuts back to the present, with Hank getting beaten up by Trixie's pimp. As Charlie arrives to pay the bill and Trixie and her pimp leave, Charlie attempts to force Hank to attend his father's funeral. Charlie says that Al was a good guy, Hank re-iterates with 'No he was not, he used to say you looked like a walking penis!'.

Another flashback takes place to where Al and Hank are sitting in a bar.discussing Hank's life. Al tells Hank that no matter what he does, he must keep his family close, Hank states that it is hysterical and ironic that a man who cheated on his wife, and (in Hank's belief) that was never there for his son, would give advice to keep your family close. After the argument slightly escalates, Al tells his son that he (Hank) was much happier the year before when he visited, and even more so the year before, Al tells his son that he is not going in the right direction.

Hank has another flashback, this time to an argument between himself and Karen. Karen accuses him of having an affair, Hank informs her that he is not and Karen wishes that he was having one so she could stop looking for clues. When Hank says that he thought about doing it and everyone else does, Karen says 'I never did!', Hank notices and comments on the use of the past tense, the argument is highly enhanced and gets more verbal. Karen suggests that the two go see a therapist, stating that she needs to talk to someone. Hank asks who she talks to, he asks about Bill, and Karen tells him that he does not want to go down that road. When hank asks if she slept with Bill Karen replies 'You know me Hank, the talking and the fucking go hand in hand.' When Karen leaves the room, Becca emerges from her room, asking if they are going to get a divorce, Hank mentions the fact that since he and Karen never married they can never truly get a divorce. Hank pulls out a cigarette and then looks at the mail on the table, among the mail is a letter from his father, he holds the letter in his hand and stares at it.

In the present, Hank is sitting alone in his apartment when Karen stops by to check on his well being. She goes into his apartment and finds Hank holding the same unopened letter from the previous flashback. As the two sit quietly, they open the letter as Karen reads the letter, as the letter continues Karen's voice fades and Al's voice begins to dictate the letter. (Starting with the second sentence, and ending on the word man, in 'Love your old man.')

As Karen reads this last sentence, Hank laughs and tries to hold back his tears. When Hank leaves to go lie on his bed, Karen joins him; the two stare at each other for a moment, then begin to kiss once again but this time the kiss leads to the two having sex. In the morning Karen drives Hank to the airport and drops him off, saying that once Becca is out of school, they will catch another flight. Hank hugs Karen and tells her he loves her and does not expect her to say it back to him. As Hank thanks her for helping him get his head out of his ass, he sees the same tree that his father inquired about in the beginning of the episode. He asks Karen what it is called she tells him it's called a Jacaranda and he smiles and leaves to board his plane.

Cultural references[edit]


External links[edit]

"California Son" at the Internet Movie Database