Californication – The Trial – Episode review

Californication: Hank gets his day in court. And it’s a day of reckoning. And let’s be honest here, The Trial was only half a trial.

Still, even if we don’t have a judgement at this point, The Trial was packed with brilliant moments of excruciating testimony from Hanks nearest and dearest. And there were a handful of flashbacks that gave us new insights into the season one sexual encounter that landed Hank Moody in this mess in the first place.

The episode kicks off with Moody getting ready for court and complaining that his suit made him look like an FBI agent – a fairly blunt reference to David Duchovny’s tenure on The X Files. And of course, we lap cross-series references up, don’t we?

Of course, the best action takes place in court where Runkle does his level best to tell all the best anecdotes about Hank. But obviously forgetting that his audience doesn’t want to go out drinking with Hank, they want to establish if he’s guilty of statutory rape. So, the gag about the squirting lady *ahem* female ejaculation doesn’t go down particularly well.

We could complain that someone as savvy as Runkle wouldn’t sell his friend out so easily. But the world of Californication is slightly loopy anyway, so we’ll take the comedy bits at face value.

Karen’s testimony doesn’t do much to help Hank’s situation, and it’s satisfying to watch Abby exposing just how easily Karen walks away from Hank whenever things go wrong for him. It’s Bill, however, who exposes the jaw-dropping new information: Hank had ‘met’ Mia well before the day he slept with her.

Of course, Hank was paralytic drunk at the time and has no recollection of the encounter. But this doesn’t hold much weight with either Karen or Abby.

Funnily enough, it’s Mia who takes most of the heat. She admits to a frosty relationship with Karen, making it possible she wanted to sleep with Hank to hurt her wicked step-mother. She also admits that she sought out Hank during a particularly rebellious episode. Hopefully this goes some way to persuading the jury that Hank didn’t intentionally sleep with her.

Now, although the trial isn’t over yet, I wonder if they’ll also mention the fact that Mia also stole a book of Hank’s and tried to publish it under her own name. None of that paints Mia in a particularly flattering light.

At this point in the season (i.e. with two episodes remaining), I really hope that Californication ditches this ongoing storyline with Karen. Though I suspect that Hank will end up getting his name cleared, but being torn between Karen and Abby. One thing’s for sure though – once this court case with Mia ends, Californication will be free of a four-season long arc. And since there’s already a fifth season in the pipeline, it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes if the characters move into new territory.

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