“Le Petite Mort” proves a less than orgasmic season finale: Charlie realizes he may have made a grave error, Sonja gives birth, and a New York job offer prompts Karen and Hank to once again reevaluate their relationship.
Having lost his job and left his wife, Charlie is now a BMW salesman in the valley, sharing a studio apartment with the ex–porn star. That doesn’t seem so bad when he gets off work and … gets off to a private viewing of his and Daisy’s Vaginatown performance. It’s a little embarrassing when she and her Groundlings classmate walk in on him, and more awkward when she confesses to him that she accidentally screwed said Groundling. That’s how her acting scenes usually go, so you’d think he’d be more understanding, but that slip and some bad make-up sex (due to him, naturally) show Charlie the error of his ways and drive him back to Marcy — but she’s having none of it.
In case the decline and fall of Charlie offered too subtle an example of the importance of family and loyalty, Ashby comes back from the dead just as Hank is finishing his biography to remind him, “In the end, it’s all about her.”
Karen knows better and tells Hank that he can’t come with her when she moves back East. But then it turns out that Hank isn’t Sonja’s baby daddy after all, and Hank offers a more effective make-up lay than Charlie managed, so Karen changes her mind.
Karen finally remembers to tell Hank that Becca’s brokenhearted because Damien kissed another girl. He heads over to kick the kid’s ass but is bowled over by Damien’s unassailable logic: If he had it all to do over again, he’d still kiss the other girl, because if a beautiful girl kisses you, you never know where it might lead and you’d better kiss back.
Becca’s even easier than Hank; all Damien has to do is surreptitiously borrow her iPod and add a playlist they once made out to, and she’s his again. The solution is obvious: Hank realizes his life is all about Becca, so he’ll give up his dream to return to New York and to win back the love of his life, and will instead stay in L.A. so his daughter can date this junior douche bag.
Cue a happy daddy-daughter stroll on Venice Beach, complete with fatherly advice, plus the random reappearance of that chick (“Michelle,” apparently) who robbed Hank that one time. We’d bust his chops for not recognizing her, but, well, we didn’t either. So that was season two. We still have faith that season three can transform Californication into a genuinely soulful meditation on sex, love, and family.