CALIFORNICATION 6.10 ‘Blind Faith’
Episode Title: "Blind Faith"
Writer: Tom Kapinos
Director: Adam Bernstein
Well here’s a sweet little episode of "Californication" that has nothing to do with the endless Hank and Karen back-and-forth or the absurd Marcy, Charlie and Stu love triangle. In fact, what makes this episode so enjoyable is that it isn’t about any of the regulars whose storylines are starting to get a bit stale. It’s about Faith (Maggie Grace), a character who would otherwise be another throwaway affair for Hank (David Duchovny). But instead, this episode takes the time to explore her backstory, giving us a break from the usual while touching on Hank’s relationship with Becca.
When Faith gets a call from her mother, Hank suggests she pay her family a visit. Seeing Hank as a much more presentable boyfriend than her usual rockstar types, Faith asks him to accompany her. We’ve heard a little about Faith’s upbringing and in particular, her mother’s feelings about her lifestyle, but this "Meet the Parents" episode is a worthwhile roadtrip into Faith’s past that changes Hank’s approach to parenthood.
When they arrive in town, Faith is bombarded with reminders of who she used to be. We learn that before she became a rockstar muse, Faith was a nun. You might say Faith was always a groupie, in one sense of the word, though she never got the acceptance or answers she sought during her time in the convent.
While Faith endures her mother’s judgment, Hank tries to make the best of the situation by reminding her parents that their daughter turned out just fine. After his freakout about Becca’s plans to go on a "literary pilgrimage," Hank sees the error in his ways. Meanwhile, Faith dreams of Atticus Fetch as Jesus, descending from the cross to let her know that he still loves her. She wakes from the dream with a new sense of understanding and heads home with Hank. Back in L.A., Hank tells Karen (Natascha McElhone) that he’s changed his mind about Becca’s trip and the two decide to tell their daughter the good news together.
After the insanity of last week’s episode, in which Karen presumably slept with the cartoonish Eddie Nero (Rob Lowe) to make Hank jealous after catching him with Faith, this episode was a wonderful relief. "Californication" has the potential to tell more stories than the ones we’ve been following for the past six seasons.
We may have seen the last of Faith, but her story was worth spending an episode on as it allowed Hank to get a better sense of what his own family needs from him. Rather than listen to Karen and Becca lecture him ad nauseum about what a screw-up he is, this aside took Hank’s character on a journey that was much more effective than any reprimand could ever be.
At the same time, "Blind Faith" didn’t stray too far from the comedic edge "Californication" is known for. Faith’s father watches porn and drinks beer in a home Hank describes as a "religious supply store" and Hank talks about Faith "inhaling the Bible" at dinner. And then there’s a run in with an old high school classmate who can’t stop talking about what a "slut" Faith was back in the day. The pregnant woman then suggests they get together for some drinks, because a couple of "spritzers" won’t hurt the baby.
Though it didn’t have much to do with the larger story, this "bottle episode" was one of the best in a long time. A break from the same old same old, but with the same old sense of humor is just what "Californication" needs every now and then.