It’s the cold dance of scribbling words out, crumpling up the paper and shooting for the trash bin. Hank pours another glass of whiskey, his “creative lubricant” and looks anywhere for the inspiration to get him past the writer’s block that is stalling his latest work. These days Hank is on his own as we see Karen busy with work, not exactly having the time or motivation to put up with him. Becca is God knows where and Hank doesn’t have a stable relationship to occupy his time. Something needed to happen to nudge Hank and the show towards working on something meaningful.
The episode lives up to its title “Rock and a Hard Place,” because a series of delicate situations need to be resolved. Charlie loses another job, but Hank comes to the rescue yet again. He agrees to set up a meeting with Stu to attempt to get Atticus’ rock opera project green lit. Stu admits his business is suffering without Marcy, much like Hank can’t write without his muse.
For Atticus, his muse at the moment is cocaine and when his dealer goes MIA, he goes berserk. Out of a job and running low on cash, Charlie has the chance to sign Atticus if he can get cocaine and locate the guitar from the still unnamed dead rocker. The Hank/Atticus collaboration is just finally beginning, even though they have toyed with the idea in nearly every episode this season. With Charlie in the mix, the trio is bound to do some serious damage.
When we start to think we have seen it all in Californication, we get a drug dealer, played by Jorge Garcia of Lost fame, caught in a “muthafucka” battle with Hank. But the story of the episode is Faith. She’s electric in every scene, whether she’s lying by the pool trading jabs with Hank or retrieving the guitar and the cocaine to appease an edgy Atticus.
Hank hasn’t exactly been foaming at the mouth over Faith. He’s smoked with her and stolen from a dead man for her but hasn’t made a move on her. It feels like Hank is taking time to find himself, but maybe what he needs is right in front of him. In the end, Faith tells Hank that she’s taking a liking to his work. Like a true groupie, she wants to help another person with talent make their mark on the world. “You’ve got that thing, that spark,” she says with an honest smile. She thinks Hank hasn’t “nailed it yet,” leaving everyone to wonder what else there is to come for Hank Moody.
Hank has played it cool with Faith, but when she gives him a kiss, we see Hank get the spark he desperately needed. It wasn’t the kiss that did it though. It was Faith’s final words of the episode that could give Hank something to chase again.
“I didn’t say this would be easy.”